Removing Unwanted Hair Colour

Shampooing hair
Q: Basically, I coloured my hair with a temporary wash-in/wash-out "cherry red" colour which they said would take 8-10 washes to fully rinse out. However, it has been 2 weeks and after frantically washing my hair with 3 shampoos a day, it is still there and just looks very cheap.
Is there anything I can wash it with or anything I can put on it or ANYTHING? I'm seriously desperate because I have an important function coming up and I cannot go like this no way! Help, please!

A: The most common cause of temporary colour lasting longer than expected is that the hair was porous when the colour was applied and therefore penetrated much deeper than anticipated into the hair shaft. If the cuticle was subsequently treated and smoothed, it's likely that the colour became sealed into the hair.
What you actually used wasn't "temporary haircolour" but "semi-permanent haircolour" which is designed to wash out of the hair in 8-12 shampoos generally. Temporary colour is formulated to cover the outer layer of the hair shaft, while semi-permanent colour is designed to penetrate a little into the shaft.
There are products available for removing unwanted haircolour, but you need to be sure to get the correct one for your situation. What you want to look for is a product specifically for removing semi-permanent haircolour, that clearly states that it won't remove the natural colour. Use the product only as directed, and be sure to read the directions carefully before using it.
You will want to look for this product at a beauty supply store or online. It is unlikely that you will find it at a drug store or supermarket.
If however, you cannot locate a product that specifically states that it is for removing semi-permanent colour and won't change your natural color, you do have an alternative. At the Beauty Supply store you will want to purchase a small bottle of 10-volume peroxide. This is the developer used with "no-lift" haircolors. Mix, one ounce of the peroxide with one-ounce of your regular shampoo and use this to shampoo your hair. Massage the mixture into a lather and leave it on the hair for 10 minutes, then rinse thoroughly.
The 10-volume peroxide will help to open the cuticle layer and should allow the shampoo to remove more of the semi-permanent color. After rinsing, dry the hair and check the results. You can repeat this process as needed, but be sure to condition the hair carefully between the subsequent applications.
Be aware that this is still a peroxide, and that the longer you leave it on the hair, the more likely you will lighten your original colour, too. So be sure to use it only in 10-minute increments and to rinse the hair thoroughly.
Photo: LightField Studios/Shutterstock
See also:
Hair coloring
Hair porosity
The different types of hair color