What Is Stripping Hair: Process, Risks, and Alternatives

Medically reviewedby Dr. Bilal Khan M.B.B.S.
WrittenbyLuat Duong
Last updated

Are you stuck with a hair dye color that just doesn't sit right with you anymore? Or, maybe you want a fresh canvas for a new hue? Whatever your reason, hair stripping could be the solution you're searching for. In this comprehensive article, we delve into the process of hair stripping, its effects, and precautions you should take.

What is Stripping Hair?

Stripping hair refers to a chemical process used to rid the hair of unwanted deposited color. It involves the application of a sulfur-based product to the hair that raises sulfite levels, making the hair more porous. This process reverses the oxidation of color molecules, ultimately removing the deposited color.

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The Process of Hair Stripping

During hair stripping, the bonds between hair dye and the hair's natural melanin are broken apart. This makes the hair more porous, allowing the dye to be extracted from the hair with other chemicals. As a result of increased porosity, a new color can be overlaid after the stripping process is complete.

Stripping vs. Bleaching Hair

While stripping and bleaching might seem similar, they perform distinct functions. Bleaching is typically used to lighten hair, removing both the natural pigment and any color deposits from dyes. On the other hand, stripping primarily focuses on the removal of dye deposits, returning the hair closer to its original hue.

Possible Side Effects and Precautions

Stripping hair color can be a harsh process and might lead to damage if not done correctly. It often results in dryness, so it's recommended to use an intensive treatment afterward. If considering this process, it's advisable to consult with a professional hairstylist to ensure it's done safely and effectively.


Stripping hair is an effective way to remove unwanted hair dye and create a fresh canvas for a new color. It's a complex process that can potentially harm your hair if not done properly. Therefore, it's always a good idea to seek the help of a professional. Remember, maintaining the health of your hair should always be the top priority in any hair transformation process.

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Luat Duong

Luat Duong is a Copenhagen-based writer and content strategist specializing in hair loss and health. His work has been featured in MyHealthGuide, The Right Hairstyles, and Woman's Era. He is a graduate of Vaasa University. You can connect with him on LinkedIn.