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Combination Colour Fading Treatment

Published on 18th February 2014

Are you trying to fade out your hair colour? Do you have a colour that is so stubborn, even bleach and colour removers haven’t removed it completely? This is a great way to help fade semi-permanent hair colour. I have found many different kinds of fading treatments online like vitamin C treatments or using an anti-dandruff shampoo and letting it sit in the hair. All of these are great, but as someone who only washes her hair every 7-10 days, actively fading my hair colour drives me bonkers with all the repeated washing. So why not combine a bunch of the techniques into one jumbo treatment?

Before you try this treatment though, I recommend trying some simpler treatments first like the ones in this article: http://haircrazy.info/misc-articles/10-ways-to-remove-hair-colour/

Doing some of these first may be enough to get you where you want to be. But if have already tried some without any luck, then I would definitely use this treatment.

It consists of pretty common household products for the most part. If you don’t have anti-dandruff shampoo, just use any shampoo that has sulfates in it and/or is not colour-safe. I really just eyeballed these, but these measurements should give you a basic idea of what to use. No need to be fancy and break out the measuring spoons!


  • shower cap/cling film/plastic shopping bag to put over the head
  • 2/3 cup of anti-dandruff shampoo
  • 2-10 1,000mg vitamin C tablets crushed into powder (some may be sensitive to using more than 2 tablets at a time. If you’ve never used Vitamin C on the scalp before I suggest starting with just 2)
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda dissolved in 1 tablespoon of hot water
  • 1/3 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 1-3 tablespoons dishwashing liquid (Dawn, Palmolive, Fairy, etc.)
  • 1 tablespoon 20 volume developer (optional)

I tried this first without the developer and it removed a lot! Then I tried it again right after, but with the developer and it took out even more which surprised me since it was my second time doing it.

1. Shampoo and rinse with warm to hot water, do not condition.
2. Mix the ingredients together. The mixture will be frothy and expand a little, and feel slightly warmer. Don’t freak out, his is totally normal and okay! If it puffs up too much just give it a quick mix again and it will go back down.
3. Apply it to the hair. I find it easier to separate my hair into quadrants or “hot cross bun sections” and apply it that way, but whatever is easiest for you.
4. Once it is applied, gently massage it into the hair as this will help pull out those pesky colour molecules. It will be rather frothy, and the frothiness should be the colour of the pigment you are trying to fade. Every so often, squeeze downwards on a section of hair, pulling the pigmented frothiness out, and chuck it in the sink/tub. Just be careful as this can stain surfaces! Do this for 5-10 minutes.
5. Next, put a shower cap/cling film/plastic shopping bag over your head and secure it so it’s snug. This helps trap heat and moisture in. Let it sit for 15 minutes.
6. Rinse out and shampoo well, preferably twice with warm to hot water, to make sure all the ingredients are out of the hair. If your hair feels filmy after it’s dried, then shampoo again. If you’re not using an after treatment, then condition as usual and rinse with cool to cold water.

Your hair will likely feel dry now, but you can choose to do this after treatment. It helps balance the pH, replenishes lost oils, and hydrates your hair. As a bonus, the oils may pull a little bit more colour out too.


  • vinegar
  • hydrating conditioner
  • olive oil
  • coconut oil

1. After shampooing and rinsing the hair, condition your hair as you normally would or leave it on for longer if you like. Rinse with cool to cold water.
2. Dry the hair. Dry it with a blow dryer or let it air dry, though letting it air dry is healthier for the hair.
3. Once dry, mix some coconut oil with some olive oil and slather it on the hair. Leave it in for as long as you like, but for at least a couple hours.
4. Do a vinegar rinse to help close the cuticle. A vinegar rinse is a 50/50 mix of regular white vinegar to water. Just pour it over your hair and gently massage it through. You can choose to leave it in the hair, or rinse it out with cool to cold water.

Explanation of ingredients:
The vitamin C tablets, anti-dandruff/sulfate based shampoo, and baking soda are common ways of fading semi-permanent hair colour. Honey can be a natural lightener and it adds shine to hair by acting as a humectant. The olive oil and coconut oil are used to help combat dryness that some of the other ingredients cause. Most of the ingredients are alkaline and lift the cuticle. I added the other ingredients like oils and honey to help combat the drying effect they have, and also to try and shift the colour from a conditioning, acidic standpoint. But I used a smaller ratio of acidity so that the cuticle doesn’t just close from using too much of it, which would make the whole thing far less effective. The small amount of 20 volume peroxide is used to try and lift the cuticle somewhat to help release colour molecules more easily. The developer is totally optional. This still removes a lot of colour even without it.

I hope I can help others with this! Just be sure to really rinse and shampoo well to make sure you have rinsed out all of the vitamin C, baking soda, and honey so your hair doesn’t feel filmy.
And if you do use peroxide, treat it as if it were a bleach bath. Do not use anything else with peroxide for at least 1 week, just to be on the safe side.

I am amazed by how well this fading treatment works. From my roots to about 6 inches down, I had a mix of Pravana Blue, Pravana Violet, and Manic Panic After Midnight Blue on my hair, then I had permanent black. A month after dying the blue, my colour hadn’t budged at all. It was a tad brighter, but that was it. It still looked like I had just dyed it. I did a few vitamin C treatments and anti-dandruff shampoo treatments with baking soda mixed in. It pulled colour out, but it only looked a tad faded and was still a dark blue, just less vibrant. I did this combo for the first time without the developer in it, and it took out a lot! The water was running clear after which was disappointing because there was still so much blue pigment in it. So I tried it again, adding the 20 volume developer to it, not expecting much since my water had run clear, but I was desperate. To my surprise, it pulled out even more colour than the first time! After that, the colour was a lighter, steely, slate blue/grey. I was so happy with the amount that came out!

After that I did 2 colour removers (One ‘N Only Colourfix) and did a 30 volume bleach bath to try and get rid of the black dye and the rest of the blue. The black was gone but I had a ring going around my hair starting a couple inches from my scalp and going about 4 more inches down that was a dead leaf/muddy, murky sea foam green. I tried a test strand of another 30 volume bleach bath and the green barely even budged! I figured what the hell, might as well at least try to see if it will fade out, but I highly doubted it. Lo and behold, to my surprise, it took out literally about 90% of the green! The only green left was in spots, as I was not as thorough during the massaging part of the treatment. But the gross green ring throughout my hair was completely gone!

So if you are trying to fade your colour, or hate all the repeated washing and rinsing that comes with actively fading, or you have some colour still on even after using colour removers and/or bleach baths, this treatment is totally worth a try. You most likely have all the ingredients in your house anyway! I have found it to be much more effective and remove a lot more colour than other fading treatments, and I hope you will too!


“Well I did this today and have to say loads of colour came out. I’m going to do it again next weekend and see if it takes any more out…thanks again for the advice :-)”

Heather from Southern CA:
“Hey girl, I just did your fading treatment and it worked great
…thanks for the post! My hair went from dark cerise to a lighter shade of pink and I got all that buildup of colour out. Totally happy with the result thus far and I am planning on doing the treatment a couple more times after an overnight coconut oil treatment or two. I really didn’t think that any of it would lift yet, not because I doubted the ability of the treatment, it was just because my hair was so saturated with dye… and I was totally wrong, lol! Way more dye came out than I thought anything short of a bleach bath would be able to get out, awesome!”

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  • Vitamin C is acidic, so do a sensitivity test before using this mixture.