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How to Remove Hair Dye With Developer?

Did you know you can actually use a hair developer, maybe the same one you used for dyeing, to remove your hair color?

Combining a volume developer with other products can remove both permanent or semi-permanent hair dye from hair.

We are not talking about mixing bleach with a developer, you can use a developer with safer alternatives like shampoo or baking soda to remove your hair dye. 

We will discuss how to remove hair dye with a developer, and shampoo or baking soda, but first of all, let’s take a look if it is possible to remove hair dye with a developer only.

Will Volume Developer Remove Hair Color? 

will hair developer remove hair color

No, applying volume developer by itself will not remove hair color. You will have to mix shampoo, baking soda, or bleach with the developer to remove hair dye.

Hydrogen peroxide has some bleaching properties so your hair will get slightly lightened with developer. However, the primary function of the developer is not to remove color but to open up the hair cuticle.

So, if you want to use a hair developer to remove your hair dye, you’ll have to mix bleach, shampoo, or baking soda with it. 

How to Remove Hair Dye with Developer And Shampoo

Using regular shampoo and developer is the easiest way to remove your hair dye. But you will need to if you used permanent or semi-permanent hair dye in your hair first.

You can remove both dye types with a hair developer and shampoo and the steps are also same for both types of hair dye.

The only difference is you have to mix a higher volume developer with shampoo to remove permanent hair dye than a semi-permanent dye. 

Here’s how you can remove hair dye with hair developer and shampoo:

1. Combine Developer and Shampoo

ways to remove hair dye with developer and shampoo

Choosing the right volume is the most important task for removing hair dye with developer and shampoo.

A 20-volume developer will effectively remove the semi-permanent dye. But if your hair color is permanent, get a 30-volume developer.

Combine shampoo and volume developer into a bowl or bottle in a 1:1 ratio and mix them well with an applicator brush or by shaking the bottle.

2. Prepare Your Hair and Apply the Mixture

developer and shampoo mixture

Once the mixture is ready, you’ll need to wet your hair. It doesn’t need to be soaking wet but thoroughly wet so that you can lather the mixture.

Apply the mixture to your hair and lather it in well. Make sure it fully saturates your hair, then let it sit for about 15 minutes. 

3. Rinse & Condition

When the 15 minutes are up, rinse your hair thoroughly with water. To make sure no mixture is left on your hair, apply shampoo (non-mixed normal shampoo) again and condition your hair properly afterward.

You may have to repeat the process if it hasn’t removed the color as much as you want. But wait at least 2 weeks to let your hair recover from the damage.

Do not re-use the leftover mixture as hydrogen peroxide and shampoo ingredients can chemically react and damage your hair.

Create a new mixture every time you need it and apply it on your hair within 30-60 minutes.  

How to Use Developer And Baking Soda to Remove Hair Dye? 

using developer and baking soda to remove hair dye

If you want a more effective color removal (more damaging also) with the developer, you can mix it with baking soda.

Since baking soda has lightening properties, mixing it with the peroxide can start to lighten or remove hair color.

If you prefer the baking soda and hair developer method, here are the steps you should follow to start removing hair dye. 

Combine baking soda with either 10 to 20-volume developer. Mix the baking soda and developer in a 1:1 ratio to remove hair dye.

Once you’ve mixed the baking soda and hair developer into a paste, apply it to your hair. You can apply it to your hair with hand gloves or a coloring brush, whichever works better for you.

Start at your ends and work your way to the roots of your hair until you’ve covered all the areas you want to remove hair dye from.

You can use a shower cap or plastic bag to wrap your hair. Adding heat from a hair dryer will help activate the baking soda and developer paste to help remove hair dye more quickly. You should do this for a few seconds before letting the mixture sit for 30 minutes.

Rinse out the baking soda and developer, and you should see a difference in your hair color.


Hair developer alone can not remove hair dye from hair but you can combine it with shampoo or baking soda to remove your hair dye. 

Depending on whether you have permanent or semi-permanent hair dye, you will have to mix 30-volume and 20-volume developers, respectively with shampoo or baking soda and apply the paste on your wet hair.

After letting it sit on your hair for the specified amount of time, you should be left with hair stripped of the previous color.

If it doesn’t remove the hair color completely, you might have to repeat the process 15-20 days later.


When it comes to removing hair dye from your hair, there’s a lot to learn, and it can feel overwhelming. If you still have questions, here’s what others are wondering about removing hair dye with a hair developer. 

Is using developer the same as bleach?

No, bleach and hair developer aren’t the same things. While they’re often used together, you can’t use them interchangeably. 

Can developers damage hair?

Yes, it can. When choosing a hair developer, you need to ensure you’re not choosing something too strong for your hair.

Selecting a developer that’s too strong can lift the cuticle of your hair too much and cause damage. 

Can I use peroxide instead of developer?

Yes, you can, but you have to choose the concentration carefully. For example, you can 6% peroxide instead of 20-volume and 9% peroxide instead of 30-volume developer.