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Wait, You Can Use Dish Soap to Lift Your Hair Color?

Blue Dawn Dish Soap sitting in a window with natural lighting.
Taylor E Williams/Shutterstock.com

Have you ever accidentally box-dyed your hair a different shade than you intended? While it is recommended that we leave hair coloring to the professionals, millions of people turn to DIY at-home coloring every year.

But what if you want to remove the color at home, too? Again—say it with me—it’s not recommended, but there are a few products in your home that could lift the color up to one shade lighter, one of them being dish soap.

Hair colorist Michelle Garwood told Byrdie that dishwashing liquid has several strong cleansing agents that are not present in shampoos, so it will definitely strip color, but doing it more than once can really dry your hair out. This is especially true if you use a strong detergent that acts as a mild bleach, like Dawn dish soap.

Garwood recommends lathering the liquid into your hair and letting it sit for five minutes, then rinsing.

“Always condition afterwards,” she told Byrdie. “If you have a protein or repairing hair treatment, I’d advise applying that afterwards to ensure your cuticle closes back down, keeping your hair strong and healthy.”

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This last-resort color lifting method is tricky, as we can never be too sure of the exact chemical components in certain products and the reactions that may occur on the scalp. Natural scalp heat, hair porosity, allergic reactions, and color history are just a few of the factors that Garwood says need to be analyzed by a professional before hair correcting.

Remember, dish soap is not a miracle worker, nor should it be anyone’s go-to process for anything related to hair health. But if you simply can’t help yourself, it’s a good idea to invest in some ultra-conditioning hair masks for afterward.

Lindsay Ray Lindsay Ray
Lindsay is a lifestyle and beauty writer currently living in Arizona. She has several years of experience as a freelance writer and reporter, with a specialized interest in the beauty and lifestyle space. From beauty hacks to DIY home décor and everything in between -- Lindsay has a passion for crafting stories that entertain, educate, and inspire. Her writing has appeared in Thought Catalog, The List, Drink Me Magazine, the Auburn Examiner, and Litro Magazine in the United Kingdom. Read Full Bio »
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