Skip to Content
HomeHair Color

How To Remove Red Hair Dye Effectively Without Bleach

Are you regretting your red dye job but terrified of damaging your hair? Red dye can be one of the most stubborn to remove from hair.

Typically removing red hair color requires harsh bleach and other chemicals that damage locks. But for those wanting to preserve their hair’s health, is there another way?

Fortunately, the answer is yes. You can get rid of red without using bleach. Though it takes more effort and patience, using DIY methods can keep your hair health intact.  

How to Get Rid of Red Hair Dye Without Bleach?

Red hair dye fades easily from the hair but it is difficult to remove red hair dye completely without bleach. However, the following methods can remove red hair dye without using harmful bleach on your hair.

1. Baking Soda and Lemon Juice Paste

Baking soda and lemon for removing red hair dye

One of the most common ways to remove or lighten red hair dye naturally is by using baking soda and lemon juice.

Combining the ingredients into a paste forms a chemical reaction that safely and gently strips buildup from hair, including dye.

  1. Mix two tablespoons of baking soda with equal parts lemon juice to make a paste.
  2. Use warm water to wet your entire head of hair.
  3. Apply the mixture to your hair.
  4. Lather the mixture and leave for 3-5 minutes.
  5. Rinse the mixture out of your hair.

This blend can leave your hair unprotected and susceptible to damage, so it’s important to use a hydrating hair mask or conditioner afterward.

2. Dish soap

The second method is using dish soap. Dawn dish soap is one of the best options to get red dye out of your hair without irritating the skin.

  1. Combine dish soap and shampoo in an equal ratio.
  2. Wet your hair using warm water.
  3. Apply the mixture to your hair.
  4. Leave the mixture for 10-15 minutes.
  5. Rinse your hair under warm water.

It’s also possible to wash your hair with just dish soap, but it can dry out the strands. Be careful to heavily condition your hair after these treatments.

3. Vinegar

Although vinegar can make hair smell, it is one of the most effective methods to remove red hair dye without bleach. The acid in the vinegar can help eliminate the dye in your hair without using expensive or damaging products.

  1. Combine vinegar and water in equal parts.
  2. Pour this mixture onto your hair.
  3. Let the mixture sit for 10-20 minutes.
  4. Shampoo your hair
  5. Rinse the mixture out.

Note that you can use white or apple cider vinegar for this method. But you should not use it more than twice a week as it can dry out hair. Also, follow up with a conditioner.

4. Green Shampoo or Toner

Green Shampoo for removing red hair dye

Maybe you like the red in your hair but wish it weren’t so bright. If you want to fix the red shade in your hair, a toner can help you get the shade you desire. For hair that’s too vibrant, use a subtle toner.

Did you dye your hair a different color only to end up with red tones? Using a green shampoo can neutralize those red notes without having to use a professional toner.

It all comes back to the color wheel and choosing opposite colors to offset each other. You know that blue and purple shampoo can neutralize brassy tones, so, naturally, green shampoo can remove red tones from your hair.

Use a green shampoo and moisturizing conditioner to remove any unwanted excess red hair dye.

We recommend using Matrix Total Results Dark Envy Color-Depositing Green Shampoo, Bondi Boost Brunette Booster Shampoo, or Joico Color Infuse Red to help reduce orange and red undertones in your hair.

5. Commercial Color-Removing Product

Commercial color-removing products can gently remove unwanted hair dye without using household products. If you want to take the red color out of your hair, one effective way is to use a color-removing product to strip your hair before changing its color.

Keep a few things in mind when it comes to getting rid of unwanted color or a bad dye job:

  • Make sure you look for an ammonia-free color-removing product.
  • Avoid harsh ingredients in the product to prevent added damage, frizziness, and dryness (ex: ammonium lauryl sulfate, parabens, polyethylene glycols, triclosan, etc.).
  • Look at the “gentleness” of the product — Read the ingredients list to see how to properly apply the serum and the number of all-natural ingredients used in the product.
  • Look for conditioning ingredients — Along with avoiding harsh ingredients or toxic chemicals, prioritize products that add conditioning treatments to avoid overdrying your hair.

Find a leave-in conditioner to apply after using a color-removing product. It’s also a good idea to try a hydrating hair mask a few days after you use these products. 

6. Dye Your Hair Again

Neutralize red hair with dye

If you can’t beat it, join it! You might not be keen to dye your hair again, but it’s preferable to bleaching your hair. Plus, you have several color options available to neutralize that red color.

For a follow-up dye job that neutralizes reds, look at the type of red you used. True reds need green dyes to balance the fiery hues.

Brassy reds, like those with orange undertones, can go darker with an ashy-brunette color or lighter with an ashy-blonde dye.

Blue dyes can also help with orange-reds, but you have to be careful. Depending on the blue, you could have a whole different problem. You can also consider purple and black hair dye over red.

7. See a Professional Hairstylist

It’s always a good idea to head to the salon to have a professional look at your hair and choose the right dyes. They can match your color and undertones with the right dyes to avoid making matters worse.

Plus, a professional hairstylist has the tools and products to protect and repair your hair.

So, If you want to avoid using bleach to remove red hair dye, choose from one of these DIY options. You might need several applications to get rid of red from your hair but it’s worth it.


Red hair dye fades quickly but it is difficult to remove from hair. If you choose to remove red dye naturally you might need some patience.

You can remove red hair dye by using baking soda, dish soap, lemon juice, vitamin C, green shampoo, vinegar, and other home products instead of bleach.

Home remedies often rely on natural ingredients that might have some side effects but not as severe as bleach.

Then, provide your hair with the essential conditioners and moisturizers to keep your newly toned locks looking healthy and strong.


Let’s check out some of the most commonly asked questions that people have about getting rid of red hair dye without using bleach.

How many washes does temporary red hair dye last?

Temporary red hair spray should only last 2-3 washes. Semi-permanent temporary red hair dye can last a little bit longer, usually between 5-8 washes.

If you use a specific shampoo or conditioner, like one with red toner, the red color can last longer.

How long does permanent red hair dye last?

Permanent hair dye usually lasts between 6-8 weeks. It also depends on your hair washing frequency, the shampoo you use, and the porosity level of hair.

Your red hair dye will either fade over time or grow out, exposing the natural color of your roots.

Will baking soda remove permanent red hair dye?

Baking soda is a foolproof and effective way to remove permanent red hair dye due to its chemical properties.

Since baking soda has a lightening agent, it can be used as a stand-alone product, or with lemon juice, to lift unwanted color in your hair.

Trending Topic: