How to bleach the red out of colored hair

Written by andrea griffith
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How to bleach the red out of colored hair
Remove dark hair dyes from your hair using a hair stripper. (charm redhead's woman with st.patrick theme image by Roman Barelko from

Dyeing your own hair is typically very easy and will save you a lot of money. But if you mess up you will have to either spend more money on a professional to fix it, or attempt to fix it yourself. If you've dyed your hair a dark colour---like red---you cannot simply dye over it, as that can harm your hair further. Instead you'll have to use a special kind of bleach, called a hair stripper, to remove the red. Hair stripper can be found at any beauty supply store or drugstore.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Protective gloves and clothing
  • Hair dye stripper
  • Hair dye kit

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  1. 1

    Put on a pair of latex gloves and protective clothing---like a beautician's cape, old bath towel or old clothing. The harsh chemicals from the hair stripper can burn your skin and bleach your clothing. If you have sensitive eyes, it may also be a good idea to wear eye protection.

  2. 2

    Read the instructions that came with your hair stripper kit thoroughly.

  3. 3

    Pour the bottle of activator liquid into the bottle of hair stripper powder. Screw the nozzle onto the powder bottle, place your finger over the nozzle, and shake the bottle to mix the chemicals and dissolve the powder.

  4. 4

    Squirt the hair stripper onto your head like you're dyeing your hair. Rub the hair stripper into your hair, working down your hair. You will want your entire head to become saturated with the hair stripper.

  5. 5

    Massage the hair stripper into your scalp to ensure that your roots are properly stripped, as well as the rest of your hair.

  6. 6

    Leave the stripper on your hair for as long as the instructions recommend. Although all hair strippers are different, typically you'll have the hair stripper on for 15 to 20 minutes.

  7. 7

    Wash the hair stripper out of your hair thoroughly. You will notice that the red---and all other colour---has been removed from your hair.

  8. 8

    Dye your hair as usual. Because the hair stripper will turn your hair a golden-orange colour, your hair will need to be dyed again.

Tips and warnings

  • If the red in your hair is more of a brassy or orange-red highlight, you can simply dye your hair with a toner in a shade slightly darker than your hair colour. The toner will remove the brassy colour from your hair without your needing to strip out the colour.
  • A slight tingle is normal for hair stripper, but if it starts to burn rinse the stripper out and see a professional stylist immediately.

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