how-to-remove-box-color-hairI get so many e-mails and comments asking…

“How can I remove box color from my hair?”

It’s not easy, and there are no simple instructions for removing box color from your hair.

Also, do not attempt to go lighter with a different box color. It will not work!

It’s difficult to remove color from the hair whether it is box hair color or professional hair color.

There are a few reasons why it’s harder to remove box color from the hair:

  • It’s stronger than professional color(not in a good way).
  • It probably was not applied properly(overlapping is most common).
  • Box color damages hair significantly, and so do color removers.

There are some factors to consider if you want to remove the color from your hair. Most people want to go lighter, or they want to go back to their natural hair color.

Here’s what you need to think about first:

  • Removing color from the hair will not revert it back to it’s natural state. Your hair has been permanently altered, and the only way to get your true natural color back is to grow it out. You can try to color it close to your natural to make the transition easier.
  • You cannot go from black hair to blonde hair in one day…or even a few days. With very dark colored hair(especially box) you’ll be lucky if you can get to a reddish color in one day. If you make it to an orange tone, then your hair will be VERY damaged, and you’ll still have to color it a medium brown for the meantime.
  • Color removers aren’t for everyone. They do a lot of damage, so it’s best to take it slow and just get some highlights. With highlights, you won’t be damaging all of your hair at once and you’ll keep some dimension.

How Can I Remove Box Color

From My Hair?

Here’s a great Q&A from a reader about getting rid of red box color:

Hi Erika,
Um so I dyed my hair red with a box color and it looked okay at first. After a while the color changed and I didn’t like it so I decided to dye it black.

After like 4 months of having it black I started getting tired of it, I asked a friend for advice on getting rid of the black and I was told to use two boxes of the lightest blonde color I could find.

I ended up doing it and half my head was blonde and the rest was black.

I put a brown color on over the blonde, but I still wasn’t able to get rid of the black.

My aunt recommended that I buy Nook hair dye and stop using box color.

I was wondering if you have any suggestions on what I can do o fix my hair. Thank you!

-Age 20

Dear Loanni,

Many people ask, “How can I remove box color?” It’s possible, but it depends on how dark you went, how many times your hair has been processed, the porosity and damage level of your hair, etc. Also, this is not something that should be attempted at home! I’m so sorry that you went though this and there is hope in time!

I haven’t heard of Nook dye but,I would probably suggest taking it easy on your hair for a while.

Unfortunately, when you get into all the different boxes there aren’t a whole lot of options for reversing without damage. Most of the time with these cases the box color has done too much damage to use a color removal product(please don’t try at home).

Color removers are extremely invasive…even more than bleaching the hair and may have to be repeated a few times. If it’s possible you would probably end up somewhere in the red/brown family where your hair is black. Then, you’d be dealing with recoloring to make sure it’s all even.

I was in a situation somewhat like this when I was in school. The girl did so much to my hair that i ended up going from very long hair to a bob. I fought it and didn’t want to do it, but the sooner you do the better.

You are probably okay without cutting off the damaged hair, but it won’t look great. I would rather cut the hair off and have a style that isn’t dry and damaged than hang on to hair that is beyond repair. Is your hair one color now or are there inconsistencies…that’s a whole separate topic that I can help you with if that’s the case.

I never went back to black…lol…after this you will have experienced the true meaning of permanent! I was around 19-20…better to learn younger than later.


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Professional Hairstylist | American Board Certified Haircolorist | Makeup Artist | Beauty Blogger

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