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How to Remove Black Hair Dye | 3 Methods That Work

Black hair dye is the most daunting color to remove from your hair, but don’t panic! With a little patience, some basic products, and the right method, you can finally be rid of that black dye without damaging your hair. Read on to learn how to remove or lighten stubborn black hair dye.

Wondering How to Remove Black Hair Dye?

  • Clarifying Shampoo: Strips some unwanted black dye pigment from strands
  • Hair Dye Remover: Breaks down dye pigment without bleaching natural color
  • Bleach Wash:  Mix of bleach, developer, and clarifying shampoo to lighten black dye

Black hair dye can be a pain once you’re out of the honeymoon phase and ready to try something new. This stuff just won’t budge – unless you use the right method to remove it! 

There are three primary options that you can use to successfully remove black hair dye (to the left, to the left). You can use clarifying shampoo, hair dye remover, or a bleach wash to do it. Below, we’ll cover each of these 3 methods in detail. 

Start with the clarifying shampoo method and move on to hair dye remover or a bleach wash if you don’t get the results you want. This will help you minimize any damage to your hair! 

How to Remove Black Hair Dye With Clarifying Shampoo

Woman squeezes clarifying shampoo into hand showing how to remove black hair dye at home


The easiest way to remove black hair dye color is using clarifying shampoo instead of your regular shampoo. These powerful shampoos are known for stripping dye (which is why you should never use them on a color you love). They’re a great first line of defense when you’re wondering how to remove black hair dye. 

This girl below gets it! 

Here’s a step-by-step guide for nixing unwanted black dye with a clarifying shampoo.

1. Apply and Lather Clarifying Shampoo

Black dye pigment is stubborn and tough to remove from your hair. To remove the dye pigment, substitute your regular shampoo with a stronger clarifying shampoo.

Apply enough to saturate your damp hair and lather up as usual. Add crushed vitamin C pills (crushed to a powder) for a more powerful mix! 

This type of powerful cleansing shampoo will help strip off black hair dye, but it’s still pretty gentle to your hair. Trying this method won’t damage your hair or alter your natural hair color.

Before you start the dye removal process, you want to choose the right clarifying shampoo to optimize the outcomes. Consider clarifying shampoos labeled for product build-up or oily hair to simplify the process.

While clarifying shampoos don’t always label the package’s content, products marketed for issues like oily hair are typically stronger to strip off excess oil and product build-up. These clarifying shampoos will cut through excessive black dye in your hair and help lift and lighten even stubborn black hair dye. 

2. Shampoo Thoroughly

Make sure you’re using warm water to open the hair cuticle! This allows the clarifying shampoo to penetrate deeper and lift out more of that black dye. Use your fingers to massage and scrub your hair.

Don’t stop at the roots! Lather up along the length of your hair to get even results. Allow it to sit for a few minutes in your hair. Don’t leave it longer than 5 minutes to avoid over-drying your hair. 

3. Rinse With Warm Water

Rinse the shampoo out with warm water to help remove more of the black dye. Warm water is essential in opening your hair follicles and removing the excess dye. Do a cold water rinse when you’ve removed all the shampoo to help close the cuticles and boost shine.

Shampooing once won’t immediately remove every trace of black hair dye. But consistent use for a few weeks will guarantee a change.

If you seek quick results, you can shampoo your hair more often to speed the process along. Just remember to complement it with a quality deep conditioner to alleviate the dry hair effect of frequent shampooing.

How Often Should You Shampoo Your Hair?

Various factors go into deciding how often you should shampoo your hair to remove black hair dye. Remember, too frequent shampooing will dehydrate your hair, while not shampooing your hair for a long time won’t yield results.

Using your clarifying shampoo a few times a week until the dye starts to fade is ideal. If you want quicker results and shampoo more often, always follow up with an effective conditioner to hydrate your hair.

Remember, frequent shampooing isn’t necessarily damaging, but the dryness it induces can damage your hair if it isn’t handled correctly.

How to Remove Black Hair Dye With Other Types of Shampoo

Although clarifying shampoos are the most effective in removing hair dye and other impurities, other shampoos provide similar dye-busting perks. For instance, anti-dandruff shampoos are effective in this regard.

You can enhance the effect of anti-dandruff shampoo by adding an equal quantity of baking soda when shampooing. Another well-recommended option for black hair removal is chelating shampoo.

If you don’t achieve your desired outcomes with shampooing, give your hair a breather before trying another solution. This break gives your hair time to rejuvenate and build moisture to minimize damage. Then, move on to method 2! 

How to Remove Black Hair Dye With Hair Dye Remover

Woman wears a shower cap after using hair dye remover to get rid of black hair dye


As the name suggests, hair dye removers strip any unwanted permanent hair dye, including black hair dye. The products help remove hair dye by breaking down the oxidized color molecules. If you’re stuck on which hair dye remover is best, we really like Color Oops Extra Conditioning Hair Color Remover! 

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Once you’ve got your color remover product in hand, follow these 5 steps to get rid of black dye with this type of product! 

1. Mix Up the Dye Remover

Hair dye remover comes in two different solutions that you mix together to induce the chemical reaction that will break down the color molecules in your hair.

You should wait until you are ready to use the product before mixing it up. Be sure to only mix the amount you need! Otherwise, you’ll have to discard any remaining product as you can’t save it for later use.  

2. Work the Dye Remover Into Your Hair

Section your hair into four parts and start working gently through the hair using a brush or hand. Ensure the product covers all strands by massaging it from the roots to the tips.

Repeat this saturation step in all hair partitions to completely coat your hair in the mixture.

3. Leave the Product in Your Hair for a Few Minutes

Cover your hair with a shower cap or cling film and leave it to develop for some time. Typically, this should take between 20 to 30 minutes, but check your product to see if it recommends a different time frame.

Covering your hair generates heat, causing the cuticles to open and release those dye pigments. Hair dye removers generally start working immediately, and you may notice your black hair lighten in no time.

4. Wash and Rinse Your Hair

Once the developing time elapses, wash your hair and rinse the product out thoroughly with warm water. Use a sulfate shampoo (more powerful cleansing) to wash your hair at least 2-3 times afterward.

Run your fingers through your hair to remove every bit of the product and flush out the black color molecules from your hair.

5. Deep Condition Your Hair

Follow the shampooing process with a deep conditioner, massaging it through your hair for a few minutes. Conditioning your hair helps relieve any dry effects of using a hair dye remover and leaves your hair moisturized.

Give your hair a rest for a week before repeating the procedure or seeking an alternative solution if you don’t achieve the desired results.

How to Remove Black Hair Dye With a Bleach Wash

Close up of bleach wash mixture being stirred with a dye brush to show how to remove black hair dye with diluted bleach in shampoo


Applying hair bleach directly to your hair to remove black dye can be damaging since it affects the hair’s protective outer layer. That’s why a gentler bleach wash is the better choice! 

A bleach wash, or bleach bath, is weaker than bleach because it’s mixed with shampoo to dilute it. Unlike bleaching, this process does less damage to your hair. Preparing and applying bleach wash is easy and less risky than actually bleaching your hair.

Here are the 4 steps to follow when using a bleach wash!

1. Mix Bleach Powder and Developer

Using the bleach instructions, mix your bleach powder and the developer (10 volume or 20 volume) to form a paste. Typically, you should use the two products in equal amounts (1:1) to achieve a consistent texture.

The quantity you need varies depending on the length and volume of your hair, but it would generally be half what you use for a full-head bleaching treatment.

Developers are available in various strengths, ranging from 10 volume to 50 volume. A more potent developer means more hydrogen peroxide and increases the risk of damage. Since a bleach wash is a gentler product, don’t use a developer above 20v.

2. Add Clarifying Shampoo

Add an equal amount of clarifying shampoo as the first two ingredients to make a third of the mixture. Mix it in thoroughly and make sure the consistency isn’t too runny for easier application. 

You can dilute the bleach bath more by increasing the amount of clarifying shampoo to make the mix gentler on your hair. You can also use a lower volume of developer to minimize hair damage.

3. Apply the Mix to Damp Hair

Dampen your hair to make it easy to spread the mixture and ensure the product coats each strand. You should only apply the mix to unwashed hair to avoid irritation and severe dryness caused by the combination of bleach and shampoo.

Bleach can cause skin irritation, so use gloves when applying it to your hair and use petroleum jelly to protect the skin areas that may come into contact with the bleach.

Don’t massage the mixture into the scalp as you would when shampooing, as it will irritate your skin. Apply it to saturate your hair’s full length without massaging. 

4. Wait 10-20 Minutes and Rinse

You can leave the bleach wash in your hair for as long as the bleach manufacturer recommends, but a shorter duration, about 10-20 minutes, is ideal. After you’ve reached the desired degree of lift, rinse the mixture out completely.

Follow up by conditioning your hair thoroughly using a quality deep conditioner to hydrate your hair. If your hair still feels dry after conditioning, consider applying a leave-in conditioner to offer additional hydration.

Follow it up with a smoothing hair serum to lock in the moisture and leave your hair sleek. Give your hair a few days to recover before repeating a successive bleach wash procedure.

Frequently Asked Questions

Still got some burning questions? Let’s look at the frequently asked questions about how to remove black hair dye.

How Long Does It Take to Remove Black Hair Dye?

The period it takes to remove black dye varies with the removal method. You can get quicker results by repeating the black hair removal procedure, but take the necessary precautions to avoid damaging your hair.

How Can I Remove Black Hair Dye Naturally?

Various natural home remedies help you get rid of black hair dye. These methods include adding vitamin C powder to your shampoo, washing with white vinegar and water, and washing with baking soda and lemon paste.

Is Black Hair Dye Good for Your Hair? 

Black hair dye is a striking hair color choice that complements a wide range of skin tones and hair types. However, while the dye doesn’t damage your hair by itself, the products used to remove it can be damaging.

How Long Does Black Dye Last in Hair?

Typically, permanent black hair dye lasts about 6-8 weeks before it starts to fade, while semi-permanent will last for 4-6 weeks. This duration differs depending on your hair shampooing frequency.

Is There a Temporary Black Dye for Hair?

Yes. Various brands of temporary black hair dyes are available, allowing you to enjoy your favorite hair styling without permanent or long-lasting effects. All you need is to find the one that works well with your hair type and skin tone, and you’re good to go!

So, How Do You Remove Black Hair Dye?

Whether permanent, semi-permanent, or temporary, your black hair dye will eventually fade from your hair. But you can definitely fast-track the process and bust that black dye sooner!

Following the black hair removal methods above, you can speed up the process without damaging your hair.

Try clarifying shampoo first – it’s the least damaging and you may already have some on-hand. If that doesn’t work, try a hair dye remover. As a final resort, a semi-gentle bleach wash will do the trick!

No matter what, going for the method that you’re most comfortable with is the best idea. If that means washing repeatedly with clarifying shampoo for a week or so, that’s fine! You’ll be free from unwanted black dye in no time.