How Can You Fix a Bad Dye Job on Your Hair?

Tame scary hair color with dish detergent or cover it with a color rinse.

Photo: IT Stock/Polka Dot/Getty Images

Dyeing at home is a thrifty and easy way to get salon color without the salon price tag. With so many options for brands and colors, picking the right one can seem a daunting task. That auburn that looks incredible on the model might turn your hair bright orange a la Carrot Top. So what to do when your home dye job turns bad? The good news is that if you used a semi-permanent dye, you can reverse the damage as long as you act within 72 hours.


Mix two or three drops of liquid dish detergent with your everyday shampoo. Lather up well, then rinse with hot water and repeat. Once your hair is dry, the color should have faded a shade or two, leaving you with a color you can live with.


Warm some olive oil on the stove until it's hot -- but not burning -- to the touch. Apply the oil all over your hair and massage in thoroughly. Leave for 10 to 15 minutes to let it work its magic. Wash the oil out of your hair with a clarifying shampoo to strip the color and prevent a sticky, oily residue from setting up camp on your roots.


Cover up your hair dye mistake with a mild color rinse. Choose a color close to your natural color and mix half a bottle of the product with your shampoo. Apply to hair and leave to work for five to 15 minutes. Rinse the shampoo color rinse thoroughly off your hair. A color rinse lasts three to six weeks, so you can enjoy normal-colored hair while you save up to have it fixed professionally.

Things You'll Need


1.Liquid dish detergent

3.Olive oil

5.Mild color rinse


4.Clarifying shampoo


Tips & Tricks


If your attempt to make a drastic color change at home has proved disastrous, make an appointment with a hair colorist, stat! Trying to re-dye your hair or bleach the color out at home can lead to severe hair damage. Professionals have experience with situations like yours, so put the life of your hair in their hands and learn from your home coloring mistake.

Don't try more than one color stripping product at home. Doing so can ruin your hair's texture, leaving it stripped of nutrients and giving it a straw-like feel. Unless you're looking for a date with a scarecrow, head to the hair salon to fix stubborn color.


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