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Lifting colour from a too dark hair dye

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Lifting colour from a too dark hair dye

Lifting Natural Hair Dye Colour

How easy it is to lift a natural henna based hair dye from your hair depends on how porous your hair is and the type of natural hair dye used. Older hair at the ends will be more porous than the newer hair at the roots. The red henna element in a hair dye is generally more difficult to remove than the indigo blue element in a hair dye.


I include some tips below for trying to lift henna, indigo and natural herbal hair colour powders such as Logona, Sante and It's Pure Organics.  I  can’t guarantee any of the tips will work well for you, because there are just so many variables, and everyone's hair is different. Most of the techniques for lifting natural hair dye are drying to hair except for the method using oils.

  1. Soak your hair in oil (e.g. olive oil or almond oil) and wrap in plastic or cling film. Leave to soak for a few hours, then shampoo it out. This method is of course very moisturising where of some of the other methods are drying.
  2. Wash your hair more often.
  3. Rinsing with lemon juice solution may help to rinse out the colour. Lemon juice also has a temporary lightening effect.
  4. Some people use a recipe with honey to remove or lighten henna but I have no experience of this so I cannot give guidance. Have a look online if you’re interested.
  5. Expose your hair to the sun to bleach it.
  6. There is a dye-lifting recipe using baking soda, but it is drying and harsh on your hair. Mix half baking soda with half shampoo into a paste. Apply to your hair, wrap with plastic, and leave for 30 to 60 minutes. Rinse off and condition your hair well to counteract the drying effect.
  7. Vitamin C powder (which you can buy from health food stores) is reputed to lighten hair dyes.  Mix vitamin C powder to a paste with a shampoo, apply it to your hair, wrap with plastic, leave it for 30 to 60 minutes, then rinse out. Condition your hair.  This method is supposed to be more gentle than the baking soda method above.
  8. Head and Shoulders Anti-Dandruff Shampoo is reputed to lift off some hair dye colour.


I can’t guarantee any of the above will work well for you, because there are just so many variables, and everyone's hair is different. Most of the techniques for lifting hair dye are drying to hair except for the method using oils.

We would not recommend chemically bleaching after using a hair colour that contains indigo as it can go a strange colour. If you have used just red henna on its own, then it is OK to bleach it but we strongly recommend strand testing the bleach first to make sure the colour is acceptable before putting on your full head of hair.  

If you are interested in these I also suggest you Google these techniques to find more information on blogs and Youtube.

If you have any experience of removing natural and henna hair dyes, I would love to hear about it!

For toning down hair that has gone too red from henna click here.

Lifting the colour off chemical dyed hair:

We don’t sell or recommend using chemical dyes but we thought this problem worth mentioning here. You can of course try any of the techniques listed above to lighten chemical dyes, but they will probably be less effective on a permanent chemical dye than they are on natural dye. 


If you used a semi-permanent chemical hair dye, this will fade quickly on its own, but can be made to fade more quickly by washing your hair more often. If you want to lift off permanent chemical dye colour that is too dark, you can buy clarifying shampoos which lift off a bit of hair dye colour. You can buy stronger, specialised chemical products to strip chemical colour off your hair – but these are tricky to use. 

If your hair was coloured at the hairdressers, they will probably have some product they can use to strip off some colour.

If your hair has been lightened with peroxide and it is lighter than you wanted then you cannot strip off the colour but you can add more colour to make it darker.
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