How To Lift The Color Out of Your Hair

By Choya Randolph

Courtesy of Hulu

So you’ve colored your hair but now you want to change it. If you think a hair dye kit from CVS is going to change your hair color, I’m sorry to tell you that it most likely won’t. When it comes to hair coloring, you have to think about the color wheel. For example, say you dyed your hair blue but now you want to dye it red. If you were to put red dye over your blue hair, it will probably come out purple. 

When it comes to changing your hair color, the first thing you need to do is lift the color out of your hair. Once the color is lifted out, you can then dye your hair whatever color you like without worrying about your original hair color mixing with the new color you want to stunt in.


Before you even pursue trying to change your hair color, you need to make sure that your hair is healthy. Many of us naturals have dark hair due to our melanin. Because of this, when it comes to changing our hair color, bleaching may be the best option. Bleaching is a chemical process that can leave our hair damaged. If you notice that your hair texture has changed or your hair is drier than usual, pursuing a new hair color shouldn’t be on your to-do list. Instead, focus on getting your hair’s health back by doing protein treatments, hair masks, and a lot of deep conditioning. If your hair is extremely damaged, please see a professional.

If your hair is colored and healthy, it’s okay to want to switch it up and try a different color. You’ll need a color remover to get your hair to a neutral color that can successfully accept a new dye. You can buy color removers at CVS, Walgreens, Wal-mart, or Target. I’ve even seen color removers at the grocery store. Choose a color remover of your choice but do research on the brand you choose. I do encourage you to choose a color remover that doesn’t use bleach. 

When your hair is bleached, the bleach has removed the melanin in your hair leaving your strands a blonde color. When dyeing your hair, the dye fills your hair shaft to reflect the color of your choice. A color remover stays true to its name by removing the color in your hair causing you to revert back to a blondish color. This blondish color has little to no pigment which gives you room to fill your hair shaft with a different color of your choice. 

When you buy a color remover, follow the directions. Most color remover kits come with gloves and a plastic bag to cover your hair with. Similar to when bleaching your hair, you apply the remover on your hair evenly then let it sit. Depending on how gentle your color remover is, you may be able to see your hair revert back to its bleached blonde immediately. Once the color remover has lifted the color out of your hair, you must shampoo thoroughly and I do mean thoroughly.

Using a color remover is quite easy. You follow the directions and then BAM! You’re back to blonde hair. What isn’t easy is taking care of your hair after lifting the color out. Color remover puts your hair through a lot. It’s time to put some moisture back into your hair. 

Color removers usually smell horrible so don’t be afraid to shampoo your hair a couple of times. I know this may sound like you’re stripping your hair but trust me, you don’t want color remover sitting in your hair. Plus, your hair is going to feel strippped anyway because it has been stripped of its color. This is when you deep condition.

If you have low porosity hair, don’t be afraid to buy a deep conditioner for high porosity hair when you pick up your color remover. Putting your hair through these chemical processes can revert your low porosity hair to high porosity so using high porosity products will do you good.

If you want to take deep conditioning to the next level, try doing a hair mask. Hair masks are like deep conditioners but they have reparative properties. Deep conditioners condition and soften the hair while hair masks strengthen and repair the hair. For those trying to save a coin, hair masks are usually the same price as deep conditioners. Now that you have colored hair, you may want to replace your deep conditioner with a hair mask. 

Once you’ve successfully lifted and recolored your hair, the next time you wash your hair, do a protein treatment. Our hair is made up of a protein called keratin. Protein treatments will give your hair a protein boost while defining your curls. They make your hair stronger and healthier by binding proteins on your hair cuticles. After putting your hair through all these changes, giving your hair some protein can’t hurt. 

When it comes to our hair, it’s fun to do it ourselves. Though it’s possible for us to lift the color out of our hair successfully, if you can afford it, go to a professional. A professional will know exactly how to handle your hair and maintain its health. But if you’re adamant about doing it yourself, these steps should help you dye your hair the color you’ve been yearning for.