Most women know that feeling of nervousness before going to the salon or DIY coloring your hair. Every time you color your hair, you risk a minor hair blunder. After all, every time you dye your hair, you are experimenting. Sometimes it’s so tempting to try the pastel trend or platinum blond hair. But once you see yourself in the mirror, you might realize the color doesn’t suit you at all. So, what can you do? Most people begin to panic because it’s difficult to know what step to take next.
But, don’t worry, there are hair color removers on Amazon that will help you fix mistakes and recolor for perfect results you will actually love! Please keep reading to find out how to use hair color removers and to see our picks for the 9 best hair color removers.
What is a hair color remover?
You’re probably wondering how a hair color remover works and what it can do for you. Let’s just say it can correct hair blunders and color disasters in a few minutes. A hair color remover is effective at removing hair dye from your strands. It is strong enough to remove permanent hair color.
How it works: the color remover penetrates the hair shaft and removes color pigments. The advantage of such a product is that it leaves your natural hair pigment alone and only removes the permanent hair dye. So, if you are a natural brunette and you dyed your hair a lighter blonde, only the blonde will be stripped away, leaving you with your natural color (unless you used bleach). But, in essence, all the remover does is it dissolves the permanent oxidative dyes in your hair.
Basically, a hair color remover lets you start over on a clean canvas. Therefore, you can begin the coloring process all over again with a different color to achieve the desired look. You can think of such products as lifesavers because they dissolve artificial colors and build-up from multiple coloring processes.
9 Best Hair Color Removers Reviewed
Best Value: Color Oops Hair Color Remover
This is an excellent product that removes both semi-permanent and permanent hair dyes. It works in as little as 20 minutes, effectively getting rid of all colors on your hair, except for your natural color. Customers love this formula because it is quite gentle on the hair and doesn’t leave you with brittle, dead hair strands. This is all due to its moisturizing formula, which contains aloe vera and soy protein, which help your hair recover from damage.
What you’ll appreciate most is that this hair color remover is affordable yet does what premium salon grade products do, at a fraction of the cost. This formula does not contain ammonia or bleach, which are the two most problematic ingredients in some other hair color removers.
- This product is unique because you can immediately recolor hair after using the color remover.
- The gentle formula is suitable for all hair types, including fragile hair.
- This formula is free from bleach and ammonia.
- Fast action time: you can remove color in just 20 minutes.
- The product has an unpleasant smell.
- It has a hard time removing non-oxidative hair color.
This is the best value product on our list because it is cheap and highly effective at removing all types of color.
Best Corrector: L’Oreal – ColorZap Haircolor Remover
L’Oreal is a trusted and well-established brand in the hair care industry. Their products are sold at affordable prices. It is the best product for color correction, especially after you’ve DIYed a color at home, and the shade is off. It can correct color, remove dark shades, uneven color, and even color build-up resulting from multiple dyes. It will even strip hair of muddy or patchy color.
The formula is gentle and mild, so it’s recommended that people with thin or fragile hair use it. Additionally, this product primes your hair for immediate recoloring. Although, if you think you can wait, it’s best to wait before recoloring. This product is meant to help correct, so it does not completely strip down color to your natural shade. You’ll be happy to know this product is affordable and costs under $15.
- Customers rave that this product can remove those unusual colors such as green, purple, and blue efficiently.
- This product is meant to be used as a corrector. It will get rid of those hair color blunders as soon as they happen. You can use it after coloring.
- The product is considered a mild hair color remover, so it’s best for fine or thin hair.
- It will not return your hair to its natural color.
This product made our list because it is an easy to use hair color corrector at an affordable price.
Best Extra Strength: Colour B4. Hair Colour Remover Extra Strength
Here is the extra strength formula your hair needs if you want to remove very dark colors. This remover is effective at stripping away color build-up, muddy colors, intense dark colors, and patchy shades. Best of all, this formula is free from ammonia and bleach, so you don’t have to worry about completely destroying your locks.
This cream formula is easy to use – simply comb this product through your hair evenly and let it sit on your hair for about 60 minutes. Then you can rinse it off and watch the color drain away. It works on both at-home box dyes or salon colors.
- The formula is very efficient, as it shrinks hair color molecules on your hair strands so you can wash them out with ease.
- This product does not attack your natural hair color pigments, so you are left with your natural color.
- It is not harsh on hair, leaving you with soft, moisturized hair.
- Great for stubborn black and dark brown shades.
- This product takes longer to work than others; you need to let it sit on the hair for one hour.
We had to add this remover to the list because it is extra strong and tackles the hardest tasks.
Best Vegan Product: Color X-Change Phase-Out Gentle Dye Decolorizer + Intensive Hair Mask
This is an easy product to use if you want to change from one color to another. This vegan formula is cruelty-free, ammonia-free, and bleach-free. It also doesn’t contain PPD, peroxide or parabens, which makes it suitable for the health-conscious consumer. With this hair color remover, you can skip the harsh chemicals and still get great results.
The formula is different from most hair color removers. This product uses vitamins to strip color from your hair. To use, simply mix the Phase Out powder with water and apply it to hair at night before going to bed. Leave the cream on your hair while you sleep and rinse it out in the morning. This makes decoloring easy peasy.
- Since the formula is made with vitamins, the hair will not be overprocessed so that you can forget about damage and brittleness.
- The product comes with a hair conditioning mask, which further softens the hair for silky smoothness.
- The powder is very affordable – approximately $7.
- If your hair is full of very old color or a mix of colors, you might have to use the color remover twice to get rid of it all completely.
This product is on our list for those of you that are vegans and want excellent results from a vegan and cruelty-free formula.
Best Gel Formula: Redbook Color Changer – Permanent Hair Color Remover
If you think all hair color removers are powders and creams, you’re wrong. This is an easy to use gel formula that is just as efficient as others. Redbook Color Changer will help you lighten your hair and remove any unwanted hair dye. Apply the gel on clean, shampooed, and damp hair and wait for about 50 minutes and then watch the hair color rinse out.
The benefit of using this gel formula is that it works on both semi-permanent as well as permanent hair color. It will give the best results if you use a heating cap and a coating changer first.
- This formula contains water-soluble polymer and lanolin alcohol, two ingredients that protect the hair against damage.
- You can use the product more than once without causing major breakage or damage.
- Since it’s a gel, it is easy to lather and apply to damp hair. It spreads evenly and covers strands well.
- The product has a very strong chemical scent, which some people may find irritating.
- It has a tendency to turn hair a reddish shade.
We selected this color remover because it has a gel formula which goes onto the hair evenly.
Best Multi-Purpose: Roux Clean Touch Hair Color Stain Remover
This hair color remover is a truly multi-purpose product. It can remove hair color, it can remove stains from your clothing, and it will even remove the dye stains on your skin. This is a must-try color remover because it works very efficiently to remove the color from the ends of your hair. As you know, the ends are the most porous part of the hair, and that’s why they absorb the most color. So, if you have stubborn ends, use the Roux formula to get rid of it for good.
This is a very powerful formula, so it removes color well. It’s recommended that you use this product to get rid of stubborn spots, patchy strands, and the pigmentation on the ends only, not all over your locks. Roux is easy to use and doesn’t have a strong unpleasant scent. The best part is that you can count on it to remove all types of hair dyes for skin, hair, and fabrics.
- This product gives salon-grade results at only $17 per bottle, so it’s a great option.
- The formula is strong and best for removing the darkest color and those pesky spots that are hard to decolor.
- You can use a cotton swab to remove excess dye stains on the skin, especially on the face, after hair coloring.
- The product contains ammonia, which is a harsh chemical. Therefore, it’s best to use it on your ends and avoid direct contact with the scalp.
This multi-purpose product made the list because you can use it on your hair, on your skin, and even on your clothes.
Best Color Remover Wipes: Developlus Color Oops Color Remover Wipes 10 Count
Sometimes, you just need some wipes to remove excess color and stains from your skin. These wipes can be used on the face, neck, and hands. They are made with a gentle formula that contains aloe vera to soothe and nourish your skin after you use them. The wipes have a fresh scent that doesn’t irritate or produce allergies.
Each pack contains 10 wipes and costs approximately $15. So, the next time you color your hair at home, use these wipes to remove excess. You won’t have to worry about dye marks all over your complexion, on your neck or hands.
- These are one-time use wipes, so you don’t have to waste lots of product. One wipe cleans many stains.
- The wipes work well, so there’s no need to scrub and irritate the skin, simply wipe over the stain.
- Each pack contains ten wipes, which is enough for multiple uses.
- This product has a 5/5 rating on Amazon.
- You’ll need to stock up on these as they sell out fast.
We included these wipes onto our list because sometimes you just need to remove hair dye from skin, not the hair, and they are handy to have at home.
Best For Removing Intense Color: L’Oreal Effasol Color Remover
This L’Oreal product is ideal for women who love to dye their hair often. If you are changing colors a lot, you’ll appreciate the efficacy of this product. The formula is strong enough to remove the most intense colors, such as burgundy, blue, and red. The product comes with clear instructions so you can achieve good results every time.
You need to use a crème developer or deionized water since the product contains bleach. But, this makes it super effective, compared to many other hair color removers. The product works like a foaming bath that you wash your hair in. It starts to work in as little as 5 minutes, and you can keep the product on for approximately 60 minutes.
- This product is often used in salons because it’s highly effective and inexpensive.
- It will remove all kinds of color build-up, even deep indigo and red colors, which are usually tough to remove.
- This product is the most popular hair color remover in the world, so you won’t go wrong by choosing it.
- The formula contains bleach, so you should not rub it or massage it into the scalp, or it will burn.
This product is the most popular hair color remover on the market, and for a good reason – it works. So, of course, it made the list!
Best for Fantasy Colors: Splat Color Remover for Direct Dye and Fantasy Colors
Unicorn hair, pastel hair, and fantasy hair, in general, has been trending lately. But if you tried it and hate the look, don’t worry, this formula will remove it quickly! This product is here to help you go back to your natural hair color after a failed hair DIY. The formula is gentle and free from bleach and ammonia. That means you can recolor your hair the same day.
The formula removes up to three shades of color from your hair in approximately one hour or less. The best part about using this remover is that you can apply it to dry hair, and it will start to strip away the color without causing lasting damage. If you want to remove stubborn reds, use the product twice (but not on the same day).
- This formula is excellent for removing light pastel shades and fantasy colors such as light pink and green.
- The formula is gentle and won’t strip hair of its moisture.
- This is ideal if you want to recolor your hair as it preps the hair shaft.
- The product doesn’t remove more than three shades of color, so it’s not ideal for dark hair.
We know many of you are experimenting with pastels and fantasy hair colors so we knew this product is a must-add to our list.
Are hair color removers safe to use?
Before you start your color removal journey, there are some things you should know about hair color removal products in general. Yes, these products are safe because they pass several tests. However, all types of hair decoloration formulas strip your hair strands of pigments and damage the hair, making it brittle and dry. That’s why you need to prime the hair for color removal and condition afterward.
Keep the following in mind:
- Every time that you use a hair color remover, you will damage your hair because the product penetrates your hair shaft. So remember that decoloration is hurting your hair.
- Always follow the instructions on the product’s packaging. Never leave the product on your hair for longer than the period recommended in the instructions.
- Look for a hair color remover that is gentle and offers moisture to your hair. Some formulas are more hydrating than others.
- If you want to minimize the damage, choose a product that does not contain bleach or ammonia. However, these might be a bit less effective.
- Start applying the product to your ends first. Usually, the color on your ends is more intense, so you want to remove that first. The color on your roots comes off more easily in most cases, so apply more color to the ends. The last thing you want is a splotchy decoloration.
- Avoid the scalp area, as it can become irritated, and you can even get an allergic reaction to the chemicals in the color remover formulas.
How do I prep my hair and care for it after decoloration?
You want to make sure that you are only causing a minimal amount of damage to your hair. For this reason, I want you to know that there are several things you can do to protect your hair.
- Don’t use any products the day before using hair color remover. This includes dry shampoo, serums, hairspray, or other styling products.
- Always follow the instructions on the packaging. Some products must be applied on dry hair, whereas some on wet or damp hair.
- Rinse well – it’s better to over rinse than to under rinse and risk leaving product in your hair or on the scalp.
- Use a moisturizing conditioner to re-hydrate your hair after a hair color removal process.
- Some formulas are gentle so that you can recolor hair immediately. But, for intense colors, wait for at least two weeks or longer before you use another hair color – boxed or at the salon. You want to give your hair strands time to recover.
The Bottom Line
You don’t have to worry about coloring your hair anymore. That’s because the hair color removers on this list can get rid of hair coloring blunders and help you return to your natural color. Then, you can start the coloring process all over again until you achieve the desired results. Imagine that you can finally get that platinum blonde you’ve always wanted!
With these products, you can get rid of any unwanted shades and feel confident again. Keep in mind that hair color removers can damage your hair every time you use them, so make sure you condition and moisturize your hair afterward.