How Do Hairdressers Strip Hair Colour?

Discover the expert techniques How Do Hairdressers Strip Hair Colour? Learn about the process, products, and aftercare to remove unwanted dye effectively. Get professional insights to achieve a fresh new look without damaging your hair. Read now for expert advice on hair color stripping!

Are you tired of your current hair colour and craving a fresh, new look? Perhaps you’ve experimented with hair dye at home and ended up with a hue that didn’t quite meet your expectations. In such situations, hair colour stripping can come to the rescue! Hairdressers possess the knowledge and expertise to safely remove unwanted hair colour and help you achieve the desired result. But how do hairdressers strip hair colour? In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the various techniques, products, and considerations involved in the hair colour stripping process.


Changing hair colour is an exciting way to express yourself and enhance your overall appearance. However, when the results fall short of your expectations or you simply want a change, hair colour stripping is the go-to solution. Hairdressers, armed with their extensive knowledge of colour theory and professional products, are the experts you can rely on to safely and effectively strip away unwanted hair colour.

Understanding Hair Colour Stripping

Hair colour stripping is a process that aims to remove artificial hair dye from the strands, allowing the natural or pre-existing colour to re-emerge. It’s important to note that hair colour stripping works best on permanent and semi-permanent dyes, while direct dyes (such as vibrant fashion colours) may require different techniques. The process involves breaking down the artificial pigment molecules and lifting them from the hair shaft, enabling a return to the desired base colour.

Factors to Consider Before Stripping Hair Colour

Before diving into the hair colour stripping process, there are several factors to consider. It’s crucial to assess the condition of your hair, identify the current colour level, and understand the limitations of the process. Additionally, your hairdresser will evaluate your hair’s porosity, texture, and previous chemical treatments to determine the most suitable approach for colour removal.

Popular Hair Colour Stripping Techniques

Hairdressers employ various techniques to strip hair colour effectively. Let’s explore some of the most commonly used methods:

1. Bleaching

Bleaching is a widely recognized technique in the hairdressing world, known for its ability to lighten hair by removing pigment. This process involves using a lightening agent, typically hydrogen peroxide, to break down the colour molecules. It’s essential to approach bleaching with caution, as it can be harsh on the hair and potentially cause damage if not done correctly.

2. Color Removers

Color removers are specifically formulated products designed to remove artificial hair dye. They work by shrinking the dye molecules and enabling them to be washed out. Unlike bleaching, color removers are less damaging and often a preferred choice for hairdressers when stripping hair colour.

3. Color Reducers

Color reducers are another option for hair colour stripping. These products work by reversing the oxidation process that occurs during hair dyeing, effectively reducing the colour molecules back to their original state. Color reducers are generally less damaging than bleach and are suitable for removing permanent and semi-permanent hair dye.

The Hairdresser’s Approach to Stripping Hair Colour

When you visit a professional hairdresser for hair colour stripping, you can expect a meticulous approach that prioritizes your hair’s health and the desired outcome. Let’s walk through the typical steps involved in the process:

Assessing the Hair’s Condition

Before commencing any colour-stripping procedure, the hairdresser will carefully assess your hair’s condition. This evaluation helps determine the appropriate products and techniques to use, ensuring the least amount of damage to your hair.

Conducting a Strand Test

A strand test is a crucial step in the hair colour stripping process. It involves applying the selected colour-stripping product to a small section of your hair to assess its reaction. This test helps determine the processing time, potential results, and any adverse reactions that may occur.

Applying the Hair Colour Stripping Product

Once the strand test is completed, and the hairdresser has established the optimal processing time, the chosen hair colour stripping product is applied to the entire head. The hairdresser will ensure that each strand is thoroughly coated, promoting even colour removal.

Processing Time and Heat Application

The processing time for hair colour stripping varies depending on the product used and the desired result. Some products require heat activation, where a gentle source of heat, such as a hooded dryer, is applied to expedite the colour removal process. Heat helps the product penetrate the hair shaft and break down the dye molecules effectively.

Monitoring the Colour Removal Process

Throughout the processing time, the hairdresser closely monitors the colour removal process. They keep a keen eye on the hair’s condition, ensuring that it is not over-processed or subjected to excessive damage.

Rinsing and Post-Stripping Care

After the processing time elapses, the hairdresser rinses out the colour-stripping product thoroughly. This step is crucial to remove any traces of the product and residual dye. Post-stripping care may involve applying a deep conditioning treatment to restore moisture and nourish the hair.

Can Hair Colour Stripping Be Done at Home?

While there are various hair colour stripping products available for at-home use, it is generally recommended to have this process done by a professional hairdresser. Hairdressers possess the expertise and experience to assess your hair’s needs, minimize damage, and achieve the desired results safely.

Potential Risks and Side Effects

Hair colour stripping, like any chemical process, carries potential risks and side effects. It’s essential to be aware of these and consult with a professional hairdresser to mitigate any adverse effects. Risks may include hair breakage, dryness, and changes in hair texture. Your hairdresser will guide you through the process, recommend appropriate aftercare, and help maintain the health of your hair.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can hairdressers strip all types of hair colour?

Hairdressers can strip most types of hair colour, but the success of the process may vary depending on the specific colour and dye used. It’s crucial to consult with your hairdresser to determine the feasibility of stripping your particular hair colour.

How long does hair colour stripping take?

The duration of hair colour stripping can vary depending on the technique used, the hair’s condition, and the desired outcome. On average, the process can take anywhere from one to three hours. However, it’s important to note that each case is unique, and your hairdresser will provide a more accurate estimate based on your specific needs.

Will hair colour stripping damage my hair?

When done by a professional hairdresser and with the appropriate products, hair colour stripping can minimize damage to the hair. However, it’s essential to note that the process involves some level of chemical treatment, which can affect the hair’s health. Your hairdresser will take the necessary precautions to minimize damage and provide suitable aftercare advice.

Can I re-dye my hair immediately after stripping the colour?

In most cases, it is not recommended to re-dye your hair immediately after colour stripping. The hair needs time to recover from the chemical process and regain its health and strength. Your hairdresser will advise you on the appropriate timeframe to wait before applying new hair colour.

Are there any alternatives to hair colour stripping?

If you’re not ready to commit to hair colour stripping, there are alternatives available. These include using colour-correcting products, opting for a colour overlay, or gradually fading the colour with clarifying shampoos and treatments. Discuss these alternatives with your hairdresser to find the best option for you.

Can hair colour stripping remove henna dye?

Hair colour stripping is generally less effective in removing henna dye compared to other types of hair dye. Henna is a natural dye that penetrates the hair shaft and can be challenging to lift. Your hairdresser will evaluate the henna dye’s composition and suggest the most suitable course of action.


Hair colour stripping is a transformative process that allows you to bid farewell to unwanted hair colour and embrace a fresh new look. With the expertise and knowledge of professional hairdressers, you can safely and effectively achieve the desired results. By understanding the various techniques, considerations, and aftercare involved, you’ll be well-equipped to embark on your hair colour stripping journey. Consult with a trusted hairdresser, communicate your goals, and get ready to unveil a stunning new you!

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