How to Use A Clarifying Shampoo to Remove Hair Color That’s Gone Horribly Wrong

By Tina Moretti
Published 04 Aug 2020 / Updated 28 Nov 2020

How to Use A Clarifying Shampoo to Remove Hair Color That’s Gone Horribly Wrong

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Hair color gone tits up? Let me show you how to use a clarifying shampoo to remove it.

Hair coloring is one of the best kinds of transformation. It allows you to bring out your personality and gives you the freedom of experimentation.

Besides, it truly gives you a sense of discovering another part of yourself.

After all, your hair is one of your most prominent features. One change to it can change how you see yourself in the mirror and how you present yourself every day.

Unfortunately, not all color jobs turn out as planned.

Some may turn out lighter, darker, or a completely different hue.

And at that point, you’d probably want to strip it off your locks.

That’s where clarifying shampoos can save the day.

Can You Use Clarifying Shampoo To Remove Hair Color?

Clarifying shampoos are also known as detox, deep-cleansing, and purifying shampoos.

While traditional cleansers keep your strands and scalp clean daily, clarifying shampoos seep deeper into the pores and hair cracks to draw out every last speck of grime and dirt.

It’s like comparing a daily face cleanser to an activated charcoal exfoliating scrub.

Clarifying shampoo remove stubborn buildup from your locks that weigh it down and makes it look dull and lifeless.

Think mousse, gels, waxes, oils, moisturizers, and even the regular residues from your ordinary shampoo and conditioner.

They also help wash away minerals from hard water and other chemicals like chlorine. This is why they are also very popular with swimmers. The deep cleanse leaves your hair properly purged, shiny, and silky.

Plenty of salons also use them to prep your hair for treatments like hair color and keratin. At home, it can also be a superb pre-masque step.

It will help your locks absorb the masque’s nutrients so much better. This kind of shampoo can also be your home remedy to give your hair a reboot when nothing else is working in your hair care regimen.

Of course, despite all that good, this also has its downsides.

Regular shampoos nowadays are formulated to both cleanse and nourish your scalp and hair.

And they’re made with lower amounts of cleansing agents and more conditioning ingredients. Meanwhile, clarifying shampoos are simply all about that deep cleanse.

So, they are made with higher concentrations of surfactants.

Surfactants are the soap-like ingredients that primarily get rid of the grease and buildup on your hair.

And while they’re great at dissolving grease and buildup, they strip away natural oils too. Because of that, this can leave your hair dry, dull, and frizzy with overuse.

Heavy surfactants also lift hair color. That might be a disadvantage to people who want to make it last longer. But on the flip side, if your color treatment has gone tits up, this may be just the thing you need.

Now, clarifying shampoos don’t remove hair dye in one wash.

Instead, the product fades the color progressively.

Considering how strong it is, you might be able to wash away color altogether after a few washes.

It would be an excellent solution if you didn’t like how your hair dye turned out or how you looked with it.

It is also a great hack to tone down the color or go a few shades lighter if it was a little too extravagant for your taste.

How Do You Use A Clarifying Shampoo?

Using this kind of shampoo to lighten or remove your hair dye is as simple as using a regular one. But, if you want the dye to be removed entirely, it’s best to talk to your stylist first.

They might be able to suggest some color correction tips. And they can also guide you on how to rock your hair dye even if it wasn’t your first pick.

But, if you are really firm on using a clarifying shampoo, no one is stopping you.

One thing about doing this yourself at home is that you save up some money. At the salon, you might even have to redye your hair another hue.

Not only will that give you additional costs, but it will also put your locks under more chemicals.

Processing your hair like that in a short amount of time will cause more harm rather than just repairing the color.

Once you are set on using a clarifying product, you need to keep two things in mind. The first one is how strong the shampoo is; the second one is how long it will remove the dye.

This technique is more effective in extracting semi-permanent hair dyes. It will have a harder time lifting color from permanent hair color jobs.

When choosing what clarifying shampoo to use, make sure that it doesn’t have “color-safe” on the label.

This type is for the ones looking to maintain their hair’s hue for much longer.

Aside from that, you have to take into consideration how much surfactants it contains. The more surfactants there is, the stronger the product is.

Remember, a clarifying shampoo will dry your locks. But don’t worry, I will give you a tip below on how to moisturize your hair after.

After working it into a good lather, leave it on your hair for up to 30 seconds. And rinse it thoroughly. Then, use your most trusted conditioner to nourish your hair and keep it soft and silky.

After that first wash, you will have a general idea of how many more times you need to repeat it before you get your desired effect.

However, it is not advisable to use it frequently and immediately one after another. If you are going for this technique, it is going to be a long waiting time.

On average, these already strip color after being used twice in a month.

So, to avoid damaging your locks, limit your use to at least once a week. This may also vary with each person, depending on the condition of your natural hair.

Which Clarifying Shampoo Is Best For Removing Dye?

It is essential to understand your hair type before choosing the right shampoo that will work for you.

Your goal is not only to remove or lighten the dye but also to make sure you are not further damaging your locks.

With the abundance of products in the market, it might be hard to decide.

So, here are our top recommendations that work for most hair types.

Fekkai is one of the best clarifying shampoos around. One reason for this is because it seriously gives you a touch of follicular refreshment.

The formula combines citrus, salicylic acids, and raw apple cider vinegar.

Powerful acidic (low pH) shampoo ingredients that also complement the pH level of both your scalp and hair to stay healthy.

It is most effective if you want to go a few shades lighter.

It is also infused with:

  • Sage
  • Rosemary
  • Oat
  • Silk proteins
  • And wheat proteins

Next one in the list is a hair scrub.

This purifying scrub is excellent for those with sensitive and oily scalps.

It contains sea salt, a natural exfoliant that helps to strip off buildup and improve circulation. It’s also a hair color kryptonite.

So, this product is perfect for stripping off that excess hue and even more. It’s also an efficient post-coloring treatment if you have leftover itching and stinging from chemical residues.

Overall, this product is also a great detox treatment that purifies, moisturizes, and rebalances the scalp.

Not only for Sundays. It’s for a hair color removal too.

Deep-cleanse your locks with this cruelty-free, and essential-oil packed treatment.

It also contains ginseng root extracts which work as a toner for your scalp and hair. Then, its sage leaf extracts break up all the grease, product, and dirt.

And last but not least, its rosemary leaf extracts stimulate your scalp to relieve itchiness.

Works well for all hair types.

Use it once a week and watch your hair turn more vibrant and healthier.

Double up on hair color and scalp greasiness removal.

Its nettle extract controls and reduces the oils in your scalp, which can mix with buildups and cause dandruff. It also gently cleanses and purifies your hair leaving it fresh and bouncy.

Together, this allows you to go longer in between washes. And it makes your hair bouncier, shinier, and more vibrant.

Aveda leaves you feeling and smelling fresh. Using it only once makes your locks feel like they’ve just been to a detox spa.

Its micelles and white vinegar content gently break down buildup and remove impurities from your locks.

Meanwhile, its rosemary, peppermint, and spearmint essential oils boost shine. They also energize you, awaken your senses, and improves your focus.

With this shampoo, you get a hair booster and a brain booster all in one.

If you’re a swimmer, this one is for you. This product plainly targets chlorine and everything else that gives your hair that icky green hue.

It’s also great for lightening up your hair’s tinge or removing the color altogether.

Aside from that, it revives dry and limp hair with its wheat-derived conditioners that penetrate your strands and leaves them nourished.

This would also make a great pre-treatment before you deep condition your locks.

Important Thing To Note:

Always follow up with a good moisturizing treatment to avoid leaving your hair too dry after an intense cleansing session.

I recommend the Shea Yoghurt for hair which buffers the exfoliating and drying effect with its rich moisturizing ingredients to leave your hair soft and properly lubricated.

Other Ways To Remove Semi-permanent Hair Color

Clarifying shampoos are one thing. There are also tons of other home remedies that you can do to change the hue of your hair. And the ingredients might already be within your reach. Here they are.

1. Vitamin C

This is one of the most popular techniques for correcting or removing your hair color. Even some salons use it. How it works is that Vitamin C oxidizes the dye.

This loosens it up and makes it easier to wash off. With that, it is also one of the safest and non-abrasive options. To create the formula, mash up some vitamin C tablets and mix them with shampoo.

Get that paste-like consistency. Once you’ve created it, apply it to your wet hair and leave it on for 20 minutes.

Much like the clarifying shampoo, this method works best the shorter the color stayed in your hair. The more you wait, the less efficient it will be.

A good ready-made vitamin C product I recommend is the Malibu C Color Correction gels.

They are quick and easy to use and cheap to buy online.

2. Dandruff Shampoo and Baking Soda

This functions much like clarifying products. See, baking soda is known to be a natural stain remover. Dandruff shampoo, on the other hand, has sulfides.

That makes those two the perfect combination to fade your locks. To use this, try mixing two tablespoons of baking soda into a bottle of dandruff shampoo.

Use it as you would usually but, never forget to condition your hair thoroughly. It could be quite rough on your strands, especially if they were dry, to begin with.

This method would also take some time. And you might even reach months before you get your hair to lighten up enough.

3. Vinegar Rinse

Most dyes can handle alkaline products but not acidic ones. That is why, although this method may wash away some colors, it might not succeed with some. One of those is red.

Instead of removing it, it will actually allow it to last longer. To create this formula, mix equal parts of warm water and vinegar. Use plain vinegar, not the apple cider one, because that is less acidic.

Then, pour it over your head and make sure your hair is soaked from root to tip. Massage and leave it there for 15 to 20 minutes.

Afterward, wash your hair as you usually would then condition. You might have to repeat that part a few times if you want to remove the smell.

Wrapping It Up

There are plenty of options to fix a bad hair color job.

Using a clarifying shampoo is the easiest way to go. As long as you support your hair with plenty of moisture afterward, you should be fine.