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How to Fade Hair Dye

Three Methods:ShampooingExposing Your Hair to the ElementsUsing a Color Remover

If you dyed your hair and it didn't come out quite right, you can speed up the fading process using several different methods. Hair that has been dyed a dark, intense color will lighten a few shades if you wash it quickly using strong shampoo. If you want to know more about how to fade your dyed hair, keep reading.

Method 1

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    Wash your hair as soon as possible after dying it. If you want to preserve intense hair color, you're supposed to wait a few days to wash it. To fade your hair, then, you'll want to wash it right away after dying it. Hopping in the shower as soon as possible after deciding you want to fade your hair is the easiest way to get the process started.[1]
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    Use a clarifying shampoo. You'll need to use a strong shampoo that will strip the dye from your hair. Look for a clear shampoo, rather than an opaque one. Massage the shampoo into your hair thoroughly, making sure to work it in from the roots to the tips.
    • Prell has been said to help fade hair dye faster.[citation needed]
    • You could also try a dandruff shampoo that contains tar.
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    Rinse your hair with hot water. The heat helps to remove dye from your hair. Washing and rinsing your hair with hot water will strip away the color and should leave your hair significantly lighter.
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    Wash your hair again. Repeat washing with a clarifying shampoo a few times before drying your hair. Examine the results to determine whether your hair has faded to a color you like better. Continue washing your hair more often than usual. Over the period of a couple of weeks, your hair should definitely fade a few shades. If not, move on to another fading method.
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    Be sure to condition your hair well. All that extra washing with a strong clarifying shampoo is going to dry out your hair. Be sure to use plenty of conditioner so you don't cause too much damage.
    • Do a coconut oil mask once a week to keep your hair from splitting and getting brittle.
    • When you're happy with your hair color again, do a deep conditioning treatment and then give it a rest for a few days, before shampooing.

Method 2
Exposing Your Hair to the Elements

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    Go out in the sun. The sun is a natural hair lightener and color fader. Exposing your hair to sunlight will help it turn a few shades lighter over time.
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    Swim in salt water. The salt helps to loosen the dye from your hair. If you swim in the ocean a few days a week, you'll notice your hair color fading in time.[2]
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    Swim in a pool. The chlorine acts as a color remover, fading your hair after prolonged exposure. This isn't great for your hair, though, so don't rely on this method if you have others at your disposal. Chlorine makes hair straw-like and brittle in addition to fading color.

Method 3
Using a Color Remover

  1. 1
    Use a chemical dye remover. This should be a last resort, since the chemicals are tough on hair and could cause brittleness and split ends to occur. If you dyed your hair a dark color, chemical dye remover can lighten it up. Follow the instructions on the package to treat your hair with dye remover, then rinse it out and examine the results. Repeat if necessary.
    • Test the dye remover on a discreet lock of hair before using it on your whole head.
    • Chemical dye remover doesn't work on hair that has been dyed lighter; it only works to remove darker colors.
    • Do a deep conditioning treatment on your hair to restore it to health after using a dye remover.
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    Try baking soda. This is a natural way to remove dark color from your hair. Make a paste with 1/2 cup of baking soda and 1/2 cup water. Massage it into your hair and let it sit for 15 minutes, then rinse with hot water. Repeat as many times as you'd like until you've achieved the color you want.
    • Condition your hair well after using baking soda, since it strips your hair of its natural oils.
  3. 3
    Make a homemade color stripper. This must be used within 30 minutes of the color application.
    • Mix together 1 tablespoon bleach powder, 25ml 40 vol/6% peroxide, and a bit of shampoo.
    • Apply the color stripper to wet hair. Use as you'd use normal shampoo.
    • Emulsify and rub the hair for approximately 3 to 5 minutes. Take great care not to get it in your eyes!
    • Use a mirror and check to see the color lifting.
    • Rinse well. Towel dry. Apply conditioner or treatment.


  • Begin the process of fading hair color as soon as possible for best results. If you wait longer than 72 hours, your hair color likely will have set and you will not have much success in getting it to fade.
  • See a professional stylist if hair color is still undesirable after making attempts to fade it. You can try calling cosmetology schools to see if you can serve as a model for teaching color correction techniques.

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