Tori is a 28-year-old, three-time animal mom and DIYer living in Northern Atlanta with her boyfriend.
What I Had to Work With
About two years ago, I decided I wanted to put bright colors in my hair because I was bored with my normal dirty blonde. But I was too chicken to dye my entire head, so I decided to do an ombre. I started out with navy blue. Over time, as it faded, I would dye it a new color: turquoise; purple; turquoise and purple together; neon pink; turquoise and green together; then all green, and after that, I needed to remove some color so I could experiment more.
All the dyes I used before I went pink were Manic Panic brand. Manic Panic is nice because it stays would stay 3 or 4 weeks, then fades very well. I didn't have to do any lightening to prep for a color change, and I could change colors close to once a month.
When I went pink and after, I started experimenting with other brands. I found that Ion Color Brilliance colors faded at the same rate as Manic Panic and were true to the colors on the box. I also tried another brand, One N' Only Argan Oil, that had some gorgeous jewel tones and positive reviews online.
The One N' Only Argan Oil colors are probably some of my favorite shades I've ever used, and are very true to what they show you on the box. My one issue was that the Electric Teal did not wash out barely at all over the course of 3 months.
This is great if you want your hair the same color for an extended period of time. But I didn't! It was about 3 months of the same color. It was a great color, but I wanted to mix it up. December came and I tried to use a lightener and lighten it out, but to no avail--- I ended up with the same color and more damaged hair than I started with.
I really wanted emerald green, so I eventually quit trying to remove the blue and put green on over top. It was green for 5 days --- and the next time I fully washed my ends, that teal was showing through again.
Method 1: Go to the Pool
I let my hair rest another month into February, and I was ready at the beginning of March to get it to another color, so I was trying everything. I unintentionally discovered that going to the pool was helping to lighten my hair.
After 3 visits to the pool, my hair was even lighter. Now let's be clear --- it was still definitely blue --- but it was starting to turn light turquoise rather than being bright, turquoise. The chlorine was doing a fantastic job of pulling the color out.
Method #2: Hair Color Remover
For the 3 weeks, I was just relying on the pool to pull my color out after I noticed the changes the first day. However, the blue fading set off an itch to speed up the process so I could try another color again after 6 months of blue-green hair.
I knew I didn't want to bleach it again because that didn't work at all. Clarifying shampoo did not have enough power to remove the color either. So I did a little research and ended up buying a box of One N' Only Colorfix Permanent Hair Color Remover. It promised no damage to my hair while removing the color I had in.
I came home, and followed the instructions on the box. Mix Part 1 and Part 2 together; brush it on to the part you want to remove color, treat with medium heat; rinse; shampoo; and pat dry. If hair is not light enough, repeat. If hair is light enough, do not repeat and apply Part 3, then rinse again and dry hair. I did three rounds of lightener, which is a great time to transition into the next method I used to remove my blue: washing with multiple shampoos.
Method #3: Wash with Multiple Shampoos
I switched up my shampoo routine every time I washed my hair while trying to lighten it. I also used different shampoos during the process of using the color remover to see what worked best. It's common knowledge that most shampoos containing sulfates will strip your hair of any color. So if you're looking for a way to lift a color that's less damaging then using a lightener, shampoos with sulfates are a safe bet.
In conjunction with using the color remover, I used different shampoos during each of three rounds of color remover. I started with TreSemme Anti-Breakage Shampoo during the first round.
The 2nd time I used Generic Value Products Conditioning Purple Shampoo. Purple Shampoo is in general used for removing yellow tones from gray and blonde hair. My hair became less turquoise and more ice blue after this round.
The last time, I used a generic dandruff shampoo, followed by the purple shampoo again. The zinc in dandruff shampoo is known for helping to strip hair color out, so I hoped this would speed the process a little bit too.
By the time I was done, the blue was significantly lighter, and I even had some streaks of hair that were completely white.
The Finished Product
Using these methods, I was able to lighten my hair up considerably from the turquoise blue that it was to a lighter blue that wouldn't affect any other colors I put in my hair. The color remover did a lot of the brunt work, so I wouldn't rely on just going to the pool or switching up shampoos to remove a more difficult color from your hair - the better solution would be to use all three. If you don't want to put that kind of work in, I would always recommend going to see a professional to have it removed.
The Color Remover worked very well, but it took a couple of rounds. I started with somewhat scraggly ends to begin with, and the Color Remover made it moderately worse but not much. I did end up trimming my ends before I applied new color so that the scraggliness didn't take away from my new rainbow ombre look.
Kathleen from Michigan on November 20, 2016: