Congratulations on your decision to remove hair color to go grey! We applaud you for making such a wise choice; you’ve just broken the endless cycle of dyeing your hair every 3-4 weeks. Now you need to decide which method to use to get rid of the existing color quickly, safely, and inexpensively.
You know what they say, “Slow and steady wins the race!” That’s especially true when it comes to removing existing hair color to go naturally grey.
Rather than submitting your hair to the harsh chemicals typically used to strip color, it’s better to think in terms of “fading” out the color. The last thing you want to do is damage your grey hair any more than it’s already been damaged from hair dyes.
When you began coloring your hair, you probably learned to avoid using certain shampoos, conditioners, and other styling products containing ingredients that cause hair dye to fade more quickly.
Well, guess what? These are the exact products you should be using now, to remove your hair color and go grey again. You probably even have some of this stuff in your home.
Common Household Products that Fade or Remove Color From Grey Hair
Baking soda is a critical ingredient that, when used alone or mixed with some of the other ingredients on our list, will slowly fade and remove hair dye from grey hair.
Baking soda is a natural bleach and powerful cleaning agent found in a myriad of household products, such as toothpaste, scouring pads, and detergents. There’s a good chance you might even have an open box of it absorbing odors in your refrigerator!
Lemon or Lime Juice
The freshly squeezed juice from a lemon or lime is extremely citric and acidic and will remove some types of permanent dye from your hair. This method is best for blonde hair since lemon juice tends to lighten it even more.
The method: Squeeze the juice of enough lemons to wet your hair thoroughly. Add to that liquid, one tablespoon of baking soda for every ½ cup of juice and mix thoroughly. Apply to hair and wrap in a shower cap or a plastic supermarket bag for at least 45 minutes, then shampoo and condition.
Plain White Vinegar
If you don’t mind smelling like a salad for about 20 minutes a day, a mixture of warm water and plain white vinegar will fade your hair color until you go grey again. Vinegar isn’t strong enough to strip the color completely, but it will help to gradually remove it while keeping your hair healthy and shiny.
Mix equal parts of both liquids in an old squirt bottle and douse your hair thoroughly with the solution. Squeeze out the excess and put your damp hair in a shower cap for up to half an hour. Afterward, rinse it out and shampoo as usual.
When you mix equal parts of baking soda with dandruff shampoo, you get a perfect pasty goo that helps get rid of hair color on grey hair. Apply it to your hair and let it sit for at least 30 minutes. Then rinse it out and wash with a normal shampoo.
While this process may not remove the color from grey hair as quickly as other methods, it’s something you can do every time you shower; even on days when you don’t have time to sit with a solution in your hair. So, in that sense, it’s more practical.
Nota bene: If you don’t have dandruff shampoo on hand, mix baking soda with dishwashing liquid and wash your hair, these ingredients can also help remove hair color to get back to your natural grey.
If you have a few extra pills of vitamin C lying around, crush them into a powder and mix them into shampoo or dishwashing liquid until you have a thick viscous mixture. Leave it in your hair for a maximum of 10 minutes and rinse it out.
The vitamin C removal method works best on semi-permanent colors that are less than three tones darker than your natural grey hair. Like the lemon juice mentioned above, vitamin C is also highly acidic and can sometimes irritate the skin, so make sure you don’t suffer a reaction before using this option.
Hot olive, coconut, or avocado oil can also help remove dark hair color from grey hair. Heat about ½ cup of oil (or more if needed) on the stove or microwave until it’s hot to the touch, but not so hot that it can burn your scalp.
Coat your hair thoroughly, wrap it in plastic wrap, and then cover it with a towel to catch any drips. Leave it in for about 30 minutes, and repeat every 2-3 days until the color is removed to your satisfaction.
If you use any of these hair color removal methods, you should deep condition your hair after each application.
The good news is since you’ve saved a lot of money using inexpensive household products to remove the hair color from your grey hair, you’ve got a few extra bucks to spend on high-quality deep conditioners like Lariolla’s Keratin Hair Mask that moisturize and hydrate it so it stays looking refreshed and healthy.