SSW - Stripping white hair back after colouring

#1
Why is it so hard to strip the colour (home dye) from naturally white hair? I have asked numerous salons over the years to do this for me but all said it was impossible - why?
(not too technical please, but if I knew the reason, maybe i'd stop asking salons and just live with dying my hair for the rest of my life!)
 
#2
please explain a little furthur as to why you would want to strip the hair and i will give you as much advice and explain why afterwards!!

becks
 
#3
Thanks becks!

My hair is completely white ( and I mean white, not just salt n pepper!) and I've home-coloured it for years.
At some point I would like to revert back to my natural colour so I don't have to keep dying it.
I've asked quite a few salons and they've all said it's just not possible and the only way is to grow it out (looking like a badger is SO not a good look for me).
So I've resigned myself to this, but in the spirit of SSW, have decided to put the Hair Geeks to the test and explain why it's not possible!! Cheers xx
 
#4
well basically if your hair is completely white it means it has pigment (melanin) whatsoever, when you have coloured it yourself you have packed thousands of colour molecules back into your hair making it appear coloured!
still with me?
the only way to remove this colour is by bleach, when bleaching there is certain levels you go through to lift the colour out, depending on the depth and tone of which you are now.
if you wanted to completely go back to white using bleach it would be a very tricky procedure due to the fact that if the bleach is strong and your hair is dark it would need to be reapplied several times, not only risking the condition of your hair but could result in an uneven colour result.
trying to explain this without any technical jargon.
i would advise you to have a colour stripper applied and a colour lighter than what you are now then to leave your hair a while and repeat the process.
it will never return to a natural looking white due to the colours you have applied but if you can get your colour lighter than it is, maybe adding highlights you could let the colour grow out as you wont have such a noticible difference between the colour now and your natural colour.
however if you was to go back to your natural white do you think you would like it as you have coloured it for so many years??
hope this helps and hope i havnt rambled to much.

xx
 

JDs

Curly Hair Geek
#5
well basically if your hair is completely white it means it has pigment (melanin) whatsoever, when you have coloured it yourself you have packed thousands of colour molecules back into your hair making it appear coloured!
still with me?
the only way to remove this colour is by bleach, when bleaching there is certain levels you go through to lift the colour out, depending on the depth and tone of which you are now.
if you wanted to completely go back to white using bleach it would be a very tricky procedure due to the fact that if the bleach is strong and your hair is dark it would need to be reapplied several times, not only risking the condition of your hair but could result in an uneven colour result.
trying to explain this without any technical jargon.
i would advise you to have a colour stripper applied and a colour lighter than what you are now then to leave your hair a while and repeat the process.
it will never return to a natural looking white due to the colours you have applied but if you can get your colour lighter than it is, maybe adding highlights you could let the colour grow out as you wont have such a noticible difference between the colour now and your natural colour.
however if you was to go back to your natural white do you think you would like it as you have coloured it for so many years??
hope this helps and hope i havnt rambled to much.

xx
so if White hair is lacking in pigment..why is it then when you bleach White hair, it will give you a yellow pigment?
Hmmm just thought that I should have placed this as a SSW.;)
 
#6
well basically if your hair is completely white it means it has pigment (melanin) whatsoever, when you have coloured it yourself you have packed thousands of colour molecules back into your hair making it appear coloured!
still with me?
the only way to remove this colour is by bleach, when bleaching there is certain levels you go through to lift the colour out, depending on the depth and tone of which you are now.
if you wanted to completely go back to white using bleach it would be a very tricky procedure due to the fact that if the bleach is strong and your hair is dark it would need to be reapplied several times, not only risking the condition of your hair but could result in an uneven colour result.
trying to explain this without any technical jargon.
i would advise you to have a colour stripper applied and a colour lighter than what you are now then to leave your hair a while and repeat the process.
it will never return to a natural looking white due to the colours you have applied but if you can get your colour lighter than it is, maybe adding highlights you could let the colour grow out as you wont have such a noticible difference between the colour now and your natural colour.
however if you was to go back to your natural white do you think you would like it as you have coloured it for so many years??
hope this helps and hope i havnt rambled to much.

xx
I see where you're coming from, thanks for not being too technical!
I really set the question as something for SSW, and also because I really wanted to know the reason why I've been told so many times that it's impossible to go back to being white!
I don't think I will do it for at least 15 years as too young to be white now. I'll keep this for future reference! lol...Thanks xxx
 

Jeni Giles

Well-Known Member
#7
so if White hair is lacking in pigment..why is it then when you bleach White hair, it will give you a yellow pigment?
Hmmm just thought that I should have placed this as a SSW.;)
It's pigment, it is the protien. When the keratin breaks down and the disulfide bonds shift it gives a yellow appearance. This can be corrected by using an acidic rinse to keep the cuticle closed tight and compact so the protien doesn't break down as easily.
 

JDs

Curly Hair Geek
#8
:wink2: But I thought bleach removed pigment from the hair?
How can a blue colored bleach leave a pigment of yellow behind?
And
If it leaves a pigment of yellow in the hair, then how come we can lift clear out to white with bleach?
 

Jeni Giles

Well-Known Member
#9
It's NOT the pigment, it is the protien. When the keratin breaks down and the disulfide bonds shift it gives a yellow appearance. This can be corrected by using an acidic rinse to keep the cuticle closed tight and compact so the protien doesn't break down as easily.
OOPS!! typed that wrong!! We can't actually get hair completely white, we can get it very very light and then tone to cancel out the remaining color to give a "white" or "grey" appearance. The protien as it breaks down yellows slightly, think about a white haired lady that is out in the sun or at the beach constantly exposed to salt air, it makes her hair appear blond.

Shampoos such as simply silver, shimmer lights, shine blonde or white violet (to name a few) are pigmented with violet at a very light concentration to fool our eye into thinking it sees white.

If your client doesn't want to use one of these support shampoos, an acid rinse, wella's pHD, Redken amino pon, Joico chemical enhancer, will help eliminate these tones by forcing the protein chains back into alignment. Hope that clears up the confusion, missing one word sure makes a BIG difference!
 

Jeni Giles

Well-Known Member
#10
:wink2: But I thought bleach removed pigment from the hair?
How can a blue colored bleach leave a pigment of yellow behind?
And
If it leaves a pigment of yellow in the hair, then how come we can lift clear out to white with bleach?
Bleach doesn't know the difference between artificial or natural pigment, it just oxidizes the molecules, which are very similar. While hair may appear white with bleach, it still has traces of yellow, about the color of the inside of a banana peel, very pastel. Our eyes can be "tricked" into believing this is white by making it a neutral color- yellow + violet= neutral. Neutral= unequal portions of the 3 primary colors. (this is a very simple yet helpful hint for corrective color) When you are fixing something in this case it would be pre lightened hair, add the missing primaries at the appropriate level. Level 10 hair choose Level 10 toner (usually pastel) in the missing primary. Notice that most manufacturer's only produce pastel toners in blue, blue violet, violet and neutral. ANY color can be a toner when used in the appropriate manner.

To correct and unwanted tone you either have to add pigment (deepen or tone) or lighten past the unwanted color. In the case of white or pre bleached hair this cannot be done if the stylist wants to preserve the integrity of the hair. Hopefully I've explained this well and not confused anyone further.

Hair color and it's chemistry are almost a living breathing entity because there are so many variables, truthfully it fascinates me and I'm always after learning more. Guess that's why I'm working on my Board Certified Colorist exam- help me out, keep the color questions coming!! I take my exam August 25th in Orlando- need to keep practicing answering questions!
 

JDs

Curly Hair Geek
#11
help me out, keep the color questions coming!! I take my exam August 25th in Orlando- need to keep practicing answering questions!
Okay, starting a new one..
 
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