How to remove black hair dye

Are you tired of your natural hair color and thinking of dying it black? Or maybe you already did it and now hate the result? Black is a beautiful and dramatic color, but dying your hair black at home, especially if your natural shade is much lighter, is not a very good idea. Black hair dye is so saturated that it penetrates deeper into the hair shaft and, because of that, it so much harder to remove.

That’s why, before dying your hair black, you should always consult your stylist and if you can, have it done professionally. If the damage is already done, however, the best thing to do is to wait for your hair to grown out again and then cut it off.

But if that’s not an option for you and you already hate your new hair so much you can’t stand it a minute longer, you can try it and remove the dye, but the process can be long, frustrating and damaging to your hair. Again, your best bet is to go to your salon and let your stylist take care of it, but if your hair is newly dyed, you could try and fix it at home too. Here’s how:

Chemical Color Removers

Chemical Color Removers are special products that remove color from hair without bleaching it. Instead, they shrink the oxidative color molecules present in permanent and semi-permanent hair dyes so that they can be washed out of your hair. Although you can find some of these products at the drugstore, it’s a lot safer to have it done by a professional.


Do not try and bleach your hair at home, especially if you have never done it before. Bleaching can remove black dye, but the process is so harsh, you can end up damaging your hair even more. Bleaching peels away the outer layer of your hair, making it weak and fragile which can lead to thinning and breakage. Not only that, but bleaching can lighten up your hair unevenly, so that you can end up with your strands being of several different hues! Again, if you need to have your hair bleached, always go to the salon and have it done professionally.


The safest, less harming thing you can do at home to remove black hair dye is wash your hair with dandruff or clarifying shampoos. These are harsher than regular shampoos and will strip some color off your hair with every wash. But this method doesn’t work straight away: it may take days or even weeks before all the dye is completely removed from your hair.

How long it will take depends on the type of dye you used (permanent takes the longest to fade), how many times a day/week you wash your hair and how soon you started shampooing after the dye was applied. If you just dyed your hair and decided you don’t like it, you have better chances of removing a lot of the color straight away, which won’t happen if you wait a couple of days.

Keep in mind though that washing your hair often with such harsh shampoos will also strip natural oil from your hair, making your hair dry and brittle. It is very important to always apply conditioner afterwards to avoid that from happening and make sure your hair will remain in good condition.

Have you ever dyed your hair black and regretted it? What did you do about it?

Source: size8jeans
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  1. beautifulwithbrains says

    Dee, that’s too bad! Maybe that’s because your hair is black and so it doesn’t show up lighter shades well? You could try leaving the dye on for longer or consult a hair stylist. :)

  2. says

    Thanks for this article, I’ve been dying my hair since I was 14 ( I’m now 28 ), I’ve been a range of colours from gothic black through to mahogany’s, auburns and bright reds and my hair for the majority of the time has been waist length ( currently I have it black) I’ve always done it myself and always bleached in-between the colour changes and then done a course of intensive condition treatments, however I will definatly investigate the chemical removers, though I’ve never seen these available in UK drug stores. My only tip for dying hair dark is to smother your whole face, neck and ears ( and any other exposed parts of skin ) in Vaseline so if drops of dye end up on skin they can be wiped of without dying any skin.

  3. beautifulwithbrains says

    Dita UK, you’re welcome and thanks for your comment. I love your hair color on your profile pix, it’s beautiful and suits you well. Chemical removers are hard to find in drugstores even here, in small cities at least, but some shops have them. They are also sold online as well, but I haven’t used them myself as I prefer to let my hair stylist do it.

    And that is a great tip about vaseline, thanks for sharing.

  4. beautifulwithbrains says

    Pinch, you’re welcome. Removing black hair dye is difficult and can take a while, but it can be done :)

  5. says

    I’ve never dyed my hair black since it’s already dark but I’ve had colors I didn’t like. In that type of situation, I wash it out as soon as I see the color. It removes about 70% of the dye and the rest slowly fade out. For black dyes, it is very hard to do it on your own and I highly suggest the unfortunate folks to go to the hair salon to get a chemical lift.
    .-= Dao´s last blog ..GILTY Pleasures Weekly Blog Tour: Vol 4, 2010 =-.

  6. beautifulwithbrains says

    Dao, I agree with everything you said. Washing hair straight away is the best thing to do if you don’t like your new hair color. But if it’s black dye, definitely go to a salon and have it removed professionally. Doing it at home can damage hair even more.

  7. BeYouBeBeautiful says

    I have dyed my hair black many times, but every time it gets lighter again in a week or so. Does anyone have any tips to help keep it dark?

    • sara says

      Use a really good hair dye. Don’t buy the cheap stuff, I was dying my hair black with revlon, and it kept fading. Finally I ended up using Herbal Essence…My hair stayed black…unfortunately, I’m trying to get rid of the black.

      • beautifulwithbrains says

        Sara, sounds like it worked too well lol.. Thanks for your suggestion. It’s not easy to find a dye that doesn’t fade easily with regular washing.

  8. beautifulwithbrains says

    BeYouBeBeautiful, can I ask how often you wash your hair? Cos every time you wash it, even if you only use water, some of the color gets stripped from your hair. Another cause of hair drye fading is the sun rays, so maybe wearing a hat if you know you’e gonna spend a lot of time outdoors might help.

    Hope this helps.

  9. Beautiful Diaster says

    Hey, I wonder if anyone can help me. I dyed my hair black at the end of May for a party and it’s now September and i can’t get rid of it and I don’t have much money to buy hair dye removers. I start college in a few daysand don’t want streaky hair, are there any shampoos that are very likely to remove colour?

    • beautifulwithbrains says

      Beautiful Diaster, every shampoo will remove a bit of color with every wash. The most likely to remove it though are clarifying and anti-dandruff shampoos as they are usually stronger than the other types. It will take several washes to completely remove all the color though, especially since black is very difficult to remove. Remember to use a conditioner after every wash though or those strong shampoos will cause your hair to become dry.

  10. Hunay says

    İ bought new Muss color Wellaton -dark chocolate…but in the result my hair is very black now (( i hate this black, i cant remove it, it shows me older((

    • beautifulwithbrains says

      Hunay, I’m sorry you’re not happy with the results. Try washing it a few times with shampoo, preferably a strong, harsh one (and then make sure to apply conditioner or your hair will become dry and damaged). If that doesn’t make things better, I think you should consult a hairdresser.

    • beautifulwithbrains says

      Hunay, I know! Dying your hair is always trick, especially when the color is dark… companies should be more clear in their instructions and in what we should expect from their products..

  11. Rhenon says

    So, I dyed my hair black with Revlon back in September. At the time I thought it was a good idea. But now that my roots are growing it looks horrid. I naturally have ginger hair. I’m trying to fade the black enough to either dye it another color. Or I might just chop off the black & start fresh. I’m thinking about chopping it all off… :/ Thank god it’s winter. i can wear hats!

    • beautifulwithbrains says

      Rhenon, I’m sorry to hear that. Getting rid of black hair can be a real pain! It’s really hard to make black dye fade, maybe you should go to a salon and see how they can help?

  12. Barbara jones says

    Yep dyed hair black last fall. My natural color is not grey but white. Now I want to go back to my natural color. Don’t know if even bleaching will remove black now.

    • Gio says

      Barbara, black dye is a pain to remove! Try consulting a good hairstylist. Maybe they’ll have a solution that will work for you. Otherwise, the best thing would be to wait for your natural hair colour to grow back.

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