How To Remove Hair Dye With Developer (Easy Guide)

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Developer is used to color or bleach hair but did you know that you can use developer to remove hair dye?

Does Developer Remove Hair Dye

What Is Developer?

Developer is an activator used when coloring hair. It has a creamy consistency and is white in color.

Developer contains hydrogen peroxide which is a bleaching agent and is mixed with hair dye or bleach to either color or lighten your hair.

Hydrogen peroxide is the chemical that helps the hair dye penetrate the hair strands. It does so by lifting the cuticle layers of your hair.

This is why developer comes in different strengths, usually volume 10, 20, 30, or 40.

The amount of hydrogen peroxide determines the volume of the developer and thus how much the cuticle layer is lifted. This is also known as their oxidizing potential.

You may have noticed when buying box hair dyes that you’re given two bottles that you need to mix.

One contains the hair dye color and the other contains the developer product. Without the developer, the hair dye simply has no effect.

If you are looking to color your hair, a low-volume developer is often used. This is because the hair cuticle layer only needs to be lifted just enough for the hair dye to penetrate.

When you want to bleach your hair, you’ll need a stronger developer which can remove pigment from your natural hair color.

Does Developer Remove Hair Dye?

Does Developer Remove Hair Dye

The short answer is yes, you can remove hair dye using developer mixed with shampoo. You can mix volume 20 developer with shampoo to remove traces of semi-permanent hair dye and volume 30 to remove permanent hair dye.

Do note that if you wish to remove permanent hair dye using this method, it’s very much recommended that you dye your hair immediately after.

This is because the strength of developer needed to remove permanent hair dye will also lighten your hair.

The chances of your color coming out uneven is therefore very high.

It is also recommended that you follow up the process with a moisturizing hair mask and continue to use one once a week for several weeks.

The important thing is to minimize damage to your hair and so all precautions must be met.

Ensure your hair is healthy enough to undergo a bleaching process before attempting to remove hair dye using developer at home.

If you’re thinking of removing semi-permanent hair dye with developer, your best option is to wait it out a bit and wash your hair more frequently.

A semi-permanent hair dye will mostly fade after 4 weeks but you can speed up this process.

If all traces of the dye have not disappeared, then you can use a volume 20 developer and shampoo to remove the last remaining color.



How To Use Developer To Remove Hair Dye

To remove hair dye with developer, you firstly need to decide on your developer volume:

  • Use volume 20 to remove semi-permanent hair dye
  • Use volume 30 to remove permanent hair dye

And as explained above, note that using this method WILL dry out your hair. So make sure your hair is in good condition before proceeding.

If removing permanent hair dye, also be prepared to dye your hair another color immediately as well as follow up with weekly hair mask treatments.

Removing Semi-permanent Hair Dye With Developer

You will need

  • Volume 20 developer
  • Shampoo
  • A plastic bottle container or old shampoo bottle

Instructions

  1. Mix equal parts shampoo and developer in a bottle
  2. Wet your hair
  3. Apply the mixture to your hair and massage for a few minutes
  4. Leave to develop for 15 mins
  5. Rinse out the mixture
  6. Apply a moisturizing hair mask and leave for 2 mins.
  7. Rinse and dry as per usual

At this stage, check the color when your hair is dry. If the color is uneven, wait at least 10 days before applying the mixture again.

Warning: Do not leave the mixture in for more than 25 minutes.

Removing Permanent Hair Dye With Developer

You will need

  • Volume 30 developer
  • Shampoo
  • A plastic bottle container or old shampoo bottle

Instructions

  • Mix equal parts shampoo and developer in a bottle
  • Wet your hair
  • Apply the mixture to your hair and massage for a few minutes
  • Leave to develop for 15-20 mins
  • Rinse out the mixture
  • Apply a moisturizing hair mask and leave for 2 mins.
  • Rinse and dry as per usual

At this stage, check the color when your hair is dry. If the color is uneven, wait at least 7 days before applying the mixture again.

Follow up with a weekly moisturizing hair mask.

Warning: Do not leave the mixture in for more than 25 minutes.

2 Alternatives To Remove Hair Dye

Dandruff Shampoo And Baking Soda

Baking soda is a gentle soft natural bleaching agent and can therefore be used to remove hair dye at home.

It’s not as strong as developer of course but this makes it a better choice if you have damaged hair. Make sure you don’t get baking powder as this will not work.

Instructions

  1. Mix equal parts baking soda and dandruff shampoo in a bowl
  2. Wet your hair
  3. Apply the mixture to your hair and massage for several minutes
  4. Rinse and apply conditioner

Dish Soap

Dish soap is a cleansing agent that can be harsh on your hair so a little goes a long way.

Instructions

  1. Mix 4-6 drops of dish soap with your normal shampoo
  2. Wet your hair
  3. Apply the mixture and massage for a few minutes
  4. Rinse out the mixture and apply conditioner

This process will need to be repeated a few times and works best for semi-permanent hair dye.

Detergent can be very harsh on your hair as it strips it of its natural oils.

It’s therefore important that you follow up with a conditioner and even better, use a hair mask directly afterwards.

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