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Using Vinegar to Remove Permanent Hair Color


It’s not really clear how the rumor got started that using vinegar to remove permanent hair color was effective. It’s especially confusing since there’s a conflicting rumor that suggests that using a white wine vinegar rinse after coloring your hair with a permanent dye will prevent the color from fading. Needless to say, neither rumor is true. Luckily, if you are unhappy with the results of your dye job, there are some more useful things you can try.

Watch the Clock

There’s a reason that colorists and hair dye boxes tell you to wait three days before washing your hair after you dye it. It takes 48 to 72 hours for the dye to completely set in your hair. If it’s been less than three days since your dye job, there’s still hope.

Make an Appointment

If a professional colorist is responsible for your horrible dye job, make an emergency appointment and ask her to fix it for free. Colorists guard their reputations fiercely and will usually do almost anything to fix a devastating color mistake. If you dyed your own hair, you can still consult a professional. Take the dye box into a stylist you trust, and ask her what she recommends.

Make a Phone Call

If you don’t have a stylist to consult, you can trying calling the consumer information number on the dye box. They may be able to recommend a solution.

Home Remedies

If nobody is able to give you any advice, there are several home remedies you can try. If you’re within the 72-hour window, merely rinsing your hair with hot water may cause the dye to fade. Shampooing repeatedly with a volumizing shampoo may also help, as these shampoos work by opening up the cuticles of the hair, which might cause more of the dye to leave the hair. Hot oil treatments can also help strip chemicals off your hair.

Over-the-Counter Products

Both One ‘N Only’s Colorfix and Clairol’s The Uncolor System are marketed as semi-permanent hair dye removers, but they may help fade even permanent dye from your hair if applied soon enough. To avert further disaster, strand test them on hair from the nape of your neck before applying them to your entire scalp. If the product seems to help, apply it according to the directions.




Gladstar, Rosemary. “4.” Rosemary Gladstar’s Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health: 175 Teas, Tonics, Oils, Salves, Tinctures, and Other Natural Remedies for the Entire Family. null. Reprint. North Adams: Storey Publishing, LLC, 2008. 150. Print.

Irons, Diane. “2.” World’s Best Kept Beauty Secrets: What Really Works In Beauty, Diet & Fashion. 2Rev Ed ed. Naperville, IL: Sourcebooks, Inc., 2005. 46. Print.

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