5 Best Hair Color Removers

So you’ve had your trendy new hair color for months now and maybe you’ve decided it’s time to move on. Some people choose to skip the step of using a hair color remover while some people believe in the need for one. In today’s article, we’ll be looking at how it works and whether you actually need one.

How Does A Hair Color Remover Work?

To understand how hair color removers work, we must first understand how hair color works. When you use permanent hair coloring, the molecules are held inside your hair shaft with molecular links. This way, the pigments of the hair color are held together and give your hair color from the inside.

When you use a hair color remover, it works by dissolving the molecular links that are holding the permanent hair color pigments together within the 20 minutes processing time. Once the links are dissolved, the molecules have nothing to hold on to and thus, can be easily washed away.

Understand What A Hair Color Remover Doesn’t Do

Some people do expect a hair color remover to do everything. Do bear in mind that hair color removers actually don’t do any of the following:

  •         Turn your hair back to its natural color
  •         Turn your hair blonde
  •         Remove cuticle staining
  •         Remove semi-permanent hair color
  •         Get rid of bleaching

A hair color remover does not work on your natural hair color because it works differently from bleaching, so you can’t use this to transition from your natural color to a new one. It also does not work on semi-permanent hair color as the pigments of those do not penetrate the core of your hair. Permanent hair coloring does, and this is what a hair color remover can work on.

Tips To Make A Hair Color Remover More Effective


Don’t use shampoo or any hair products from the last time you wash your hair until the time you’re going to use the color remover. Check this article to select the best shampoo for oily hair.

Don’t use the coconut oil method either, as that should be used for bleaching and not color removing. Look it up if you’re bleaching though, as it’s can be invaluable.


Overestimate your rinse time, as this can be affected by your water pressure, hair volume and length. The longer you rinse out your hair, the better to get out all the loose pigments while they remain unlinked.

Check how much time you have to wait until you can use any other hair products and processes on your hair such as dye, bleach, chemical perm, or straightening. Leaving no transition period between these uses can severely damage your hair and affect your hair’s appearance.

Top 5 Hair Color Removers

5. Color Prep Oops Hair System


Color prep works by shrinking and neutralizing the color pigment in your hair in order to avoid off tones and dye build up when achieving your desired hair color. Color Prep can be used to prep your hair before a new hair color and will get rid of up to three levels of unwanted color.

  • Rinses off simply after using
  • Primes hair for truer color results the next time
  • Convenient when shifting between hair colors
  • Safe and easy for use

  • Produces a poor smell
  • Does not work for some buyers

4. Developlus Color Remover



This hair color remover product can help you get rid of unwanted color and restore your hair back to its natural color. The hydrosulfite ingredient reduces the dye molecules swiftly and there is no more need for bleach, ammonia or peroxide to achieve the same results. Just make sure to read the instructions carefully when using this.

  • Just rinse out your hair color when you’re done
  • Safe and will not damage your hair
  • Can be used to dye your hair a new color on the same day

  • May lead to orangey streaks
  • Does not work well with red coloring

3. L’Oreal ColorZap Remover



The L’Oreal ColorZap can be used to remove your permanent hair color for a new shade application. You will be able to change hair colors as you desire. While it will not restore your hair to its natural color, you should try to apply the color for your new shade as soon as possible.

  • Can change your hair’s shade quickly
  • Removes tint of permanent color
  • Brings the hair back to base shade

  • Has damaged some people’s hair
  • One package is too small for the whole head

2. L’Oreal Effasol Color Remover


Similar to the previous product in the L’Oreal brand, this color remover does not restore your hair to its natural shade but rather, to the lightened base that the pigment of the permanent hair color was on.  You can use this to remove unwanted color, uneven tones or even color build up from consequent hair colorings.

  • Gentle foaming action
  • Works quickly when you apply it
  • Leaves hair conditioned and soft
  • Prepares your hair for more coloring

  • Smells strongly of sulfur
  • May work more like bleach than a remover

1. Goldwell Elumen Color Remover


This color remover works on hair colors from the same manufacturer only and it works best when used as immediately as possible from the color application.

  • Tone down or reverse your hair color
  • Protects the hair and keeps it safe
  • Does not oxidize or reduce agents

  • Very few people have reviewed the product
  • May not work well for all hair colors


Remember to read instructions carefully before using any hair color remover. Some may require you to wait for weeks before you can dye to a new color, or some may require just minutes. Some of hair color removers on the market have damaging effects on hair, so be sure to choose wisely!

Do share with us in the comments!

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply