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Depending on your dye job, caring for and maintaining your hair color can require a lot of work. Between having to stock up on a system of hair care products formulated for color-treated hair and needing root touch-ups every few weeks, you may eventually find yourself wishing you could simplify things and switch back to your natural hair color. Of course, that raises the question of how you can strip hair color to reclaim your starting shade. Read on to learn how to remove color from your hair, along with a few other options for finding your way back your natural color.
We’ll be the first ones to say that stripping hair color isn’t always the easiest, especially if you’ve used a hair dye that is meant to last. With temporary hair color, you can easily wash it out, but what about other types of hair color? Here’s what you need to know about how to remove color from hair:
Good news, if you have colored your strands with a shade (or shades) of semi-permanent hair color, like the L’Oréal Paris Colorista Semi-Permanent Hair Color, there are at-home hair color removers you can use to rid your strands of the color. Because semi-permanent hair color typically only lasts for a few weeks—Colorista fades in four to 10 shampoos—it’s easier to remove than some other types of hair dye.
If you do choose to use a hair color remover, be sure to follow the instructions included with the product and keep in mind that your color may not completely return to its original hue. You may be left with a slight tint, but you’ll be that much closer to having your natural hair color back!
Now, what about removing permanent hair color? Well, there are at-home hair color remover options for permanent hair dyes, too! Again, you’ll want to follow any instructions very carefully and be prepared for the fact that your color may not look the same as it did before dyeing.
Beyond at-home options, you can also visit a professional. How do salons strip hair color? They take the time to bleach and lift your hair dye, then tone and highlight your hair to ensure your mane has an even color all-over. If you’re not experienced with DIY hair color or are worried about the state of your strands, your best bet is to head to the salon so a colorist can strip your hair color with minimal damage.
Learning how to strip hair color is great, but using hair color removers or visiting a colorist aren’t the only ways to get your hair back to its natural shade. You can consider the following options for transitioning your hair color from colored to not as well.
When you think about what it would take to make your way back to your natural hair color, growing your strands out might not be the obvious option. After all, depending on the shade you’ve been coloring your hair, there may be a harsh line of demarcation between your new growth and the dyed portion of your hair. That being said, growing your hair out can be a useful strategy if you do it right.
In order to make this tactic work for you, you’ll want to wait until you have about two inches of visible roots, then ask your colorist for balayage highlights. Balayage is a hand-painted highlighting technique that’ll allow your natural roots to fade seamlessly into your colored ends. You can continue to completely grow out your locks without touching up these highlights, as this technique is an extremely low maintenance option.
Editor’s note: Want to learn more about balayage highlights? Check out our article, Balayage Hair 101: Everything You Need to Know About This Highlighting Technique.
This is the easiest and quickest fix when it comes to returning to your natural hair hue. If you’d like to rock your natural hair color again without waiting for your current color to grow out, think about dyeing your mane back to your natural color. You’ll essentially be faking it till you make it. As the color grows out, it’ll be replaced by new growth that matches your dye job.
If you aren’t making too major of a change, you may be able to cover up your color with an at-home hair color kit. On the flip side, for more dramatic color changes, it’s a good idea to seek out a professional colorist who can manage your expectations. Depending on the change you’re making, you may need to have your hair lightened with bleach—and that could take multiple sessions, something a pro can help you plan. If you decide to head to the salon, make sure to bring a picture of your natural hair color so that your colorist can use that as a guide.
If you find yourself feeling impatient waiting for your dye job to grow out, consider taking a short haircut for a spin to help speed up the process. Think about it: The shorter your mane, the less growing out you’ll have to do. The good news is, there are plenty of stylish short hairstyles to choose from, ranging from super-cropped pixies to chin-length bobs. Need more haircut inspiration? Consider one of the Best Short Shag Hairstyles.
Now that you’ve decided to embrace your natural hair color, why not rock your hair’s natural texture too? Read our article, How to Embrace Your Natural Hair Texture, to find out how.
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