Is it possible to remove hair dye without using bleach?
I’m going to be straight to the point with you, the short answer is yes! Most hair stylists and hair dressers will tell you that bleaching your hair is the only way to remove your hair color, but bleaching will surely fry and damage your hair. Fortunately for us who love to dye our hair, bleaching is not the only way to go. There is a much more natural way to remove permanent, semi-permanent, and even henna dyes from your hair with little to no damage.
This simple and humble ingredient is Vitamin C, and most of us already have this at home!
How does Vitamin C work in removing hair color?
I’ve done lots of reading on this but it’s not completely understood why Vitamin C actually works well in removing hair dyes. However, experts believe that the ascorbic acid (the main ingredient in Vitamin C) interacts with the dye molecules and breaks the chemical bonds that make dye to stick to the hair.
And because citric acid is acid, it’s also believed to help break down the dye, which makes it easier to wash it out. But whatever the reason, Vitamin C is a sure way to remove any type of hair dye, old or new, without causing horrible damage to the hair except a bit of dryness. It is still acid, after all.
How do you use Vitamin C to remove your hair color?
All you need is a few ingredients and a few simple steps. If you already have Vitamin C tablets at home you can also work with that, but I recommend getting actual Ascorbic Acid powder because it’s much easier to work with, and the ingredient is much more finely “milled.”
It doesn’t matter how many milligrams your Vitamin C is, but it does neet to be Ascorbic Acid based. 500mg or 1000mg is fine – they should give you the same desired result.
Stuff you’ll need to prepare:
- 1 tbsp conditioner (optional)
- 15-25 Vitamin C tablets or 1/4-1/2 cup of ascorbic acid powder
- 1/4-1/2 cup shampoo (clarifying shampoo works best but any shampoo will do)
- 1 tbsp conditioner (optional)
- shower cap
- plastic mixing bowl
What you need to do:
- If you’re working with Vitamin C tablets, put them in a ziploc bag and crush into a fine powder something like a rolling pin. You can also use a spice grinder to get a super fine texture. If you’re using Ascorbic Acid powder, measure out 1/4-1/2 cup into a plastic bowl. This depends on your hair length.
- Transfer the powdered Vitamin C into your bowl and add in your shampoo of choice. Mix well until you get a thick, creamy, paste-like consistency. Add more Vitamin C if the consistency is still too watery.
- If you have very dry hair, I recommend adding 1 tbsp of conditioner to the mixture.
- After you’re done mixing, apply the Vitamin C mask to dry hair. I repeat, dry, not wet! Make sure to saturate all of your hair by the strand. Massage the mixture into the hair to maximize the potency of the mixture.
- Wear a shower cap on your hair and and let your hair sit for about 60 minutes.
- After the hour is over, wash your hair with warm to hot water for a minimum of 5 minutes. But be careful not to burn yourself! Rinsing your hair thoroughly and well will prevent the hair dye molecules from reattaching after the Vitamin C treatment. If you do not rinse your hair long and well enough, the dye may darken again.
- Condition and dry your hair as you usually would. Expect that your hair may be a tad drier but it will get back its luster and softness after deep conditioning.
Some final words…
- The results of this technique will greatly depend on the shade of your dye, the quality of your hair, other factors.
- If you have a lot of dye buildup, you may need to repeat this process a few more times.
- Rest your hair in between treatments – don’t get one every day! An interval of at least one day is enough.
- When you have already removed all the dye from your hair, then you can safely apply a new hair color of your choice. I recommend natural hair coloring alternatives.
Have you used Vitamin C to remove your hair color yet? Tell me about your experience below!
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