How to remove permanent hair dye from grey hair?

without ruining the hair

Do you want to remove permanent dye from graying hair?


Before trying anything crazy, let me be super clear.

  • If your hair is healthy, then you can try a full dye removal. But, I repeat, if and only if your hair is very healthy. I’ll tell you why in a few minutes.
  • If your hair is damaged, dry, or prone to breaking, you can try one of the less aggressive options like a dandruff shampoo or a clarifying shampoo.
  • Dandruff shampoo will eliminate lighter dyes, while clarifying shampoo will work best on darker dyes.

What are the main differences between these possible ways of removing the dye?


 A full dye removal is an aggressive way to eliminate the dye in your gray hair because it’s actually a form of bleaching your hair.  

That’s why your hair needs to be strong enough to hold up to the effects of the dye-eliminating chemicals.


I remember one of my client’s cases where she came to the salon with a one-track mind fixed on an idea: do a full dye removal to get the dye out of her gray hairs.

She made it seem like a life or death question for her, and, really, it was because we were talking about the life or death of her hair.

Do you know why?


Because when I took a few locks of her hair between my fingers, I immediately realized that her hair had been abused badly just by feeling it.

By dyeing it over and over without taking the time to do some hydration treatment, she had eliminated all the moisture in her hair. And, what’s more, you could see how weak her hair was because of her split ends and how her hair stretched like gum.


It took me a very, very long time to explain to her that it was impossible to do a full dye removal on her hair in this condition because we’d run the risk of her hair literally falling to pieces.

 Yes, a full dye removal would indeed eliminate the dye from her gray hairs, but we’d also eliminate any possibility of her hair going back to feeling soft and strong. 

So, that’s why I proposed a deal with her. I asked her to give her hair one last chance.


She had to accept the challenge to be more patient and accept using a softer and slower method to get rid of the dye.

What would she gain?


  • Firstly, she wouldn’t further damage her hair.
  • And secondly, she’d get rid of the dye.

Yes, it would take a little longer, but the results were safe and weren’t going to cause collateral damage.


After a month, she returned to see me very thankful because she could get what she wanted without damaging her hair.

What to know which method she used?


In her case, since her hair was dyed light brown, she used dandruff shampoo.

If that’s not your case, stick around because I’m still going to tell you:

  • How to use dandruff shampoo or clarifying shampoo to eliminate permanent dye from your gray hairs.
  • When it can be a good idea to do a full dye removal to eliminate dye from graying hair.


There is a safe way to eliminate dye from your gray hair, and that’s a decision that you’re going to need to make today.


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The best shampoos for removing dye from gray hair

In the beginning, I mentioned two kinds of shampoos that can help you eliminate the dye:

  • Dandruff shampoo
  • And clarifying shampoo


You can wait until the dye washes itself out, using dandruff shampoo on your hair every day, which will help speed the removal process. You can also use a clarifying shampoo, which will eliminate all added pigment in your hair.

Do you know why these shampoos work on the dye?


 Although it may not seem true, getting dye out of gray hair is a lot easier than getting it out of hair without gray hair because gray hair doesn’t have melanin, which means that it doesn’t absorb the pigment in the dye. 

That’s why it’s easier to get the dye out.


But, it’s better to work on the dye in phases and avoid bleaching your hair or doing a full dye removal all at once since that can ruin your hair for months.

So, be patient and don’t make any rash decisions. That’s why dandruff shampoo is ideal for people who can be patient and dye their gray hair with lighter colors.


Dandruff shampoo for getting rid of dye in gray hair dyed with light colors

help to get rid of hair color

Dandruff shampoo is great for getting rid of light dyes quickly and without further damaging your hair because it contains sulfates.

Yes, I know that almost all shampoos on the market contain them, but dandruff shampoo contains a higher percentage.

How should you use it?


  • It’s easy. Buy a dandruff shampoo in your average pharmacy. You can choose whichever one you like, but try to go for nutritive or hydrating.
  • Once you have it, just replace your regular shampoo with the dandruff shampoo and wash your hair every day.
  • Within a few days, you’ll see how the dye disappears.


Now, what happens if you want to get a dark-colored dye out of your gray hair?

That’s where clarifying shampoo comes into play. I’ll explain why.


Clarifying shampoo for eliminating dark dyes in gray hair

washing removes color

Clarifying shampoo gets rid of all artificially-added color from your hair, leaving it your base color. But, it has a few important differences in comparison to dandruff shampoo.


  • First, you shouldn’t use it every day.
  • You should apply it to your hair all in one day, and you will have to, depending on the dye color, do a few washes right in a row to get rid of the dye completely.
  • Also, it has a strong, gross smell – something like rotten eggs.
  • So, I’d recommend that you use it in a well-ventilated space because of the smell.


Whichever shampoo option you go for, it’s always necessary to do some intensive hydration treatment. You can use the hydrating mask of your choice two times a week to get your hair’s moisture back.


And if you don’t want to wait longer to get the dye out of your gray hair?

There’s always an option for the most desperate or impatient people but remember that your hair needs to be in excellent condition.

Is yours?


If so, then you can try the full dye removal.


Full dye removal to get dye out of completely healthy hair

powder bleach and developer

The last and most aggressive option is to do a full dye removal using a 20 volume developer. This isn’t anything but light bleaching of all of your hair. And like any time you bleach, it means a little bit of extra damage.

 I’d only recommend this option to women that have healthy hair. If your hair is dry, opaque, or breaks easily, don’t do this. 


Also, you should remember that gray hair is much weaker than normal hair. That’s why you should use a 20 volume developer instead of a 30 volume developer, which would be more common when bleaching.


The good part about a full dye removal? It’s an instant solution.

The bad part? That it will dry out your hair a lot, so you’ll need to use hydrating masks or baths for at least 2 months afterward.


Do you want to know how to do a full dye removal?

I’ll tell you how, but please remember that this option is only for super healthy hair.



  • 1 packet of bleach powder
  • 1 jar of 20 volume developer
  • Dye brush


Step by step:

  • Brush your hair out well, ensuring that no knots remain.
  • Mix the bleach powder and the developer in a plastic container with gloves on.
  • Apply the mix to your hair using a dye brush, leaving 1.5 inches from your root to where you begin to apply.
  • Once you’ve finished applying the bleach to your ends, then start on the roots. This is because the roots bleach faster than the rest of your hair, so you will make sure your hair is evenly bleached by doing them last.
  • Let the mix sit in your hair for 25-35 minutes, checking on it every 5 minutes to see how your color reacts to the mix.
  • Once the allotted time has gone by, rinse your hair with cool water, and then use your usual shampoo and conditioner.


Don’t forget to moisturize your hair at least twice a week with reparative masks. You can choose keratin, nutritive, or hydrating mask; any of these options will work well on bleached hair.

You can even try with a leave-in cream bath, which will ensure that your hair gets the most out of the treatment.



  • If your gray hair is dyed a light color, use a dandruff shampoo to get rid of the dye.
  • If it is dyed a darker color, you can use a clarifying shampoo to eliminate the dye.
  • If your hair is very, very healthy, then you can try a full dye removal.


 Whichever of the options you end up going for, remember to moisturize your hair for at least two weeks after the treatment. 


Why option will you choose for getting rid of the dye in your gray hair?

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