Will Bleach Remove Permanent Hair Dye? Yes, but you should do this before bleaching

thin hair and split ends

  • Bleach removes permanent hair dye. However, you should evaluate your hair health first to check if it’ll withstand the chemical process. I’ll tell you how to do this below.
  • If you find that your hair won’t resist bleaching, you can use a color remover to fade light hair color.
  • Instead, to remove a dark color, you can use a clarifying shampoo.
  • Both methods are less aggressive than bleaching though they may require several applications to remove the dye.


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Bleaching is the most effective method for removing permanent hair dye. But it also removes moisture from your hair.

That’s why   you’ll notice that your hair is drier and more brittle after bleaching.  


You need to assess your hair health before bleaching your hair.

Bleaching could cause irreversible damage to your hair.


Do you understand the meaning of the word “irreversible”?

According to the dictionary, something irreversible can’t return to its previous state or condition.


  It means that once you bleach your hair, it’ll never be the same again.  

Its color or health won’t be the same as before bleaching.


If you’re thinking about removing a permanent hair color with bleaching, let me tell you what will happen to your hair first.


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Why does bleach remove permanent hair dye?

hairdresser covering highlights with dye

You need two elements to bleach your hair:

  • Bleach powder or ammonia.
  • A 30-vol developer or hydrogen peroxide.

How do these chemicals work?


The 30-volume developer opens up the cuticles, which are little scales that line your hair, for the bleach to penetrate to the core and push out all the pigmentation.

When I say   all the pigmentation, I mean both natural and artificial ones, which in this case would be the permanent dye.  


This chemical reaction needs heat and an exposure time to work. It’ll always take twenty minutes.

Of course, bleach removes the pigments of the permanent dye, but it also dehydrates your hair by opening the cuticles.

This results in porous hair.


What are the typical characteristics of porous hair?

  • Frizz
  • Dryness
  • Breakage at the ends.


If you want to avoid irreversible damage to your hair, you should assess your hair health before bleaching it to remove the permanent dye.

Here’s how to do it.


How to assess your hair health before bleaching it to remove permanent hair dye

hand showing hair

The first thing you should do is wash your hair and let it air dry, i.e. without using a blow-dryer.

Once your hair is dry, take a close look at it.


If you answered yes to even one of these questions, I have some bad news for you.

  Your hair has significant damage. Therefore, you won’t be able to remove the hair dye with bleach.  


The first thing you have to do is to repair your hair. Then, think about removing the permanent dye.

To repair your hair, you can use moisturizing masks every two weeks, or natural oils every two days.


In other words,   you should repair your hair for two weeks before bleaching.  

After two weeks, you should repeat the hair assessment before bleaching your hair.


How to bleach your hair to remove permanent hair dye?

My first tip is to gather all the items you’ll need to remove the permanent dye.

My second tip is to find the right time to do it.


You need to allow time for the process and a lot of attention.

Forget about social media and your favorite show on Netflix while bleaching.


I recommend that you don’t   wash your hair for forty-eight hours before bleaching  , so it’s more protected by the natural oil of your scalp.


  • Bleach powder
  • A 30-volume developer
  • Plastic container
  • Dye brush



  • Comb and divide your hair into four sections, from forehead to nape and from ear to ear, holding each section with hair clips.
  • In a plastic container, place the bleach powder and the 30-volume developer. Mix to blend. You can add a few drops of natural coconut oil so that your hair doesn’t suffer so much damage.
  • With gloves on, apply the bleach from roots to ends. Repeat on each section. When all your hair is covered, put on a shower cap or nylon bag to maintain the temperature of the reaction.   Leave the bleach on for twenty minutes at the most.  
  • Check your color periodically to see how the process is progressing.
  • Rinse your hair with plenty of cold water to cool down the heat reaction. You can use your regular shampoo to remove all traces of the bleach.
  • Blow-dry your hair at medium heat.


If the bleach removed all the permanent dye, you can apply a new color or simply let your hair rest from the chemical process.


Other options for removing permanent hair color

bleaching the same day

While bleaching is the most effective and quickest way to remove permanent hair dye, other simple options don’t cause excessive hair damage.

  • If the dye you applied is light, you can use a color remover.
  • If the dye you applied is very dark, you can use a clarifying shampoo to remove it.


Removing permanent hair dye with a color remover

Color removers work at the molecular level by encapsulating the pigment particles and removing the dye.

Although it’s less damaging than bleaching, it’s not recommended for damaged hair.

In that case, you should also repair your hair before removing your color.


You can find several brands of color removers on the market, but one of the most popular ones is COLOR OOPS.

Here’s how to use it.

  • Place the contents of container number 1 into container 2 and mix to blend.
  • Distribute the mixture from roots to ends. Massage each strand so that the mixture penetrates your hair.
  • Cover your hair with a shower cap and leave the remover on for thirty minutes.
  • Wash your hair with hot water until you are sure you have removed all the product.
  • Blow-dry your hair.


Is there any hair dye left?

You can use the color remover again after three days.


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Removing permanent hair dye with clarifying shampoo

clarifying shampoo to wash hair

The   clarifying shampoo removes all the artificial pigmentation from the hair to reach the base tone.   In other words, it’ll remove the permanent dye, and your hair will return to the color it had before coloring.

This type of shampoo doesn’t contain peroxide or ammonia, and you can apply it up to three times in a row on the same day.


The application is simple:

  • Wet your hair and apply the clarifying shampoo.
  • Massage your hair to help the product penetrate, and   leave it on for 10 to 20 minutes.  
  • Rinse without using conditioner, and blow-dry your hair.
  • If the permanent dye isn’t completely gone, you can repeat the process two more times on the same day.


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Bleaching is the fastest and most effective way to remove permanent hair dye. But your hair must be healthy to withstand the process.

If your hair is damaged, you can use a color remover or clarifying shampoo to remove permanent hair color.

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