One of the big beauty myths is that the brand Head and Shoulders removes hair dye, or at least strips hair color. This article will answer whether or not that’s true, as well as provide detail on alternative ways to remove hair dye that do work.
According to Head and Shoulders themselves, neither the shampoo nor the conditioner will remove hair dye. Head and Shoulders is typically formulated to help fight dandruff, but it’s formulated to protect your hair, not to strip it of its moisture.
Is Head and Shoulders Bad For Hair Dye?
Head and Shoulders is a brand that’s been specially formulated to fight dandruff.
The products are generally designed to soothe signs of dandruff including dryness, scalp irritation, and itchiness.
Their formulas are pH balanced, clinically proven, and dermatologically tested.
Whilst their haircare products are designed to help manage dandruff, that doesn’t mean that they will strip your hair of its hydration.
Head and Shoulders designs products to condition and moisturize your hair.
The logic behind the myth that Head and Shoulders removes hair dye is based on the idea that this anti-dandruff shampoo contains harsh chemicals that strip hair of its moisture.
The idea is that this ‘stripping’ action is what would cause color fade – but that’s just not true.
When you color your hair, you frequently have to use harsh chemicals that open the cuticle up.
This is so that the color molecules can penetrate your hair strand and change the color of your hair. However, the process does cause some damage when it does this.
As a result, your hair’s natural ‘waterproof layer’ (what can be called its ‘F-layer’) is impacted, and the water will penetrate your hair fiber, causing color fade.
The main substance that causes color fade is therefore water.
With repeated hair washing, the water will eventually cause the dye molecules to seep out of your hair.
It’s got nothing to do with using Head and Shoulders haircare products.
Does Head and Shoulders Remove Hair Dye?
No, Head and Shoulders does not remove hair dye. This is a myth that’s frequently bandied about on beauty blogs.
You may have heard a similar thing about shaving cream, but this is also not able to remove hair dye.
If you want to remove your hair dye, it’d be best to use an alternative solution – you can take a look at the various options we recommend below.
Does Head and Shoulders Have Any Effect On Hair Dye?
Healthy hair that is less porous and well hydrated is more likely to hold its color.
If your hair is moisturized from the inside-out, it’s likely to have a healthier ‘F-layer’ – its waterproof layer – and a smoothed, sealed cuticle.
This means that any water is less likely to cause color fade, as your hair strands have a better structure and integrity.
If you have dyed your hair recently and are looking to preserve the color for as long as possible, one of the best things that you can do is to invest in shampoo and conditioner that’s designed to support the health of your hair.
Head and Shoulders may therefore actually help to preserve hair color, rather than remove it.
Head and Shoulders is designed to prevent dandruff by looking after the health of your scalp.
A healthy scalp leads to healthy hair. So, by supporting the growth of healthy hair, Head and Shoulders might actually support well-hydrated hair.
In other words, using Head and Shoulders might help to maintain your hair color rather than remove it.
8 Alternatives To Remove Hair Dyes
1. Go to a salon
There’s a lot to be said for taking a little ‘me time’ from your day and heading to a salon.
Your stylist is a professional for a reason – they’re there to help manage the risk of irritation or sensitivity and will take into account your hair porosity and color history in the process.
They’ll then remove the hair dye in a way that won’t seriously damage your hair’s integrity, or might even be able to discuss how to re-color the hair in a way that suits your needs.
2. Sulfur-based hair strippers
According to Healthline, these will work to remove hair dye.
They open your hair’s cuticle and break down any molecules of color, which will then cause it to fade.
Just remember that the stripping process can cause some damage, and it’d be best to follow up with a conditioning treatment.
3. Vitamin C tablets
Vitamin C is an antioxidant, but it’s also oxidizing – which means that it can help to remove hair dye.
You’ll want to use powdered vitamin C – remember you can always grind any tablets up.
Mix this with hot water and form a paste. You’ll need to saturate your hair with the mix, and pop a shower cap on.
Leave it for an hour, then rinse out using warm to hot water, taking care that all of the paste has been removed.
The shampoo and condition as normal.
4. White vinegar
Add white vinegar to water in a one-to-one ratio. You can use other vinegars too, but they may be less acidic and therefore less effective at removing hair dye.
Saturate your hair with the concoction and leave it on for around half an hour with a plastic shower cap. Then rinse it out, and be sure to follow up with conditioner.
5. Clarifying shampoo
Using clarifying shampoo on your hair will remove color – particularly if the dye is only semi-permanent.
Clarifying shampoos, like the name suggests, are there to remove any product or residue build-up.
You should use it as you would normal shampoo but aim to lather up twice as opposed to just the once that you’d normally shampoo.
If you can wrap your hair up for anywhere up to ten minutes, that will also help the shampoo do its work.
Remember that clarifying shampoo is designed to be intensely cleansing, so you shouldn’t do this treatment too often. You should also aim to deep condition to restore hydration.
6. Dish soap
You can use dish soap in order to remove hair dye.
However, be careful doing so, as dish soap contains serious levels of surfactants, and will strip your hair of moisture.
You’ll therefore need to intensely deep condition if you decide to follow this step.
7. Baking soda
If you combine baking soda, which is an effective scrubbing agent, with water (say two tablespoons of soda to one-half cup of water), you can apply this mix to your hair.
Leave the mix in your hair for around ten minutes before rinsing. This will work best on recently colored hair.
8. Lemon juice
Lemon juice is well known for lightening your hair in the sun, but it can also help to remove hair dye.
You’ll need to squeeze enough juice to saturate your hair from roots to ends.
Leave the mix on your hair for twenty minutes with a shower cap, then rinse out and shampoo/condition as normal.
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