Opinions, Physical Health, Wellness / Self-Care

How I ruined my Hair with at-home Color removal

A confession and a warning.

words by: Alee Kwong
May 4, 2021

I hope my hair stylist never finds this. Within the past year, I’ve colored my hair four times. Half of those instances were with at-home box dye that absolutely killed my hair and became my current hair stylist’s worst nightmare. When he finally worked his magic, he managed to give me the trendy raccoon-esque under layer gray highlights and left me with the very easy tasks of never using black box dye on my hair ever again and committing to deep conditioning my hair at least once a week.


The apparent “fix”

As someone who struggles with mental health, I find myself getting bored of things like hair color and clothing pretty easily. About a month or so after getting the gray highlights, I decided to go in a completely different direction and dye my hair bright blue. Before I got into the salon chair, I wanted to make my hair stylist’s life a little easier by stripping my hair of the black box dye remnants.


As I searched for days on end, I came across the DIY concoction of Vitamin C powder and clarifying shampoo. Desperate for something quick and effective (never a good combination), I went out and bought these two simple ingredients and started mixing up a seemingly easy solution to my problem.


I applied the paste to dry hair like you would hair dye and waited patiently in my bathroom for 30 minutes. I can’t even tell you how excited I was to be free of the black hair dye and free to have my hair professionally colored a vibrant blue. I hastily rinsed off a small chunk of hair in the sink and saw that my hair had lightened significantly. I jumped into the shower, rinsed my hair, and my hair never felt worse. You know that super squeaky feeling your hair has in the shower when it’s “too clean” (aka extremely dehydrated)? Well, it was worse than that. It was that feeling multiplied by at least 10 and the texture was disgustingly stringy.


Lesson learned

I managed to remove the majority of the black hair dye from my hair, but when I arrived to the salon my hairstylist looked more than surprised. He said, “Wow, so much of the black dye faded out. Wait, but why is there so much breakage at the top of your head? I know I didn’t touch the top of your hair when we did the highlights.” That didn’t stop him from coloring my hair bright blue, but I am now left with a few sections of extreme breakage, which are now being addressed daily with a blow dryer and hairspray to keep it down and not flailing in the wind.


Things to remember and consider – don’t use black box dye, don’t use DIY hair remedies that involve a mixture of harsh ingredients, and be 100% honest with your stylist.