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Getting Black Hair Dye Out

12 February 2008

Hello, I assume there to be many people who have made the decision to have black hair only to change their minds very quickly. This guide will tell and show the best method for removing black hair dye in a simple two step process that will leave your hair ready to be re-colored and relatively healthy. Below is an image of my boyfriend who had a friend dye his hair black while I was away.

Sadly the dye they used was of poor quality, which left his hair a dark brown and whoever did it didn’t even get his roots! Below is what can be accomplished by following these steps. Okay, so as you can see, I started off with an extremely dark hair color. My goal was to get all the black out while leaving him with healthy hair that wasn’t completely fried. Now most people would just say to themselves “I’ll bleach the black out” NEVER EVER let this absurd idea into your mind. For while yes, you could use a 40 vol bleach, if you aren’t a professional, you won’t have any hair left. My boyfriend however not only wanted the black out, he wanted white hair. Sadly, I wasn’t able to get a toner.

So here come the actual directions:

Step one-
Purchase a box of L’Oreal Color Zap

This can be found at beauty supply shops and online. Follow the instructions for color removal. Now in case you are wondering why we are using Color Zap and not bleach, I’ll tell you. Color Zap is a product especially made for removing permanent color from your hair(color stripper). It is not bleach and therefor doesn’t completely fry your hair. This specific color stripper however does contain a small amount of bleach, which is what makes it ideal for removing black hair.

Follow the directions in the box (the directions are printed on the inside of the box) When you have rinsed your hair DO NOT condition. Once you have finished with the Color Zap, your hair should be a light to medium orange where the black was, if you got it on your roots, they may have bleached a little.

Now for the final step. Step two-
Now we are going to use bleach the even out your color. You can either buy a bleach kit or mix up your own. Be sure that is a 20 or 30 vol, DO NOT USE 40vol! (If you are unsure as to what the numbers mean, please contact me and I’ll help you out) Follow the mixing directions and apply the bleach all over your hair, making sure to get the roots. Leave in as long as needed for the roots and ends to match, but do not leave on over the maximum time stated on the product. Rinse. IF you are planning to immediately recolor your hair DO NOT condition. Once you have put the color in and rinsed it then make sure to super condition your hair.
Note: It may take two bleachings to get the roots and ends to completely match, if you need to do two bleachings always wait at least two days and be sure you are using a moisturizing conditioner.

Sebastian, blond hair


  • Just wanted to add that Color Zap CAN bleach roots unlike what the box says, but its by far the best thing for black removals! I'm glad you mention that it includes bleach, it certinally needs to be treated that way - I know now from personal bad experiences. good article :) Report Comment
  • so if i do do this, in the end will my hair be like blonde orange??? Report Comment
  • Wow, never heard of the stuff. [: This will really help the next time I decide to dye my hair black and go back to a lighter color.. I went and bleached my hair like.. 20 times or more.. but I must have the most amazing hair in the world, 'cause my hair is STILL extreamly soft. O_O But I went from Black to white.. <_< Took.. iunno how many months though. Report Comment
  • well this help on hair thats been colored black for almost a year an a half ago? I had blonde hair but now I know it was a mistake i miss my blue hair. My hair is already kinda dry, its better then what it use to be though. Its alot softer and more healther. My hair was dyed black but now it faded to a medium brown/black. an well they bleach harm my hair any farther? What kind of conditioner well I need to use in order to treat my hair? Report Comment
  • I will have to read this the next time I decide to dye my hair, maybe it will help get this uber staying blue out Report Comment
  • I used this to get black hair dye out yesterday. It did also indeed bleach some of my roots that some of the mixture dripped onto. I was a little lazy with neatness. It did not however dry my hair out as much as 40 volume bleach would have which is what I usually would have used for black hair. :) Report Comment
  • how about an australian version, because we don't have "colour zap" Report Comment
  • i have been dying my hair black consecutively for about 5 years and i tryed using color opps and i bleached it two different times with bleach and it didnt budge. so color strippers really only work if the color is semi-new and have only been dyed once. Report Comment
  • I used 40 vol .. and I'm pretty sure I still have all of my hair! Anyway, it's good that there's an alternative. Also, psychoticblackmakeup I had been dying black for years too, it certainly wasn't dyed black once. Hm, don't know what would have made the difference between my hair and yours. Report Comment
  • Agreed with pyschoticblack - I had purple black dyed for 2 years and stripper did not budge it much at all. Report Comment
  • What SUPER CONDITIONER do you recommend for after stripping/bleaching. Bc I'm desperate to remove my black but don't want to damage my hair awfully.....and if I do, what do I use after??? Report Comment
  • you got a very even bleach. i am very impressed! Report Comment
  • Agreed with phaychoticblackmakeup and hfb. I have been coloring my hair black for years - consecutively for the past 3.5 in my case. I have tried (with plenty of time in between!) Color zap, loreal effasol, bleach, nothing will make this black budge. My hair is about bra strap length and from about 4-5 inches down the strand the lightest it will get is about a level 4 dark red orange. Now, i have been coloring my hair mainly with matrix black + ion black over the past few years, permanent + semi. When i went from black to dark blond 8 years ago, i had been coloring my hair with wella demi permanent + redken semi permanent + i was able to get to an allover dark golden blond after using color zap once and allover bleach once. I wish i would have dyed my hair with those brands over these past few years because i wpuld have good results. I figured matrix was better quality than wella, and i dont know why i chose to use ion instead of wella. Wella always left my hair feeling the best + it was much shinier. I guess i figured i would get even better results by using "better" brands if i wanted to lighten down the road...nope! I guess it depends on the brand of color you have been using! Report Comment
  • Did you apply the lighter to the roots AFTER it had been applied to the midshaft to end of the hair? Or did you just go root to end? Report Comment
  • I used color oops to break up level 3 dark brown pigment. I left it on longer than the package recommends....approx 2 hours. Do not leave peroxide or bleach based strippers (color zap) on that long, only hydrosulfite based ones can be left on for extended periods of time. The first treatment removed all of the dark brown. I did two more treatments to help break up henna that was underneath the dark brown, but I left the color oops on for 3 hours each. Seriously scrub and rinse your hair for a full 30 minutes! Avoid lighteners or peroxide dyes for a week or a couple shampoos or it may re-darken. After that I did 2 full rounds of bleach with 30vol on the lengths and 1 bleaching with 20vol at the scalp and new growth. I was able to get a pale yellow with a few light but brassy spots where the henna refused to lift completely. I took my over 12 weeks to go through the whole process. 10 years ago a salon used a combination of 2 bleachings and 4 bleach baths in a single day to make me medium red after years of permanent black level 1. I also had to cut years of growth off. Yikes! I wish I knew about color removers and patience then. Report Comment

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