Help me go back to blonde!
May 9, 2008 2:04 PM   Subscribe

I'm blonde, but I've been coloring my hair red (permanent color) for the last year or so. I liked the red and all, but I'm ready to go back to my natural color. What can I do to fade the red a little faster without turning my hair into straw before I can get to a stylist (could be a couple of weeks)?
posted by katillathehun to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (20 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Vinegar wash + sunlight.

Tiny bit of peroxide in your conditioner + sunlight.

Lemon juice + sunlight.
posted by whimsicalnymph at 2:18 PM on May 9, 2008

Mix conditioner with honey and a bit of lemon juice, and slather. Leave it in for some time, maybe 15-30m? I would advise soaking in the tub during this time, the stuff is pretty goopy.
posted by kellyblah at 2:33 PM on May 9, 2008

Hair coloring is this super scientific art. There are three different colors in everyone's hair; blue, red, yellow. Coloring hair, usually means stripping one color (or a part of it). If you have black hair, and you want to turn blonde, you have to take out some of the red and blue. When people want to go from blonde to black, they take out the yellow (sometimes, some of the yellow gets taken out as well...and it looks like it has a bluish tint).

If you are a redhead...its obvious you don't have a lot of blue molecules. You have LOTS of red and some yellow. What you want to do is strip the red. ONLY red.

peroxide strips ALL color. Thats why you can tell blonde vs peroxide blonde so easily.

If this were me, I'd go to a drugstore and buy a coloring kit for people with black hair that will turn them blonde. It will strip the blue (which you don't have anyways), and strip the red. Since it is for BLACK hair, it will do a VERY thorough job in removing the red and blue particles, while it still retains the yellow.

I'm not a cosmetologist or hair colorist, but I do know science, and I have won bets (and lost none) about "what color will come out if i ...".

Good luck.
posted by hal_c_on at 2:48 PM on May 9, 2008 [1 favorite]

Red dyes do funny things, so be careful with how experimental you get. Honestly, lots of sunlight and being under stagelights are the only thing that ever faded my color.

/natural blonde dyed red.
posted by desuetude at 3:17 PM on May 9, 2008

If you apply any kind of bleaching agent to your hair (peroxide, vinegar, lemon juice) it will turn pink.

Wait till you can see the stylist.
posted by fshgrl at 3:48 PM on May 9, 2008 [1 favorite]

To get the red dye out without oxidizing your hair you need a acid/reducing color remover Pravana makes a good one, Rusk Elimin8 is another, go to a beauty supply, these products do not use peroxide and will only reduce artificial hair color without lifting your natural pigment, after you are done extracting the color follow up with a pale violet/silver shampoo. I am a colorist.
posted by hortense at 3:50 PM on May 9, 2008 [2 favorites]

Swim in a chlorine pool.
posted by krisjohn at 3:59 PM on May 9, 2008

I've never used the stuff myself, but I've had friends who've had good things to say about 'Color Oops' as a fairly gentle and effective way of undoing hair coloring ... you can get it from Walgreens and it's pretty inexpensive; might be worth a try?
posted by zeph at 4:03 PM on May 9, 2008

My honest suggestion (not a stylist, just someone who used to work at a salon) is to not do anything. To get the red out of your hair and get you back to blonde the stylist is going to have to strip the color out of your hair. Having this done at a salon will not damage your hair as much as you would trying to do it yourself but it's still not the gentlest procedure in the world and you don't want to go in with hair that has already been damaged. It's going to be much better in the long run (for your hair and for your stylist) if you just leave it be until a qualified colorist can get his or her hands on it.

I'd go to a drugstore and buy a coloring kit for people with black hair that will turn them blonde.

Please don't do this. You WILL damage your hair.
posted by LeeJay at 4:15 PM on May 9, 2008

I've been told that old-school green Prell will help fade the color, although I haven't seen the stuff in ages.
posted by bunji at 6:18 PM on May 9, 2008

honestly, just wait until you can see a stylist. everything will turn out much better that way.

i speak as a long-time self hair colorer.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 6:32 PM on May 9, 2008

Hey bunji's suggestion has some merit, green is the compliment of red, green will brown red.
posted by hortense at 8:19 PM on May 9, 2008

Hey bunji's suggestion has some merit, green is the compliment of red, green will brown red.

It really doesn't work that way. When trying to get rid of red (brassiness) stylists use blue (hence the "toning" shampoos for blondes that are tinted blue.) Seriously, the best thing you can do is nothing. It's only a few weeks. Be kind to your hair and wait.
posted by LeeJay at 11:38 PM on May 9, 2008

posted by hortense at 12:11 AM on May 10, 2008

Yeah, painting your walls and dealing with the color in your hair are two different things. But, by all means, if you want to fuck up your hair, pour some green shit in it. If you want to keep some healthy hair on your head, wait for the stylist.
posted by LeeJay at 12:32 AM on May 10, 2008

Anyone who uses color should know the laws of color. scroll down for complements
posted by hortense at 1:11 AM on May 10, 2008

Worry not, colorists, I have no intention of bleaching or highlighting my hair in any way while this color is in my hair. I'm primarily looking for a way to wash it out a little faster than it will with normal shampoo. Checking around, I'm hearing good things about the Pravana stuff. I'll look into that. Failing that, it looks like I'll just be a-waitin'. Thanks everyone!
posted by katillathehun at 12:14 PM on May 12, 2008

Anti-Dandruff shampoo.
posted by bondgirl53001 at 3:25 PM on May 12, 2008

I use manic panic usually, but before I dye I wash with Dawn dishsoap to get as much of the old dye out as possible.
posted by herbaliser at 4:24 PM on May 12, 2008

Update: I went ahead and tried Color Oops, extra strength. VERY pleased with the results. Thanks, guys!
posted by katillathehun at 7:06 PM on May 16, 2008 [1 favorite]

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