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Last updated: April 29, 2022

Spring Cleaning: Why You Should Be Using A Color Remover

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Spring Cleaning: Why You Should Be Using A Color Remover

Spring weather got your clients craving pretty pastel melts? Not with the remnants of winter’s deep hues. The first step to a flawless color refresh is a clean application canvas, which means safely removing any previous color to set yourself up for a successful change. We asked around and got colorists’ best tips and fave products for removing previous color…get ready to spring clean your clients’ hair!


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Don’t Forget this Step

Skipping a color remover all together? Or maybe you just want to know what you’re working with? Always, always, ALWAYS perform a strand test. Try strand testing in two ways: Create one strand test with the planned lightener formula and take a separate strand using the color removal product of your choice.



If A Color Removal Isn’t Available, Use Lightener At the Shampoo Bowl

BTC Team Member Megan Schipani (@shmeggsandbaconn) suggests using a lightener with a low volume at the shampoo bowl, such as, Schwarzkopf Professional BLONDME® Bond Enforcing Premium Lightener 9+ with a 7-volume developer. A low and slow process allows you to watch the color lift out, Megan explains. Plus, since the product is being applied at the shampoo bowl, the hair can be rinsed immediately if the client is lifting fast. 


Don’t Leave Any Broken Bonds

For Joico Brand Ambassador Larisa Love (@larisadoll), keeping hair healthy during a color removal service is top priority. Larisa uses a combo of Joico’s Defy Damage Pro-Series and Color Intensity Eraser to strengthen and rebuild broken bonds during the service. To ensure clients are keeping hair healthy, Larisa also sends her clients home with a Defy Damage home care kit to use until their next visit.


Encourage Color Fading Prior to Appointment 

Creative colorist Sydney Ann Lopez (@sydneyannlopezhair) has her clients do a little bit of homework before their color removal appointment. She tells clients who desire a big change to wash their hair with hot water for a few weeks before the appointment. Then, Sydney uses Matrix SOCOLOR Cult Color Eraser, fully saturating the hair using her hands to work the product into the cuticle. “Use a side to side motion [when working the product into the hair],” she says. “If you need to, add more Color Eraser and watch the fashion color dissipate before your eyes!”



Lose the Color, Keep the Moisture

Rose Salon Owner and BTC Team Member Kayla Boyer (@kayla_boyer) recommends PRAVANA PURE LIGHT Creme Lightener because it is infused with coconut oil, which nourishes the hair during the lightening process and has a gentle lift that won’t cause damage. For a little something extra, Kayla follows up any vivid color removal with a deep conditioning service to help the client’s hair stay healthy and to lock in moisture.



When Semi Permanent Becomes Stubborn

LA-based colorist Jessica Jewel (@thejesjewel) recommends waiting two weeks before attempting to remove semi permanent dyes. Jes uses Blank Canvas from Pulp Riot mixed with Olaplex to remove color and suggests starting in the back so the section can be rinsed as soon as the color lifts.  


Bonus Tip: If color remover isn’t an option, Jess suggests using color theory to help remove any residual color. Have a mint tone that won’t budge? Try using a diluted pink semi or demi toner to help neutralize the unwanted mint.


Color Removal Isn’t A One-Stop Shop

#ONESHOT Platinum Finalist and BTC Team Member Rachel Williams (@rachelwstylist) approaches color removal differently depending on the client and the finished desired look. Almost all of Rachel’s color removal formula contain a product from Mailbu C because of it’s gentle effects on the hair. Here’s how Rachel breaks down her color removal:

  • When going from dark color to a blonde, Rachel will start with Malibu C Color Pigment Remover. “I may even use it twice because it’s so gentle,” Rachel explains. Then, Rachel uses a color remover to ensure that the color doesn’t reverse back to a darker shade.
  • If Rachel is transitioning a client from black to a lighter brown, then she will only use Malibu C CPR, followed by a bleach shampoo wash (leaving out any regrowth) and then tone to the desired brown. 
  • If Rachel is removing direct dye all together, then Direct Dye Lifter from Malibu C is her product of choice.



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