How To Strip Color From Hair

Table of Contents

When it comes to hair color, we all love to experiment with different shades and styles. However, there are times when you might want to remove the existing color from your hair to start afresh or try a new look.

Hair color removal can be a challenging process, but with the right knowledge and techniques, you can achieve excellent results without causing excessive damage to your precious locks.

In this article, we will guide you through the process of safely and effectively stripping color from your hair.

How To Strip Color From Hair

What is Hair Color Stripping?

Hair color stripping is a process that involves removing the artificial color molecules from the hair shaft. It is different from hair color fading, which occurs naturally over time.

Stripping the hair color is a more aggressive approach and requires the use of hair color removers or other chemical products.

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Factors to Consider Before Stripping Hair Color

Before diving into the color stripping process, several factors need to be considered. These include the current condition of your hair, the type of hair color you wish to remove, and any previous chemical treatments your hair has undergone.

The Difference Between Hair Color Stripping and Hair Color Fading

Hair color fading is a gradual process that occurs due to regular washing, exposure to the sun, and other environmental factors.

Hair color stripping, on the other hand, is a deliberate and instantaneous method to remove color using specific products.

Preparation and Safety Measures

Patch Test for Allergies

Before applying any hair color remover, it is essential to conduct a patch test to check for allergic reactions.

Apply a small amount of the product behind your ear or on the inner arm and wait for 24 hours to ensure there are no adverse reactions.

Gather the Necessary Supplies

To carry out the hair color stripping process, you will need a hair color remover, gloves, applicator brush, plastic cap, and old towels to protect your clothing and surroundings.

Protecting Your Skin and Clothing

Hair color removers can be messy and may irritate your skin. Apply petroleum jelly or a barrier cream around your hairline, ears, and neck to prevent staining.

Additionally, wear an old T-shirt or wrap a towel around your shoulders to protect your clothes.

Choosing the Right Hair Color Remover

Types of Hair Color Removers Available

There are different types of hair color removers available in the market, including color reducers, color strippers, and bleach-based removers.

Each type works differently, so it’s essential to choose the one suitable for your hair type and color.

Reading Product Labels and Ingredients to Avoid

Before purchasing a hair color remover, carefully read the product labels and check for any harsh chemicals or ingredients that may damage your hair further.

Look for products with added conditioning agents to minimize potential damage.

Step-by-Step Guide to Hair Color Stripping

Washing Your Hair Before the Stripping Process

Before applying the hair color remover, wash your hair with a clarifying shampoo to remove any product buildup or oils. This will ensure that the color remover can penetrate the hair shaft effectively.

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Application of Hair Color Remover

Follow the instructions provided with the hair color remover and apply it evenly to your hair using the applicator brush. Make sure to saturate your hair thoroughly, paying extra attention to areas with more color buildup.

Processing Time and Checking Color Progression

The processing time for hair color removers varies depending on the product. Follow the recommended time and check the color progression at regular intervals to avoid over-processing.

Rinse and Shampooing

After the processing time is up, rinse your hair thoroughly with warm water until the water runs clear. Shampoo your hair to remove any remaining traces of the hair color remover.

Conditioning and Moisturizing Your Hair

Hair color stripping can be harsh on your hair, so it’s crucial to follow up with a deep conditioning treatment. Use a rich, moisturizing conditioner to replenish lost moisture and improve the overall health of your hair.

Dealing with Unwanted Tones

Neutralizing Warm Tones

If you notice warm or brassy tones in your hair after color stripping, you can use a toner or a purple shampoo to neutralize the unwanted warmth.

Fixing Ashy or Greenish Tones

If your hair turns ashy or greenish after color stripping, consider using a warm-toned or red-toned semi-permanent hair color to balance out the unwanted cool tones.

Caring for Your Hair After Color Stripping

Avoiding Additional Chemical Treatments

After the color-stripping process, it’s best to avoid any further chemical treatments, such as perms or relaxers, as your hair might be more fragile and prone to damage.

Using Deep Conditioning Treatments

Keep your hair well-moisturized by using deep conditioning treatments regularly. This will help repair any damage caused by the color-stripping process and promote healthy hair growth.

Trimming and Maintaining Healthy Hair

Regular trims are essential to remove split ends and maintain the health of your hair. Trim your hair every 6-8 weeks to keep it looking its best.

Alternatives to Hair Color Stripping

Going Natural: Embracing Your Current Hair Color

Instead of stripping your hair color, consider embracing your natural hair color and working with it to enhance its beauty.

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Temporary Hair Colors and Hair Chalk

If you want to experiment with different colors without making a permanent change, try using temporary hair colors or hair chalks.

Seeking Professional Help

If you’re unsure about color stripping or want to minimize the risk of damage, consult a professional hairstylist for expert advice and assistance.

Potential Risks and Precautions

Hair Damage and Breakage

Hair color stripping can be damaging to your hair, especially if not done correctly or if your hair is already compromised. Follow the instructions carefully and take necessary precautions to minimize damage.

Allergic Reactions and Skin Sensitivity

Always perform a patch test before using any hair color remover to check for allergic reactions. If you experience any irritation, swelling, or itching, discontinue use immediately.


Hair color stripping can be a transformative process, allowing you to start fresh with your hair color.

By following the steps outlined in this guide and taking the necessary precautions, you can achieve the desired results without compromising the health of your hair.

Remember to take your time, be patient, and give your hair the care it deserves throughout the process.


Can I color my hair immediately after stripping the color?

It is generally recommended to wait a few days before applying a new hair color to allow your hair to recover from the stripping process fully.

Will hair color stripping completely remove all the color from my hair?

While hair color stripping can significantly lighten the hair color, it may not remove all the color, especially if the previous color was very dark or stubborn.

Can I use home remedies for hair color stripping?

Home remedies may not be as effective as commercial hair color removers and could potentially damage your hair. It’s best to stick to professionally formulated products.

Is it possible to strip color from already damaged hair?

Stripping color from damaged hair can lead to further damage and breakage. It’s crucial to prioritize hair health and consider other options like temporary colors.

Can I use hair color removers on dyed hair extensions?

Hair color removers can be used on human hair extensions, but it’s essential to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and be cautious with more delicate hair extensions.