How to Fade Hair Color Fast

Updated November 21, 2016

Hair colour can turn a mousy brown into a sassy red. Not only does it snazz up your appearance, but it can give a boost to your self-confidence. However, sometimes dreams of a new look can turn into a hair colour disappointment. The colour turns out too dark or just the wrong tint for your skin tone. When this happens, you need to know how to fade hair colour fast without sacrificing hair health.

Mix a generous amount of shampoo with baking soda and peroxide. The baking soda and the peroxide will react together to break down the hair dye.

Wet hair. Saturate thoroughly, so the shampoo will lather.

Shampoo hair thoroughly. If the hair colour is splotchy or only covers part of your hair, focus your shampooing efforts only on those sections.

Rinse thoroughly. Residual shampoo may continue the fading process beyond the desired results and irritate the scalp.

Apply conditioner according to instructions and rinse out.


Check the colour when the hair is completely dry before making a decision. Wet hair appears darker than dry. Permanent hair colour sets in 48 to 72 hours. Your best chance of fading hair colour fast is to treat it during this time frame. Hot water helps fade chemical hair colour. An alternate means of home hair colour fading is to apply a hot oil treatment, which can be purchased commercially, or use hot extra-virgin olive oil. Hair care professionals have access to chemical treatments and the training to properly apply them to fade bad colour. They also have the expertise to add highlights, lowlights and other colours to transform a bad hair experience into an attractive look. Check the hair colour product box and instructions for additional tips and helpline information. Colour products among manufacturers vary. The manufacturer is the best source for fast fade recommendations.


Avoid over-treating your hair. It can damage the health of your hair and mix chemically with the hair dye, creating undesired colour effects. Avoid using several different processes on your hair in a short period. The combination of treatments may interact and damage the hair causing it to change texture, colour or break off. Avoid using bleach, lemon juice or vinegar on freshly coloured hair.

Things You'll Need

  • Volumizing shampoo that is not intended for colour-treated hair
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp 20 volume peroxide
  • Low pH conditioner
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