Aug 192009
 

I started coloring my hair a decade ago. At the time, I spent many long hours at the back of lecture halls, bored enough to study the heads of the people in front of me. It was kind of a revelation — at least half the women in class had “probably dyed” hair, and overall the dyed stuff looked so much brighter and more interesting than natural hair.

I usually stay within one shade of my natural color, so I’ve made it surprisingly far without any crazy results. Until now. I bought the dye online, didn’t pay enough attention to the box, and voila — dark burgundy hair:

The photo isn’t terrible, but believe me — it was worse in person. Time to research dye removers. The standard option seems to be Color Oops, but I worried about chemical-frying my hair still further. Eventually, I came across an article suggesting Vitamin C as a natural dye remover. I was a bit skeptical that Vitamin C could work, but it’s cheap and sounded gentle, so it seemed harmless for a first attempt.

To use Vitamin C as a hair dye remover, first buy the cheapest Vitamin C you can find (mine was $2.99 for 100 store-brand tablets). Drop some tablets into a plastic sandwich bag (I used roughly 30) and crush them with a hammer. Mix the powder with your regular shampoo, apply to slightly damp hair, cover the mess with a shower cap, and wait 30+ minutes.

It worked! My hair is now 2 shades lighter:

Somehow it seems to have lightened the dye as opposed to “removing” it. (Which is actually a good thing — it didn’t take me back to my visible roots.) I’m not sure the trick would work for too-light bleached hair, and it seems to have left most of the red in place. But too-dark dye is easily removed with this handy trick…. Heaven forbid anyone ends up with a similar disaster, but if you do I highly recommend Vitamin C!

  187 Responses to “Vitamin C as a Natural Hair Dye Remover”

  1. I just went to the salon today and got my hair colored. I’ve never gone darker than one shade of my natural hair color which is a dark blonde but this time i was like YEA LETS GO DARK BROWN. Then, my hair dresser suggested to me that I get a few different shades of brown to add depth. As he was doing this, i knew it was odd but he only used one color in the front, one color on top and one color under it all. No mixing. Blocked it all up.They must have just been trying to up the bill because my hair looked HORRIBLE in the end. They colored the front of my hair a dark brown that was red based, the top and lighter yellow based brown and the bottom a neutral based brownwell the only dye that actually ended up brown was the one that was under my now yellow and red hair. SO.i had them try and strip out a lot of the red in my hair, but that only muted it. So i was like OK whatever i’m out of here and went straight to walmart and purchased a box of dark brown hair dye. It actually ended up looking a lot better, unfortunately in the sun you can still see the red and yellow, but at least it doesn’t look like im promoting McDonalds anymore. Maybe a gothic McDonaldsOnly issue i have now is that the front of my hair is a LOT darker than the back. So i’m going to try this Vitamin C trick (but only on the front)Do you think it will only leave my hair red and take all the brown?i’m so angry about this. I look ridiculous Please help!-Sam

    • Bleach it and start over. I feel bad for you. SAME THING happened to me this summer. I usually dye it myself but wanted to “treat” myself to a salon “expert”. Never again. Cheaper from a box, and I’m always happier with the result.

    • The same thing happened to me. I seem to have a chemical reaction with the salon coloring. Went in with some chemical damage a month ago and did not want to color it myself. I had finally got the perfect color after five years. My hair dresser suggested we use a semi permanent color and I am glad. After five minutes, I inquired as to if I was getting any chemical damage. She said no. After ten minutes I noticed the roots were looking darker than when I color them. So I said to her I think you should get it out now. She said it has only been ten minutes. Another minute passed and I said lets get it out it is too dark. She washed it out and sure enough, I was right. Another five minutes and it would have turned black. My hair was suppose to be light golden brown and the roots turned dark brown. Boy was I unhappy to spend seventy five dollars to get the color I started with five years ago. It was not her, it was my chemical composition combined with that particular dye. I have had this happen before, but I was not comfortable coloring it myself since I had had some chemical damage from a Redkin product that was also a chemical composition reaction with my chemistry. I am going to try the honey and/or agave in my shampoo and conditioner and see what I get. Will update on my progress.

      • This can be a result of the salon due reacting differently to how it should due to dyes and shampoos used in the the past, particularly store bought dyes can have a lot pod ingredients in them wh

    • Sorry. I will follow up with the Vit C application and see what I get and respond.

    • Counter actred with green not too much u find the specifix tints for this st sally beauty

  2. Poor Sam, did you try the Vitamin C? I would probably try removing color from ALL my hair (rather than just the front) for fear that everything would end up looking even more piecemeal. Probably some hint of the different colors will remain, but hopefully it would be light enough that everything will just blend together. (Or light enough that you could go to a GOOD salon and have everything colored over one last time to blend it all together. But maybe with a hair-healthy color — you don’t want to completely fry everything at this point!) Good luck!

  3. I am very glad that you posted this blog. Too many people go straight for a chemical remover to get rid of hair dye. The only problem is that chemicals will fry your hair, and could result in losing hair. vitiamn C is a natural way to help remove the hair dye. As you noticed it mainly helps lighten up the hair dye in order for it to blend in with the shade that you were probably going for. Most people do stick within one shade, but they don't take in to consideration that different brands will turn your hair different colors. Most of the time one brand is darker than the other. If you would have went with a chemical product, you would have probably have noticed that you were losing some of your hair as you brushed or washed it. So many women wonder why their hair comes out more after dying or perming their hair. It is because of all the chemicals.

  4. this is the best ever i had dyed blonde bleech hair and wanted to go red but the red faded a lot and i still had some red parts in it i found how to remove colored hair and it really works im back to being blonde again

  5. Glad it worked out for you, Mich. It really is rather amazing that it actually works!!

  6. I had applied revlon to my light brown and turned out red. I used the vitamin c with a volumizing shampoo and it took almost all the red out of my hair! It seems like the next few regular washes after I did this it looked even better! It was dry at first but now it feels incredible. Thanks!

    • Hi, one of the most effective shampoo’s to use when hair has gone red is an Anti Dandruff shampoo. it may be enhanced if used with Vit C. Also a good product to use is the violet/blue-ish shampoo or conditioner what you can get for making your blond to go or of a platinam shade. carefull not to put so much on the roots though, as you may go gray.

  7. Thank you so much for sharing this!! After years of growing my hair out (after having a stylist dye it almost black and having to strip it out)…I finally got my waist length blonde hair heathy again. I decided to add some red, so I used a Demi permanent (no ammonia) strawberry blonde. The color could not have been more off!! It turned out a very dark burgundy, no copper highlights..,,they were dark ruby, almost purple!! It looked hideous on my pale skin!! I couldn’t stand it, so I read to try pert shampoo to fade it. Well I must have shampooed it 10 times, and nothing. No color change at all. I was so nervous, and I continued searching online, which lead me to your blog. Back to walgreens I went for some vitamin c!! I bought the 500mg store brand…cost all of 3.99. I ended up crushing the entire bottle between 2 sheets of wax paper, I used a rolling pin 2 crush them up. Then I used a mortar and pestle and ground them up as fine as I could, I poured it in a bowl and mixed it with pert until it looked whipped, like shaving cream. I made sure my hair was nice and saturated, but not dripping wet when I applied it, I rubbed it in my hair for a few minutes to make sure it was evenly distributed, put it under a shower cap, and left it for an hour (yeah..,I wanted this color out!!). Well…immediately when I started rinsing, I noticed the color washing down the drain..the water was dark!!! Anyway, sorry for the novel here…but this was the best bit of beauty information I’ve heard…maybe ever!! It saved me from the embarrassment of having to live with that color. Well.. That first time I was so excited because it was much lighter, it was a copper red. I did the treatment again 2 days later, but I only left it on for 30mins. Wow!!! It’s perfect now….the loveliest shade of strawberry blonde, and still ultra soft. There is no damage on my hair at all!! This was the best experience…. I’ve been telling all the women I know, try it, and pass it along..,it really works!! :)

    • I’m so happy to hear this trick worked for you! And your directions sound much more thorough than mine (I think I just pounded the tablets in a baggie, then mixed the still-sort-of-chunky powder with shampoo in my hand, so your concoction sounds both more luxurious and probably more effective), so hopefully they’ll help anyone else who stumbles across this post somewhere down the line. Thanks for stopping by, and for letting me know it worked — I love to help people!! Enjoy that strawberry blonde. :)

  8. Hi, I dyed my hair strawberry blonde on Christmas, with permanent dye. I absolutely loved the colour. My hair never looked better! Anyways, a few days ago my mom complained that she didn’t like the colour on me (she’s a professional hair dresser), and I argued that it’s my hair, my choice. She told me fine, but my hair was too brassy, so she would add a toner to it to make it less brassy. I said okay, she started putting stuff in my hair, and then it turned out that she lied to me and just wanted to make my hair dark! It came out a really dark brown, and all my blonde streaks turned a dark gray!!! Luckily, she had used semi permanent colour and I assumed it would wash out. I shampooed 8 times yesterday with a cheap shampoo that’s not colour safe, the gray came out and my hair was only the tiniest bit lighter. I can see the blonde streaks coming out a bit (they’re a medium brown now) and the rest of my hair is just barely lighter. Will the vitamin C take off all the semi permanent dark brown colour and leave the permanent strawberry blonde, or will it take both off? And I want to get my hair back to strawberry blonde in about a week tops! How often would I have to do this?

    • I kind of like “brassy” too, so good for you for at least *trying* to stick up for it! I’m not a scientist or a hair dresser, so I don’t know much about how the Vitamin C works on different kinds of dye. Someone once told me the acids in the C break down the bonds that hold the color to the hair? So if that’s true, I think it would work particularly well on semi-permanent dye because that’s just kind of sitting on top of the hair strand anyway. But I’m not sure how it works on the permanent stuff — I suspect it would take out some of that color but not all? Definitely some of my color remained after the Vitamin C, but it was much less color and so much lighter that I loved the new color. Hopefully same will be true for you. Good luck!

  9. Thank you so much for this tip! It worked like a charm, better than anything else I have tried to lighten a bad hair color. My hair went from super dark and flat, almost black (think Alan Rickman in the Harry Potter series) to a dark brown with red tones. Exactly what I was after. Plus, my hair is soft and shiny. Completely undamaged. Can’t thank you enough!

  10. Hey there, umm so 1: do you need to wet your hair 1st, and 2:i have black hair and strawberry blonde naturally… will it make it a dark brown color or a reddish color??

    • I would definitely wet it first. Seems like that would make it easier to mix the shampoo/C concoction into your hair. As for results, sounds like everyone’s results are a little different — definitely lighter, but hard to say the exact shade. Reddish sounds like a good guess in your case?

      (And it doesn’t sound like the type of shampoo makes a difference.)

  11. ALSO! i use Dove shampoo.. is that okay??

  12. I just did this but I’m not sure whether it’s worked. I have very thick hair and just bought vitamin c tablets, which have 30 tablets in, I’ve obviously not used them all but is there a certain amount you’d need for thick hair? My hair is very dark brown naturally, and i’ve only ever dyed my hair dark brown or black, I’ve recently dyed it black and it hasn’t changed much tbh. Will I need more vitamin c tablets in at once?

    I really wanna get rid of this black! :(

    • Hm, maybe if you try one more time and leave the C/shampoo mixture in longer? Some people have mentioned leaving it in for up to 30 minutes. Or use more Vitamin C in the mix? Doesn’t seem like it could really hurt…. Good luck!

  13. It worked for me!

    I saw this on other sites through Google and on YouTube and I decided to try it after my hairdresser botched my hair: I asked for medium golden mahogany brown (like I had got from a more expensive hairdresser at Christmas time) and I endup up with a very dark burgundy brown (it looked more of a violet black). I have very fair skin with pink tones and this really wasn’t flattering. It was very harsh looking. I washed it once after 24 hours and again, after 36 hours. It helped a bit but not much… then, I got this info but I did it a bit differently:

    - I used Neutrogena clarifying shampoo;
    - I used about 12 vitamin C tablets (white ones) – 250 mg – I put them in a baggie and used a marble rolling pin to crush them;
    - I added a drop or two of Dawn dish soap (the blue one) to the shampoo and then stirred in the powder;
    - I used a spray bottle to wet my hair with water, combed it through and then put on the “mixture” and massaged it in a little;
    - I couldn’t find my shower cap, so I used the plastic bag from the pharmacy over my head – I tied the handles at the base of my neck and secured with a hair elastic;
    - I waited 30 mins (but I read that some poeple wait up to 2 hours);
    - I rinsed, washed with my regular shampoo (Dove Essential Oils), rinsed, conditioned generously with my regular conditioner (Dove Essential Oils), rinsed again;
    - I then blow dried my hair and it was AWESOME!!! …and no grays came through, thank goodness!

    I already received two compliments from colleagues on my “new hair colour” at the office today (nobody said anything yesterday when it was darker)! …and it is silky soft and has an incredible shine! It still smells a bit strong of cleaning products but it’s okay… at least it’s a clean smell.

    I am going to leave my hair alone for a few days to replenish its natural oils and then, when I am ready, I will wash it again with the Neutrogena clarifying shampoo.

    • So many helpful details, thanks! So glad to hear the process turned out well for you.

    • Sue, I just tried almost exactly the same mix, but used about 2 tablespoons of Dawn (instead of a few drops) with the other ingredients, and I only left it on for about 5 minutes since my scalp really started to itch and burn, plus I have fragile hair, so I was worried about frying everything off. It lifted about half a shade off! Great! I’ll keep doing this in small increments with heavy conditioning in between.

      Tara, thanks for posting this!

      • Thank YOU, all, for sharing your experiences and tips! Just wanted to pop in and say sorry I don’t always reply to every comment, or don’t always approve moderated comments quickly. Chronically ill and don’t always get to the computer every day…. But all the comments and tips are a huge resource for other people and each one is appreciated by me and others!!!

  14. I am currently sitting at my computer with the vitamin C stuff on my head. I did an at home Dark Chocolate 28-washes dye. I have medium brown hair naturally, but wanted to try something a little richer and more dramatic. It turned out to be a VERY dramatic change. Almost black. I hate it. I am going to be washing this stuff out soon and I’ll post the results. Wish me luck!

  15. Okay, I just rinsed it all out and blew it dry…….It has definately lightened up a shade or possibly two. A am pleased with the results. Just incase anyone is wondering, I washed it first with dish liquid and hot water, rinsed & wrung most of the water out, then I saturated my hair with a paste I made from my regular shampoo (a little more than I would usually use) and some pure vitamin C powder. I put on my shower cap, wraped my head up in an old towel and let it sit for about 45 mins. Rinsed it out with hot water and applied a good conditioner. I might try it again in a few days, just to see. I highly recommend this.

    • So glad it worked for you! From the people who report here, seems like the success rate is pretty close to 100%. And for new people searching for information, I imagine it’s really helpful to see all the different methods people here have tried. Thanks for sharing the details, and for checking back in with the results!

  16. Hi! I’ve heard alot about this, and I want to try it. I have natural medium blonde hair and I dyed it light blonde kinda yellow, 5 months ago. I decided to live with it but now I really hate it and I want my natural color back. My hair is long (right below my boobs lol) and its pretty thick. I was wondering how many tablets I should use and what kind of shampoo is best. Thanks :)

    • Not sure whether this trick would work on lightened hair. It works by removing the bonds between the dye and hair, so it’s fine anytime the color is wedded to the hair shaft. But somehow I suspect bleaching is a different process? (Can any readers with more knowledge of hair dye technology enlighten us??)

      Either way, it’s cheap, non-chemical, and reasonably gentle to your hair, so couldn’t hurt to try! At worst you’re out a few dollars for generic Vitamin C and a half hour or so of your time…. Be sure to let us know whether it works — good luck!

  17. Would this work for going from light hair to natural hair? My hair is naturally medium blonde but it was died lighter about 5 months ago.

  18. Thanks for telling us about this tip. I bought a dye on the weekend which was meant to be a copper blonde but it’s gone like, darkish red from mids to ends, and because my hair is naturally very blonde the roots turned carrot-y. Used the dye on Monday. And I was so upset to find how it looked.

    I have the Vitamin C shampoo mixture in at the moment, I’m hoping it will make it look better, or at least lighten it so I can go to the hair dresser in the next couple of hours and ask them to help me fix it up a bit.
    I’ll let you know how it works out for me. Thank you again!

    And that’s the last time I dye my own hair. haha

  19. I dyed my hair Febuary 2011. I dyed it a plum colour and didnt like it, so i died it brown,but it went black,i left the black for a while then it started too fade and my friend told me about something caled ‘colour B4′ so i used it,but my hair went BRIGHT red\orange and i hated it! so my mum let me dye it brown then leave it alone, but the colour has faded and alot fo the purple and browns are coming back through and I need something to do with it, would you recommend this for me? My naturel colour is a meduim brown and i’ve dyed my hair roughly about 6 or 7 times

  20. Doing this now, only difference is, I looove my current colour (it’s kind of a rich dark brown, but not really dark.. quite warm in some lights) and get compliments on it all the time. My natural hair is a lighter brown, quite mousey, with a lot of natural blonde highlights in the summer, also quite nice. I’ve decided that, since I’m going to Majorca in a few weeks, I’m going to ombre my hair (google it if you’re not sure what I mean). So I thought before doing anything drastic with peroxide, I’d try just applying this vitamin c/shampoo mixture to the ends of my hair and fade it up. I”ve had the mixture on for half an hour now, but when i rub some hair between myfingers the colour doesn’t seem to be budging at all, so I think 10 more minutes, if not, i’ll do it again! Fingers crossed I don’t end up looking like a total idiot. Let you know in 20 minutes!

  21. Nothing happened! At all…

    • Shame it didn’t work! (I think you’re the first one who reported here who didn’t have results.) But the ombre thing was a cool idea — worth a try!

      • It didn’t work for me either. Is this for permanent or semi-permanent colour? Cause my hair colour is permanent and it’s been almost 2 months since I dyed it. I tried this today and all it did was dry out my hair.

        • Mine was permanent color, though it was a much more recent dye job. I think the commenters have had a little of both. Sorry it didn’t work for you!

        • Im a hairstylist and color my hair quite a bit and decided to do this natural approach… I found that mixing at least 4 packets of emergenc with a clarifying shampoo the bag and blow dry for 10 min and wrapped a towel around my head for 45 min did wonders! The emergenc is already a powered substance and with the heat opens the cuticle… It lifted me at least 2 shades with one application….

  22. So I had beautiful blonde hair, gorgeouuus! but it was killing my hair and it was incredibly short so i vowed to keep it safe and long until my sisters wedding in october (this year now) and then i could make it beautiful again. So i died it brown and only left my hair blonde (proffesionally) then a month ago i got sick of it so i thought if im going to do this i may as well go all out. I HATE IT. Black hair is horrible and i feel so incredibly unatractive so I tried using a mixture of lemon juice, vinegar, oil and honey….didnt really do much, so i decided to try the vitamin C Idea which is sitting in my hair atm i will post back with what it looks like, fingers crossed ladies!!!

  23. After having done research about decoloring I found your link and 2 others about using Vitamine C. IT WORKED!! It’s perfect. Thank you soooo much for your tip!

  24. I did this yesterday. It worked! I have naturally dark blonde/light brown hair. It’s getting gray. This was my second time dying my hair; the first time it was fine. The second time, I used a different product (Garnier Nutrisse Light Golden Brown). It was way too dark, and way too reddish. (why does “golden” always translate to “red” in hair color?)

    Yesterday I crushed up a bunch of vit c tablets, mixed it with head n shoulders, massaged it on my hair, wrapped with plastic wrap, hit it with the blow dryer for a few minutes, wrapped it up in a towel and sat around for 45 minutes.

    I was skeptical, but it worked. My hair is much lighter, at least two shades. It’s definitely more in the dark blonde camp now. There is still a good deal of those “golden” (reddish) tones, but when I look in the mirror, I recognize the person I’m looking at.

    The one thing I will say is that my hair smells kind of bad, even after 2 washes. Hope the smell goes away because it’s really distracting. Also, my scalp is pretty sensitive, and the mixture was intensely tingly, almost uncomfortable, on my scalp.

    All in all, I am so happy I tried this. I wouldn’t say this removes dye, because my grays are still covered. It tones it down, way down. And that is why I love the internets. Thanks for the tip!

  25. Oh my gosh – you have made me so much happier!! I had bleached blonde, short hair and decided to give it more depth by having some lowlights put in. I even had a picture of what I wanted — still blonde, but with very LIGHT streaks. Well, what I got was very little blonde with alot of dark,almost black streaks that looked awful. I looked a bit like a striped tiger. Anyway, I hated it and wanted to lighten up the lowlights a bit, but not get completely rid of them. I tried your Vitamin C trick and it worked perfectly. It lightened the lowlights to a nice, not so stark, color and gave me the blonde back! Thank you so much! I wish I had known about this sooner – could have saved my hair some major torture!

    • Hi!! i believe that your hair history is exactly like mine, I did Alsing get highligjts a few days ago it doesn’t look good at all. I did tell My hairdresser that a tigerlook is one of My worst fears. Bit anyway My question is, did the Hair that was blonde change also?:/

  26. Hey i have dark brown/black hair and i coloured it blonde. but on top of that i did brownish so now it’s a gold hair colour. i’ve had it for almost 1 and a half years. it’s starting to fade but do you think this method will take it all out? also, is there a particular shampoo you should use, or any shampoo will be okay?

  27. Would this work on natural hair???? Does the treatment lighten the dye or remove it? Because i recall you saying in your blog that it lightened the dye???? Because i really want a lighter hair color but without using chemicals that could fry my hair. Please help?!?!?

    • Sorry, I think it only works to remove dye from the hair, not to change your natural hair color. I have no idea how it works, but someone once commented that the acidic(?) Vitamin C breaks the bonds that hold the hair dye to the hair strand.

      Then again, it only takes a few dollars (for the bottle of vitamins) and a few minutes and doesn’t seem to harm hair — so when in doubt, doesn’t seem to be any harm in trying it!

  28. Sorry I haven’t kept up with individual replies to each comment. Just wanted to let everyone know how much I appreciate your taking the time to share your experiences to help other readers, and to wish you all good luck with finding a hair color that you love!!

  29. Hi! I was really excited when I read this advice! I dyed my naturally black hair to a light yellow-brown color 2 years ago and then ended up dying it back to black about half a year ago so that my roots look the same as the black-dyed part. I was wondering if you have any idea what would happen if I tried the vitamin c? I want to redye my hair to an ash brown…but from my experience, it’s hard to get the color to turn out evenly and especially if the vitamin c wont be able to take out my natural black color.

  30. Attempting this right now! Went from long blonde hair to dark red, was good for the past couple of months but im officially over it! Would like to lighten it up so i can atleast bleach it back to blonde without taking a trip down ginger street. So ive mixed 38 vitamin c tablets(orange flavor was all i could find) , mixed with head and shoulders shampoo and substancially more dishwashing liquid then just a few drops. I Plan to leave it in for an hour. Wish me luck! Update when done.

  31. I have natural black hair and had highlights put in but the blondish highlights didn’t suit me so i went over it in loreal casting chocolate which was a nice colour to even everything out but after about 4 months my hair started to turn brassy.

    So I thought i’d dye over it in a darker colour in loreal casting iced cocoa to eliminate the brassiness but my hair turned out gothic black! I was expecting a dark rich brown colour but the gothic black looked so unnatural. I put VO5 hot oil and shampooed my hair in pantene clarifying shampoo hoping some of the colour would come out but nothing. I even tried head and shoulders and not only did this shampoo not remove any hair dye it also made my hair like frizzy fly away hay, so i dont recommend putting this shampoo on at all.

    Anyway in the end after searching the internet for ways to remove hair dye i found out about vitamin c, so i crushed up about about five1000g vitamin c tablets to a powder (the ones that fizz up in water) and mixed it up with pantene claryfying shampoo and applied it to my hair in sections with a brush. Then i wrapped up my hair in a plastic bag and left it on for about 45 minutes.

    As i washed it out lots of dark hair dye was coming out aswell. I recommend leaving a deep conditioner on your hair to get some of that softness into it. In the light i notice that my hair had definitely shifted some of that deep black colour and it almost looked like a deep chocolate brownie colour with red tones. The only thing i would say is that vitamin c really smells rancid in your hair and the odour can last up to 2 days regardless of repeatedly shampooing it. It would be better to wear plastic gloves as the smell can stay on your skin for days even after thoroughly washing your hands in soap. My hair and hands smelt foul for a couple of days even after thoroughly washing them i had applied nice smelling hair products and hand wash so be prepared for that.

    I think i will try this process again to see if it will lighten my hair colour anymore but this time i’ll leave it on for longer, maybe a couple of hours.

  32. I dyed my hair black. I like the color, but I’m pale. Too pale. Well, I would like to have a light natural brown hair color again. I tried to use L ‘Oreals hair color remover… I put it all over my hair, but after awhile I couldn’t take it anymore. It started to burn my scalp. I had to rinse it all off. At the end, I blew dried my hair. The top was gold and the bottom was black. Lovely, right? It’s midnight and I have work in the morning. I was a waitress and looks are kind of important. So I went back to the store and I bought a new box. Well, It was able to hide the gold, but you can still see where it was. This was about two weeks ago. Yesterday I went to the store and bought another box of hair dye. It changed my hair, but It’s not all one solid color. Towards the end though… It started to burn my scalp again… At this point, I’m ready to pull my hair out. I keep doing research on this vitamin c hair remover trick and I want to do it. I’m going to walk over to the store and buy some vitamin c tomorrow. Unfortunately I have to buy another box of hair dye…, but I’m worried that I damaged my hair… Up until now my scalp has never burned… And after this I’m done messing with my hair. I just want to go from black hair to a light natural brown color with some high lights. I dye my own hair and I’ve been doing it for years. I messed up once using L ‘Oreals product. Good brand and you’d think that it’d work, right? I refuse to buy another one of their products. Any advice would be helpful. How many tablets should I use? Can I use my regular shampoo? Suave. I hope this works.

    • Not sure the Vitamin C trick will take you all the way back to light brown, but most people find it makes the color at least a BIT lighter. Your usual shampoo should be fine. Don’t’ remember how many tablets I used, but if you read the comments there’s a big range from 10 or so to most of the bottle! (Ditto how long you leave it on.) Hard to mess up and at least worth a try. Good luck!

  33. I am very excited to find this! I dyed my hair red just before Christmas (my natural hair colour is a mousy brown) – big mistake as it was incredibly dark and bright! so i covered it with a brown, which worked a little but the red is still coming through and and the difference between my natural colour roots and the rest of my hair is just awful! So… I’m off to the supermarket to buy some Vitamin C… I’ll let you know how I go ladies!

  34. i’ve got some blonde highlights in my bangs, on my naturally dark brown hair. will the vitamin c be able to take out (or darken) the blonde? I’d like to go back to having all brown hair, without buying hair dye.

    • No, nothing will ever take out blonde. If you use this it is only to strip haircolor out that is a different shade or too dark out of your hair. You have highlights which you have to use bleach to achieve. Meaning you have removed you’re natural hair pigment. From your hair. Nothing will bring it back, your only option is to color it as close as possible or let it grow out.

  35. Hey,, I’m 15 years old and I used to have beautiful light brown hair,, I wanted to make it darker,, but it turned our black:/ so its been a month? And I really want my old hair back? Will this work? Please I need help, won’t it change to a funny colour? In this stage my hair is choclate/dark brown! The colour has faded a lot?

  36. Hi there, I want to thank you for the info. I have a question, I actually have been dying my hair for about 2 years now with different shades of red. Last time I went to go get a hair trim, the hairstylist noticed that I did have many colors in my hair. So I want to try this vitamin c to strip the colors. But my question is. Do you know if it is safe for me to re color my hair right away? I want to get an even color. I don’t want my hair to fall out or anything like that lol…

  37. I dyed my hair a plum colour. The colour turned out dark brown with purple in it I tried the vitamin C treatment and The result was no different. It didn’t lighten or take the dye out of my hair, but it was worth the try. I bought regular 20 pack of vitamin C tablets. I then had my shampoo and mixed 6 of the tablets together till it formed an orangey form. I left it for 45 minutes and then took it off and condotioned and found at the end of it no result. I advise people to see a professional of they are in desperate need to change their hair colour or lighten it.

  38. Hey,
    I had my hair bleached and then dyed with a color that said vibrant red it and it turned out brown with red highlights but I really wanted it a bright red. My hair is pretty damaged already, do you know if I do this it will lighten up the brown tone of my hair to make it more red and less brown?

    • From what most people report, the dye lightens to something in between the dyed color and your natural color. So whether it turns reddish will probably depend on your natural color. But seems like the results — from “nothing” to “perfection” and anywhere in between are usually a surprise depending on who tries the trick!

  39. i’ve just this second done this, im sat here with a plastic bag on my head as we speak, only being as silly as i am, i accidentally used conditioner instead of shampoo, i’ve decided to leave it on to see the results, but does it specifically have to be shampoo used?

    • I honestly don’t know — have never heard anyone trying conditioner before. You’ll have to let us know how it goes!

  40. I tried this and it really worked! Amazing!

  41. Heyya. I’m just wondering if this method works well even if the hair dye is already in my hair since last month. Coz I want to research more info before trying to strip it all out of my head. Actually, my hair color which is dark blonde that looks almost dark burgundy, is quite fading out right now. But, the problem is that it actually fades a lot faster in my roots, then still very dark in the rest of my hair. :( It looks like I have tons of color in my hair. Huhu.

  42. I just saw this, I put to many highlights in and hated it, so went red….RED…realllllly HATED it. Just crushed 8 Vitamin c tablets and mixed with just enough shampoo to cover my hair, covered for 30-35 minutes. AMAZED totally all red is GONE, and the too light blonde highlights are now a darker blonde. COULD NOT BE HAPPIER!!!!!!!!!! THANK YOU!!!!!!! I will share with my friends!!

  43. Hello!

    My hair history… shoulder length hair… my natural color is dark brown. Ive been dying my hair with henna and indigo for the past 2 years, and for the past 6 months ive not been using the henna or indigo because i was fed up with black hair. For the last few months, ive tried lightening my hair , used bleach, hair dye etc. i managed to get the top half of my hair a lovely light brown with caramel highlights, but the bottom half always stayed an ash blonde with green tint because of the indigo. So because of the uneven color i dyed all my hair a dark burgandy red, which turned out more black/purple than red. This washed out a bit after a few weeks to leave the top half of my hair reddish, and it totally didnt stick to the hendigo parts which just turned an ash dark brown. I then dyed my hair 3 weeks ago a warm chocolate brown, which turned all my hair completely black! 2 weeks ago i came across this tread, and went out and purchased a tube of dissolvable vitamin c tablets. I crushed 10 large round tablets (i think they where 150mg each) with a good squirt of baby shampoo, lathered into wet hair, covered with a bag and then a towel and left for 45mins. I was amazed by the results. It lifted the black right off, My hair was then a rich medium to dark brown! I did it again the next day, it lightened it a bit more but not much more. That was a week ago. After the second time i noticed my hair was a bit dry, so during this week ive done a few hot oil treatments which has made my hair back to normal. I noticed like someone else on here that after the first application, i noticed that all build up of hot oil treatments and leave in conditioners etc had been removed so my hair was sooper shiny! Anyway, over the last week ive noticed that my hair is a medium brown now, the red undertone is still in the top layers of my hair and the bottom half of my hair supprisingly is a nice medium brown with yellow undertones and not green!! im not sure if its removing the indigo or not, but ive never seen yellow there before! its still an ash shade tho, and because my hair is now lighter the two tone shades are visable in normal light. Im currently sitting with my 3rd Vitamin c treatment on my head. My plan is to try over the next 2 weeks to get as much dye out of my hair, then i want to recolor all over with a dark golden blonde and then have highlights. Il let you know how it goes! And thanks so much for letting us all know how to do this, its so simple and is so effective. I cant believe ive never heard of it before! and im so pleased that i didnt use bleach! XXXX

  44. My hair is naturaly dark brown ,when i turned 15 i dyed it a lighter brown…thing is i have never dyed my hair a darker shade. But i got tired of re-dyeing my hair a lighter shade so i tried to go back to my natrual hair color bye dyeing it BLACK AMBER!! On the box it looked like a veyr dark brown ..but it turned out to be BLACK !!! And omg!! Im freaking out my hair is super dark dark black!! Im hopeing this will work. THANK YOU SO MUCH!

  45. I’ve been sitting with 33 crushed vitamin C tablets & head & shoulders shampoo in my hair for half an hour now. I died my hair nearly black before & it’s never came out so I haven’t been sucessful in lightening up-well I did highlights & I HATE them-I was gonna try color stripper but I’m trying this first. Fingers crossed that it lightens enough to go the color I want to go. But these highlights are hideous-just the motivation I needed to remove the darker color and start over. Think I’ll leave this in another half hour since it’s so dark & I’ll update the results after :-)

  46. It worked! Took it about 3 shades lighter….now I can do the medium maple brown (5AR) that I want. Thank you for this information. :-) the highlights are still hideous lol can’t wait to cover this disaster up :-)

  47. If you use the Vitamin C powder form, how much of it do you use? I got impulsive and died my virgin hair (after years and years of not color) out of the box. It turned a burgundy tinted dark color after getting a light brown (toasted almond) from loreal natural instincts. Needless to say, i hate it. Will the burgundy/red be removed too or will it be more obvious? HELP! Tara, seems like youve helped many people and hopefully me too, thanks in advance for your help, ill post my results once i get a reply. :)

    • I don’t know that anyone has mentioned powdered Vitamin C. So far I think everyone has just crushed up tablets? (Powder certainly seems easier! Or these days I’m taking Vitamin C in capsules, so just opening those would be pretty handy too.) But it doesn’t seem to be an exact science. Some people use a few tablets, others practically a whole bottle. P.S. I haaaaate it when the real color is so different from the box color. Good luck with the fix!

  48. hey,
    my naural hair colour is lightish brown and ive dyed my hair at a profesional hairdressers and i went from blonde and i wanted it my naturall colour but it went bright ginger so i dyeed it again iwth brown and it went browny/ginger it was nice but i wanted it perminent brown and now its like a black/brown reddy colour if i used the vitimin c will i go back to my natural colour brown? plz help x

  49. hey i dyed my hair acouplr of times because my hair is naturally light brown and i had blonde hilights put in but i decided i wanted to get my natural brown clolur so they hair dressers dyed it and it went ginger!! and i dyed it brown and it went out in 3 washes so i got a perminent brown hair dye and it went orangey/red will the vitiman c work?

  50. i just dyed my hair red, Auburn, WHY? but WTF i did. I’m ash blonde naturally ( for real a silvery medium weird weird color) and obviously i’m trying to grow it out its about 4 inches long of roots now. with previously bleached ‘to nothing’ remainder foot of lengthen that’s covered over many times with other ashy colors to try to match my roots.. anyways so i only dyed part of my hair red not my roots and MAN they made my ashy roots look GREY!(and i’m not grey yet i’m 20) so
    i tired this with my Organix coconut milk shampoo and it worked awesome!!!
    and i just dyed my hair a few hours b4! so kool it too everything out! and i only left it in 15 min with a cap ! but i worked a bunch through scrubbing for about 10 – 15 min.
    i’ve used color opps b4 and the other brands but this is the best so far!! not brassy and i even used orange vitamin C’s

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