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Haircolor Removal: Do's and Dont's

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Haircolor Removal GuideEdit

We've all done it a one time or another: Put the wrong color on our hair - or a color that looked great on the box but not so great on you. And now you desperately need to correct it before anyone sees it. Many people make the mistake of just plopping their usual brand/color on their head often to find the result an even bigger mess with some extra damage to go with it. Or worse: bleach it out only to get dried, broken hair that won't hold color for more than a few shampoos. The first thing you need to know about (Artificial) haircolor removal is what types of hair color there are and what products will do the best (and least damaging) job of removal. 

FIRST: The types of color.

Temporary Rinses: These are One Component formulas. Meaning you don't mix anything (except possibly water) and the color is already visible. They come as powder, spray, creme, liquid concentrate and ready to use liquid. They last for only one to three shampoos unless the hair is damaged and then they may last longer but will still fade out after a few shampoos. 

Semi-Permanent Rinses: These are also One Component Formulas but are thicker and require "Processing Time" for the color to penetrate the hair and will last 6 to 8 shampoos gradually fading with each shampoo. 

These two types will fade out with nothing more than shampooing or a good Hot Oil Treatment if the hair becomes stained. 

Demi-Permanent Color: This type is a Two Component Formula (No-Ammonia Colorant and an Activator or Developer) they start out colorless and the color becomes visible or develops after mixing and applying to hair. They last from 20 to 30 washes depending on brand and your hair type. This type may require removal if you apply a shade that is very dark or intense to a lighter hair color or to damaged or already colored hair. For this type of color a color remover without bleach or peroxide is your best choice: Color Oops, Jheri Redding One 'N Only, Vanish, Color B4, or Rusk Elimin8. These reverse the process that created the color and allow you to wash it out without affecting the remaining natural pigment in your hair. 

Permanent Color: This type is also a Two Component Formula (Color + Developer) but it will lighten the hair and deposit a colorant that will last for months. This type can be removed with the color removers mentioned above but because of the lightening action of the permanent color you may need to re-color the hair after to restore the original color (or some other color) You can also remove these with color removers like L'Oreal Color Remover Kit, Color Zap or Effasol, the latter two are sold in beauty supplies. These work through a type of bleaching action and are more effective on dark, stubborn or very intense colors or hair that has been dyed dark over a long period. Again, after using these you will need to re-color. 

For ANY of the above removal procedures it is highly recommended that you get a good clairifying or deep cleaning shampoo and treatment for use before and after plus a good deep conditioner. 

Now, let's talk about color removal mistakes: ONE: Hair not properly prepped before removal. This why I recommend the Deep Cleaning Shampoo and Clairifying Treatment, you need to remove any build-up from shampoos, conditioners, styling products, serums and hard water before attempting to remove color from the hair as these will slow the penetration of the remover and by the time it gets into the hair up to half of the processing time will have elapsed and you get a weak result - or no result at all. You will find that PRELL® Shampoo is excellent for this or Redken® Hair Cleansing Creme and thse will also help in removing the chemical residues from the color remover as well as the smell. Also, you can get treatments which will help a great deal such as ION® Clairifying Treatment, Malibu 2000® Treatment or Redken® Pre-Art™ Treatment. 

TWO: Using the wrong product for removal. You should use the recommened products for removing the descibed colorant as this will (Most likely) save you Time, Money and (unnecessary) hair damage. If the Non-Bleach type failed to remove all of the color after a couple of uses, try the bleach type after a through cleansing and conditioning.  Hair Bleach is NOT the recommended color remover - Yes, Yes, I know - Professionals sometimes use them but, they are professionals and (supposedly) they know how and when to use them. Also, using the non-bleach color removers for products like Manic Panic™ Punky Color™ and other 'Neon' colors. These products are a combination of mineral pigments and direct dyes and are not affected by this type of remover. Oil treatments and special alcohol/shampoo treatments or Clairol® METALEX™ or similar type product followed by the deep cleaning shampoo work best. If the hair is still stained, try a bleach soap cap (one part hair bleach, one part developer (or peroxide) and one part shampoo or conditioner applied to damp hair and strand test every 5 mins.) Trying to use ANY type of color remover to 'remove' bleach. This shows the ultimate in total ignorance of how haircolor works - You can't remove bleach. It is not a color, it is the removal of color from the hair and you have to put color back into the hair to get it back to the starting color. HENNA or colored Henna or Indigo Dyes. These have special remover recipes and even after that the hair should not be colored, permed or relaxed until the affected hair has been cut off, the results are too unpredictable. 

I hope this has helped.

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