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  • Colour correction can be a difficult process, if in doubt get professional help.
  • ALWAYS do a strand and sensitivity test before using a new product.
  • Do not use colour removers on hair that has been dyed with henna or metallic dyes.
  • Hair colour removal should not be attempted by the inexperienced.
  • Effasol is known as Effasor in the UK and other countries.

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Color Oops, Effasol and L'Oreal Color Removers Guide

9 November 2010

The main difference between Color Oops, Effasol and L’Oreal Color Remover is that Color Oops has a special ingredient known as hydrosulfite. Hydrosulfite rapidly reduces the dye molecule without the need for bleach, ammonia, or peroxide.

Effasol is a Foaming Color Remover that can be used with water or peroxide. It acts a lot like Bleach, so you have to be careful when using it.

L’Oreal Color Remover (Also known as Color Zap) is used with peroxide and also acts like bleach, so again, careful using it. No Color remover will restore hair to its original, natural color. It removes the tint revealing the underlying base from which the natural color has been removed in the hair coloring process. But Color Oops is the only product that doesn’t use bleach, ammonia, or peroxide and is the gentlest of each removers listed. But it also is the most intensive to complete. And although the others use bleach based products, they are less abrasive and damaging to your hair than full strength bleach. Color Oops is a long process of mixing, adding it to your hair (Which I recommend using a shower cap to keep your head warm) and then rigorous rinsing and washing over and over. What Color Oops does is opens the cuticles of your hair and shrinks the color molecules, then through vigorous rinsing you get removal of that color. If you don’t rinse enough, I’ve found that these molecules return to their previous form and can cause hair to become darker after a few days, so following the instructions exactly is very important. It also has a strong smell that some people might not like because it’s a Sulfite base. But the smell does go away after rinsing and washing.

Effasol and L’Oreal Color Removers are much simpler to use. It’s a two part mix that goes directly onto your hair for a total of up to 60 minutes. (Again, a shower cap is recommended). Then a simple rinse and deep condition. I have used all three products. I really like that Color Oops doesn’t damage my hair, but found it only lightened it to a medium to light brown where as when I’ve used L’Oreal Color Remover on my hair, I’ve achieved a light orange to pale lemon yellow result. I’ve used all three products to remove Black and Unnatural Hair Colors with 100% success.

When trying to remove Black Dye, I find it easier, and better for my hair to use a color remover first, then deep condition, wait for a day and use a very gentle 20 volume bleach to remove the rest of the orange and yellow. I remember the old days when Bleaching was the only option for removal of Black Dye and using 30 Volume Peroxide scared me. But no more now that they’ve made Color Removers so much easier for the public to buy and use.


  • Thanks. I think this site really needed an article about colour removers. Report Comment
  • so color oops is considered a color remover? I have black hair and want to get to white and i have bought color oops but have not used it yet HELP!!! Report Comment
  • which product is best for removing unnatural hair colors? Report Comment
  • L'Oreal Color Remover was best for removing unnatural hair colors. Or you can try a Bleach Bath or the Vitamin C Treatment found in the other articles here. Report Comment
  • colormewild, I would suggest 2 box's if you have long hair as 1 box was barely enough for my short mohawk. Report Comment
  • used color oops, l'oreal color zap and color remover (the packages were different, but the ingredients seem to be the same). my experiences are consistent with the article. color oops did not work on blue hair, the other two did :) Report Comment
  • should I use a color remover before or after vitamin C treatment? Report Comment
  • You can but Vitamin C treatments tend to dry hair out, so using a color remover like Color Oops would be fine after a Vitamin C treatment, but any of the others I would advise against it. Report Comment
  • if my hair is like a medium brown with a dash of red more like a copper tone and i want to go for a number 7 ashy tone which one would work better the vitamin c or the oops color remover? also which one damages less the hair?? help plz Report Comment
  • ^usagi, Color Oops is the least damaging of the three, and a Vitamin C treatment is probably less damaging than Color Oops - but in my experience, not nearly as effective. I just got out of the shower from using color oops and I'm seriously amazed at the results. The directions said that it wouldn't work on unnatural colors, but it lied. It pulled MP Shocking Blue + some old faded 'n Rage Twisted Teal right out with no problems. I also had some MP Purple Haze + RAW deep purple, which it noticeably lightened, but didn't pull completely out. I've had the purple in for quite a while now, so I might give my hair a rest for a couple days and then try another round of color oops on the remaining purple. Huge thumbs up. Report Comment
  • Oh it totally works on unnatural colors. Lol, I've used it several times to remove them. The trick to Color Oops is to use it as soon as it happens. You can't dye your hair black for 4-6 months every month and expect it to remove that, it's just not realistic. But if you dyed your hair black at a whim, like I sometimes do, then a week or two later you can strip it. Report Comment
  • Here's a question. I used to be a dying fiend but finally got a big cut and left it natural until the beginning of May. My hair is curly, layered, and the IDEA was to actually just put like 6-ish peekaboo streaks of bright purple (easy to color over if a job occurred where I needed to), but between idea and performance there was a misunderstanding. The girl doing it ended up putting a shit-ton of itty bitty highlights starting at the very top of my hair, some rather chunkish streaks right in the bang line. There's no peek-a-boo. The color I got didn't stick for s**t. I know semi-permanent doesn't last long, but two washes? I started with BOLD fuschia, wash one got me dull fuschia. Wash two got dimmed down to a bland medium pink. Now that I'm about 4-5 washes in, I've got a lot of less-than-pretty-baby-pink, a few orangish bits, and some that are just beyond description. ONE streak remains a medium pink. After this long description (sorry! tl:dr?) here's the thing. It would be too tedious to pick out all those itty bitty streaks to try and bleach/tone over the remaining pinkish. But I don't want to do the whole head (or the top 1/2 where the streaks all are), I'd like to keep as much of the natural hair 'virgin'. Is this even plausible? My first thought is to use a darker-than-blonde demi permanent only on the upper 1/2 of my hair, lighter than my natural so it doesn't lift. Thoughts? Report Comment
  • So I am so glad I found this site first off! But I have questions regarding removing Black hair dye. I currenty Have the underneath dyed black which was done by a salon, unhappy with some of the results I did go to the local sally store and purchased a color stripper and Loreal Hi color Hi lights for dark hair in color Red. I first used the stripper as the box directions stated, But then once I used the Loreal color there was absolutely No change to the black at all.. I wanted to go full red instead of just the top layer like i have now. Are there any specific brands known for removing black. I really dont want to bleach my hair. Ive had this black for about 3 months and havent applied any more black to it. Any advise would be great! Report Comment
  • Is Effasol the same as Effasor in the UK? I know when we used Effasor in the salon we always had two people to a head and just constantly applied and pulled through the hair. the heat of us working on the hair certainly helped the process. Report Comment
  • I have used Color Zap (with much success) and Color Oops (with little success) in removing pink, blue, and purple from bleached hair. I have Effasol in my dye kit but am very hesitant to use it. Sally's Beauty (CA, USA) won't even allow non-professionals to purchase it... I bought it at a random beauty salon. Report Comment
  • I used Effasol on my dyed black hair, i only applied it to the lengths as i figured if i applied it all the way to the roots i would have had exttemely uneven results. I did exactly what i was supposed to do and it barely even budged. The ends were still pitch black but the rest lifted maybe a level and a half to a very dark brownish red with some orange if the sun shined on it. My friend who is a lso a stylist loves this product though, she said she always has great results.... Report Comment
  • Will color oops remove blonde hair? If not, what will? I really want my natural hair color back. :( Report Comment
  • Color oops works great on permanent and demi dyes. If you have layers of build up it will probably require more than one treatment. It removed dark brown demi and some of the henna layers on my hair. It can darken or completely change semi's so proceed with caution. Oh and do not use any type of peroxide lightener too soon after color oops or the molecules can re oxidize. Wait a week or several shampoos. Nothing can remove lightened hair; you just have to deposit over it. Report Comment
  • Ive had black box dye in my hair for a little over a month over brown hair, which would be my best option? Report Comment

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