Hair DIY: How I Removed Stubborn Blue and Green Semi-Permanent Hair Dye From My Hair
What I Had to Work With
About two years ago, I decided I wanted to put bright colors in my hair because I was bored with my normal dirty blonde. But I was too chicken to dye my entire head, so I decided to do an ombre. I started out with navy blue. Over the year, as it faded, I would dye it a new color: turquoise; purple; turquoise and purple together; neon pink; turquoise and green together; then all green, and after that, I needed to remove some color so I could experiment more.
All the dyes I used before I went pink were Manic Panic brand. Manic Panic is nice because it stays would stay 3 or 4 weeks, then fades very well. I didn't have to do any lightening to prep for a color change, and I could change colors close to once a month.
When I went pink and after, I started experimenting with other brands, specifically Ion and One N' Only Argan Oil. The Ion faded at the same rate as Manic Panic and were true to the colors on the box. The One N' Only Argan Oil colors are BEAUTIFUL and are very true to what they show you on the box....but the blue DID NOT wash out barely at all over the course of 3 months.
This is AWESOME if you want your hair the same color for an extended period of time. But I didn't! the green eventually faded after 6 weeks or so, but the blue stayed fast, not changing even with clarifying shampoo washes every other day. December came and I tried to bleach it out, but alas, to no avail --- I ended up with the same color and more damaged hair than I started with. I really wanted emerald green, so I eventually quit trying to remove the blue and put green on over top. It was green for 5 days --- and the next time I fully washed my ends, that pesky blue was showing through again.
I let my hair rest another month into February, and I was ready at the beginning of March to get it to another color, so I was trying everything. I recently got a gym membership to the YMCA. This was just a coincidence --- when I got the membership, my goal wasn't to lighten my hair, obviously, but I started going to the pool with my cousin and a friend of mine to swim laps.
After the first visit to the pool, I noticed my hair was CONSIDERABLY lighter. Like, light enough to notice a color change. After 3 visits, my hair was even lighter than after the first visit. Now let's be clear --- it was still definitely blue --- but it was starting to turn a greenish light turquoise rather than being bright, noticeable turquoise. The chlorine was doing a fantastic job of pulling the color out, where my clarifying shampoo could not.
The Color Remover
For the 3 weeks, I was just relying on the pool to pull my color out after I noticed the changes the first day. However, the blue fading set off an itch to speed up the process so I could try another color again after 6 months of blue-green hair.
I knew I didn't want to bleach it again because that didn't work at all. Clarifying shampoo did not have enough power to remove the color either, it seemed. So I did a little research and ended up buying a box of One N' Only Colorfix. It comes in a yellow box, and promised no damage to my hair and also removing the color like I wanted.
I came home, and followed the instructions on the box. Mix Part 1 and Part 2 together; brush it on to the part you want to remove color, treat with medium heat; rinse; shampoo; and pat dry. If hair is not light enough, repeat. If hair is light enough, do not repeat and apply Part 3, then rinse again and dry hair.
I followed the directions for the color remover for 1 round using regular Tresemme Anti-Breakage shampoo. The process kind of worked, but I wanted to see better results. I repeated the process three more times before applying the step 3 lotion that comes in the carton, but I switched up the shampoo each time.
The 2nd time I used Generic Value Products Conditioning Purple Shampoo. Purple Shampoo is in general used for removing yellow tones from gray and blonde hair. My hair became less turquoise and more ice blue after this round.
The 3rd and 4th time I used a generic, Meijer brand dandruff shampoo, followed by the purple shampoo again. The zinc in dandruff shampoo is known for helping to strip hair color out, so I hoped this would speed the process a little bit too. After I finished the 4th round, I completely rinsed everything out and completed the process with the step 3 lotion, rinsed, shampooed again, and applied conditioner and a few extra drops of Argan Oil for hydration.
By the time I was done, the blue was still in my hair, but it was way significantly lighter, and I even had some streaks of hair that were completely white. but the blue was still visible enough to alter the colors that I wanted to put in my hair. I stopped processing for the night because I was tired, and decided to do another runthrough the next day.
When I reprocessed the next day, I only processed once. my ends were already pretty scraggly, but they looked even scragglier after I finished. So I hopped in the shower, washed my hair once with my normal shampoo, once with purple shampoo, and once with dandruff shampoo. I conditioned, then put in argan oil, and trimmed an inch and a half off to get the scragglies to go away. I put in more argan oil as a heat protectant and extra moisturizer and blowdried.
The Finished Product
After processing so many times, I decided my hair needed a break so I stopped putting things in it for a couple days and just took normal showers with normal shampoo and conditioner. My hair has lightened up considerably, but was still not completely white. However, the color finally faded enough that I was able to put in my red, lilac, and green to get my ombre looking back to normal. For the fact that no hair bleach was used, I was pretty impressed that my hair lightened as many shades as it did.
The One N' Only Argan Oil hair dye is a fantastic brand, with really bright, beautiful, and true-to-sample colors that stay for a very long time. I definitely will use again if I want to have long-lasting color. But I've learned that it's very hard to strip out, so next time I dye my hair I will be taking note of brands before dying.
If you are having trouble removing color from your hair, I definitely recommend this process to remove stubborn colors without damaging your hair with harmful bleach, especially if your hair is already damaged.
About the Author
Victoria is a 25 year old obsessive DIYer, living in Northern Atlanta, Georgia with her boyfriend and two cat babies, Oliver and Zeus. She loves the outdoors, writing, and swimming. She is also am very interested in home décor and love to experiment with color in her home and in her hair.