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How do you fade blue hair dye?

Blue hair dye can be very fun and stylish, but it does require some maintenance to keep it looking vibrant. When you’re ready to transition your blue hair to a more natural look, there are a few techniques you can use to help fade the color gradually. With some planning and proper hair care, you can fade your blue hair dye in a subtle yet effective way.

Use Clarifying Shampoo

Using a clarifying shampoo several times a week can help remove some of the blue dye molecules each time you wash. Clarifying shampoos contain ingredients like sulfates that are stronger than regular shampoos and work to strip color from the hair. However, you don’t want to overdo it with clarifying shampoo because it can dry your hair out. Use a clarifying shampoo a few times a week and alternate with a moisturizing shampoo to help fade the blue while keeping your hair healthy.

Wash With Hot Water

Washing your hair with hot water also helps lift the blue color. The heat causes the cuticle of the hair to open more, allowing more of the blue dye molecules to be removed. However, you’ll want to be careful not to use water that is too hot, as extremely hot water can damage and dry out your hair over time. Washing with warm or hot water 2-3 times a week can effectively help lift some of the blue color each time you shampoo.

Use Anti-Dandruff Shampoo

Look for an anti-dandruff shampoo that contains the ingredient zinc pyrithione. This powerful ingredient helps strip artificial hair dye by binding to the dye molecules and removing them from the hair shaft. Using an anti-dandruff shampoo once or twice a week can gradually take away layers of the blue color. Just don’t overdo it, as these shampoos can be drying if used too often.

Try Vitamin C Treatments

Vitamin C is highly effective at removing unwanted artificial hair color like blue. You can create a vitamin C treatment by mixing vitamin C powder or crushed tablets into a clarifying or anti-dandruff shampoo. Allow it to sit on your hair for 30-60 minutes before rinsing out. The vitamin C works to oxidize the hair dye molecules, essentially reversing the coloring process. Use this treatment once a week to efficiently lift and remove blue pigments.

Use Lightening or Color-Stripping Products

Look for hair products designed specifically to remove artificial color. There are lightening shampoos, color strippers, and color removers available at beauty supply stores or online. These are formulated with bleaching agents and other chemicals that work to rapidly dissolve hair dye molecules. Follow the instructions carefully, as these products can be damaging if left on too long. When used properly 1-2 times a month, they can accelerate fading.

Try Baking Soda and Anti-Dandruff Shampoo

For a DIY color-removing method, try mixing baking soda with an anti-dandruff shampoo. Baking soda is highly alkaline and helps lift color, while the anti-dandruff shampoo brings in the color-stripping ingredient zinc pyrithione. Combine 2 tablespoons of baking soda with about 1 cup of anti-dandruff shampoo. Massage it into your hair and allow it to sit for 5-10 minutes before rinsing thoroughly. Repeat 1-2 times a week for noticeable fading effects.

Use a Clarifying Conditioner

Clarifying conditioners can also help remove blue dye while keeping your hair conditioned. Many brands make clarifying conditioners that gently strip color while depositing moisturizing ingredients like oils and butters to prevent drying. Use a clarifying conditioner a few times a week after shampooing to optimize fading.

Try Swimming in Chlorinated Pools

Swimming in pools several times a week can speed up fading of blue hair dye. The chlorine in pool water acts as a stripping agent that works to remove some of the artificial color molecules each time you swim. Just be sure to condition well afterwards to avoid dryness and damage from the drying chemicals. Consider adding a pre-swim conditioner for extra protection.

Use Dry Shampoo Between Washes

Spraying dry shampoo at your roots between washes can help absorb oils and extend time between washes. This is helpful when trying to fade color because the less often you wash your hair, the longer the color will remain intact. Absorbing oils with dry shampoo allows you to wash less frequently, accelerating the fading process.

Rinse With Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar makes a great final rinse for your hair a couple times a week when wanting to fade color. The vinegar helps close the cuticle and restore the pH balance of the hair after washing. Rinsing off the shampoo, conditioner, and color deposits with apple cider vinegar can speed up the removal of blue dye from each wash.

Avoid Heat Styling

Limiting use of heated tools like blow dryers, curling irons, and straighteners can help preserve the blue color longer. The heat from styling tools opens up the hair cuticle, allowing more rapid fading and removal of the blue dye pigments. Let your hair air dry and embrace your natural texture to make the color last as long as possible.

Use a Toner or Color-Depositing Conditioner

To help cancel out the blue tones, you can also use a toner or color-depositing conditioner in a neutral blonde or silver shade. Apply this once a week or as needed to counteract the blue hues, bringing your hair to a more natural look. Focus on applying to the most vibrant areas of blue first and leave it on for 5-10 minutes.

Get Regular Trims

Getting a trim about every 6-8 weeks can help remove some of the damaged, color-treated hair and allow new, fresh hair to come through. This helps speed up the fading process since the newer regrowth will be your natural color. Ask your stylist to trim just 1/4 to 1/2 an inch each time to gradually lop off the blue lengths.

Use Sun Exposure

Spending time in the sun can naturally help lighten your blue hair, especially if you have naturally lighter hair underneath. The sun’s UV rays work to oxidize and break down the artificial dye molecules. Wear a hat for some sun protection and rinse out the chlorine if swimming. Gradually, the sun will help lift and soften the vibrant blue shade.

Consider Bleaching

For the quickest route to removing blue color, you can have your hair professionally bleached. This should be done with extreme care by an experienced colorist. Pre-treat with a bonding treatment, use low volume developer, and apply toner to avoid brassiness. While bleaching does damage hair, it can lift out blue dye in a single session. Doing it gradually helps minimize damage.

Be Patient

It’s important to be patient with the fading process. Blue hair dye, especially darker shades, can be stubborn and slow to fade. With good hair care and consistency using color-stripping techniques 2-3 times a week, you’ll see gradual results each week. Avoid over-washing or using harsh chemicals too often. Within 4-6 weeks, your blue color will fade significantly. For quicker results, speak to your stylist.


Fading blue hair dye takes consistency, but is absolutely achievable with the right techniques. Clarifying shampoos, vitamin C treatments, swimming, toner, trims, and sun exposure will all help lift stubborn blue shades. Avoid too much heat styling and wash hair less often. See a colorist for a professional bleach or color removal service if you want dramatic results quickly. With patience and proper fading methods, you can transition from bold blue to soft and natural-looking hair.

Method How Often to Use Results Timeframe
Clarifying shampoo 2-3 times per week Gradual fading over 4-6 weeks
Hot water washes 2-3 times per week Gradual fading over 4-6 weeks
Anti-dandruff shampoo 1-2 times per week Noticeable fading in 2-4 weeks
Vitamin C treatments Once a week Fading in 4-6 treatments
Color removers Once every 2 weeks Dramatic fading in 1-2 uses
Bleaching Once by colorist Immediate drastic fading in one session