How to Fade Semi-Permanent Hair Dye

Updated February 16, 2017

Semi-permanent dye is a temporary tint used to add a sheer veil of colour to hair. In comparison to permanent colour or bleaching, the dye is a gentler treatment because it does not contain peroxide. Semi-permanent dye does not penetrate the hair cuticle like permanent hair colour, so it will fade within 5 to 6 weeks. To fade this dye faster, you need a step-by-step solution to lift the hair colour without damaging your hair.

Wash hair in warm water 24 to 48 hours after your dye job. Squirt a large drop of clarifying shampoo into your hand and shampoo your hair vigorously with warm water. Rinse thoroughly.

Treat your hair with hot virgin olive oil. Using a microwave-safe plastic bowl, heat 1/2 cup of oil in the microwave for a maximum of 15 seconds. Starting at the roots, apply the oil to your entire head. Using a wide toothed-comb, thoroughly distribute the oil over your hair. Cover your head with a plastic shower cap for 15 minutes. Sit under a hair dryer using medium heat for 20 minutes. The combination of the heat and the oil help to lift out the semi-permanent hair dye. Wash with clarifying shampoo and warm water.

Lighten your locks with household products. Mix 1 tbsp of peroxide and 1 tsp of baking soda into a paste. According to L'Oreal's website, apply this paste to your hair to lift the colour, then rinse with warm water. Finish by shampooing hair with clarifying shampoo. Rinse with warm water.

Rinse your hair in the juice of one large lemon. The citric acid contained in the lemon will lighten your hair naturally. Squeeze the lemon juice into a small bowl. Dilute the juice with a 1/2 cup of lukewarm water. Using a small spray bottle, spray the diluted juice on your hair. Distribute the juice evenly using a wide-tooth comb, then cover your head with a plastic shower cap. Allow the lemon to remain in your hair for 10 minutes, then rinse thoroughly with cold water. Shampoo hair with clarifying shampoo. Rinse with warm water.

After each step, return moisture to your tresses with a clarifying conditioner.


Do not combine these steps; use each remedy independently. Avoid using these remedies more than once a day in order to prevent permanent damage. If you cannot lift the hair colour after applying these remedies repeatedly, visit a professional. Warm the oil until it is comfortable to the touch; but not too hot.

Things You'll Need

  • Clarifying shampoo
  • Warm water
  • Virgin olive oil
  • Microwave-safe plastic bowl
  • Hooded hair dryer
  • Wide toothed-comb
  • 20-volume peroxide
  • Baking soda
  • One large lemon
  • Small bowl
  • Spray bottle
  • Clarifying conditioner
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About the Author

Mimi Abney is a lifestyle writer specializing in online content for women. Her work has appeared in and "Keepsake Magazine," among other publications. With over 15 years of writing and editing experience for the web and print, Abney is also a contributor to online health, beauty and fashion publications. She holds a Bachelor of Science in biology from Spelman College.