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Best Shampoos to Remove Hair Dye at Home

Battle of the hair extensions: Synthetic vs Human Hair

Did your latest colour not quite go according to plan, or maybe just fancy a change? Whichever one it is, you’re likely desperate to remove as much of it as possible and restart again from a fresh clean state – sound familiar? Well you’re in the right place!

Though you might not like to hear it, ultimately the best way to effectively strip hair colour is by booking an appointment with your hairdresser. But – there are some effective at-home hair-dye removers and shampoo that do the trick too. Although it may not return your hair to its natural colour completely, it can fade out the current dye, making it easier to add a new colour on top.

Best shampoos to strip colour from hair

The shampoo you use to strip your hair must contain a high amount of sulphate to be effective. Here’s a list of the top recommended shampoos to fade out hair colour: 

Boots Expert Build Up Removal Shampoo

Dermatologically tested and suitable for all hair types. This hair stripping shampoo cleanses your hair and is a good choice if you’re on a budget.

Suave Naturals Daily Clarifying Shampoo

With a balanced pH formula and long-lasting fresh scent, Suave will strip and revitalise your hair as well as remove residue without impacting the hair’s natural moisture.

Superdrug Colour Rewind Hair Colour Remover

This clarifying shampoo from Superdrug is designed for semi-permanent to permanent colour. Free of ammonia and bleach, it works to transform deep colours into lighter tones.

L’Oreal Professionnel Serie Expert Pure Resource Shampoo

This shampoo removes impurities from the hair and scalp while quickly lifting away hair dye, restoring shine and clearing any build-up.

TRESemmé Cleanse & Replenish Deep Cleansing Shampoo

This deep cleansing shampoo is gentle enough to use every day to clean and rejuvenate your hair by eliminating pollutants from the hair and scalp, including lifting colour.

Kérastase Anti Dandruff / Specifique Bain Anti-Pelliculaire Shampoo

This Keratase anti-dandruff shampoo is a smooth combination that removes pesky dandruff and impurities, leaving your hair soft and manageable after each use.

Unless you’re eliminating the original colour completely, opting for a shampoo stripper is a more mild alternative to bleach. 

Bleaching Versus Stripping Hair

Bleaching and stripping are two unique chemical processes for removing hair colour. Bleaching removes natural pigmentations in the hair to make it lighter while stripping removes existing dye to return the hair to its natural colour (or as close to it as possible).

It’s not possible to dye your hair a lighter shade than the current colour it is, so bleaching or stripping is a necessary process to obtain the desired colour. 

Based on the present colour and desired final result, your hairdresser will determine the best procedure of the two on a case-by-case basis. Without either method, it is essentially impossible to change its current colour to something that appears lighter.

What shampoo strips hair colour?

Hair dye can be removed or faded with a deep-cleaning shampoo or an artificial colour remover. There are various approaches and DIY suggestions existing. Sulphate-rich shampoos are ideal for stripping hair since they help to release the colour - especially with dark or vibrant colours. These include clarifying or deep cleansing shampoo or anti-dandruff shampoo. Click here to find out "how to make your own clarifying shampoo".

However, the best way to strip hair colour is always by going to a professional hairdresser or colour specialist first.

Does clarifying shampoo strip colour?

The quick answer is yes. Clarifying shampoo does strip hair, but it may take a few washes to achieve the ideal result. Clarifying shampoo contains a chemical formula that will slowly lift and fade hair dye from your hair without causing lasting damage. The accumulation of residue and unwanted colour are eliminated from the hair cuticles – arguably, this is one of the best ways to strip hair yourself without visiting a salon.

So, how do clarifying shampoos actually work?

Products, such as dyes, hairsprays, and even chlorine from swimming pools, build up on your hair and scalp – this can leave your hair looking dull and greasy. Using a clarifying shampoo not only strips the hair dye ready for a new colour but gives it a fresh start – almost like a detox for your hair!

Clarifying shampoo strippers work by taking away excess product from your hair and scalp while the ingredients work to help break down the dye attached to your hair. It targets the added colour of your hair without impacting its natural hues.

Like regular shampoo, you lather it into your hair to cleanse and follow it with a rinse – this may take a few washes to lift the colour effectively. Be sure to always follow this up with a deep conditioner or moisturising hair mask to rebalance the natural oils and prevent dry hair in order to alleviate any damage and keep your hair healthy and radiant.

And what are the benefits of clarifying shampoo?

There are plenty of benefits to using a clarifying shampoo. The main, being is if you’re looking to strip your hair for a new colour, it will do just that – slowly over up to 5 washes. Additionally, it helps to remove impurities and the build-up of product on the hair and scalp. It also eliminates tint from any exposure to chlorine and resets hair back to its natural state.

Can anti-dandruff shampoos remove hair colour?

Similarly to clarifying shampoos, the intense formula of anti-dandruff shampoos can strip hair colour slowly over time. Unfortunately, anti-dandruff shampoo can leave your hair very dry too. As a result, using a hair mask to restore moisture to the hair is absolutely vital. Like clarifying shampoo, it will take a few rounds of wash, rinse and repeat to gradually fade the colour out over time.

Here are a handful of tried and tested anti-dandruff shampoos that help to strip dyed hair: 

  • Boots Anti Dandruff Classic Shampoo
  • Kérastase Anti Dandruff / Specifique Bain Anti-Pelliculaire Shampoo
  • Head & Shoulders Classic Clean 2In1 Anti Dandruff Shampoo

Best hair masks for dry damaged hair

The best hair mask can save your dry and damaged strands quickly. After going through the stripping process, it’s essential to treat your hair to ensure minimal damage to your natural locks. Here are some of the UK’s best-rated hair masks that will help refresh and revive your stripped hair:

Reincarnation Mask by Bleach London 

Help bring those dry, dull locks back to life. 

Olaplex No.3 Hair Perfector  

These hair marks are designed for bleached or stripped hair to revive and refresh hair to its healthy, natural state.

Olaplex No.8 Bond Intense Moisture Mask 

These hair marks are designed for bleached or stripped hair to revive and refresh hair to its healthy, natural state.

Kérastase Genesis Masque Reconstituant Hair Mask

Cult classics that breathe a lease of life back to damaged hair. 

Kérastase Resistance Masque Extentioniste

Cult classics that breathe a lease of life back to damaged hair. 

John Frieda Detox and Repair Hair Mask

If you’re on a budget, the John Frieda Detox and Repair Hair Mask will uplift those lifeless strands and deeply nourish your hair and scalp. This is suitable for all hair types and textures to achieve silky, soft hair.

It’s recommended that you leave your mask in for a good few hours to ensure the hair is fully restored to a soft and healthy shine.

Whether you’re looking to dye your hair for the first time or completely change colour, we hope this helps you get there.

Remember, if your at-home attempts have fallen short. Seek advice from a professional hairdresser or colour specialist who will get your hair back on track.

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