Can you dye red hair blue without bleaching it?

semipermanent hair color

Did your color your hair with permanent or semi-permanent dye?


  • If you dyed your hair with semi-permanent dye, you can color your hair blue without bleaching it. I’ll tell you in a moment how to do it step-by-step.
  • Now, if your dyed your hair with permanent dye, then you’re going to have to bleach your hair. If that’s your situation, then I recommend checking out this article for more information.


You’re still here so that means that you dyed your hair red with semi-permanent dye.

So, then, you have two options: wait until the red completely fades from your hair or speed up the process of eliminating the red dye from your hair.


  • The first option is for more patient people since semi-permanent dye fades with each wash. So, depending on which brand of color you’ve used and how often you wash your hair, it can last 10-20 washes.

But, once your red color has faded, your hair will have some remnants of red. They are easy to get rid of, though. And that color is key because it will actually be the base of your blue hair.

 If you choose a really light blue and you still have some red in your hair, then you’ll end up with a purple color that doesn’t look anything like the blue you were going for.  


  • But, if you’re not a patient person, and you want to have blue hair sooner, then you’ll need to remove the red. And that process can take a week.

Do you want to know how to do it?


If so, stick around, because I’ll tell you:

  • How to more quickly remove semi-permanent red dye
  • How to use blue dye on your hair once the red dye has faded


I have all the answers here today, no matter if you’re one of the more patient ones or if you’re one of the less patient ones. In either case, don’t move from your seat.

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How to remove semi-permanent red dye

remove color with clarifying shampoo

You don’t use a developer when you apply the semi-permanent dye, and it has insignificant amounts of ammonia. The pigment doesn’t penetrate inside of your hair fiber, instead, it deposits on the external part of your hair.

That’s why as you wash your hair, the dye fades. But your hair always absorbs some of the pigments, and oftentimes, regardless of how many times you’ve washed it, some remnants of the color will remain.


If you don’t want to wait for the dye to completely fade as you wash it, there are a few options for speeding up that process without needing to bleach your hair. Let’s start with the first option.


  • Clarifying shampoo to get rid of semi-permanent red dye.

can ruin the dye

Clarifying shampoo will get rid of all artificial colors in your hair, meaning that it will also get rid of any remnants of color left in your hair. You can even use it a few times on the same day until the color completely disappears.


But, it has a very unpleasant odor,  so I recommend not using until when you’re about to bathe. Wash your hair separately and leave it in your hair for 15-20 minutes. 

When you rinse the shampoo, you’ll see that your red color has completely disappeared.


  • Dandruff shampoo for eliminating semi-permanent red dye.

help to get rid of hair color

Dandruff shampoo quickly degrades color, because of the high number of sulfates that it contains. If you didn’t know, sulfates are corrosive chemicals that get rid of grease in your hair and on your scalp, but they also eliminate dyes quickly.


 If you opt for this method, you should wash your hair often, I mean like two times a day. 

But, keep in mind that your hair is going to end up very dry after using it, so before you go on to use the blue dye, I recommend doing a deep conditioning treatment first.


Either of these options will work to get rid of all of the red color left in your hair without needing to dye it, but it’s important to deeply hydrate your hair so it’s stronger when it comes time to use the blue dye.

And now, the moment we’ve all been waiting for: Time to dye your hair blue!


What shade of blue should you choose to dye your hair and how to do it

Once you’ve gotten rid of all of the red left in your hair, you can use the blue dye. At this point, the most important step is choosing the right color blue. Why?

  • If you choose a too-light color blue and you use it on your hair with any red left in it, the result will be a light purple, since blue plus red equals purple.
  • If you choose a too-dark blue, then the color might not be so noticeable and it will look black.


 That’s why to avoid these risks, I recommend opting for a medium or electric blue since that kind of middle color will look perfect in your hair.  And, it has another advantage: if there was any red left in your hair, it will completely cover it without turning purple.

Also, medium blue is a color that goes well with all skin types, from the palest ones to the darkest ones.


Once you’ve picked out the blue color you want, you can start to use it on your hair:

  • Wet your hair, because remember that you use semi-permanent dye on wet hair.
  • Use gloves and clothes that you won’t mind if they get stained.
  • Use the blue dye on your hair from your ends to your roots and leave in your hair for 30 minutes.
  • Once that time has gone by, rinse your hair until the water runs clear.


And now, how does your blue hair look? It’s time to enjoy your new color but remember that semi-permanent dye fades as you wash it, so it’s important to not over-wash it if possible.


You can also use a blue shampoo to make your color last longer since that will deposit blue pigments into your hair with each wash. All you have to do is replace your normal shampoo with a blue shampoo and use it each time you wash your hair.



Going from red to blue hair without bleaching is a process that can take some time. But it will always be worth it because you’re able to avoid making your hair undergo the aggressive chemical process of bleaching it.

But, you’ll only be able to do it if you used a semi-permanent dye before.


You can wait until the red fades as you wash it, or you can remove it by using a clarifying shampoo or a dandruff shampoo for a week.

And once you don’t have any red dye pigments left, be sure to choose a blue color that goes perfectly with your style and skin color.

What color blue will you choose for your hair?

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