Dandruff shampoo like Selsun Blue is usually on the list of things you can use to lighten hair color. In this article, we explain everything you need to know about using Selsun Blue to lighten hair color.
Selsun Blue shampoo contains sulfates and dandruff-control chemicals that can remove hair dye. In fact, one of the stated possible side effects of Selsun Blue is the discoloration of hair dyes. You can use Selsun Blue 1-2 times a week to gradually lift hair dye from your strands.
What Is Selsun Blue?
Selsun Blue is an OTC medication used to treat dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis. The active ingredient in most Selsun Blue products is 1% selenium sulfide.
“Selsun” is a merged word derived from Selenium + Sulfide.
Selenium sulfide is an anti-infective that helps with scalp irritation, itching, flaking, and redness.
It treats scalp infections by preventing the growth of yeast.
Additionally, selenium sulfide slows the production of dead skin cells that causes scaling, flaking, and itching.
The antifungal action of Selsun Blue also works to treat a skin discoloration condition known as tinea versicolor.
Selenium sulfide is a common ingredient in anti-dandruff shampoo.
Therefore, Selsun Blue shampoo works similarly to another popular anti-dandruff shampoo — Heads & Shoulders.
However, Heads & Shoulders contains zinc pyrithione as the active ingredient.
Although both ingredients are known to complement each other, selenium sulfide appears to be a stronger and more effective ingredient than zinc pyrithione in the treatment of dandruff.
Is Selsun Blue Good for Colored Hair?
Selsun Blue does not mix well with hair dyes. That’s why it’s recommended to avoid using Selsun Blue within two days of tinting or coloring hair.
If your hair contains Selsun Blue residue before or soon after coloring, this can interfere with the final results.
Also, Selsun Blue contains harsh sulfates and chemicals that can further damage chemically processed hair.
While it may be gentler on virgin hair, colored hair is weaker, and using dandruff shampoo like Selsun Blue can cause drying and brittleness.
If you have colored stresses and have dandruff or scalp infection, you can still use Selsun Blue.
The trick is not to use it excessively and ensure the Selsun Blue is rinsed thoroughly from the hair after each use.
It’s often necessary to use Selsun Blue shampoo on colored hair because hair dye chemicals strip away the natural oils from your scalp.
With this protective layer gone, your scalp becomes more susceptible to dandruff, irritation, and infections.
So Selsun Blue can help you kill two birds with one stone if you want to remove hair dye and treat dandruff.
Also Read: Does Witch Hazel Remove Hair Dye?
Does Selsun Blue Remove Hair Dye?
Selsun Blue contains ingredients that help remove hair dye. The main ingredients in Selsun Blue that help remove hair dye include:
- Ammonium lauryl sulfate. This is a strong detergent that helps leach hair dye from your locks.
- Ammonium laureth sulfate. This is another harsh surfactant with enough detergent power to remove dye molecules from your hair.
- Citric acid. Citric acid is the active ingredient in lemons and other citrus fruits that naturally lightens hair color.
- Titanium dioxide. Titanium dioxide is a whitening agent that’s sometimes added to hair bleaching products. It can help remove color molecules to a smaller extent.
- Sodium chloride. Sodium chloride is table salt. Combined with ammonium lauryl sulfate and ammonium, sodium chloride removes hair dye with each usage.
These ingredients work together to fade hair, but Selsun Blue will still not remove hair the way bleach does.
It’s more effective at fading semi-permanent hair dye than permanent hair dye.
Does Selsun Blue Cause Hair Discoloration?
As mentioned, one of the side effects of Selsun Blue is hair discoloration. This makes using Selsun Blue to remove hair dye hit or miss, as you might not get the desired results.
For instance, the active ingredient in Selsun Blue, selenium sulfide, has been known to cause yellow, orange-brown, red-brown, or green hair discoloration.
The type of color discoloration depends on the starting color and is likely caused by the orange-brown selenium sulfide particles depositing in your hair.
The discoloration is more noticeable with continued use and inadequate rinsing.
In addition, discoloration is more likely to happen with colored hair because it becomes more porous after chemical processing.
When the cuticle layer is damaged, it’s easier for selenium sulfide deposition to occur in the inner layer of the hair shaft.
The good news is you can avoid discoloration by thoroughly rinsing Selsun Blue from your hair after each application.
How To Use Selsun Blue To Remove Hair Dye
Follow these steps to start fading hair dye with Selsun Blue.
- Shake the product well before use to ensure even mixing.
- Wet your hair and massage a liberal amount of shampoo into your hair.
- Leave the shampoo in your hair for up to 10 minutes before rinsing thoroughly.
- Selsun Blue contains sulfur which is often associated with the smell of rotten eggs. Although it contains fragrances, you can still add an essential oil of your choice to make the smell better.
- Selsun shampoo doesn’t fade hair color in a single application. You should use it once or twice a week to slowly lighten hair color.
- Use Selsun Blue shampoo that contains moisturizers and other hair nutrients to keep your hair healthy.
Warnings For Using Selsun Blue To Remove Hair Dye
- Selsun Blue discolors jewelry so remove all jewelry before using this shampoo.
- Selsun Blue can cause irritation. Avoid contact with eyes, nose, mouth, and any sensitive areas of the skin.
- Always wash your hands after using selenium sulfide shampoo to prevent irritation.
- The side effects of Selsun Blue include oiliness/dryness of hair and scalp, skin and scalp irritation, and hair loss. These side effects usually disappear with time, but it’s probably best to stop using the shampoo if they persist.
- Before using selenium sulfide shampoo, do a patch test to check if you’re allergic to the product. Allergy or sensitivity to the product can manifest as hives or a rash.
- Although leaving the shampoo in your hair helps remove more dye molecules, avoid leaving the shampoo in contact with your scalp longer than recommended, as this can cause a burning sensation and skin blistering.
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