Sunday, February 15, 2015

Vanish Hair Color Remover Review

I hope you all had a lovely Valentine's Day yesterday! I spent my day doing something a bit unusual- removing hair dye, which turned out to be quite a process. As you may remember, I tried out a hair color remover called Color Oops (find that review here) a while back when I was trying to get some purple-red color out of my hair. I wasn't really crazy about that remover, so I decided to try a higher-quality product this time, Vanish.
Let me tell you how my hair was when I began this process. After I removed that dye from a while back with Color Oops, my hair turned a light red, so I dyed over it with a brown color that I liked for a while. Then, I went in and had it dyed purple, but the stylist that colored my hair messed up and dyed the bottom half of my hair greenish blue instead of purple. Sounds crazy, right? Needless to say, I was not planning on getting my hair dyed at a salon anytime soon. I had purple dyed over the bluish areas a week later, and that basically turned it black. Then, the purple was fading, so the green was showing, and I reapplied the purple, and- surprise- it faded again. I decided that I would just have to ditch the green altogether and start from scratch.

The problem was that I didn't want to use bleach on my hair, so I scoured the web for a new color remover, and that's when I found Vanish. It can only be sold in-store if you have a license, so since I'm not licensed, I ordered mine on Amazon. It comes in two bottles which you combine before applying, and it contains 2-3 applications depending on how thick your hair is. I have really thick hair, but since it's layered a lot, I was able to get three applications out of it, but I didn't really need it, so I just used two and left the rest for the next time I need to remove a color. 
It's definitely a hassle to use this product. First, you shampoo your hair. The instructions on the box didn't specify as to how many times you should shampoo before applying, and most reviews that I read said to shampoo twice, so that's what I did. Then, you're supposed to mix the contents of each bottle to a 1:1 ratio, so I just took three teaspoons of each bottle and combined them in a plastic bowl. 

You're supposed to apply this with something like a dye brush or cotton, but I found it too watery to apply with a brush, so I just used my hands and saturated my already wet hair with it. Let it be said that the smell of this product is horrid. It contains sulfur, which is probably one of the worst things I've ever smelled in my life, and it left my bathroom stinking for the rest of the day. After application, you're supposed to let it sit for up to twenty minutes with heat, so I blow-dried mine for twelve minutes and just let it sit for another five before rinsing.
To shampoo my hair, I used Selsun Blue dandruff shampoo because it has a low PH level and is chock-full of sulfates, which makes it a good shampoo for getting all of that color out of your hair. I shampooed mine three times and let the shampoo sit for about two minutes while I scrubbed the mess out of my hair to get rid of those dye molecules.

After that, I pulled out the developer. After using Vanish, you're supposed to take a 10 volume developer and apply that to your hair, letting it sit for ten minutes before shampooing it out. I read in many reviews that it didn't really matter what volume the developer was, so I bought a 20 volume developer from L'oreal since I really wouldn't have any future use for a 10 volume, and I didn't want to waste money on a whole bottle of developer that I'd never use again. I washed my hair after this once, then let my hair air-dry since it was already worn-out enough from all of that shampooing. 
After the first application, my hair looked pretty good. Practically all of the weird colors had been removed, and my hair was a medium brown color. The main goal of doing this for me was to get my hair as light as possible since I'm planning on redying it purple without any green, so I decided to try another round of Vanish to see if I could get my hair closer to the blonde it had been before I started dying my hair in the first place. My hair was really dry after shampooing so much, so I waited until the next day to repeat the same steps on my hair. It didn't really give much change, but the brown was a bit lighter, and my roots were very blonde, so it appears to have removed every trace of the purple and green dyes. 

Overall, I'm very pleased with how this product worked for me. It removed dye that had been in my hair for about two months, which is pretty good. I didn't expect to get much change concerning the brown dye since it's been in my hair for close to six months, which makes it very hard to remove, so the lift I got on that was pretty good. 

A few things worth noting:

This product will stink up your bathroom. I'd recommend standing on a towel while doing this to make sure you don't get any on your floor and to wash everything else that came in contact with Vanish immediately after use.

Vanish will also stain clothes, so make sure you use a shirt that you don't mind staining for this process. I have quite a few old t-shirts that I use just to sleep in, so I used one of those.

Your hair is going to be extremely dry after using this. I only used three applications, and I ended up shampooing my hair twelve times. Although the box says you can use it up to three times daily, I'd definitely recommend waiting at least a day between applications like I did to give your hair a bit of a break, especially if you don't have really healthy hair. I'm really regretting not deep conditioning my hair between sessions of this, so you can bet I'll be doing that tonight!

Don't skip out on the developer at the end! Your hair may look as light as you're going for, but that, unfortunately, isn't the case. The developer process is designed to bring out the color molecules you've missed in your hair. If you don't do this, they'll gradually return over the course of the next couple of days. After you've used the developer, check your hair, and if it isn't as light as you'd like, that's how you know when to do another application of Vanish.

This product does not lighten your hair. To do that, you're going to need bleach. This product merely removes unwanted artificial hair color.

If your hair color has been in for a while like the brown had for me, the odds are against you getting it all out, especially if you try and do it with just one application. You'll get more lift with more than one application, but sometimes, you're just not going to get it all out.

**This is not a sponsored post. I paid for these products myself, and my opinions are in no way influenced by Vanish.


  1. Do you happen to have a before and after picture of the process with Vanish, like you did with Color Oops? I'm so glad to hear it wasn't just my hair that turned a ginger color with Color Oops! :)

  2. Do you happen to have a before and after picture of the process with Vanish, like you did with Color Oops? I'm so glad to hear it wasn't just my hair that turned a ginger color with Color Oops! :)

  3. I had dyed black hair and I had it bleached 5 times and the salon told me I'd need it bleached at least one more time before I can tone it to White. I DO NOT WANT TO BLEACH AGAIN. Will this product remove the orange that is left in my hair?
    Thank You

  4. Smart girl question everything especially when its about your hair. Educate yourself like I did I suggest looking up killerstrands dot com. Search through the blogs about bleaching and color removers oh and hi lift hair colors.

    1. She recommends this product on killer stands

  5. I've been dying my hair black for10 yrs. It's very long. I tried bleaching it out5 yrs ago and it fried the hell out of my hair. I like it black but I'm tiring of it. Would like to try it but I don't wanna waste my money. Any thoughts

  6. Thanks for this I will try this after my new hair transplant because I will get my new natural hairs :)

  7. Great review. Black hair dye is the fabulously complicated dye to remove from the hair. It is up to how much lighter you like to gel. It may take few steps to have the desired result.Thanks for your tips. This my help you more -