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Dye Reversal: Removing Unwanted Colour from Your Hair

Have you ever wondered why it's so hard to get rid of permanent hair dye once you've applied it? In this blog, we'll explore the science behind permanent hair colour and explain why it's difficult to remove. Understanding this can help you make informed decisions about your hair colour.

Let's get started!


The Structure of Hair: Our hair has three layers: the cuticle, cortex, and medulla. The cuticle protects the hair, while the cortex holds the natural hair colour pigment. When permanent hair dye is applied, it goes through the cuticle and deposits colour molecules deep into the cortex, changing the natural colour. Oxidation Process: Permanent hair dye works by undergoing an oxidation process. It contains chemicals that react with each other to create larger pigment molecules. These molecules get trapped in the cortex and permanently change the hair's structure, making it difficult to reverse. Alternative Options: While complete removal of permanent hair colour/dye back to its original form is not possible, there are alternative options to manage or adjust your less than desired hair colour:

a. Color Correction: If you're unhappy with a previous dye job, a professional colour correction can help. A skilled hair colourist can use techniques like colour fading, lightening, or toning to achieve a more desired outcome.


b. Transitioning Techniques: Techniques like balayage, ombre, or highlights can blend the existing permanent colour with new shades. This creates dimension and allows for a gradual shift towards your desired colour over time.


Avoid searching for lotions, potions, and DIY remedies online or on YouTube that promise to wash out your hair dye. These methods can be risky and may lead to weakened and damaged hair. Additionally, they often fail to reverse the colour process as desired. While some extreme home remedies might fade the colour, they can significantly compromise the health of your hair.

Once your hair has been sensitised and weakened by these methods, your options for professional colour correction or transitioning techniques become extremely limited. If the structure of your hair has been compromised, it is unlikely that a salon professional will be able to achieve a successful outcome. In such cases, you may need to consider option c.

c. The Haircut: Another option is to gradually trim away the coloured portions of your hair, allowing new, natural hair growth to take its place. This method requires patience but can ultimately result in a fresh start with your natural hair colour.

Remember: Permanent hair dye is called "permanent" for a reason. It cannot be completely removed from the hair due to the way it interacts with the hair's structure and the chemical reactions that occur during the dyeing process. It's important to understand this fact to set realistic expectations.

While complete removal of permanent hair dye may not be possible, there are professional colour correction and transitioning techniques available to help adjust your hair colour. Consulting with a hair colourist professional is the best way to explore your options and find the most suitable approach for achieving your desired colour.


By understanding the limitations of removing permanent hair dye and seeking guidance from a hair colourist, you can discover alternative methods to improve your hair colour and achieve the results you desire. Remember, it's all about managing expectations and exploring the possibilities with the help of an experienced professional.


If you are keen to have a chat about your options and discover what is possible for you moving forward, I welcome you to book in for a consultation. To see my consultation menu visit my website at www.retreathair.com.au or tap here.


I hope this blog has help you gain a better understanding of your hair and its limitations towards permanent colour removal. I wish you well.


"Confidence starts from the hair down " By Natalie Varrasso





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