Expert Guide: Safely Fading Hair Color While Maintaining Hair Health

Ever dyed your hair and then wished you hadn’t? Or perhaps you’re just ready for a change, and that vibrant color isn’t as appealing as it once was. Don’t fret! You’re not stuck with it forever. There are ways to fade that color without damaging your locks.

Key Takeaways

  • Hair color doesn’t last forever due to a series of chemical reactions that occur from the time your hair gets colored. The cuticle of your hair strands closes after rinsing but doesn’t completely lock in the coloring molecules, some of which wash out with each shampoo, causing the color to fade.
  • Factors that speed up the process of hair color fading include exposure to sunlight, heat styling, and certain shampoos. Understanding these factors can help prolong your hair color.
  • There are several ways to fade your hair color, such as using clarifying shampoos, which strip hair of build-up including color, and home remedies like baking soda and apple cider vinegar. Vitamin C treatments, mixed with shampoo, can also strip color from hair while nourishing it.
  • Professional methods for fading hair color include salon color correction services and chemical color removers. Salon services alter the color of dyed hair while maintaining hair health, and chemical color removers break artificial color molecules into smaller pieces that can easily be washed out.
  • After fading your hair color, it’s important to moisturize your hair to prevent dryness. Hair masks and oil treatments or deep conditioning routines can restore essential moisture to the hair shaft.
  • Following a color fading treatment, selecting the right hair care products is crucial. Using products specifically designed for color-treated hair and heat protection products before styling prevents further color fading and ensures the vibrancy and health of your hair.

Understanding Hair Color Fading

In this section, you’ll gain an understanding of why hair color fades over time and what factors can actually speed up this process.

Why Hair Color Fades Over Time

Hair color doesn’t last forever; it begins to fade gradually after application. This is due to a series of chemical reactions that occur from the time your hair gets colored. When you apply hair dye, the coloring molecules sink into the hair shaft. The process involves opening the outer layer, or cuticle, of your hair strands. After rinsing, the cuticle closes again.

However, not all coloring molecules get completely locked in, and some begin to wash out with each shampoo. Furthermore, the closure of the cuticle isn’t perfect. There are still small spaces that allow more molecules to escape over time. Hence, the vibrancy of your hair color starts diminishing.

Also, the conditioning agents present in hair dyes deliver a temporary coating over your hair strands, providing an immediate gloss and brightness. You notice this phase right after dyeing your hair. Over time, as the coating wears away, the color begins to look dull.

Factors That Accelerate Color Fading

Several factors contribute to accelerating the process of hair color fading. Exposure to the environment, heat styling, and certain hair care routines are among them.

Sunlight plays a significant role in hastening color fading. It causes the breakdown of color molecules, leading to quicker pigment loss and hair discoloration.

Also, styling tools like flat irons and curling wands, used at high temperatures, can have the same effect as sunlight. They lead to the opening of the cuticles, allowing a quick escape for the color molecules. Thus, frequent use of these thermal styling tools causes a faster fade in hair color.

Another factor contributing to color fading is your shampooing routine. Sulfate-based shampoos are known to strip hair of its natural oils, causing the cuticle to lift and leak out color molecules. Even regular shampoos, when used excessively, can cause hair color to fade faster.

Understanding these factors can help you make informed decisions about protecting and prolonging your hair color, therefore saving you valuable time and resources.

Techniques to Fade Hair Color

From the outset of your color adventures, you learned the factors that contribute to color fading, including the effects of sunlight, heat, and certain shampoos on your hair’s hue. Now it’s time to strategize. Below are the techniques you’d find helpful in fading your hair color.

Using Clarifying Shampoos

You’re probably pondering what to use that’s readily available. Clarifying shampoos may be the answer. They’re renowned for their ability to strip hair of build-up, including color. They help remove product build-up, grease and dirt, and color molecules from your hair. Let’s say a shampoo like Neutrogena Anti-Residue Shampoo won’t just strip off your color; it’ll leave your hair squeaky clean. However, caution: they might feel harsh on your hair, so ensure you condition afterwards.

Home Remedies and Natural Solutions

From your kitchen cupboard, you can find several aids in fading hair color. Drenched in knowledge of safe and natural methods, you must know one common item: baking soda. Mixed with your shampoo, baking soda effectively fades hair color. Similarly, apple cider vinegar rinses work by increasing acidity, which can strip hair of color. Be sure to dilute it to prevent hair damage. No surprise, lemon juice, known for natural bleaching properties, when spritzed onto your hair and exposed to the sun, can lighten your locks.

Vitamin C Treatments

Reckon with vitamin C when considering color fading. You wouldn’t guess it, but the same vitamin C tablets that help fend off a cold, when crushed and mixed with shampoo, effectively strip color from hair. It also nourishes your hair, given the antioxidant properties.
Now you’re locked and loaded with techniques to fade your color without inflicting excessive hair damage. As always, consult with a professional before making significant changes.

Professional Methods for Fading Hair Color

Turning to professional avenues gives an edge in achieving a desired hair color fade without risking unintended hair damage. This section outlines two prominent professional methods: salon color correction services and chemical color removers.

Salon Color Correction Services

Salons offer color correction services specifically designed to alter the color of dyed hair. Entrusting hair care to a seasoned stylist ensures your hair’s integrity, whilst achieving an optimal shade fade. The complexity, duration, and cost of these services vary, depending on your hair type and desired results. For instance, if you’ve dyed your hair jet black and you desire a honey blonde, numerous appointments might be necessary, as liftings are done gradually to avoid serious hair damage. Always remember: a professional stylist takes into account factors not just tied to color fading, but also maintaining the health and vibrancy of your hair.

Chemical Color Removers

The second professional method employs chemical color removers. These products wane far from your standard shampoos or home remedies. They’re designed to penetrate hair shafts, breaking artificial color molecules into smaller pieces. Consequently, these smaller pieces can easily be washed out. L’Oreal’s Effasol and Pravana’s Artificial Color Extractor are a few examples of such removers. However, an important caveat exists: colour removers are ineffective on demi-permanent or semi-permanent hair dyes. Also, they may cause dryness, so a deep conditioning treatment post-application stands as crucial for maintaining hair health. Consent from a professional stylist is recommended before application, as the right usage depends on hair health, dye used, and other relevant aspects. Chemical color removers present a potent option, but bear in mind the need to follow-up with intensive hair nourishment.

Caring for Faded Color

After successfully fading your hair color, it’s critical to know how to care for it. The following sections will go into detail about post-color fading care to keep your hair healthy and vibrant.

Moisturizing Post-Color Fading

Pamper your locks with hydration, as dryness often occurs post-color fading. Hair masks, oil treatments, or deep conditioning routines restore essential moisture to the hair shaft. An example of these moisturizing products includes SheaMoisture Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil Intensive Hydration Hair mask, which works wonders in restoring dry and lifeless hair to its former glory. Another useful product to keep in mind is MoroccanOil Treatment, known for its intense moisturizing and hydrating capabilities.

Choosing the Right Products Post-Treatment

Selecting the right hair care products following a color fading treatment is paramount. Avoid hair products that contain sulfates, as they can strip color and leave hair dry. Instead, choose products specifically designed for color-treated hair like Redken Color Extend Magnetics Shampoo and Conditioner. These items work to cleanse and condition the hair without causing color-fading, ensuring your hair maintains its vibrancy.

Additionally, opt for heat protection products like L’Oreal Paris Elnett Satin Hairspray, before using any heat styling tools. Heat exposure can further fade hair color, so it’s vital to protect your hair to maintain its color and health. Remember, proper product selection can be the key to managing the longevity and quality of your faded hair color.


Fading your hair color is a journey that requires both professional guidance and quality products. You’ve learned that gradual color lifting is crucial to prevent damage and maintain hair health. Post-color fading care, like moisturizing with SheaMoisture Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil Hair mask and MoroccanOil Treatment, is vital. You now know that the right shampoo and conditioner, like Redken Color Extend Magnetics, can significantly affect the longevity and vibrancy of your faded hair color. Remember, heat protection products are your hair’s best friend against damage. Your journey doesn’t end with fading the color; it’s about maintaining the health and vibrancy of your hair. With the right approach and products, you can take control of your hair fading journey with confidence.

Safely fading hair color while maintaining hair health requires using gentle methods and products. Good Housekeeping recommends washing your hair with clarifying shampoos and avoiding heat styling to gradually fade the color without causing damage. Additionally, Allure suggests using nourishing hair masks and treatments to keep the hair hydrated and strong throughout the fading process.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the recommended methods for fading hair color?

The ideal methods for fading hair color include both natural and professional techniques. Consulting with trained professionals ensures that color lifting is done gradually to avoid hair damage.

Why is post-color fading care vital?

Post-color fading care is critical to maintain hair health and vibrancy. It involves application of specific moisturizing products like SheaMoisture Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil Hair mask and MoroccanOil Treatment, which help in the preservation of hair quality.

What kind of products are recommended after color treatment?

After color treatment, it is important to use specialized products such as Redken Color Extend Magnetics Shampoo and Conditioner that cater to colored hair needs and help extend its lifespan.

How vital is the selection of the right products in maintaining hair color?

Choosing the correct products in the aftermath of coloring your hair is pivotal. The right selection can significantly influence the longevity and quality of the faded hair color.

Should I use heat protecting products after hair color fading?

Yes, using heat protection products after hair color fading minimizes damage caused by styling tools and helps in maintaining the vibrancy of hair color.