View Full Version : natural removal of chemical dye

March 29th, 2008, 07:42 AM
Aileen asked me to post this question.

She colored her hair black with chemical dyes, but now she wants her natural haircolor back.

Isn't it possible that she keeps her hair black with indigo and waits to let the chemical dyed part grow out? Or is it difficult to remove indigo from hair?
Maybe bleech with honey?

Any tips are welcome!

March 29th, 2008, 07:50 AM
Indigo is permanent, so no, that's not the best solution.

Honestly, if it was pure black chemical dye, from my experience you're not getting it out. You could certainly try the honey bleaching or something like that, but she'll probably end up letting it grow out and chopping it or living with black ends for a while. That's what I did a few years ago.

March 29th, 2008, 10:30 AM
From what I've read, black chemical dye is very stubborn. Indigo is too. I don't know of anything natural that can work.

March 29th, 2008, 10:46 AM
I know of one LHCer who pulled black dye out of her hair to replace it with henna. I think she used colorfix (maybe without the third bottle, peroxide) To pull out some of the dye she can o looong deep treatments, or olive oil treatments. That did the trick when my mom's hair came out too dark, but when she did this the dye job was very fresh.

March 29th, 2008, 04:07 PM
I stopped dying my hair black 3.5 years ago, and my natural colour is a dark, ashy blonde. After a long time I finally figured out how to get mine out, but I don't want to do it until any damage from it won't be as noticeable, as it's not gentle (nor is it natural).

Anyway....first, more natural things that have helped fade: If it's new dye, seriously, take EVOO and do a long (at least four hours--all night or longer if possible) heavy oiling with it. Even if it's not brand new, it might get some out (although might not change the visible colour much). First time I did that was about 3 months post the last dye, and I had some really really nasty dark rinse water from it the first two times I heavily oiled with EVOO. Honey might help--but for me, I think the other thing that's helped with lightening is citric acid (which strong enough can help pull colour out, apparently...but strong enough I'm sure can also damage hair quite badly, as it is an acid). Neither will really pull the black out, though..it'll help fade it, *maybe*, but just growing it out would probably be easier.

And the rest of this isn't natural, but it might actually point to a way to remove it, possibly, and so I thought I'd post:

Way back (3 years ago or so) I tried bleaching a section, and didn't get light enough. Three one-hour bleachings with either 20 vol or 30 vol got to reddish orange, red, or a dark red depending on what part of my hair it was. Another hour, and it didn't lighten any more. It wasn't light enough to bleach over to get close to my natural colour, so I didn't pursue it further.

If the black wasn't a direct dye (mine was), bleach alone *might* get the black out, especially if the goal isn't a blonde (or very light brown) shade. It also might not. Black is pretty tricky to remove.

Colorfix on 3-year old dye (3 times on for an hour, skipping the last step) alone only got things to plum, or a reddish orange, and it reoxidized back almost as dark as it was before. Six times (I had tested it on the front parts of my hair prior to doing all the dyed hair) wasn't much better. I hadn't tried CF earlier because I knew it wouldn't work--CF won't remove direct dyes very well or at all, and most black permanent dyes do have direct dyes in it. I knew mine did (Feria's black-black), and so I didn't bother until getting bored more recently. :lol:

I used the colorfix on all my hair--including that bleach strand--and the strand that was bleached is now yellow--no orange or red at all. The dye is GONE from that strand--even the parts that barely made it to a red colour.

So...black can *possibly* be removed (I removed it from one strand, but I haven't tried it on all my hair/tried to repeat it), it's just not a simple process, nor is it good for the hair (from the bleach--I noticed no damage from colorfix). I might actually do this once I have less dyed hair and don't mind thinning the ends more, especially if 2 bleachings (instead of three) + the colorfix might do it.

If you'd do this, I'd first test it on a strand (DON'T do full head--even before I did a strand in my hair I thoroughly tested on shed hair), test trying to get the least amount of bleach possible. I'd wait a while between the bleach and colorfix (unless someone else has done that close together--at least on the actual hair, hair...sooner on the test samples, just shampoo 'em a bunch of times to make sure there's no bleach residue), and be prepared for fairly weak hair and give it lots of moisture/care--as the bleaching will be hard on it. You might even let those samples sit for a few weeks, then poke 'em and see how the hair is holding up.

And, if you aren't willing to have damage or that sounds too complicated/don't want to learn about bleaching: I'd suggest to just grow it out.

And, as far as I know, indigo won't come out...and it'll turn green from bleach, so...I wouldn't suggest the indigo if she wants her natural colour back. *Maybe* a temp dye in a colour darker than her natural colour--but NOT black-- might help soften the transition, but there's the chance that that might end up pretty well permanent, too, depending on the colour of her hair....and then would have to grow that out as well (but that might fade easier with, say, the honey lightening treatments, maybe).

March 29th, 2008, 04:20 PM
I'll second the colorfix recommendations :) I used to have black streaks in my red hair, and that did a good job lightening them enough that when I hennaed they blended right in.

Here's a lock of my old dyed hair, half of which I hit with Colorfix.


The thing is, many black dyes even bleach the hair underneath, so she may want to consider using a wash-out color one shade lighter than whatever her natural or desired color is. Often times the previously dyed hair will suck the color up without having to process it more with permanent dyes.

March 29th, 2008, 04:41 PM
When I first joined LHC, I had coffe bean brown hair. My hair is a dark ashy blonde naturally. I wanted to henna without any color lines. I did a TON of honey and tomatoe paste treatments and the results were great. I have pictures somewhere of most of the progress. The black dye would be a lot more stubborn but, it might help.