If you had a regretful hair dye job, stripping out the unwanted color is most probably your top priority. Although it would be nice if you could just turn the clock back and return to your natural color, you know that that’s not possible.
Don’t worry, you can still reverse the disaster using the best hair color remover. In a perfect world, you should let the professionals handle these kinds of jobs as they can be damaging if not done right.
But since we don’t live in a perfect world, it makes sense to take the DIY route and get rid of the color on your own. Besides, salon visits can be pretty expensive. And you can avoid long waiting periods with the DIY approach.
That said, it’s crucial that you choose the right products if you want to see good results. You should consider ammonia- and bleach-free formulas to avoid unnecessary damage.
However, if you’re trying to remove a bright and vivid color, then you may need ammonia-based formulas to get the job done.
Ready to fix the bad dye job? We bring you the best products to help you out.
Best Hair Color Removers Reviewed
1. Color Oops Hair Color Remover
This hair color remover from Color Oops is suitable for stripping out both permanent and semi-permanent hair dyes. Users swear by this product because it’s gentle, effective, and affordable. It would help you get rid of unwanted color without causing any damage.
As it boasts a mild formula, the professionals recommend this product to newbies who are just getting started with at-home color removal. The formula is free of ammonia and bleach, so your precious locks are safe.
What’s more, it’s infused with ingredients such as soy protein and aloe vera to deliver moisturization to your hair. Your strands would be left feeling soft, not stripped. Plus, it just takes 20 minutes for the product to remove the dye.
Take note that your hair may feel a little dry post-application but there won’t be any damage. Thanks to its gentle formula, you can recolor your strands the same day. You’ll be very happy with the results.
2. L’OREAL Effasol Color Remover
If you’re trying to get rid of the most vibrant and intense hair colors, then L’Oreal Effasol Color Remover is a great option. It’s designed to work on permanent hair dyes. From radiant red to bold purple, it will strip any unwanted color just like magic.
The formula is really strong. It contains ammonia and sulfates, so it’s imperative that you use it carefully following all the instructions. The approximate application time can be anywhere between 5 minutes to 1 hour depending on the shade.
For removing lighter shades, the processing time is around 10 to 20 minutes. However, for darker shades, it can take up to 60 minutes. You can find more information on the box.
It’s important that you understand that this remover won’t restore your natural hair color. Instead, it will lift the hair color so you can re-dye your tresses.
Although the formula is aggressive, it doesn’t change the texture of your hair. And it won’t cause unnecessary damage if you use it carefully. Also, it’s affordable and it works. You don’t need to drop hundreds of dollars on salon visits anymore.
3. Framar Kolor Killer Wipes
This product doesn’t exactly strip out color from your hair but it will come in handy if you’re trying to zap dye stains from your hands, neck, arms, face, or other parts of your body. Oftentimes, hair dying jobs can leave you with unwanted color stains on your skin.
It can be very challenging to get them out. Luckily, you can get the color out of your skin quite easily using these cleaning wipes. And no, there’s no need for rubbing and over-scrubbing.
Needless to say, harsh exfoliators and over-scrubbing can damage your skin. But these wipes are very gentle and won’t irritate your skin. And they have a clean, fresh scent and you’re gonna like it.
Each pack contains 100 wipes. It’s perfect for professional use as well. Hair colorists can use it to remove color stains on their clients.
Even better? The wipes are infused with lactic acid and aloe vera that not only help remove color but also add hydration to your skin.
4. Joico Color Intensity Eraser
Joico Color Intensity Eraser is a great fit for hair enthusiasts who just love jumping from one coloring trend to another. It removes the hair color gently while leaving your strands feeling soft and healthy.
The formula is designed to take out direct dyes from your hair. And it’s imbued with K-Pak Keratin to minimize the damage during the color removal process.
Once you’ve removed the color successfully, you can reapply another hair dye immediately without risking the integrity of your hair. The reason this product deserves full marks is that it can remove both old and fresh colors.
You’ll need to buy a developer separately. Although it works fine on direct dyes, it’s not recommended for removing permanent and demi-permanent hair color.
In under 30 minutes, your hair will be good as new and you can start experimenting again. The price point is also great, so we’d say that it’s definitely worth a shot.
5. One ‘n Only Colorfix
Specially formulated for permanent hair colors, One ‘n Only Colorfix is nothing short of magic. Whether you’re looking for a slight color correction or you want to remove the color completely, this product will take care of all your needs.
For slight color corrections, you can mix the product with your shampoo. You can find the instructions on the box.
It doesn’t contain ammonia or bleach, so it won’t destroy your tresses. And it can zap just about any color without damage. What’s more, the conditioning catalyst has the goodness of argan oil to leave your hair nourished and moisturized.
It’s a 3-step solution, and it’s important that you follow the instructions closely if you want great results. If you do that, you’ll get the results as promised.
Take note that it’s designed to remove permanent dyes only. It might not work on semi-permanent and demi-permanent hair dyes.
6. Roux Roux Clean Touch Hair Color Stain Remover
This product right here is the real multi-tasker. Reviewers love it because not only it removes excess color from hair ends but it also draws out unwanted dye stains from your skin. In addition to this, it can also zap color stains from clothes.
That’s why reviewers keep singing praises of this color remover. It won’t burn or irritate your skin. And it also doesn’t make your hair rough.
If you’re someone who often colors their hair at home, this product is a must-have. And unless you’re a professional, it’s so easy to make mistakes.
Keep in mind, this product does contain ammonia. So, you’d be smart to use it with caution. It’s not for you if you’re trying to zap dye from all over your hair.
Finally, it’s easy to use and it rinses out really well. And it doesn’t cost a lot of money. What else could you ask for?
7. Splat Color Remover
Bold hair colors such as red, purple are the hardest to remove. They usually require the presence of ingredients such as ammonia and sulfates to get rid of them. Luckily, this ammonia-free pick removes even the boldest of the colors while still being gentle on your strands.
The no-drip formula is very easy to apply and it will get rid of the color in about an hour. Before applying the product, make sure that your hair is dry and clean as it applies really well on dry hair.
It’s also worth mentioning that this product doesn’t restore the natural hair color, but rather prepares it for recoloring. You may need a second application depending on the depth of the color. However, for colors such as blue and green, a single application should be enough.
This product is suitable for removing direct dyes. For getting rid of permanent colors, you should consider other products on the list.
8. L’OREAL ColorZap Hair color Remover Kit
ColorZap Hair Color Remover is another excellent choice for gently washing away permanent hair colors. It’s a great pick for getting rid of extra color build-up, fixing uneven results, and removing dark shades. In short, it’s suitable for all sorts of color correction.
In a single application, it will eliminate all the unwanted color and leave your hair ready for recoloring. It won’t burn your scalp however you may feel a little itchiness. And it may dry out your strands a little but rest assured, it won’t ruin them.
It doesn’t have a strong smell, which is a good thing. This product most certainly would meet your expectations. And it’s easily one of the best drugstore picks for removing permanent hair dyes.
Some Important Things to Consider
Before buying the best hair color remover, there are a few things that you should keep in mind. Let’s take a look:
Type of Dye
There are different types of hair color removers. Some are formulated to take out permanent hair dyes while others work to get rid of non-permanent ones. There are also formulas that can work on both kinds of colors.
So, it’s important to factor in the type of hair color you’re trying to remove. For instance, a hair color remover that’s designed to wash away permanent hair dyes won’t work on direct dyes. It will only cause unnecessary damage.
The opposite is also true. Therefore, choose the products based on the type of color you wish to remove.
Another thing you should keep in mind is the intensity of the color. As we mentioned at the beginning of the article, you may need the help of the ingredients such as ammonia if you want to strip out really bright, vivid, and vibrant colors.
For natural colors such as brown, black, blonde, you can go with gentle formulas that are free of ammonia and bleach.
Hair color fails can and does happen. And many of us go through hair dye disasters at some point in life. Although the process of removing the color all by yourself can be tricky, you can erase the color effectively if you follow the instructions properly.
It’s also important to choose the right products to prevent damage. The best hair color removers reviewed above are the least damaging and most effective. You’ll be able to fix the mess without any damage.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask us. Good luck!