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5 Big Mistakes to Avoid When Removing Color from Gray Hair

You’ve already taken the first and most difficult step towards removing color from your gray hair: you’ve decided to do it! The rest of the journey will be like a walk in the park, that is, if you’re careful not to make one of these five big mistakes when getting rid of hair dye.

removing hair color from gray hair


Mistake #1 – Trying to Remove Color from Gray Hair Too Quickly

If you’ve just recently dyed your hair within the last few days, then you’re right to act quickly in getting as much color out as you can, before it sets too deeply into the hair shaft.

But if you’ve been dyeing your gray hair for a while, it’s better to be slow and steady when removing the color; plan on it taking up to a couple of months to make the full transition. Remember, the goal is not only to remove color but also to keep your hair as healthy and shiny as possible in the process.


Mistake #2 – Using Harsh and Unproven Chemicals or Processes

In your rush to go back to your natural gray, you might be tempted to use harsh chemicals or radical color-stripping processes to hasten the results. Resist that urge! Now is not the time to experiment with cheap, unknown products that can wreak havoc on your hair and scalp.

Do a bit of product research, and then purchase a dependable salon-quality color remover like Loreal’s ColorZap Haircolor Remover. Or, if you’re still not sure what to use, consult with your regular hairstylist; your salon might even sell exactly what you need.

Don’t cheap out — remember, in the long run, you’ll be saving a lot of money by not dyeing your hair every three or four weeks. You can certainly afford to purchase high-quality hair color removal treatment.


Mistake #3 – Not Using the Products Correctly or Timing Them Right

Even if you find the perfect product to remove the color from gray hair, the results might not turn out the way you hope if you don’t follow the directions carefully.

Make sure to read all the instructions from start to finish, and gather all the necessary accessories together (gloves, combs, towels, and timers) before you start the process. A couple of mistimed minutes can make the difference between success or failure.


Mistake #4 – Not Deep Conditioning Frequently Enough

When you think about it, dyeing your hair is an aggressive process: the ammonia in the products lifts the hair cuticles to allow dye molecules into the cortex, which changes the color of the hair.

In the same way, removing dye from gray hair is also an invasive procedure; but now a different set of chemicals must seep into the hair shaft to remove the unwanted color. Sounds almost brutal, right?

With all this warring going on over your hair, it’s absolutely vital to keep it well-conditioned, and that means going above and beyond your normal haircare routine.

If you’re embarking on a serious attempt to remove dye from gray hair, then be prepared to deep condition after each application of whatever product you’re using to complete the task.


Mistake #5 – Not Preparing for Your New Look

If you’ve been covering your grays with hair color for a long time, people are used to seeing you a certain way. Now’s the time to think about how to cut and style your silver strands to enhance your facial shape and skin tones. The style you wore when you colored your hair might not be the best style to wear with your new natural gray tones.

If you are just partially gray, you can continue to use highlighting and lowlighting techniques to transition more gradually. If your natural hair is full-on gray, then you can use brightening and lightening products to make it look shiny, healthy, and vibrant.


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Removing hair color from gray hair doesn’t need to be a traumatic experience. Take the time to prepare for the transition and think ahead to how you want to wear your new natural look. Before you know it, you’ll be wondering why you didn’t take the plunge sooner!