How To Remove Permanent Hair Dye With Olive Oil

There are plenty of solutions to removing hair dye and it doesn’t have to cost the world at a salon. In fact, there is a natural way to remove permanent hair dye using olive oil, and it’s called a hot oil treatment.

How To Remove Permanent Hair Dye With Olive Oil

The Benefits of Olive Oil for Hair

There is a centuries-old tradition of people using olive oil for hair care. There’s also research to suggest that olive oil works to maximize moisture in your locks, adding buoyancy, softness, and elasticity to strands.

If you’re looking for a conditioning treatment that’s all-natural, consider using olive oil, as its chemical element.

Most notably oleic acid, palmitic acid, and squalene are all emollients.

Emollients are often added to hair care products such as conditioners or hair oil as they act as lubricants, thereby working to minimize friction or drag and reducing breakage.

They’re also fantastic humectants, which work to lock in moisture by forming a film that seals over the hair surface.

So, if you have dry, thick, or processed hair – particularly if you use relaxers or bleach regularly, consider treating your hair with olive oil.

Just be sure to use the right amount – try testing on a patch of your hair before applying it everywhere.

That way, you’ll avoid making your hair look oily or greasy, which is a natural consequence of being slightly too enthusiastic with the olive oil treatment.

Can Olive Oil Remove Permanent Hair Dye?

Risks and Warnings of using Olive oil On Hair

Yes, you can remove permanent hair dye in an all-natural way using olive oil as part of a hot oil treatment.

Olive oil has the ability to penetrate hair strands and thereby work its way into the cortex, removing hair dye.

This home treatment allows you to naturally and safely remove permanent hair dye without relying on chemicals or bleach that will only strip your tresses of their natural moisture.

The best olive oil to use for removing hair dye is olive oil in an unrefined form. This means extra virgin olive oil that has been cold-pressed.

This type of olive oil has a slightly higher acidity content, but also tends to be temperature resistant. This is essential as you do not want your hot oil treatment to be too hot.

Extra virgin olive oil is also rich in nutrients such as vitamin A and vitamin E. These contain fatty acids and antioxidants.

If you don’t have extra virgin olive oil, pure virgin olive oil or refined olive oil will also work just fine. Also Read: Why Does Hair Dye Cause Dandruff? (Explained)

How to Remove Permanent Hair Dye With Olive Oil

Below, we detail how to use the hot oil treatment in order to remove permanent hair dye with olive oil.

What you will need

  • 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • Microwaveable bowl or container
  • Shower cap or saran wrap
  • Clarifying shampoo
  • Deep conditioner


  1. Firstly, rinse your hair in hot water for about a minute. This is to open up the hair cuticle and help the process of color fading.
  2. Warm up half a cup of extra virgin olive oil in the microwave or on the stove for 30 seconds before applying it to your hair. You want it to be warm, but not scalding.
  3. Drizzle the olive oil over your damp hair until it is covered and use your fingers to really massage it into your scalp and hair strands. Make sure all of your hair is covered evenly – from the ends to the roots.
  4. Use a shower cap or saran wrap and wrap your hair up. This allows the oil to really penetrate the hair shafts, working to unfix the hair dye from your strands. Aim for around 30 mins.
  5. Then, grab a clarifying shampoo. Both of these will help the olive oil remove the permanent hair dye from your strands. Use only lukewarm water – do not use boiling hot.
  6. If you have the time, follow with a leave-in conditioner. This is basically to alleviate any dryness and help hair recover from the dye as effectively as possible.

You can repeat this process once a week until you have reached your desired shade of color.

Why Remove Permanent Hair Dye With Olive Oil?

How To Remove Permanent Hair Dye With Olive Oil

At this point, you may be wondering: why would I want to remove permanent hair dye with olive oil, or any other natural product for that matter?

There’s a lot to be said for using natural, at-home remedies rather than chemical treatments and here are just a few reasons why:

1. Olive Oil is Great for Hair

Olive oil is incredibly hydrating and many hair products actually contain at least some kind of oil.

Olive oil can help protect your scalp, relieve itchiness and dryness and even improve strength.

2. It’s Cheaper

Choosing a do-it-yourself way of removing permanent hair dye via natural means will save you your hard-earned money.

Let’s be honest, hair care is expensive, and regularly visiting the salon can really cut into your savings.

But products like olive oil, baking soda, or vitamin C are readily available and won’t cost you the earth.

3. Olive Oil is Natural

We are exposed to so many chemicals in our day-to-day lives, why would you want to further expose yourself to them?

Bleaching contains alkaline chemicals like ammonia or hydrogen peroxide.

This works to break down the melanin in your hair cortex, which is why bleach is so often used in the process of dyeing hair.

But bleaching is incredibly hard on your hair, causing strands to become brittle, prone to frizz, and vulnerable to both split ends and breakage.

By using olive oil to remove permanent hair dye, you’re avoiding subjecting your tresses to that stress. Olive oil also acts as a deep conditioner, so you’re actually helping hair to stay moist.

And don’t forget, it is also better to use natural hair dye removers on surfaces such as wood to avoid any chemicals ruining your floor.

4. It’s Better for the Environment

Many people are becoming more eco-conscious these days, and are keener to use products with less effect on the planet.

Unfortunately, bleach and other chemicals used to remove permanent hair dye are really bad for the environment – most specifically for aquatic life.

When you get rid of hair dye down the sink, on tiles, or in the shower, the chemicals can contaminate undergrown water.

That’s why consumers are becoming more invested in using natural treatments and techniques as replacements, moving away from chemicals both for their own and the planet’s benefit.

Of course, there are some colors that may be difficult to remove with natural remedies. If you’ve dyed your hair green or purple, a stronger remover could be needed.

5. You Can Use Other Types of Oil

If you’re not a big fan of olive oil or you prefer perhaps coconut or Argan, the good news is that these work too!

Try almond oil or even castor oil. Just make sure you do not heat the oil up too hot in the microwave.

Also Read: How To Remove Hair Dye With Laundry Detergent

Risks and Warnings of Using Olive Oil For Fair

There are a few things you should be aware of when using olive oil to remove hair dye:

Have Realistic Exceptions

As this is a natural way to remove hair dye, no chemicals are being used.

This means that it will take longer for all the dye to be removed from your hair and you may need to repeat the process several times.

It may also not work as well on bold colors like red, violet, and blue. For these types of colors, you will most likely need to use a color remover.

Be Aware of Clogged Pores

Olive oil can penetrate the hair shaft and by doing so, can clog the pores in your scalp.

Be sure to remove all traces of oil during the shampoo and use a scalp brush for extra effect.

It Can Make Your Hair Greasy

Clogged pores mean your hair can also turn very greasy. Oil can also sit on the outside of the hair, weighing down your locks.

If you have naturally greasy hair, consider whether you should use olive oil to remove hair dye or if an alternative solution may be better for you.

You can also try less greasy oils such as almond or jojoba oil.

Be Careful of the Hot Oil

It is very important to not overheat the oil in the microwave or on the stove.

Oil that is too hot can burn your scalp, causing redness and inflammation.

Only heat up the oil ten to twenty seconds at a time and always test it on the back of a spoon before applying it to your scalp.

The Oil Can Make You Break Out

If you suffer from a skin condition such as acne, the excess oil from the treatment may trigger your condition.

Be careful of any dripping oil down your face and wipe it off as soon as possible. 

Other Ways to Naturally Remove Permanent Hair Dye

Ready to try removing permanent hair dye with other natural ingredients besides olive oil?

There are many other fantastic ways to naturally strip hair of its dye – below, we list the best.

Don’t forget, too, that both swimming and sun exposure will also fade hair color – so if you’re keen to shift your present hair dye, cover up with some SPF and hit the water.

Baking Soda and Dandruff Shampoo

Did you know that baking soda is a natural bleach? That’s right, you don’t need the chemical stuff in order to get the effect of removing hair color.

Using baking soda in combination with dandruff shampoo will create a paste that can help to get rid of hair dye.

The dandruff shampoo has higher pH levels, which works in tangent with the baking soda.

Just be sure to mix equal parts of shampoo with soda and allow it to sit in your hair for a while before rinsing.

Vitamin C

If you’re a pro at using natural remedies to remove hair dye, you’ll likely have already heard of vitamin C.

All you need are those effervescent tablets that dissolve in water. They contain acid which oxidizes with hair dye, causing it to fade.

This is a particularly effective method if you’re looking to lighten your hair.

Mix 1g (about three tablets) of vitamin C powder with your shampoo.

Apply evenly over your head, use a plastic cap for 5-10 minutes, and then rinse with lukewarm water. Follow up with a conditioning treatment.

White Vinegar

The acid in vinegar will work to remove permanent hair dye without damaging either your scalp or hair.

We recommend white vinegar rather than apple cider, as it’s more acidic and therefore most effective.

Mix equal amounts of water and white vinegar before applying to your hair. Pop a shower cap on, leave for around 25 minutes, and rinse your hair.

Follow up with a conditioner. You may need to do this 4 to 5 times to get the most impact.

Disclaimer: This site is not intended to provide professional or medical advice. All of the content on is for informational purposes only. All advice should be followed at your own discretion. Ingredients may change at any time so always check the product label before using. Check our full disclaimer policy here.

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Alice Carlill

Alice is an experienced writer and researcher with a background in the Creative Arts. She is a published poet and is currently completing her Ph.D., having worked in a variety of industries, including as a theatre dramaturg. Alice is passionate about the environment, so is always on the lookout for the best zero-waste products that are vegan and cruelty-free.