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How To Get Pink Out of Hair: 8 Methods for Removing Pink Dye

pink hair girl

There are several ways to remove pink hair dye. It doesn’t always have to be done in the salon. So you’re wondering how to get the pink out of your hair because you’re ready for a new hair color, but at the same time, if you want to save some money, you can fade it right at home. 

Most of these methods strip your hair slowly but can still cause damage. For this reason, sometimes it’s best to go with a hair color remover you can use at home or a bleach wash at the outset. But let’s see what’s available otherwise.

There are several methods you can use to get rid of pink hair dye, including:

1. Shampoo and Baking Soda

If you’re trying to remove the permanent or demi-permanent pink dye, shampoo and baking soda work similarly to a bleach wash. The mix isn’t as strong, though, or as damaging. Try mixing baking soda with clarifying shampoo. 

Clarifying shampoo contains harsh detergents that strip the hair, while baking scrubs the outside of the hair shaft. Both are alkaline and lift the hair cuticles to help the shampoo penetrate the hair shaft to wash out permanent and demi-permanent dyes.

However, because the hair’s inner core is much more prone to corrosion than the outer cuticle shell, caution should be used here. This mix with shampoo shouldn’t be used more than once, so it’s best used on light pink hair. 

If your hair is a medium pink, try this method to go to light pink first. Then use a baking soda and water paste to remove the pale pink.

Here’s how to get the pink out of your hair with shampoo and baking soda:

  1. Mix an equal amount of clarifying shampoo with a few tablespoons of baking soda.
  2. Apply to dry hair. This way, the mix will cling to your hair better.
  3. Let it sit for 15 minutes.
  4. Apply a small amount of warm water and lather the mixture. Let it sit again for 15 minutes.
  5. Rinse slowly and completely with warm water.
  6. Deep condition your hair and wait three days before applying a plain baking soda paste, if necessary.

If you’d like to follow this treatment with plain baking soda to remove light pink, here’s how:

  1. Mix a quarter cup of baking soda with water in a ceramic or plastic bowl to form a paste. Add the water a few drops at a time because the baking soda gets watery quickly.
  2. Smooth the paste down of your hair strands, covering the whole length of pink.
  3. Rub your hair through the palms of your hands to scrub the pink out. Do this in small sections.
  4. Leave the mix in your hair for 10-20 minutes.
  5. Rinse thoroughly with warm water.
  6. Shampoo, then rinse with cool water to close the hair cuticles.

Note: don’t get baking soda mixed up with baking powder. The two are different and baking powder won’t work. And only try the baking soda paste three times maximum. Baking soda is so alkaline that it can lift the hair cuticles so wide that they have difficulty closing over time.

2. Vitamin C Tablets

Vitamin C can strip a lot of the color from your hair, even if it’s dark pink. It scrubs much better than baking soda, which can only scrub for a limited time before it dissolves completely and turns slippery. Vitamin C is also said to oxidize the dye in your hair, breaking down the color particles to help it become unstuck from your hair. 

Vitamin C only works on semi-permanent dye. It’s acidic, so it closes the hair cuticle tightly and can’t get inside the hair shaft to strip permanent hair color. For semi-permanent dye, it can lighten the hair one to two shades at a time. 

Here’s how to remove pink hair dye with Vitamin C:

  1. Crush your vitamin C tablets in a zip-lock bag. You should have half a cup of vitamin C powder to start with, as you’ll probably need to use it more than once.
  2. When you’re finished pounding with the hammer, and you have a pretty fine powder, put the powder in a bowl.
  3. Pour an equal amount of shampoo into the bowl and mix it with the vitamin C powder.
  4. On dry hair, massage the mixture through your hair using small sections. Place your palms together and the hair between them and slide in a downward motion, using the friction from the powder to remove the dye from your hair.
  5. Add a little water to create suds, but not enough to have the mix dripping down your face. 
  6. Wrap your hair in plastic wrap, and leave the mix on for at least a half hour. 
  7. Rinse slowly and thoroughly with warm water. 

You can do this multiple times, and it will remove most of the color if you have medium pink colored hair. Vitamin C won’t corrode your hair, but it will make it feel dry. So make sure to deep condition your hair between sessions.

3. Sun-Bleach

Sitting out in the sun to fade your hair will do just that, fade it. Moreover, you’ll need multiple sessions to fade your hair in this manner, so you’ll only end up with a mauvish pink, or a light mauvish pink, depending on how dark your hair color is. 

That’s because the sun will bleach the red particles of the pink in a similar way that a pink shirt is faded in the sun. It won’t fade to white, but it will become a dull pink color. 

Some people have better results fading their hair with vitamin C while sitting in the sun. If you want to try this:

  1. Dissolve two tablespoons of vitamin C powder thoroughly in two cups of water.
  2. Put it in a spray bottle. 
  3. Spray the lengths of your hair, but don’t let it drip onto your face, and use a towel around your shoulders. Also, try not to get the vitamin C spray on your scalp, as it’s pretty harsh.
  4. Sit in the sun and brush your hair so that it gets even exposure and you don’t wind up chunks of color underneath the rest of your hair. This method might undo half a shade of pink. It won’t be much, but it also won’t be too dull if you use vitamin C.

4. Salicylic Acid (Aspirin)

Products that contain salicylic acid, like aspirin and some dandruff shampoos, strip buildup from hair. It can also fade hair dye from the surface of the hair if it’s temporary or semi-permanent. Salicylic acid works on the outside of the hair shaft to break down the hair dye and remove it from your strands. 

Salicylic acid is obviously also great for controlling dandruff and excessive oil production, but it might not be the ingredient for you if you have dry hair. You can try mixing powdered aspirin into your dandruff shampoo to get the most power from the salicylic acid. Here’s how:

  1.  Crush five aspirins in a ziplock bag. 
  2. Add the powdered aspirins to a ceramic bowl. 
  3. Add a tablespoon of dandruff shampoo with salicylic acids, like Neutrogena T/Sal. Mix it well.
  4. Apply it to dry hair and massage the mixture through your locks, focusing on the pink.
  5. Add a handful of water to create suds. Make sure all the pink hair dye is covered in suds.
  6. Put your hair under a shower cap and allow the mixture to remain on your hair for 15 minutes.
  7. Rinse slowly and thoroughly with warm water.

5. Epsom Salt

If you want to remove pink hair color, Epsom salt may be a good option. Made of magnesium sulfate, Epsom salt can help to fade pink hair color when used over time.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to use Epsom salt to remove pink hair color.

  1. Fill a spray bottle with warm water and add 1/2 cup of Epsom salt. Shake the bottle to dissolve the salt.
  2. Spray your hair with the Epsom salt solution. Focus on the areas where the pink hair color is most concentrated.
  3. Leave the solution in your hair for at least 15 minutes.
  4. Rinse your hair with warm water. Repeat the process as necessary until the pink hair color has faded.

6. Hot Oil Treatment

Warm oil is the gentlest way to remove hair color and condition your hair at the same time. Keep in mind, though, that it will only fade your hair color minimally. Still, for the conditioning properties, if nothing else, it’s worth a try. 

Oils like mineral oil, coconut oil, and olive oil will seep into the hair shaft to help fade permanent dye. It will also help remove the color from the outside of the hair shaft. The oil should be left in overnight.

Here’s how to remove pink hair dye with oil.

  1. Warm a cup of oil in a double boiler until it is a little hotter than your body temperature. It should feel warm only, not hot.
  2. Massage the oil into your hair from the roots to the tips, using your palms facing each other to slide the oil down to the tips.
  3. It’s optional, but you can steam your hair with a hair steamer to further open the hair cuticle and allow the oil to enter the hair shaft quicker.
  4. Wrap your hair with plastic wrap and a towel and sleep on it.
  5. Rinse the oil out of your hair slowly with warm water in the morning.
  6. Shampoo.

The oil might lighten your hair a half a shade. It’s very useful to use in between harsher treatments, like vitamin C and shampoo or baking soda and shampoo. 

7. Bleach Wash

As for the color strippers that are not homemade, there is a big difference between the two. As for a bleach wash, it might seem like you can use it for any color treatment, but that’s not the case. 

A bleach wash should only be used on permanent and demi-permanent color treatments. If you use it on semi-permanent dye, it might have the opposite effect. Instead of stripping the color, it could make it more difficult to remove. 

Bleach washes are easy to use at home and are less harsh than using bleach directly, which is best done in a salon. They lighten the hair one or two shades. If your hair is really healthy, you can do one bleach wash after another to remove the pink color. Otherwise, it’s best to wait a few weeks while doing hair masks in between before bleach-washing your hair again. 

Here’s how to remove pink hair dye that’s permanent with a bleach wash.

  1. In a ceramic bowl, mix in a proportion of 2:1:1, developer, bleach powder, and shampoo. Mix thoroughly.
  2. Shampoo with clarifying shampoo to remove all residues in the hair.
  3. Use a dye brush to cover the pink while leaving the virgin roots alone. If you bleach the roots, they might come out yellow or orange, and we only need to remove the pink.
  4. Leave the bleach in your hair for 10-30 minutes, then shampoo it with a regular shampoo.

Check your hair every five minutes to see how light it gets and ensure it isn’t becoming mushy. You can also continue to brush through it with the dye brush to remove as much color as possible.

8. Hair Color Remover

Hair color remover is used on top of semi-permanent hair dye. If the brand of permanent dye you used has a color remover, it will be a part of the same product line. But normally, color removers are for semi-permanent dyes. 

It’s still best to use the one which comes with the product line, as dyes can differ by composition and what they actually do to your hair. We won’t post instructions here on how to use them, as it’s really important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions in this case. 

Note: Vinegar

Vinegar isn’t the best option for getting rid of pink hair, or any hair color for that matter. Vinegar is used to lock in temporary and semi-permanent dye on the hair so that it doesn’t bleed. And that makes sense for anyone who remembers the smell of vinegar while tie-dyeing a t-shirt at summer camp.

Vinegar bonds to dye particles and seals in color when you first dye your hair, similar to how it locks in the color when you first color a t-shirt.Still not convinced? One of the most popular hair dye companies, Redken, makes a vinegar hair rinse for colored hair to keep the hair vibrant and shiny. So although vinegar is widely touted as being able to strip dye, it actually has the opposite effect.

Cosmetologist & Beauty Consultant

Ghanima Abdullah is a bilingual cosmetologist and hair expert from Chicago who now lives in the Caribbean. She has over ten years of experience in the beauty industry, having worked as a stylist, makeup artist, and beauty consultant. In recent years, her focus has been on research and writing, which has taken her all over the world to learn about different hair and skin types, procedures, and products. Her knowledge spans all sorts of beauty topics, including natural and scientific advancements in the field. Ghanima enjoys finding the best product options for different needs and people, and her advice has been published in some of the most notable beauty and fashion magazines.