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Can Olive Oil Remove Permanent Hair Dye? | Yes!

Have you ever dyed your hair, only to realize you made a mistake? Instead of dyeing it all over again, you might have heard that you can try removing the hair dye with olive oil. Can olive oil remove permanent hair dye? Read on to find out!

Can Olive Oil Remove Permanent Hair Dye?

Yes, olive oil can and does remove permanent hair dye. When the molecules in olive oil pierce through your hair strands, the larger molecular density of the olive oil as compared to the hair dye shoves the molecules of dye from your hair.

If you’re looking for a more natural way to remove your hair dye and keep your head from too much damage, you may want to use olive oil. Generally, olive oil is a great treatment for your hair, as it improves hair strength and alleviates dryness.

In the guide below, we will outline:

  • The materials you’ll need for hair dye removal
  • How to use olive oil to remove hair dye in four easy steps
  • Specific details about what to do and not do when applying olive oil to the scalp
  • The advantages and disadvantages of using olive oil for hair dye removal
  • Other natural ways to improve your hair care
  • Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about olive oil hair dye removal

The Materials Needed

The basic materials you will need to put together for permanent hair dye removal include:

  • Olive oil
  • Gloves
  • Shower cap
  • Hair dye brush
  • Microwave-safe container
  • Thickening shampoo
  • Conditioner

You should use about half of a cup of extra-virgin olive oil to ensure you have enough product to remove permanent hair dye.  

Removing Permanent Hair Dye With Olive Oil

Woman looking in the mirror removing permanent hair dye with olive oil


The basic steps involved in removing permanent hair dye using olive oil are:

  • Prepare your hair
  • Get the olive oil ready
  • Apply the olive oil to your head
  • Rinse out the olive oil from your scalp and hair

1. Prepare Your Hair

Use the shampoo to wash your hair with water at a very high temperature. The water should be hot or at least very warm. Essentially, pick the hottest water you can withstand without burning your scalp. 

2. Get the Olive Oil Ready

Use a microwave-safe bowl to heat half a cup of olive oil in the microwave for at least 10 seconds and no longer than 30 seconds. Do not let the olive oil hit the boiling point.

Once again, ensure that the olive oil does not burn your skin. If you do get hot olive oil on your skin, apply cold water and moisturize it to minimize burns.

3. Apply the Olive Oil to Your Scalp

Check to see how hot the olive oil is before you apply it to your scalp. Warm olive oil is fine to apply. However, if it is scalding hot, wait until it cools down. Put on the gloves. Apply olive oil to your damp hair.

Massage the oil from the hair roots to the end of your strands. Make sure every bit of hair is covered with olive oil. To help with the process, use the hair dye brush to apply the oil. 

Once you’ve finished applying the oil, put on a shower cap over your head. Leave the olive oil in for at least 30 minutes and no longer than 45 minutes. Put a towel over your shoulders and neck to prevent the oil from irritating your skin.

4. Rinse Out the Olive Oil From Your Hair

The last step is to rinse out the olive oil from your head with lots of warm water. You can use lukewarm water if you prefer. Use a thick shampoo to lather and rinse. Keep massaging your head until the greasiness from the oil is gone.

You can complete the process by adding conditioner or merely drying your hair. Repeat the four steps above once per week until your hair reaches the shade you wanted. However, if you want to dye your hair again, wait three days until after the olive oil dye removal process.

Tips for Success

Want to learn what to do when adding olive oil to remove permanent hair dye? First, you will need to use extremely warm or hot water instead of lukewarm water when you prepare your hair. A few other steps to remember are:

  • Repeat the olive oil application once per week until achieving the right shade
  • Use thickening or clarifying shampoo
  • Tighten the shower cap to keep the oil from dripping

You should also avoid leaving the olive oil in your hair too long and avoid getting burned when using hot water and heated olive oil. 

Pros and Cons of Using Olive Oil for Hair Dye Removal

Below, we define the advantages and disadvantages of olive oil hair dye removal.

The Pros

  • This treatment does not damage your hair like other color-removing applications
  • Olive oil is more natural
  • Using olive oil to remove hair dye is a cheaper process
  • Olive oil can even soothe the scalp

The Cons

  • The olive oil process does not work with bold colors
  • Olive oil may leave your hair feeling and looking greasy
  • The method can take too long with multiple weeks before the shade changes
  • The hot water may cause discomfort and slight pain

Other Natural Ways to Improve Your Hair Care

You can use a variety of other natural ingredients to boost your hair care routine. These ingredients include:

  • Avocado oil
  • Shea butter
  • Sunflower oil
  • Chamomile
  • Witch hazel
  • Honey
  • Aloe Vera

Generally, shampoos are also designed to prevent hair shaft damage and act as scalp cleaners. Some shampoos also have conditioning factors that support gloss and softness.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Glass bottle pouring olive oil into a glass dish for a guide titled can olive oil remove permanent hair dye

Dusan Zidar/Shutterstock

Below, we answer several common questions about hair dye removal with olive oil.

Does olive oil ruin dyed hair?

Olive oil works well to remove semi-permanent or permanent hair dye. Other than removing the coloring, it should not ruin your hair.

Do other oils remove hair color?

Several other oils can remove dyed hair color besides olive oil. These include castor oil, almond oil, and coconut oil.

Can I leave olive oil in my hair without washing it out?

When using the process above, you should not leave the olive oil in your hair for more than 45 minutes without washing it out. However, if you have dandruff and extremely dry hair, you may want to use an olive oil application and leave it in your hair all night long before washing it out.

How does olive oil remove permanent hair color?

Olive oil removes permanent hair dye due to its higher molecular density. Similar to how olive oil keeps food from sticking to a pan, the oil keeps the dye molecules from attaching to the hair.

How do you fade permanent hair dye?

Several oils are effective at fading permanent hair coloring. You can also use clarifying shampoo to fade bright permanent hair dye.

So, Can Olive Oil Remove Permanent Hair Dye?

Using olive oil to remove permanent hair dye completely can take several weeks, but it is a simple process. You will need to wash and prepare your hair, warm up the olive oil, apply the oil to your scalp, and then rinse it out. Soon, you’ll have the perfect shade you’ve always wanted.