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How to Remove Permanent Hair Dye From Grey Hair?

How to Remove Permanent Hair Dye From Grey Hair?

Permanent hair dye can be a challenge to remove, with some colors being almost impossible to remove. Luckily, it’s not impossible – unless you don’t know how to do it. Even if you don’t know how to do it – we are here to help.

Below, you will find a helpful guide that will tell you about all the dos and don’ts of permanent dye removal. So, continue scrolling to find out how to remove permanent hair dye from grey hair!

Best Methods To Remove Permanent Hair Dye From Grey Hair

For covering grey strands, there is truly nothing better than permanent hair dye. However, if you wish to remove permanent hair dye, it can be rather difficult to do so. 

Darker hair colors are more challenging to remove, and if the color is still fresh, it can pose an even larger challenge. To top it all off, most ways to remove permanent hair dye can damage your hair. 

The best course of action of all would be to go to a professional hair dresser and let them take over. The professional will be able to remove the color without, or with minimal damage to your hair. 

On the other hand, we understand the need to do a DIY on your hair sometimes, and we are here to help. Continue reading to see our top tricks to remove permanent hair dye from grey hair – but first, let’s talk about preparation.

Before you decide on any method listed below, you should prepare your hair. For example, if you opt for a drugstore color stripper, you should refrain from washing your hair for about two days before using the stripper. The roots should be a bit greasy for this method, as the natural oils on your scalp will prevent your scalp from getting a rash. 

Then, you should pick out the method that works out the best according to your needs and preferences. Keep your budget in mind – and whether you want the natural or chemical option to remove the hair color. Once you have done that, it’s time to begin.

Clarifying & Anti-Dandruff Shampoo

One of the must-have methods for hair color removal is using a clarifying shampoo, or if you have an anti-dandruff shampoo at home, that will work too. These shampoos have more aggressive agents inside to clean hair better, and these agents can help break down the color from your tresses.

If you don’t have a dandruff-control shampoo in your bath, look for a shampoo with selenium sulfide in the ingredients list. Selenium sulfide penetrates deep into the hair shaft to clean it, and it will help remove the hair dye gradually.  

Use the shampoo a few times at once, and repeat it a few times per week. The color should start to fade quickly, but if it won’t budge, consider using another technique on top of it. 

Related: How to Get Rid of Dandruff Without Shampoo?

Baking Soda

Clarifying shampoo can do wonders, but if you don’t have one, and you want to start right away, you can use your usual shampoo with baking soda mixed in. Use a 1:1 ratio shampoo and baking soda from your kitchen (any brand will do).

Do note that clarifying shampoo does work the best for this method, but if you don’t have it, use a shampoo with SLS and SLES in the ingredients. Use a bowl to mix the shampoo and baking soda, and spread it onto your hair.

Ensure that you have covered your hair completely, and massage the mixture into your hair. Then, let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes before you rinse it out. 

Keep in mind that the mix can make your hair feel dry, so don’t skip using the conditioner upon rinsing. 

White Vinegar

White vinegar can be amazing at removing permanent hair dye. Use a 1:1 ratio of vinegar to regular water, and apply it generously to your hair. Then, put a shower cap over it and let the mixture sit for 20 minutes.

After that, rinse the vinegar out and apply conditioner to your hair to prevent your hair from drying out. 

Vitamin C

Vitamin C tablets are the perfect option for those that have recently dyed their hair and decided that it didn’t work after all. Vitamin C can do magic for recently dyed hair, even if it’s a darker dye. 

So, to do this, you will need about 12 vitamin C tablets, which you will crush into a fine powder using a spoon or mortar and pestle. Then, you will take stir the powder into your usual amount of shampoo. 

Let the mixture sit in your hair for about half an hour before it’s time to rinse it out. Don’t forget to use a hydrating conditioner afterward, as vitamin C can dry out your hair. 

Color Stripper

Color strippers are a fairly popular method to strip color from your tresses. Unlike the ways we have already talked about, a color stripper uses chemicals to remove the permanent dye from grey hair. 

Usually, color strippers don’t have ammonia or bleach, so they shouldn’t damage your hair much. Remember that using color strippers often can dry out your hair and result in split ends, meaning you make sure to use the stripper as little as possible.

Use a hair mask or a good conditioner after removing the color stripper, provided you followed the instructions on the box. One package might not be enough for long hair, so get two just in case, and follow the instructions to the letter to get the best results possible. 


Bleach is pretty popular in the hair color world, as it allows you to get platinum blonde tresses, vibrant highlights, and the perfect ‘sunkissed’ look. Keeping that in mind, you can also use bleach to remove permanent hair dye from grey hair.

Bleach is an aggressive agent, and it dissolves the color from your hair. So, if you decide to bleach your hair, it will make it lighter and make your grey hair look less noticeable as it grows out over time. 

However, bleach is tricky, and it removes color quickly, so we recommend going to a professional hairdresser for this method. If you feel confident enough in your hairdressing abilities, you can do a round of bleach at home.

Make sure to pick out the right developer for your needs. For example, if you want to remove one to two levels of color, buy a 20 vol, but if you need to lift more, buy a 30 vol. 40 vol developer does exist but it’/s reasonably aggressive, and it can make your results patchy, so refrain from using 40 vol at home. 

Before you use bleach, use a deep conditioner to hydrate your hair. Do a test strand beforehand to see if your hair can handle being bleached, and apply the bleach on greasy hair. Bleach is, as we already mentioned, fairly aggressive, and it can cause chemical burns on your scalp. 

See Also: How Long to Wait to Dye Hair After Bleaching?

Baking Soda & Lemon Juice

Lemon juice has been the staple of every summer on the beach, as it can help lighten your hair. So, the mixture of baking soda and lemon juice can help you remove permanent color from your hair. 

Mix an equal amount of baking soda to lemon juice before applying it to your hair. Don’t let the mixture sit too long – a few minutes should be enough to remove the color from your hair. 

Lemon juice can dry out your hair, which is why you need to use a deep conditioner after you rinse the mixture out. Also, we don’t advise sitting out in the sun with baking soda and lemon juice on your hair, as it can cause irreparable damage to your strands. 

Grow Out

Most people cannot or will not wait long enough for their hair to grow out on their own. Even mid-length hair can take over 2, 2 and a half years to grow out, meaning you will have to live with your grown out greys for a long time. 

Despite all of that, growing your hair out is the only method that won’t damage your hair out at all. The best course of action is to let the hair grow out for a couple of months before chopping off most of the colored hair. 

Another great thing you can do is use temporary color on the roots to hide the dramatic change between the colored section and the grey, grown out strands. This will help hide your roots until your next hair cut, and it won’t damage your hair as much as permanent dye does. 

Bottom Line

To conclude, there are plenty of ways to remove permanent hair dye from grey hair. There are some natural methods, some chemical – but they can all do a great job at fading your hair color. 

However, if your hair is dark or you aren’t too sure about your abilities to remove the hair color, ask your favorite hairdresser for help. They can remove the color quickly without any damage!

What is your favorite method to remove permanent hair dye from grey hair? Let us know in the comments!

Related: How to Remove Semi-Permanent Hair Dye: Get Temporary Hair Dye Out