How to Remove Red Hair Color

by Robin Neorr

You tell the stylist to color your hair a beautiful shade of red much like Marcia Cross or Lindsay Lohan and you end up looking like Ronald McDonald. It is embarrassing, but even though the red hair color says it is permanent, it isn't. You have 48 to 72 hours before the hair color fully sets into the hairs cuticles. You need to take advantage of this window to remove your red hair color.

Items you will need

  • Dish detergent
  • Color Oops (or another color corrector)
  • Rubber gloves
  • Plastic cap
  • Water
  • Shampoo
  • Hair color 2 to 3 shades lighter then your desired results
Step 1

Start by washing your hair with dish detergent (original Palmolive works well). Rinse, repeat and then condition.

Step 2

Blow dry your hair. If you are lucky you will have removed enough of the red hair color to make the shade acceptable. If not, continue on to step three.

Step 3

Open you box of Color Oops or any other color correcting solution. Put on rubber gloves. Mix equal parts color reverse part one and color reverse part two.

Step 4

Apply the mixture to you hair and work it through.

Step 5

Place the plastic cap over your hair and leave on for twenty minutes.

Step 6

You will want to shampoo your hair with your favorite shampoo, rinse, then repeat. Make sure that your hair is completely rinsed of all Color Oops.

Step 7

Apply part three of the color reverse system and allow it to penetrate your hair for ten minutes.

Step 8

Shampoo your hair once more and then condition.

Step 9

Dry and style hair as usual. You will want to examine the new color of your hair. You will most likely want to recolor you hair as color strippers then to have a lightening effect on the hair. Know that your hair is porous from the repeated processing. Although your hair might normally be a lovely shade of clove avoid the temptation to use this hair color. Choose a shade two to three shades lighter then you natural hair color and make sure not to leave it on too long.


  • The red will fade over time and this fading process can be accelerated by using hair products meant to amplify and volumize your hair.


  • Always make sure to do a patch test on your skin and hair to ensure that you are able to use the product without developing an unpleasant reaction.

About the Author

Robin Neorr has been working as a full-time freelance writer since 2007. She has written for various websites including The Frisky. Before she started her writing career, she spent 10 years in media marketing. She has a bachelor's degree in communications and a master's degree in communications management from John Carroll University.