You’re tired of your red hair.
Or it didn’t come out as expected and you really want to change your hair color.
You’ve heard that red hair dye is very difficult to remove, but you don’t want to bleach your hair again because you’re afraid of the damage.
And you want to remove the red hair dye naturally without bleach at home.
You’ve come to the right place!
I’m going to cover some ways you can remove red hair dye naturally without bleach and even explain the effectiveness of each method.
Let’s get started!
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1. Use a color-stripping product (this removes the red hair dye without bleach)
First of all, make sure that your red hair dye is a direct dye or semi-permanent dye.
Only then, will this method work.
Now, you can use DDL, otherwise known as a Direct Dye Lifter.
This product contains no bleach or ammonia (it’s safe) and simply breaks the disulfide bonds in the hair color and it reduces the hair color just like a lightener.
You have to mix the DDL with water or a 20-volume developer (to see better results) and it will lighten the natural base color beautifully.
You don’t have to worry about your original hair color – it doesn’t affect melanin (our natural hair color pigment), only the direct dye.
I suggest the Extra Oops Color Remover (Extra Strength) to help you remove the red hair dye from your hair.
You can remove the red hair dye and reapply a new color on the same day.
The only con of this product is that it has a nasty smell and it can be really unpleasant.
I highly suggest conditioning your hair after using the product just to ensure that your hair is soft and smooth.
If you have dyed your hair multiple times, then you may need to use this product 2 times keeping a break of 24 hours in between each use just to get all the color out.
2. Use coconut oil
This method will fade the color, not remove it entirely.
But if you want something natural or want to fade to a light red, then this is definitely something you can try, otherwise, skip this method.
First, apply coconut oil to your hair and leave it in for at least 2 hours.
This will give the coconut oil enough time to get absorbed into your hair and mix with the red hair dye color molecules, loosening the color molecules.
Then soak your hair in shampoo and apply a plastic cap like this over it before warming it with a hairdryer for 5-10 minutes.
The shampoo will help open the cuticles and the coconut oil and color molecules will come out when you rinse with water, removing all the color and shampoo.
This method will definitely dry out your hair but if you don’t have funds to buy other products, then you can give this a shot.
It’s safe and you’re not using any ammonia or bleach.
3. Baking Soda + Shampoo
Baking Soda is a fantastic product that can also remove harsh smells from hair. But it can also fade the red hair dye from your hair fairly quickly
Simply mix 2 tablespoons of baking soda with a clarifying shampoo like this and apply it on your hair for 20 minutes before washing it off. I recommend the shampoo and conditioner combination because the conditioner leaves your hair baby soft.
Don’t use more than 2 tablespoons of baking soda because it is incredibly alkaline (it has a high pH) and will dry your hair.
The aim is to remove the red dye from your hair without drying it heavily.
4. Use anti-dandruff shampoo
If you are not in a rush and want to go about it slowly, then this is one of the best methods to remove hair dye from your hair.
Simply wash your hair with anti-dandruff shampoo every single day till the color lightens to an orangy brassy tone.
Then you can bleach it and recolor your hair any color you want.
This is one of the safest and easiest methods out there.
Within 7-10 days, you should get the result you desire depending on how much red hair dye you have in your hair.
5. Use Vitamin C and Baking Soda
In this method, you’re going to want to use a small bowl and add:
- 5 vitamin C tablets (crushed)
- 2 tablespoons of clarifying shampoo
- 1 tablespoon of baking soda
Mix well and apply it to your hair for 30-45 minutes.
Wash it off normally afterward.
While doing this, if you feel your scalp is burning or itching in any way, immediately wash it off. Vitamin C doesn’t agree with many people and can even cause burning and blisters on the scalp.
Vitamin C removes the color molecules but it also dries the hair and makes it vulnerable to breakage.
You will want to use caution while using this method.
I highly recommend this as your last resort if you don’t want to try anything else.
6. Dish soap + Clarifying Shampoo
I know a lot of methods I mentioned above include baking soda.
But let’s say you don’t have any.
Then you can use dish soap.
In a bowl, mix equal parts of dish soap and shampoo. It will become a little pasty.
Apply it to your hair and leave it for 15 minutes. Do not exceed 15 minutes because Dish Soap is quite harsh and dries out hair very extensively.
Rinse it out with cold water.
Dish soap (with its high pH level) helps open the cuticles and loosen the color molecules so that the shampoo can wash them away.
It works like a detergent.
This method and the Vitamin C tablet method will dry your hair out a lot since they are lifting the hair cuticles so please use it with caution and make sure that you condition your hair well afterward using an extra moisturizing conditioner or Olaplex.
7. Honey + Cinnamon
This will not remove the red hair dye completely but will lighten the hair 2-3 shades at best.
This causes zero damage to hair and it is safe to use because it uses natural ingredients.
If this is something you want to do just to see how you’ll look with light red hair or you’re planning to dye it pink afterward, then this is definitely a method you can try out.
In a bowl, mix:
- 2 tablespoons of honey
- 1 tablespoon of cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil (for conditioning and hydration)
Honey is a bleaching agent but when mixed with cinnamon, gets activated and works like hydrogen peroxide.
Apply the mixture to your hair and cover it with a cap for a few hours.
4-8 hours is best because it will have enough time to lighten your hair beautifully.
If you want to get as much color out as possible, don’t use this method because it doesn’t work as effectively as the rest.
My preferred method is the Direct Dye lifter because it works fast with minimum damage and you can color your hair the same day.
Best of luck!
Here are a few more posts you might enjoy:
- Red hair fading with age: everything you need to know
- How to remove turquoise hair dye at home (with and without bleach)
- Why is my red hair getting darker? And how do I lighten it naturally?
- How to dye dyed-red hair pink without bleach?
- What does purple shampoo do to green-dyed hair?
- 5 easy ways to temporarily hide your colored hair for an interview
- Why are Youtubers dying their hair in all sorts of colors?
- How to transition dyed strawberry blonde hair to grey?