Bleach alternatives! How-to strip Pravana Vivids from your hair!

before01Long time no see, blog!
Holiday season has been busy – I have been eating, and drinking, and being plenty merry. I tried to update my Instagram/Facebook as much as I could, but alas, I have been majorly slacking.
I won’t go on about any “new year, new me” BS, and how I swear I’ll update my blog once a week, yada yada… It’s pretty much impossible. Well, not impossible, I just know I won’t end up making time to follow through. :p

However! I will say it is time for a new year, and some new hair!
The color we did last has been holding very stubbornly in my hair.
While it has faded a lot, it’s still too pigmented to dye over considering I want to go back to a pastel. Bleaching it would easily take the color out, but my hair has been processed so many times that I’d like to avoid inflicting any extra unneeded damage.


The last time I had to wipe my hair slate clean I was blue.
I used a Vitamin C Treatment method to strip a lot of the color out, which I was pretty impressed by…
Basically, the vitamin c swells the cuticle of the hair, which allows the clarifying shampoo to penetrate deeper, and pull out more dye than a regular wash would.
The only problem is the process is super labor intensive and time consuming (I did maybe four treatments over 2 days, and that’s pretty much all I did in those 2 days…),  and I didn’t get enough dye out to feel completely satisfied. We still needed to bleach the hair to pull out the color.

For those of you who would like to know the steps for the Vitamin C Treatment….

What you’ll need:
Vitamin C tablets – if you can get your hands on powder, that’s ideal…however, it’s tough to find so you’ll likely have to grind up solid tablets. (I used my mortar and pestle!)
Clarifying Shampoo – I like Paul Mitchell’s, but you don’t have to buy a super expensive one for this to work. If you’re on a super baby budget, you can use Head & Shoulders, but it can be drying for your hair.
Spray bottle filled with water.
Clips, comb, towels, mixing bowl, and applicator brush.
Your favorite deep conditioning treatment.

  • Grind up your Vitamin C tablets into a fine powder. Avoid any chunks! You want everything to be dissolved in the shampoo, so it can be super concentrated! I never count how many tablets I use…but I probably grind up way more than I need :/ My post above said 40, so I would guess around 30-40? I also have a MASSIVE amount of hair. Use your judgement.
  • In a mixing bowl squeeze an appropriate amount of the clarifying shampoo for your hair type. Again, I have a lot of hair, so I used a lot of shampoo.
  • Pour the Vitamin C powder into the shampoo, and mix together with your brush.
  • Let the mixture sit for about 10 minutes. This allows the powder to dissolve into the shampoo. It’ll start to turn a funky color, don’t worry.
  • Spray your hair until it’s mildly damp, not dripping or soaking, just a little moist. It can be wetter, but that tends to make a bigger mess, and it’ll drip all over the place, and down your back. Yuck.
  • Section your hair into four quadrants, and apply Vitamin C mixture as you would color or bleach, in thin slices moving up or down your head (whichever you prefer). As you apply the mixture to each slice make sure you thoroughly massage and scrub it into the sections. With determination and zeal. You’re basically scrubbing the stain out of your hair. You’ll start to see the color building up in the foam produced by your scrubbing. If it’s not foaming and lathering, spritz your hair with some more water.
  • Continue until you’ve completed application on your entire head, and let sit for at LEAST 1 hour. I suggest more time, and I even slept with it in once. Although, to be honest, I don’t think sleeping with it in produced better results. I think the best results come from actively scrubbing the hair.
    So! You’ll want to continue to scrub your hair as you wait for it to process. Get it nice, and foamy, and sudsy!
    This method requires a lot of patience and CONTINUAL scrubbing of your hair. It’s not for the faint of heart.
  • When you wash your hair it is going to feel weird and dry. That’s normal! I don’t know why it happens with clarifying shampoo, but it does. From what I’ve noticed, a little bit of deep conditioner bounces it right back to it’s original condition!
  • After you’ve washed the shampoo concoction out of your hair, apply your deep conditioning treatment and let sit for at least 10 minutes depending on hair type. I let mine sit for an hour because I have coarse, dry, and severely damaged hair. I also do everything in excess.
  • Rinse out, and voila! Hopefully, you have successfully pulled some of the dye out of your hair!


While the Vitamin C Treatment did give me results…this time I was feeling particularly lazy, and wanted the biggest bang for my buck.
I’ve been hearing and seeing a lot about how clear permanent dye mixed with developer strips fashion colors quickly and harmlessly, so I decided to give it a go. I watched a bunch of Guy Tang and Rebecca Taylor videos, followed their steps, and here I am today.
beforeandafter02Banana freakin’ yellowwwwwww. (Well, kinda..)
The lighting in my bathroom makes everything look a bit pinker than in person, but the difference is still pretty crazy! There are still some lingering pigments, but purple hot root is no where to be seen!

beforeandafter01We’ll still need to run a little bit of bleach through to even out the tones, but I’m largely impressed.
I think I really needed a third tube of clear, because I started to run short about half way through. I concentrated most of the application at the root, because that seemed to be most stubborn.
I’m not sure if that’s why there’s still orange and yellow hues to the shaft and ends… I know for a fact the yellow at the ends is Joico – I think I may have also used Joico Orange at some point as well? So, maybe this technique isn’t as effective with Joico as it is Pravana?
You can watch the color breaking down as you progress from section to section – it happens in minutes. I think I sat with it on my head for an accumulative 40 minutes from start of application to finish? Pretty freaking cool.

The process was very simple. I just mixed equal parts of Matrix SoColor in Clear with 10 Volume Developer, along with 1/8oz Olaplex for funzies. I applied this mixture throughout my whole head, massaging it into the sections as I went. It’s pretty much…concentrated ammonia…so, I defnitely seared some nose hairs off in the process. I would have opened a window, but I’d rather suffer the fumes than be cold :/

I washed it out pretty quickly, so I’m not sure if there are consequences if you leave it on your head for too long, but my hair feels how it normally does – not too bad in my book! I think it probably took me 30 minutes to apply? And then I washed it out about 10 minutes after I finished.

If you’re thinking of doing your hair yourself, and you are not a licensed professional – I do implore you to rethink your decision. You have a higher percentage of doing something wrong and damaging your hair (costing you more money in the long run), than you would if you just went to a salon or a professional. Save yourself the anguish. Trust me. It is not fun, you will cry, and you will regret it.

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