Will bleaching red dyed hair turn it pink? Find out in my article below. Also check out how to fade red hair color and how to fix hair that’s turned pink after bleaching.
I love dyeing your hair different colors. But as I had dark brown hair I’d always have had to bleach my hair first before trying out any hair color lighter than my original one.
So because of this I have become a sort of expert on hair coloring and bleaching. And unfortunately my hair has taken a lot of hurt over the years. Thankfully, this has only made me more sensitive on how to take better care of my hair.
Related: How To Get Pink Hair Dye Out Of Hair
One common doubt that I had during my learning years is whether or not bleaching pre-colored hair is feasible.
As a novice, I’d often bleach on top of dyed hair already. Sometimes, this worked out and sometimes… Well, let’s just say I wore a lot of hats during certain times.
So today let me explain to you whether you can bleach over your colored hair and will bleaching over red dyed hair turn it pink or not.
Will Bleaching Red Dyed Hair Turn It Pink
To put it simply. Yes. Bleaching red dyed hair will turn it pink. However, this depends on the developer you are using in the bleach and the amount of time you’re letting the bleach stay in your hair.
If you’re not using a hair color remover beforehand and directly applying bleach to your red hair, chances are it will fade to pink at least in the first sitting.
Bleaching hair is not a one time job and any professional will usually take time to lighten hair over a period of time in several sittings, especially for dyed hair which is already considered “processed”.
If you want pink hair, then you can choose to cut down the number of sittings and tell your hairstylist to stop bleaching after a preferred shade of pink is reached.
Also, the strength of the developer (hydrogen peroxide lightening agent) is also responsible for turning your red dyed hair pink.
If you use a comparatively milder volume 20 developer on red colored hair, it will not “lift” hair completely and leave the reddish tones in your tresses a pink color.
However, a stronger developer like a volume 40 one can remove all red hair dye (especially if it’s a semi-permanent one) and make your hair go to a brassy blonde directly.
Can I Use Hair Color Remover First Before Bleaching Red Dyed Hair
If you do not want your red dyed hair to turn pink when you’re bleaching it, you can use a hair color remover on it first.
A hair color remover is a strongly clarifying product that will strip all traces of dye from hair and leave it your base color. If you’re not starting off with any red in your hair, it won’t turn pink.
However, hair color removers can be very rough on your tresses. And if you combine these products with bleach it is a recipe for disaster. Your hair will never be the same. Trust me.
So what can be done?
Well, if you’re adamant on not wanting any pink traces on your hair and want to try a hair color remover, I suggest waiting for a few days even 2-3 weeks before bleaching your hair.
The onslaught of chemicals from the dye remover and then bleach will weaken the protein bonds in your tresses and can cause immense damage and even breakage.
Is There A Way To Safely Bleach Red Dyed Hair?
Red is actually the toughest color to bleach. If you’ve bleached your hair before, you must have noticed that it still remains a somewhat brassy, coppery tone. This is because the bleach removes most of the tones from your tresses but some of the red pigments remain.
These then give your bleached hair the characteristic coppery color that needs to be toned with purple/blue shampoo to give a platinum color.
So you can see how stubborn red pigments are and how difficult it is for bleach to remove them completely.
But don’t worry. It is completely possible to bleach your red dyed hair without damaging it too much.
As I’ve mentioned before the one way to get rid of reddish tones completely is to first use a hair color remover. You can apply something like the Color Oops Hair Color Remover and wash off all the red dye from your hair at least 2 weeks before starting to bleach.
If you had blonde hair as a base, your hair might turn into a blotchy strawberry blonde color which will get lighter with a lightening solution using a ratio of 1:1 bleach and volume 20 developer.
If you bleached your hair and then had dyed it red then your hair would revert back to being a brassy, coppery tone. You can then decide if a bleach is necessary or if a purple toning shampoo would suffice to remove this brassiness.
You can also use a bleach bath instead of outright bleaching your hair in this case. It will lighten the brassiness just enough and not be too rough on your tresses.
And How Do You Get Red Hair To Pink with No Bleach?
If your main objective in bleaching your red dyed hair is to get it to a pink color, I’d suggest you hold your horses a bit.
There are other ways to fade your red hair dye to a pink color without bleaching your hair.
- Clarifying Shampoo – A strong clarifying shampoo containing sulfates like SLS and SLES can strip hair dye. But in the first wash they will only remove just a layer of pigment leaving your red hair pink.
- Acidic Rinse – Acidic substances have the ability to bleach things due to their low pH. So washing your hair with a mixture of lemon juice and water or apple cider vinegar and water in a ratio 1:1 (one part of lemon/ACV with one part of water) can help lighten hair just enough to remove the darker red undertones and leave your hair pink.
- Baking Soda – Leaving a baking soda hair mask on your red dyed hair can also help lighten hair color. Baking soda is highly exfoliating and can remove dye pigments from hair after opening your hair cuticles. Make a thick paste of baking soda and water (or you can add baking soda to your regular shampoo too) and apply it to hair and rinse off with warm water.
Note: All the methods above can still be rough on hair and leave them dry. However, they are significantly LESS rough on hair then using bleach and developer. So I suggest trying them first. Also, be sure to use a hydrating conditioner and mask on hair after you get your desired pink color as the process of fading red dye can leave your cuticles open, leading to roughness, loss of shine, frizz and even damage. So after care is important.
Did Your Hair Turn Pink After Bleaching? Here’s Why
If you have red dyed hair or have hair color that has reddish undertones to it such as burgundy, mauve, wine, copper, etc. then your hair might turn a pink color after bleaching.
Artificial red hair color is just a darker shade of pink and vice versa. Lightening it using bleach or peroxide will remove the visibly darker undertones and leave pink behind.
If you have natural red hair of course, it’s made of several tones and not just pink. So bleaching it will leave hair a mix of copper, yellow, red, etc. This is what we call “brassy blonde hair”. This will need to be fixed with help from a toner.
I’ve explained more of this below.
Will Natural Red Hair Turn Pink If I Bleach It Too?
No it will not. See red hair pigments in your hair and red dye pigments from a hair color fade in very different ways.
Red dyes are made of very little pigments, usually red, pink, white, etc. So using bleach or lightener over it will cause it to fade to a lighter red or even pink color.
But the natural hair color pigments in your tresses (composed of pheomelanin and eumelanin, of course) have a very different composition. There are lots of different layers of tones that make up your natural hair color.
Bleaching will take off only the darker tones (at least at first) and leave the lighter tones behind. So bleaching natural red or ginger hair will leave it coppery and brassy and maybe a lighter ginger or strawberry blonde shade.
If you bleach natural red hair, it will not turn into pink.
Summary on Bleaching Red Dyed Hair
To sum up this article… Yes, bleaching your red dyed hair will turn it pink, especially if you’re in between sittings or using a milder 20 volume developer.
If you do not want your red dyed hair to get pink then you can use a hair color remove to completely strip the red pigment before you bleach. However, this leaves your hair vulnerable so I’d recommend waiting for 2-3 weeks after this to bleach your hair.
You might also be left with brassy undertones to your hair so keep a blue shampoo or hair toner handy to get rid of these leftover pigments.
In case you DO want your red dyed hair to fade to pink using bleach itself is unnecessary, try using other, less harmful techniques like washing hair with clarifying shampoo, using a acidic (apple cider vinegar or lemon) rinse on your hair or even a bleach bath (washing hair with diluted bleach water) before actually trying bleaching.