Why is Black Hair Colour Difficult to Remove?
Whether by design or intention black hair can often prove to be a bugbear many people get stuck with when using home colourants and can prove very difficult to remove.
The creation of artificial black hair is achieved by a total saturation of pigment. Basically, the hair is quite literally stuffed with a much higher ratio of artificial colour molecules than usual. Remember, with an artificial colourant the lighter the shade the less base pigment present in the product. With black and darkest brown colourants the shade is abundant in a very high level of artificial pigment molecules. With black shades these can also include the pure black molecules (which are very large) and blue.
Black Hair Colour Due to Colour Build Up
A black hair colour can also be found in colour build-up of brunette shades. This happens when the whole hair is continually subjected to artificial colour applications, rather than just the re-growth areas. With each application, more and more pigments are introduced into the hair until it becomes so full it can literally take no more colour. At this point the hair will appear black – which indicates complete colour saturation.
The Problems of Removing Black Hair Dye
Even using a hair colour remover, black shades can be notoriously difficult to remove in one go, simply because the level of pigment in the hair is high and the remover has to work extra hard to extradite all of it. Quite often, the colour remover will become inactive whilst it is mid-way through the removal and a second or even third application is required.
Removing only one application of a pure black colourant from the hair can be easier than people think, simply because the colour molecules have entered the hair at the same time. The big issue is removal of colour build up. Here the colour molecules can be sitting within the hair in layers and are of varying ages, therefore it’s quite common for a colour removal application to be required for each of the colour layers the hair has been subjected to during its lifespan.
Top Tips on Removing Black Hair Dye
Work with Clarified Hair
Always clarify black hair several times before attempting to remove to make sure any barriers are shifted from the hair. These barriers can quite often prevent a colour removal from working at all. To clarify hair you need to use silicone free products, something like a baby shampoo works well.
It takes time
On long term black use, don't expect the black shade to be removed in one hit. Instead, try applying the remover once every couple of weeks to take a layer off at a time.
Black Colourants Contain Peroxide
Black Colourants Contain Peroxide
Remember, with black colourants come peroxide. Therefore, built up shades could reveal a coppery lightened base that will start toward the root and expose further down with each colour removal application until the ends reverse.
Temporary Colour Camouflage
Use a product like Clairol Nice and Easy Level 1 (8 Wash) in medium brown to cover revealed copper whilst you are in a period of removal. The Level 1 Nice and Easy has no peroxide or ammonia and will create a shade which will fade with washing. Therefore, you can top it up in between colour removals and until your permanent black shade has been completely reversed.
Stripping black hair is ineffective for revealing a very light base.Simply because the pigment is so abundant the stripper has to work much harder. It will quite often strip to a rusty brown shade. However, if you just want to go to a deeper brown shade, you can strip the black and re-colour immediately with a 4.0 or 5.0 (medium and light brown) to achieve a rich true brown.
Silicone Damage will Cause Removal Problems
Some hair colourants use high amounts of silicone and if you use heat or irons on the hair this silicone can melt and cause the hair colour to become permanently trapped. Silicone damaged hair will have a slightly synthetic appearance and the black does not shift with a remover, stripper or bleach. You will need to reverse this damage before any subsequent treatments can take full effect. I'll write a full post about silicone damage soon.