How to Restore Your Hair Color When You Get a Bad Dye Job

Correct a bad dye job with an olive oil rinse.

Photo: Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images

Unless you performed the recommended strand test before unleashing a new dye color on your hair, you might be in for a surprise -- and not necessarily a good one. Colors that look phenomenal on the box models' hair might give yours an unflattering green tinge or an interesting orange hue. If a professional dyed your hair, run -- don't walk -- back to the salon and ask for a redo. Most will redye your hair for free if you're dissatisfied. If your hair dye disaster was a home job, take immediate action to remove the color and get your natural, if not slightly boring, color back.

Dish Detergent Method


Jump in the shower ASAP with a bottle of shampoo and some liquid dish detergent.


Squeeze a generous dollop of shampoo into your hand and add a couple of drops of dish detergent.


Lather, rinse, repeat, then blow dry your hair, stat! The disastrous color should have faded enough that you can redye your hair a more suitable color.

Olive Oil Method


Pour 1 tbsp. olive oil into a cup and stick it in the microwave for about 30 seconds to warm it slightly.


Apply the olive oil to dry hair. Massage it in completely to ensure you coat every strand. Wash your hands thoroughly to avoid getting the sticky oil on your face or clothes.


Put a shower cap on your head, or wrap it in plastic wrap. Leave the oil on for about 15 minutes, staying away from windows and mirrors to avoid frightening your neighbors or yourself.


Wash your hair twice with a clarifying shampoo to completely remove the oil -- and hopefully, some of your icky color should have come off with it.

Things You'll Need



3.1 tbsp. olive oil

5.Shower cap or plastic wrap

2.Liquid dish detergent

4.Microwave-safe cup

6.Clarifying shampoo


Tips & Tricks


Look for products that claim to remove oxidative hair color. These products work on permanent dyes without using damaging ingredients such as bleach. The products shrink the color molecule so it washes out.

If you're afraid of stripping your hair's luster along with the bad color, consider a temporary color rinse to disguise your hair's orange hues. A color rinse lasts between three and six weeks.

Oxidative hair color removers will not work as well on semi-permanent dyes because they are a mixture of oxidative and direct dyes, whereas permanent dyes are just oxidative.


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