How To Strip Color From Hair The Salon Way |

How To Strip Color From Hair: The Definitive Salon Guide

13 March 2019
woman having hair color stripped in salon

Emily Arata

Senior Editor

13 March 2019

No matter what kind of salon-goer you are, hair color should always be a creative outlet. The invention of ever-more-vivid hair dyes and better care formulas means it’s easier than ever to take your mane for a spin on the rainbow color wheel. Even if you only ever edge one or two shades past your natural base color, consider yourself a tried-and-true hair color veteran.

If you love hair color, there’s one truth you must accept: Every hair color gets stripped away eventually. Whether you’re swapping rose gold for ash blonde or trading in your virgin dark brown hair for something altogether more splashy, it’s worth knowing how to strip hair color the salon-approved way.

Lena La Monaco, Matrix artistic educator, schooled us on everything you need to know about stripping color from dark brown hair, blue hair, and every shade in-between. Keep reading to learn the right way to get rid of hair color.

Can hair color be removed?

Thank heavens, yes, hair color can be removed! Whether you got a little experimental with box dye after consuming a dangerous cocktail of white wine and YouTube tutorials or just want to change up your look, know that it’s very possible to remove hair color (both natural and dyed). We recommend letting a salon professional do this to protect the structure of your mane and ensure you leave with healthy hair—not glasslike, damaged strands in danger of snapping off any second.

“Some of the reasons someone might want to strip the hair are if anyone who has natural or artificial color wants to go lighter with their hair color and if someone has multiple layers of built-up color, the only way to remove that would be to strip it,” La Monaco explains.

If the time has come for change, embrace it! Call your stylist and make an appointment to have your hair color removed.


How do you fade hair color?

Once you and your stylist have determined that stripping your hair color is the right decision, it’s time to move onto the “how” portion of this science lesson.

When you say strip, what is really happening is that the lightener or color remover is eating away the pigment in the hair...This usually takes place in the cortex—inner layer of hair. This can occur in both natural and artificial hair color

We don’t use the phrase “eating away” lightly, either. Bleach—commonly referred to as lightener in a salon setting—will always cause damage to hair. While you may not know how to minimize it at home, trained pros can maximize their education to leave your hair looking and feeling as healthy as possible when you have your color stripped in-salon. Believe it or not, there isn’t a lot of demand out there for crunchy, bleach-damaged hair!

It isn’t just the chemical itself that’s chancy, either. When it comes to stripping hair color, the processing time differs depending on the health of your hair, what kind of dye used on it, and what end result you’re hunting for.

Semi-permanent fashion color is removed easier than an at-home box dye—it’s a softer color on the hair,” La Monaco says. “Demi-permanent is easier to remove than permanent. The reason for this is because demi does not have as [dense] a pigment in it, making it easier to remove.”

Is stripping hair color damaging?

Stripping color from your hair almost always includes the use of bleach, which is inherently damaging to your hair’s structural integrity. There’s a big difference between you bleaching your fragile mane over your bathtub and a trained salon professional doing it—and the two are entirely different experiences. During the latter, your stylist has access to pro-only formulas designed to keep your hair feeling strong and looking, well, like non-damaged human hair. What more could a girl ask for?

Once you’re home with your fresh new shade, aftercare is the name of the game. La Monaco recommends Matrix’s Total Results Keep Me Vivid Shampoo, Conditioner, and Lamination Spray to help keep minimalist, adventurous, and expressive fade-resistant, long-lasting colors looking bold, feeling addictively soft, and radiating with megawatt prismatic shine—all with a stop-everything scent you can’t get enough of.

Still in doubt? Your best resource is your stylist. A consultation appointment is doesn’t cost anything and it can help to put your hair-loving nerves at ease—our salon locator is a great place to book one.

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