Hair Dye Lifters: Color Oops & LOreal Color Zap

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I have to make a video on these soon, I’m seriously AMAAAZED that I never heard about these products before, I sure could have used them in the past!

I was walking through Ulta the other day and saw this product called Color Oops that I had never seen before. Basically, it claimed that it could lift out hair dye and leave you with your natural color by shrinking color molecules or something so they just wash out without damaging your hair. Seeing as how I have been wanting to brighten up my color (and have been bleach shampooing my hair regularly so it wouldn’t damage it) I decided to get it and try it out, because what did I have to loose? Worst thing that could happen would be it didn’t work, and then I’m right where I left off.

Correct Hair Color Mistakes with Color Oops

I tried this out yesterday. You mix two products, then apply to dry hair and leave in for 20 minutes, and then rinse for like an hour (well, 15-20 mins, but thats a LONG time to rinse your hair!) and shampoo once or twice. FYI on this one: it smells. BAD. and STRONG. Day after and my bathroom still reeked. Also, you don’t get a ton of product, so if you have long or thick hair, I’d buy two (I wish I did!)

For reference, Here’s a picture of my hair before using this:


Still pretty dark, but the top 2 inches or so were a much brighter red, and the roots were showing through.

After using Color Oops:



It definitely helped pull the color out, as my hair was MUCH lighter (especially the top, it turned almost golden orange) but it’s nowhere near what my natural color is, so if you’re thinking its going to bring you back to that it definitely won’t. Since the rest was so dark, it made the ends a light-medium brown. Since there is an obvious color difference here, and because it wasn’t nearly as light as I wanted it, I tried for something quite a few of you recommended on Twitter: LOreal Color Zap.

l_oreal_loreal_color_zap_p21724.jpg (JPEG Image, 200x200 pixels)

Again, this is one I DEFINITELY recommend getting to bottles of if you have hair that is thick or long. I only got one and IMMENSELY regret it, as it wasn’t enough to cover all of my hair and there were a few spots on my hair that didn’t get saturated enough and were darker than the rest. This one doesn’t smell nearly as rancid as Color Oops, but more like ammonia or hair dye. This one I believe has bleach in it, because the base is a powder and it actually lightened some of my roots to WHITE because I wasn’t being careful. Anyways, this one you leave on longer depending what shade your hair is. Since mine was a medium brown, I left it on for about 40 minutes.

Here’s what it looked like after Color Zap:

Please ignore how frizzy my hair is in these pictures! I just blowdried it FAST to get it dry so I could dye it, and thats why it was a lion’s mane!

As you can see, that one removed the color REALLY well! And in this picture, you can see the lovely spot where I didn’t get enough of the product on, and it stayed a bit darker. AWESOME, right?

Another great thing with these products is that they’re gentle enough to allow you to dye right over your hair after using them, which is great because I really didn’t want to walk around with orange hair longer than I had to. I’ve been craving red lately, but I wanted to make it a bit more dimensional  so I added an underlayer of purple. I used LOreal Hicolor Highlights in Magenta for the red (it’s supposed to be a highlight color for over dark hair, hence why its INSANE on light hair haha) and Pravana Violet mixed with Pravana Pink for the purple.

Here’s the end result!



I might go back and make the purple layer thicker because it isn’t nearly as much as I thought it would be, and I really like the contrast. I also am debating if I wanna go over the red again with a slightly darker color. It turned out a LOT brighter than I thought it would, and I was pretty careless when applying it (I was DONE with dealing with my hair at that point, and I honestly didn’t think it would turn out as nice as it did) but we’ll see!

OMG this is probably the most in depth blog post I have ever done, hahaha. Ah well, hope this was helpful to some of you!

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  1. Emily

    March 25, 2011 at 12:07 am

    my hair was sort of like yours. i was using garnier reds for darker colors to get that uber red i’ve always wanted. i had black underneath and as much as i love it i fear summer. being a natural blonde red never stays well. so i’m taking the defeatist path and going back to blonde….for the summer atleast. i have the ooops in my hair now. foulest. smelling. thing. ever. I wish i had googled this sooner cuz i would have gone with the color zap instead. right now my fingers are crossed tho that my hair won’t be orange and black after this :-/

  2. michele

    March 25, 2011 at 6:52 pm

    Hey! your hair turned out awesome. I have one question.. I’m in the process of doing the same thing (lol) and my hair in the back and underneath is darker- there is still some dark brown. Will loreal hi color go over that, because its a mixture of natural & dyed.. Or should I go buy another box of remover and touch up the dark spots?

    • Kiwi

      December 28, 2011 at 9:13 am

      I Just used Color Oops tonight for the first time, and I am sooooo pissed off and angry.

      I did about 2 1/2 hour or more of research before I bought it, and *most* of them seemed very positive, so I was willing to take the risk. I have bright/medium pink (magenta hair). Underneath was what blonde before it went pink, green months and month before that for almost a year and black before that.

      I followed all the directions and my hair is the UGLIEST shade of medium/dark blue. If I could have know it was going to do this, I certainly wouldn’t have bought it and just would have used a wee bit of bleach to get a lighter pink/blonde….Cause thats what I wanted and thats what I thought this product would do, since the color before it went magenta, was super light blonde…almost white.

      The magenta I used was Punky Color, and after having it pink for 4 months with no re-dying and tons of washing with head and shoulders (which is supposed to fade color) It was only maybe a half shade lighter than when I originally dyed it.

      So so mad. Hope this prevents someone else with similar hair color from making the same mistake I did. I was trying to be kinder to my hair by not bleaching it, but I really wish I could turn back time now and never NEVER have used this product. FML.

      Luckily, I wear wigs daily (cause Im trying to leave my hair alone and let it grow and get healthy)
      Guess I’ll just continue to do that….And be lucky I dont have a boyfriend in this country who would have to see this disgusting color on my head everyday and every night.

      • chelsea

        February 8, 2012 at 9:38 pm

        color oops clearly states that it doesnt lift pink/magenta/purple

    • Janae

      March 13, 2012 at 10:34 am

      My natural hair color is like a light-medium brown and I dyed it black will color zap take all the black out?

  3. tj

    April 6, 2011 at 3:51 pm

    I didn’t have the issue of my bathroom smelling from color oops. They also say do NOT use a hairdryer with that item. Other than that I agree 20-25 minutes of rinsing is too long, my water turned cold at the last 5 minutes..brrr. This product really saved my hair color error in a big way.

  4. marisol

    April 8, 2011 at 9:57 pm

    You’re hair turned out fabulous!
    Do you think this will work with if my hair if it is already an unnatural color? I used special effects dyes (virgin rose, burgandy wine). I’m tired of the pink.
    thank you!

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  6. ginger

    April 17, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    Your hair looks beautiful! Both times. The product really worked for you. My fear is that I have processed my hair so much. In some parts it’s brittle because I would have to bleach sections of my hair that I wanted to color pink. I was doing that for two years. About 5 months ago, I just colored it all one color. BLACK! I want it gone now. Like it is Spring time, and I have one boring black color. I am like you with the eccentric hair and make-up. So I am desperate for a change. I am afraid if I used the color oops, my hair would start to fall out. :( Any comments on that?

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    May 28, 2011 at 3:56 pm

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    June 5, 2011 at 9:33 am

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  10. woowoo12

    June 6, 2011 at 8:00 pm

    hey. After readin your post based upon these products, i have to say, I’ve read some other post’s by you, in which you had blonde hair…. Once you’ve lightened your hair, you can’t put the natural pigment back into it. So, when you went dark, the dark just covered up the blonde. So, when you used the colour remover it simply removed the dark colour you’d put over the blonde. That’s why it looked blonde afterwards. It does say that it will reveal your lightest colour. It says on the box it will ONLY return your hair to its natural colour if you’ve gone from your natural colour to a darker one. But because you went from your natural colour to blonde then dark, it revealed the lightest colour the blonde. That said, I’m lovin the end colour.

  11. Misha

    June 6, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    i LOVE that red! thx 4 the blog!

  12. Litywulibofy

    June 7, 2011 at 8:12 pm

    Indeed poleznyak! And how many do not lazish on no solid blah blah blah. But not here, and it pleases!

  13. Misha

    June 8, 2011 at 9:19 am

    QUESTION: which volume developer did you mix with the Loreal HiColor? (10,20,30,40) Im thinking a 10 since you were just depositing…. I hope u answer this question!

    • Alyssa

      January 1, 2012 at 10:51 pm

      I love the way your hair turned out.? I have never put unnatural colors in my hair except once a deep burgandy but I have dyed it all different colors including black for about a whole year. I have.used this product before and in my opinion works exactly like the kind I had put in at the hair salon. It also smells the same anyways, I’ve dyed my hair maybe 10+ times since I last used color oops and so it didn’t come out as light as I wanted this time and I was wondering if it is safe to use it again today if I just used it yesterday to get it a little lighter because in the past when I’ve put a lighter dye over it, it has gotten a little darker and.I.want.back to my natural color which is a light ash blond

  14. Dale Artley

    June 19, 2011 at 9:36 am

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    • Yaadii

      February 9, 2012 at 12:35 pm

      I liked the puocrdt, but I would have like the bottle a bit narrower, I don’t have too much strength in my hands. I recommend it.

  15. John Smith

    July 23, 2011 at 11:48 pm

    This is very interesting post, thanks.

  16. sophie

    August 1, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    heyyy i have dyed my hair a red/brown colour more red but i rele wanna go back blonde will the colour oops work on lightening my hair so i can go blonde?

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  19. Sheila

    September 12, 2011 at 2:52 am

    I just tried another l’oreal product. I used the l’oreal paris hair color remover. Its basically the same as the color zap. My hair was/is black. I left it on for the max amount of time, which is an hour, but most of my hair is still dark although I notice my hair is a little lighter. I bought two boxes just in case this happened. My question is how long did you wait between products?

    • Lil

      October 27, 2012 at 8:40 pm

      How much was it ?

  20. Angel D

    November 3, 2011 at 1:35 am

    Totally agree with you on color oops it bleached the top lighter than natural and barely took any black from my roots my hair had 3 tones dying over it not much help there either my ends are still way too dark. Looks like a ponytail and the salon tomorrow so much for saving a buck.

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  22. Georgia

    November 28, 2011 at 1:26 am

    your hair looks amazing!
    i love it. i have black hair and want to go back to my natural which is blond-ish. im thinking about getting color zap…..where can i get it thats cheap, everywhere i looks its like $60.00???

    • ORE

      March 29, 2012 at 1:33 am

      color zap is like 5 box the box in the beauty supply

  23. tina" i've used it all!"

    December 30, 2011 at 5:04 pm

    i have used all of these color oops products for years, they can do beautifull work, i love to use them when going blond but i have had problems with them if they are not rinsed completely from the hair, they can revert and turn you back to a dark brown to black color if there is any color oops left in the hair!! there is also a step that most people leave out or over look and that is sealing the cuticle these products open the the hair strand so that color comes out but this process continues leaving the hair open and vonerable unless you close the follicle a 10 volume peroxide rinse for 5 mins is average. I would not recomend dying same day just incase cemicals are lingering unless ussing punky colors ect.. wich closing the cuticle should help keep your color brighter longer!!

  24. tina" i've used it all!"

    December 30, 2011 at 5:21 pm

    color zap and color oops you can find at any Walgreens, Cvs ect.. for about $13.00 or even walmart!

    Sally’s offers a more professional line such as ion color brilliance color corrector $9.00
    but be carefull i didn’t rinse this one well enough one time and i went super light then right back to dark, i was pist!

    they have others ranging from $10.00 to $13.00

    beware some of these products are just like bleach they claim to be gentler on the hair but are no different!! read the box! if it says contents include…. BLEACH packet or PEROXIDE (WARNING!!!!!) this is not going to be a gentle color remover it is BLEACH KIT!!!!

  25. megan xx

    January 8, 2012 at 9:15 pm

    hello :)
    my hair is a redish dark brown colour i want to dye it all blonde doo ya think it will turn out okay or not ?? x

  26. BBEE

    February 2, 2012 at 6:06 am

    Hi :) I recently dyed my hair a bright red but I shower everyday and for some reason these dramatic colours never stay in my hair for first it was like a blood red & now it’s like a brownish red and I hate it! I want to bleach the top half of my hair and the bottom brown…will it work with colour zap? Please answer me :))

    • Jenna

      February 10, 2012 at 10:48 pm

      did you bleach your hair before dyeing it red? If not, the color zap/color oops will only take your hair to your natural hair color, or lightest you’ve ever dyed it- which means (if its dark) you will have to bleach it, also.

      it’s better to use the color remover before bleach because it lightens it without much damage. From there when you bleach it it wont take as long & be less damaging.

      Bottom Line: Color zap is NOT as powerful as bleach. Your hair will not be light blonde after you use it.

  27. Janae

    March 13, 2012 at 11:45 am

    My natural hair color is a light-medium brown and I dyed it black. Will color zap get all the black out and make my hair normal again?

  28. Emilygirllll

    March 14, 2012 at 8:04 pm

    Does this damage hair really bad or no? Because my natural hair color is a dark blonde and I dyed medium/ dark brown and I want to go back!! :(

  29. Ashleymellott7

    April 6, 2012 at 12:54 am

    So, since I’ve dyed my hair blonde in parts the color zap would bring parts of my hair that color, and the rest dark brown?

  30. Annalopes

    April 6, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    I used Color Oops on my dyed brown hair which was coloring my natural gray/streaked hair,as
    it came out too dark.  One application did very little to take the color out or even lighten it. I do
    have some product left over but don’t know if I can use it again to see if it will lighten a little more.
     I do believe that this product should be improved to do more of what it says its suppose to do.

    It would be amazing to have a home product to actually remove the unwanted color from hair.
    Thanks and maybe someone should pick up the ball and go with my suggestion.

  31. webethinkn

    April 22, 2012 at 8:04 pm

    I have successfully used L’Oreal’s la Petite Frost (H75 Chardonnay) to touch up
    my (dishwater blonde) roots for over 15 years… with no problems, until the
    last two applications.  Even though both times I left it on from 45
    minutes to 1 hour, I ended up with intermittent orange highlights. (They must
    have changed the product…!)  Not liking the orange tint, I went to a Salon
    where they did a highlight weave (with 2 people working on my thin long hair,
    the sides were done long before the back and top were finished… but then rinsed
    the product out within ten minutes after finishing the top !)… they then added
    a toner.  But the end result was overly brassy and still contained orange
    tinted sections. After letting the roots grow out about 2 inches, and
    wearing hats a lot, I still could not stand the phoney yellowish color and
    wanted to try returning to the sun-kissed light blonde color I’ve always

    So I used
    L’Oreal’s Superior Preference, les Blondissimes (LB01, extra light ash blonde,
    cooler).  The previously colored lengths were the right color, but the
    roots came out orangish..  A stylist friend recommended I buy another box
    of the same product and do the roots only (this is the point where I should
    have gone to her salon.. because I had a hard time doing just the roots without
    getting product on the length/ends!)  I did as she said, but it still had
    an orange tint to the roots and the rest was an ashen color….
    I then went to a beauty school because I have friends there with lots of
    experience.  After three hours and three different products, I came away
    with the roots still having an orange tint and the lengths were an
    ashen/greenish tint… (they said it was difficult to get it right because I’d
    done SO much with it already…)
    So irritated, I bought a box of Oops Out and used it that same night…  I
    really appreciated that it took all the ashen color out and that it returned to
    a lighter, more refreshing color ~ but it still had more orange-tint than I
    could stand. The directions say that it will only take out the “last”
    permanent color that was used.  And, if you’re going to recolor, condition
    the hair for at least 20 minutes (I conditioned for 2 hours while on the
    So, I decided to go light brown (thinking it would be closer to my natural
    color) with L’Oreal’s Feria High Lift Brown (B61, cooler). Cooler is supposed
    to get rid of the orange… Oops Out recommends leaving a darker color on for only 5 minutes because the hair
    follicles are very porous at that point.
    The next day, prior to an out-of-town appointment, I did as directed, rinsing
    the Feria brown out after only 5-7 minutes, and ended up with lovely blonde
    roots and purple/ash gray hair!  The rest of my hair has blonde highlights
    throughout, too.
    I’ve washed it three times since then (with Pantene’s Volume) and can see the
    purple/blue color fading each time, looking more gray than purple, with the
    blonde roots and sections remaining… 
    If I had some help, I might be able to section out the gray and use a product
    (maybe a bleach?) that might restore my hair to its original color…  ??
    I’ve considered using the Oop Out again, but I’m afraid it will change this
    nice blonde color back to the orange tint…
    Anyone have any ideas on what products will change the gray to blonde without
    getting orange tones?
    Thanks!!  :}

  32. webethinkn

    April 24, 2012 at 1:47 am

    BTW, love your blog site! :}

  33. Kathylen

    June 1, 2012 at 3:29 am

    I used this product may 30, 2012 I dyed my hair a dark brown which turned blue black, the next morning , I went to Walmart and purchased OOPS, and a semi permant hair color. By the way, ,,my hair was way over processed, dry ain’t the word to use, it was breaking off and really brittle, (I’m lucky I still have hair) so any way I put the OOPS product on my hair ( it does not smell that bad like some of the other reviews say) I left it on my hair for 20 minutes, (like it tells you to) and I rinsed it out in one really good shampoo took me 5 minutes. Then towel dried my hair, the I proceeded to put the semi permant color on my hair ( that took 10 minutes) and washed out. The color OOPS ( DID NOT damage my hair) I did my usual thing to my hair as usual. But since my hair is in bad shape from before I brought a 2 step protein treatment, that I’m going to put in my hair. This OOPS is pretty good stuff I would recommend this stuff to anyone. I would give it a 5 star rating. (VERY GENTLE ON THE HAIR

  34. Makayla P C 7

    June 24, 2012 at 11:56 pm

    I havr blue hair and i bleach it before will colour opps takr th bleach out of it ecause if not then i have to dye my hair brown:( i like my hair blonde i have never died it till now becaise was for make a wish but now the blue is making me really mad i really need help getting the blue out

  35. sarah mcdermott

    June 27, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    Hello, I’m 13 and i have bleach 2 times and colored my hair 4 times pink, blonde, redish and black.

    And last night i used color oop’s which made my hair blondish brownish and my natural hair color is brown so do i need to use it again.? And it has a BAD ODER.!  

  36. Lovespoken119

    July 30, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    I love it I’m red like your before picture and wanting to change it to blue or red in your after pictures thank you for this now I know it can be possible without bleaching

  37. moniiiiiiica

    March 7, 2013 at 2:07 am

    You used the color oops, then used the color zap after that ? getting it to that blonde color

  38. Isabella

    July 20, 2013 at 5:01 pm

    Hey I am a natural whity blond and I dyed my hair purple for cancer and that came out no problem but no in search of a new look for a mouth or two I dyed It caramel and well I miss my blond and I tryed washing it out 20 times and its a 28 washes but only came out with white roots plz help

  39. SAM

    August 4, 2013 at 2:31 pm

    Very helpful thanks!! I love red it looks good. What’s your thoughts on how to get dark purple hair? Also LOVE your necklace! I now have to search the internet for it or something like it b/c Ariel is my all time fav!! THANKS

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  45. Shelby

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