Home Remedies for a Bad Hair Dye Job

Updated July 20, 2017

Few grooming mishaps are as disappointing as getting yourself a makeover with a new hair colour only to find that you, or the person who did your hair, gave you a bad hair dye job. First thing to do is not to panic. You can fix your hair with a few home remedies.

The Basics

Hair dye takes 24 to 48 hours to fully set in. This is why it is recommended that you not wash your hair for two to three days following a colouring. Fixing a bad dye job will take a few attempts to get the result you want. If you used a semi-permanent colour you can get most of it out with a few sessions of washing and drying your hair. If you used a permanent hair dye you won't be able to get all of the colour out, as the chemicals in the hair dye are designed to bind and penetrate into the cuticle of your hair. You will be able to either lighten it if you have gone too dark or remove most of the colour to redye it if you have gone too light.


Immediately wash your hair with hot water and some type of shampoo. Prell, clarifying, dandruff or even baby shampoo is acidic enough to remove some of the dye. If you have none of these handy you can also use dishwashing liquid or washing powder. Another alternative is a mixture of two tablespoons shampoo and two tablespoons of baking soda. Let the soap stay in your hair for no more than 30 minutes. Wash your hair thoroughly a few times. Check between each wash to see if you have got it to the desired colour. Your hair will feel rough and dried out.

Hot Oil Treatment

Hot oil treatments are another way you can strip the colour out of a bad hair dye job. This can be done along with the shampooing or on its own. You can use a store-bought treatment or make your own out of extra virgin olive oil. Heat the store-bought treatment as directed on the package. When using extra virgin olive oil, heat one cup of oil in the microwave, but not too hot, then apply directly to your hair. If you have extra long or thick hair, use two cups. Wrap your hair in cling film or a plastic bag. Leave the oil in your hair for about one hour, or you can leave it in overnight. Wash out the oil with warm water. You should see some of the colour has faded.

Seek Professional Help

If all your efforts have failed it is time to seek professional help. If you used a home kit to dye your hair, all of the companies have a hotline staffed with expert colour consultants. Their hotline information should be on the box, or you can look it up online. Have the hair colour box ready and a pen and paper. They will be able to give you advice based on the product used and what steps you have taken to correct it. They also can give advice on what colour you can use to achieve the correct colour if you want to dye it again.

If you had your hair dyed at a salon, they have the moral if not legal responsibility to fix a bad hair dye job if they made a mistake. If you picked the colour and are just not happy with the results, they may charge you to fix it.

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About the Author

Christina Floyd has been a full-time writer since 2009. She has had articles published in "The Bavarian News" and "The Schweinfurt Dispatch." Floyd's expertise includes the medical field, creative writing and the military lifestyle. She has been a student in alternative and herbal therapies since 2010.