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Colour B4 hair colour remover

For most of my life I've been naturally blonde, but it was far from a nice blonde. The sun would bleach it in the summer and I loved it then, but the rest of the year it was mousy and almost brown and I really wasn't keen on it. More recently I did go for blonde highlights to help lighten it, but they were expensive to keep up. For a long, long time what I really wanted was to be brunette, I wasn't brave enough to go for it though. That was until I went through a crisis of image after being made redundant. I cut all my hair off from around boob length to shoulder length and thought why not go the whole hog and go brunette. 

To start with I had it dyed at the hairdressers and as she always is she was very cautious and dyed it a very light brown, so light some of my friends barely noticed I'd changed colour. I continued having it done at the hairdressers until £50 a time got too expensive with my redundancy money going down, so instead I hit the bottle!

I decided that I wanted to go darker, but unfortunately I didn't get the memo about box dyes giving you a darker colour than shown on the box and my choice of dark chocolate ended up pretty much black. I do like my current colour, but with my pale complexion I think it is a little too dark and Morticia Addams. I've been considering having it stripped for around a year now, but unfortunately couldn't really afford to have it done professionally. When I spotted a tweet looking for people who regularly dye their hair and discovered that they were looking for people to try Colour B4 hair colour remover* I decided why not give it a try. I'm currently in the position where I can afford to run to my hairdresser to sort out any mess I might end up in, so I thought I'd got nothing to lose really. I was sent the frequent use version but to be honest I'm not entirely sure what this means.

Colour B4 hair colour remover

I warn you this is probably going to be a rather lengthy post but if you're considering trying Colour B4 yourself I want you to know exactly what is involved. Before you even think about slapping this all over your head the instructions advise conducting a patch test and also a strand test on a small section of hair. The patch test was fine but I was a little concerned that the strand test didn't appear to do anything at all. My hair is very dark though and I didn't use very much. I haven't included a before picture (ahem, because I forgot to take it before applying this) but you can see how dark my hair was in my blog picture.

The whole process is quite long, especially if you need to repeat it, so you really need to make sure you have a whole day free to dedicate to it if needed. The set contains four bottles labelled A to D. To start with you mix bottles A and B together and apply this evenly all over your hair. This doesn't contain ammonia or bleach but I did find that the fumes got to my chest and I started coughing quite a lot. I'm currently struggling with a bad chest and a cough due to hay fever, so if you suffer with asthma this might be something to bear in mind. I then wrapped my hair in cling film as suggested by the instructions to try and keep my hair warm as apparently being cold or drafts can slow down the process. You then leave this on for 60 minutes.

After 60 minutes you then start the removal process. This involves rinsing the hair for at least five minutes, or at least 10 minutes if your hair is very long or thick. After this you apply half of the contents of bottle C, which is called a buffer. You then wait for one minute before then rinsing for another five minutes. You then apply the rest of the buffer and rinse as normal as if shampooing. You then apply half of bottle D, which is a conditioner, before leaving for three minutes and rinsing and then repeating this again. 

When I looked in the mirror to remove the cling film I could tell from the top of my head that it had worked to some degree, but obviously it wasn't until I'd dried my hair that I could see what I was left with. I was really impressed with how much colour it had removed from the top of my head (although the top was lighter than the ends), but what it left me with was a really dodgy ginger colour! However, the mid-lengths were darker and then the ends were even darker than that, maybe just a little bit lighter than they had been before. It doesn't look too bad in the picture above (apologies it's such a bad picture!) but it looked much worse in person. I knew removing an almost black colour from blonde hair probably wouldn't be easy but I was really disappointed there was such a difference in colour between the roots and the tips. I knew dying over the top was out of the question and thought I might have to make an emergency trip to the hairdressers, but then I decided to try the second box I'd been sent as you can repeat the process up to three times in one day.   

So I repeated the entire process again. When rinsing the ends of my hair these still appeared to be the same colour, so I thought this hadn't made any difference at all. However once dry I found that the second application had really evened everything out to a point where I'd be happy dying over the top. There is contradicting advice on the instructions regarding how quickly you can colour your hair again. In one place it states you can do it immediately and somewhere else it says you should let your hair rest for seven days. But apparently the buffer should leave your hair at a suitable PH level for re-colouring. To be honest I wanted to recolour my hair as soon as possible as I wasn't happy to go out in public with the colour I was left with.  Silly me didn't read the instructions properly and dyed my hair with a permanent colour which unfortunately made the colour from my old dye reoxidize and appear again, at least I think that's what the instructions said. Straight after removing your colour you're supposed to go with a semi-permanent dye. 

I've never had my hair stripped at the hairdressers but there are a few things you need to take into account when deciding whether to try it at home or go to a salon. As I mentioned Colour B4 doesn't contain ammonia or bleach and is very gentle on your hair whereas I would imagine salon stripping might be harsher. On the flip side though being harsher may mean it's much more successful at removing colour. Although my hair is much lighter after using Colour B4 it's far from back to my normal colour, although this is likely at least partly due to my hair being stained from dying and I believe ginger is the shade you usually get after removing colour. It might appear that attempting this at home would be much cheaper, but this might not be the case. If your hair is any longer than shoulder length or particularly thick then you'll need two boxes. One box was enough for my hair with a little left over but then I did need to use a second box to even out my colour. If your hair is reasonably long and thick and a dark colour then you might need three applications using two boxes a time, which would be six boxes altogether. I nipped down to Asda to buy a dye to use and spotted this on the shelf for £10. So if you did need to use six boxes you're looking at £60 to try and remove your colour. I can't comment on the price for all salons but I believe at mine colour stripping is around £50. 

As you can probably tell from this rather long post the process of using Colour B4 can be a bit long (and if using it for the first time, stressful!) and possibly expensive but it definitely does work (at least to a degree). I don't think you stand a chance of getting your natural colour back, but you will at least get enough colour out to be able to go for a lighter shade.

Would you ever consider removing your hair colour at home?

*PR sample

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  1. Wow this seems so complicated, I've never dyed my hair a darker colour (its a pretty dark brown to begin with) but I think I'd find this very stressful trying to get it back to the origninal colour.

    Rosy |

    1. It is quite stressful trying to remove a dark colour as other than growing it out, which probably won't look very good for a while, the only other way to do it really is to strip it out, which can be pretty damaging x

  2. I'm so pleased to have come across this post as I've been considering using colour B4 to get my hair to a lighter brown. You've written this post fantastically and the level of detail is super helpful. I have to admit I don't like the sound of it that much, and I think I'm going to just re-dye mine with the lightest brown I can to stop it going black again (such a nightmare when it does that!)
    When mine went black when I last dyed it I managed to fade it by using washing up liquid almost like a hair mask (it works best if you can leave it on for quite a long time) and then washing it with head and shoulders shampoo and it faded to a dark, red toned brown, so I don't know if that might help you at all?
    Love Holly x

    1. Thank you! I've already decided I've going to have it stripped at the hairdressers and she suggested fading it as much as possible with washing up liquid. I was worried about how much that might damage my hair so instead I'm currently using a hair mask of Head & Shoulders and crushed vitamin C tablets, followed by lots of conditioner just in case. I've only done it once so far but it's already reduced the black down to a dark brown, pretty much the colour I wanted it in the first place! x

  3. This seems far to complicated for me to try myself! I'd get bored soo easily but it's great that it doesn't contain bleach and ammonia! Maybe I'll try it!

    1. It is a little complicated and I really couldn't be bothered to go through it all again for the second time but I needed to do it! x

  4. Thank you for making this, my hair turned out the same was as yours (ginger at the top, black at the bottom). I was worrying and considering going back to black hair, but after seeing this I think I will commit to another box of B4 and see if I can left the ends a little. Thanks again!


Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment, I really appreciate it x