Fifteen years ago, as a sophomore in college (a really STUPID sophomore in college, I should add), I dyed my hair with a permanent at-home hair dye kit labeled Dark Brown and ended up with hair the same color (roughly) as a Halloween witch wig. (Mine was probably darker.) I AM NOT KIDDING. Now, fifteen years ago, the only options were to pay out the nose for a stylist to fix it (which I was not going to do, what with the fact that I was a totally broke college student, along with the OTHER fact that I was living in a relatively rural part of Alabama, where I wasn't sure I'd come out looking any better than I went in) OR I could bleach it out myself and re-dye it. Oh, don't worry, first I tried washing it out with dishwashing detergent and TideB but when it was still goth chick black, I bit the bullet and bleached my hair. I BLEACHED IT. At HOME, you guys. It turned orange, and then I used another box of dye to color it back to a regular old brown, and then for the next two years, I used two bottles of conditioner to every one bottle of shampoo I consumed. I basically had hair made of straw. And I didn't touch another bottle of hair dye until.... well, until last Sunday night.
Brief backstory: I have a wonderful hairdresser, but this week is busy and I had dark-ish roots and am performing onstage every night in this Easter production (long story) so instead of waiting ONE MEASLY WEEK for my appointment, I decided to take matters into my own hands. And I screwed up again, WITH PERMANENT HAIR COLOR. I am such an idiot. This time a box labeled "medium brown" turned me just as dark as I was back in 1997. But you know what, you guys? Since then, a product has been invented that makes reversing a bad dye job simple and something you can do within the privacy of your own home. I mean, nothing is worse than walking into a salon with jet black hair and begging for someone to HELP ME, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD.
Enter Developlus Color Oops, around $12 - 15 at your local drugstore (I found mine at CVS, and I bought it wearing a hat, WHICH WAS SO OBVIOUS TO THE CASHIER.) This product strips color out of your hair without any harsh peroxide or bleach, and returns your hair to its natural, pre-dye color. Oh, sure, it smells like a garbage truck filled with feces is sitting atop your head, but the process was simple, it took 20 minutes, and I was left with hair exactly the same color as it was last Saturday, before I cracked open a big impulsive box of Clairol. Yes, the texture of my hair is now a smidge drier, but nothing a bit of extra conditioning won't fix, honestly.
The key here is that this product will really only work if you've colored your hair DARKER. If you've lightened your hair, you've taken natural pigment OUT, and nothing about this product is going to bring that natural pigment back. If you've gone DARKER, this product will remove the excess pigment that was added during the coloring process. I would suggest that if you have long or thick hair that you go ahead and purchase two boxes - my hair is pretty thick, and as a result, I have some lingering patchy dark spots in the under layers, which I am having my stylist fix at my regular appointment next week. (Uh, DUH, I'm OBVIOUSLY going back to the stylist.)
The other key thing with this product is that you can recolor your hair the very same day - there are some additional instructions to follow, and your hair will absorb color much faster and will require a much shorter process time, but if you take color out and still hate your natural color, you can do something about it, no problem.
There, does that help? You won't hear from me again on this issue for roughly fifteen years, so check back in 2027. Does anyone have any terrible hair dye stories they want to share in the comments? HUMOR ME, you guys. I DID THIS TWICE.
[photo credit: walgreens.com]