How to Get Red Dye Out of Your Hair

Ready to switch up your look, except that your current hairstyle is a bright red color? Leaving red hair in the past is difficult; however, there are some ways to remove red hair dye.  The best method for you depends on how much damage you’re willing to cause your strands. We will start with the methods involving the least amount of damage and work our way to the most damaging (faster acting) ones. How to get red dye out of hair? Keep reading to find out!

Determine the Dye Used 

Before you strip red hair dye, you need to understand the type of dye that was used. Knowing this will allow you to remove it properly. Here’s a brief guide to follow: 
  • Temporary. This type of dye only lasts a few days and can be washed out anytime. It is the easiest to remove and won’t require any harsh products to do so. 
  • Semi-Permanent. This color fades gradually over time with shampoo. If some of the dye lingers, there are a few ways to remove semi-permanent colors which we’ll cover below. 
  • Permanent. This is the most difficult dye to remove; however, it is not impossible! You can strip red hair dye and restore your natural color by using the right techniques and products – more on this later.

How to Get Red Dye Out of Hair

If you used permanent dye or semi-permanent that just won’t wash out, consider these methods: 

Wait it Out 

The healthiest way to get rid of red hair is to let it grow out. Over time, the color will fade, so the easiest thing to do is wait it out. This is especially true for semi or demi-permanent colors. If you have a permanent dye, expect to rock a rooted look for some time. Be sure to get regular trims and use deep conditioning treatments for quicker hair growth.

Use Baking Soda 

This is the least harsh method of lightening hair. It works on red hair that’s been dyed, not natural red hair. To naturally lighten hair, mix 5 tablespoons of baking soda with water to create a paste. Work it into your strands in the shower OR mix it in your shampoo. Leave in hair for a few minutes before rinsing. Repeat this each time you shower and apply conditioner afterward.

Go Darker 

Do you want to switch up your hairstyle by going with a darker color like brown or black? You’re in luck! If you currently have red hair, you can just color over the current hue. If you’re trying to go back to your natural color (which happens to be dark), this may also be a good option for you. Simply dye it and let it grow out.

Hair Color Remover 

You can remove red hair dye using a hair color remover. These products remove permanent color in one simple step. Always follow the instructions of the specific product you use, but typically you create a mixture, apply it to your strands, and let it sit for a period of time. Keep in mind that it won’t restore your locks to its natural color. Instead, it preps your strands for a new color. It is recommended to use a color remover and dye your locks shortly after. This will pull your look together nicely.


Bleach is a sure-fire way to lighten up strands. It does its job at removing red hair dye; however, it’s also one of the most damaging methods. We suggest using bleach only after you’ve already tried a color stripper. This will remove as much red as possible. After you’ve bleached your locks, color it to the tone of your choice. If you’re a natural redhead and want to go lighter with no red tones, bleach, and tone. If you want to go darker, bleach and dye.


Ready to remove red hair dye? Pick the method that best aligns with your preferences. The first three methods will use the least amount of damage, while the final two will work faster but could damage your locks. Whichever you go with, don’t forget to condition your hair, get regular trims, and do your best to avoid heat. Doing so will cause your hair to reach it’s natural, healthiest potential. 
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