Does Color OOPS work? My experience with OOPS hair color remover and how I took my hair in 20 minutes from this colour to that hair colour.
So I have been dying my hair for oh, about 23 years, and along the way a LOT of accidents have happened. Like the time I dyed it “Herbal Essence Raspberry” and it ended up hot pink, which I, in my 16-year-old wisdom, decided would just go back blonde if I dyed it blonde over the top.
Hint: It didn’t.
Or the time I went to a salon and she turned me orange and then overcorrected it to ash, which translates loosely to “greenish gray”. Not a good look on a 21-year-old. I had to chop off ALL my hair for that one but they did send me a years worth of Wella for my pain and suffering.
Or the time, about 2 years ago, I let a cruise boat do my highlights and she bleached over my bleach (instead of my roots) and my hair fell out in fried off chunks- the night before our family photos. I love that every time I walk by my big blown up images I see my strategically placed bobby pin where my hair was gone.
Oops for Hair Color Mistakes
And with all this knowledge about hair color and artificial pigment, I can tell you two definite things: Never, EVER do bleach over the counter and Red is actually pretty ok to do from a box. Now usually I go to the salon to cover any gray hair and touch up my natural hair. I do a lot of highlights and that requires a hair person. Highlighting from home is basically like lighting your checkbook (do people have checkbooks anymore? I’m showing my age.) on fire because of all the corrections you are likely gonna have to do when it goes horribly wrong.
But red- ok now red is a different story. Red washes out in weeks, sometimes even days after you put it in your hair. Hate your red? No problem, your red hates your red and it will go if you have the patience. But after 3 months of paying $120 to a salon every 4 weeks to keep up with my red, I did something I haven’t done in 10 years- I picked up a box of artificial dye.
And LOVED it.
First I used Feria Red Copper INTENSE. It was super bright, but again, all good things come to an end and the artificial color eventually faded. Here is the day of the dye and then 4 weeks after. It did fade to a pretty color but I really missed the bright glow of it.
The next time I picked up a box color, I decided to try another brand, but in the same color family of copper. Here is L’oreals Intense Color Copper. Less vibrant but still pretty. This one faded QUICK. I was in brown in about a week and a half. So at $9.99 a box times 2 boxes, this wasn’t going to be much more cost effective than going to a salon.
On my next visit to Walgreens, which was last Friday, I thought “hmm, let me try something BRIGHTER, more RED than copper.
I can handle copper pretty well so why not red?” I did Feria Power Red. And this is what happened- in all fairness it looked just like the box, but after a day or two, I realized didn’t match my skin tone or ANY of my clothes. Like…at all. I tried on dresses and the only color that looked remotely decent with this newly dyed hair of mine was blue.
I HATED IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Stripping the Color From My Hair
So last night I decided to strip the color from my hair with color oops extra strength hair colour remover. Normally I would tell you this is a REALLY horrible idea. And under most circumstances, I would say RUN DON’T DO IT. But after a little research, I picked up some OOPS Hair Color Remover, Extra Strength and decided to try my luck. The whole concept of this remover is that it shrinks the color molecules of the hair dye and allows you to rinse it away.
Few things to note if you are going to use OOPS Hair Color Remover:
1) It does stink. It smells like perm solution. A lot of people believe it smells like rotten eggs- I honestly didn’t think that but I have spent hours in the salon breathing in permanent hair dye and remover so pretty much nothing phases me. If you are sensitive to really intense chemical smells, you may not like it. I didn’t have an issue personally. The smell doesn’t just wash away with good clarifying shampoo either. My pillowcase will be getting a bleach bath today.
2) Have a deep hair conditioner ready. It didn’t break my hair or do anything that I couldn’t handle, but you will need to condition it after, from the hair shaft right down to the ends. I use the Macadamia Hair Intense or if you want something more cost-effective, this Dove Restoration Mask.
3) READ THE INSTRUCTIONS FIRST. Basically, you mix two bottles, shake for 30 seconds and saturate your hair. I have a lot of hair that needed color removal so I was really terrified it wasn’t going to cover my entire head. The product is very watery and comes out QUICK, but I was able to work one box through my hair. Do not leave on more than 20 minutes and then, here is the kicker, you have to rinse and shampoo your hair for 20 full minutes. I always thought I would love a 20-minute shower, but I got bored in like 7. Keep rinsing. And rinsing. And rinsing some more. This is what is taking out that permanent hair color and no, the water wasn’t running red. It was actually clear the whole time, but I kept rinsing, shampoo, and rinse.
When I got out I immediately put on my deep conditioner and sat for another 20 minutes before rinsing one last time and then finally drying.
Here is what I was left with. It didn’t restore natural hair color, but it did take the insane red out from the artificial hair color: Like a strawberry reddish blonde color, but oops extra strength hair color removertotally did WORK on box dye (and will work on demi permanent color, too, I’m sure).
Did OOPS Hair Color Remover Work?
I have a lot of people ask about their hair going orange after oops…you have to first leave it in the entire time and two, realize it’s not going to put your natural color back. NOTHING can go back to your virgin hair (except chopping it off and letting it grow back out). It will simply remove you to a base that will allow you to REDYE IT a different color or more natural shade.
Now I wouldn’t say go on the hair journey I have been on the past 6 months being red and once you find your color you should absolutely not venture OUT of that color range, but if for some reason you do something insane like I did, I think picking up this OOPS Hair Color Remover perhaps could save you like it did me from a HIDEOUS permanent dye!
Just to remind you- before and after colour oops!
A Word on Keeping Your Dyed Hair Healthy
It should go without saying that dying, removing dye, and redying your hair over and over again isn’t the best of ideas if you want hair that is healthy and isn’t fried… but if you insist on dying your hair crazy colors just for the heck of it, or you’re constantly having to keep the color up to cover that gray hair that keeps insisting it stay, there are a few ways that you can ensure that your hair has a healthy shine, bounce, and zero split ends. Such as…
1. Use Shampoo and Conditioner Formulated for Color-Treated Hair
Regular shampoos and conditioners can actually strip the artificial color in your hair, leaving your color looking dull and your hair feeling dry. When you’re dying your hair permanently (or even semi-permanently), be sure that you’re using a shampoo and conditioner that will protect your locks, rather than damage them.
2. Condition Like There’s No Tomorrow
Hair that is overworked, whether it be by excessive heat or consistent coloring, will become dry, cracked, and may even break or fall out (woof.). To avoid the horror of hair with a straw-like texture and appearance, you’ll want to condition your hair frequently — and this isn’t limited to a shower. Of course, you do want to use conditioner after shampooing, but after rinsing and towel drying your dyed hair, you should also put in some leave-in conditioner to keep your hair moisturized.
Occasionally (once a week or so), you should also consider deep conditioning your hair with a hair mask that you leave in for a few minutes (or an hour) and then rinse away and wash as normal.
3. Wash Your Hair Less
It sounds gross, I know, but it’s better for your hair — trust me. The less you shampoo your hair, the more natural oils will be retained and distributed throughout your hair. This protects against dryness and prevents breakage. Washing every other day or even only a few times a week will do wonders for your hair.
If you’re having a hard time grasping the idea of washing less, wash as normal and simply skip the shampoo (which acts as a stripping agent to rid the hair of debris, dirt, and dead skin cells). Go straight to the conditioner a couple of times a week and watch how your hair shines!
4. Protect Your Hair From the Heat
Hair that is dyed is already under a lot of stress from the process of applying artificial color. So, because your hair is already potentially stressed out, you’ll want to do everything in your power to prevent it from falling under any additional stress. Now, we all love to style our hair with heat — curling irons, straighteners, blow dryers… but it can do a world of damage if we let it.
To prevent your dyed hair from becoming damaged from the heat, find a good heat protectant made for color-treated hair, and use it every time you plan to heat-style your hair. What I actually do is spray my heat protectant (which doubles as a leave-in conditioner) onto damp hair after washing, allow my hair to air dry (which is WAAAYY better than using heat, if you have the time), and then spray a few more spritzes of my protectant onto my dry hair directly before I style using heat.
5. Try Switching to a Silk Pillowcase to Prevent Frizz
Seriously. It WORKS. As I mentioned earlier, dyed hair (especially hair that’s been dyed and redyed as many times as mine has) is being put under a lot of stress, and to be honest, it can take a lot of work to keep it looking nice and smooth. One of the ways I’ve kept my hair frizz-less (or somewhat frizz-less) is by switching out my old cotton pillowcase with a silk pillowcase.
You read that right – silk. I feel like a queen every time I lay my head on the silky wonder that is my pillow. Friction is one cause of damage to the hair, and when you’re tossing and turning during the night, the friction between your pillowcase, sheets, and your hair may actually be doing quite a bit of damage. Silk pillowcases (and sheets, if you want to go all out) will help to minimize the intensity of the friction your hair receives during the night.
Update About OOPS COLOR REMOVER: I have used it several more times since this post with excellent results removing unwanted color!
Like me and need to rid yourself of some hair color drama? I buy mine on Amazon for the free shipping: