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Colour B4 Information

Started by Mathurine, 05 Sep 11 / 07:50 PM

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I've seen several posts over the last few months asking about colour b4, how it works, what it does etc. I thought it might be a good idea to have a whole thread dedicated to it so anyone with any questions can pop in here and ask.

Colour B4:
What does it do?
Well first of all it takes the dye out of your hair and tries to get it the colour you were before - hence the name "Colour B4".

How does it work?
The idea is that it takes out the colour by shrinking colour molecules, allowing them to slip out of the hair strand.

So will it restore my natural hair colour?
Only if that was the colour you were before you dyed your hair. If your hair was bleached then dyed Colour B4 will take your colour back to bleached.

I just tried it and my hair went from brown to ginger, why?
If you used a box dye it probably had peroxide in it which lightened your natural hair colour while it was adding the new colour. Colour B4 will only remove coloured dyes, it has taken the colour out and left you with a bleached base to work from.

So if I bleached my hair and I want it back to my natural colour will Colour B4 do that for me?
In a word, NO. Bleach has already taken the colour out of your hair so Colour B4 has no hair colour molecules to latch on to.

I have un-dyed, natural dark brown hair, can I use Colour B4 instead of bleach?
No, it won't remove your natural colour, only colour that has been added with a dye.

I'm trying to remove my colour, should I bleach first then use Colour B4?
It's actually better if you work it the other way around. Colour B4 is less damaging than bleach so don't bleach at all if you don't have to.

I've tried it but there's still some colour left in, what do I do?
You can use Colour B4 up to three times in a row so try again. If after 3 attempts you still have colour in your hair then it's unlikely that it can do any more than it has already done. Your next option would be a bleach bath.

You said it wasn't damaging but my hair's all dry and weird. Has it done damage?
Colour B4 is drying to your hair because in taking out the colour some of the natural oils have been stripped as well. You simply need to condition your hair regularly and it'll be back to normal in no time.

My hair is a bright colour, will Colour B4 work on bright dyes?
Well, the official answer is "no it won't" but several people on the forum gave it a go anyway. Some people, even with the same dyes, had very different results to each other so on some people it works, on others it doesn't. My advice is always to give it a try first, before bleaching because then you can avoid bleach if it works. But basically it's a bit hit and miss. Don't rely on it to work on your bright hair, have some bleach handy just in case.

I have dyed my hair with Schwarzkopf dyes, and I heard they are incredibly difficult to remove.  Is it even worth trying Colour B4?

The answer is yes, as the silicone in XXL only becomes a problem with excessive (and excessively hot) heat styling.  This boils the silicone from the dye into the hair shaft, effectively turning your hair into a coloured plastic.  With minimal heat styling, this is not a problem and they behave like any other box dye.  Several people on the forum have had great success with B4 removing Schwarzkopf dyes.

These are just some of the questions that people have asked, if anyone can think of any more or anyone wants more information please reply in this thread and we'll answer you as soon as we can.


Thanks Mathurine - I will add a link to this is the hair FAQ sticky too.
- Any information or advice given is my opinion only and not professional advice.
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Thanks, Matty--this is a really useful FAQ : )

One question that I see being asked a fair amount that's not in there is about the Schwarzkopf XXL.  As in "I have dyed my hair with Schwarzkopf dyes, and I heard they are incredibly difficult to remove.  Is it even worth trying Colour B4?"

The answer is yes, as the silicone in XXL only becomes a problem with excessive (and excessively hot) heat styling.  This boils the silicone from the dye into the hair shaft, effectively turning your hair into a coloured plastic.  With minimal heat styling, this is not a problem and they behave like any other box dye.  Several people on the forum have had great success with B4 removing Schwarzkopf dyes.


Thanks squishy, I've added that to the first post.


hi im sure you have been asked this a hundred times. I have had black hair for over a year now, i have used colour b4 (twice in two days) and my hair is now a reddy brown  prob on a base 5 quiet uneven colour and fairly dry.

I want to use loreal majicontrast in magenta red all over it but i need it at a 8/9 base to achieve  the colour i want. My mid-lengths are still quiet dark where the colour has built up do you think a bleach bath would help?
how long should i wait before doing this ?

many thanks


You need to deep condition your hair and wash it a couple of times to make sure all of the B4 is out before bleaching, as the bleach can react with B4 residues and turn your hair black again.

Red only needs a ginger base to go very bright, however I would not put a permanent (or any dye that requires developer) onto bleached hair, nor would I recommend bleaching it prior to a permanent.  This is because developer bleaches out your hair to deposit the replacement colour, so to put a permanent on freshly bleached hair will be double processing and you risk damaging your hair.  I would bleach bathe, use a semi for a month and then try the majicontrast, or use the majicontrast on unbleached hair.


Semis always look better than permanents anyway!



Hi! I have a question though I don't even know if it can be answered. I've used colour B4 once on my over-dyed-black hair and it worked a charm in my eyes. It's so much lighter than I expected! There is still some dark colour left behind, it was gingery but using Joico violet shampoo just 3 times did wonders on it and now it's very much brown and not ginger. Anyhow, I'm going to use Colour B4 on it again, probably today, and after that I plan on bleaching it (Directions 40vol) to get my hair as light as it can go, and after that I won't bleach the ends again (only refresh my roots). Sooo my question is, how long should I wait before putting on the bleach? I was planning to put it on 1 week after colour B4, after lots of conditioning (I don't have anything too fancy! I have normal conditioners and Tresemme hair masque, is that enough?) but I really want to be sure I won't bring my old colour back or my plan will be totally ruined! I've seen lots of comments to "wait a few days" but never heard any outcome of those people who waited a few days to a week... A broad question I guess... Hopefully someone can speak from experience?


ok colour b4, leave i a week or a few days, wash your hair a fair bit to make sure all the b4 is out, ready for bleaching. use good conditioner in the mean time (aussie 3 minute miracle)

dont use 40% vol bleach. you really dont need it and its dangerous if it gets on your scalp. 30% would be more than enough. what colour are you hoping to achieve? you could do bleach baths instead, as you can do 1x these a week. as opposed to 1x a month as they a far less damaging


Thanks for your help! I don't have the patience for bleach bathing, and just hoping to get as much colour out as I can with 1 bleaching. I'm not sure what colour I'll have, I'm hoping for something quite blonde but not expecting too much. I have directions Atlantic Blue to put on if I don't really like the blondey colour I end up with. I might go with bleach bathing in next year, but not right now.  Do you know any good way I can dilute the 40vol bleach? I've already got the 40vol at home and don't want to waste it. I thought I'd put the bleach on the ends for the longest to work at full strength, and then only on the roots for a short time towards the end of the bleach developing time. Is this a good enough option or do you still think I should dilute it?


I bleach bathed my hair with a 40% and it turned my hair from dark ginger to blonde. If you want to keep your hair nice, put some shampoo in that mix please!!
Thats how you would dilute the 40% you have.


Ok i need advice/help, i have naturally mousey brown hair, been having highlights for 6 years, and went very blonde once, i then had a temp brown put over it and then i permantly dyed it brown about 3 months ago (massive mistake)

im just wondering what will happen/or will possibly happen to my hair if i use the colour b4 extra stuff... i have a wella proffesional semi permanent to put on after in a dark blonde shade - will that work?

please help as i have been thinking about doing this for a few weeeks but put it off because im worried il ruin my hair or go an awful colour and il have to dye it dark again!!!

thanks Jo x


The permanent brown might still come out but as it's been in for 3 months it might be hard to shift. Sometimes the longer the dye has been in the harder it is to get out. Try Colour B4, at the very worst it'll do nothing at all but I'm betting it'll get some of the colour out for you. You can try Colour B4 once a week for three weeks and it might get some more out each time.

It's such a hit and miss product though. I've seen several mixed reviews. It may just strip out all the colour in one hit but as it's a non bleach based product it's always worth a try. If it does nothing at all then at least it's not damaged as much as a bleach.

If you're dying afterwards as well make sure you've really got all the B4 out first otherwise it could react with the dye and turn it black. we always say on here to wash out the B4, rinse like a made thing and make sure you've washed your hair twice over the next couple of days before using a dye, just to make sure all the residues are out and your dye comes out the right colour.

So try it, hopefully it'll work well and you'll just need one application.


Thankyou :) i will give it a go tonight and see, thanks for your help


Can someone help me at the moment? I have Colour b4 on my hair right now, removing some dark brown dyed in roots that are below some natural regrowth. Below that is majicontrast pure copper and hot hot pink/napalm orange. I want to go red and pink this time. but up to the root. What process to I need to do as I was thinking of slapping on the maji as soon as I wash out the colour before, or slapping on a bright semi for tomorrow at work (because i'm a dj and I try not to look like a haggard mess). Has anyone any advice?? I'm desperate!


Use semi-permanents for a month, Magicontrast contains peroxide so can reoxidise any remaining colour molecules in your hair so you end up back where you started. The instructions on Colour B4 are excellent, it's worth reading the whole thing and following to the letter. Even with the extra long rinse and lots of agitation it's impossible to get all the colour molecules out first time. You may even want to repeat the Colour B4 if you are not happy with the initial result.


Thank you very much for your help! I've just washed out the colour b4 and the colour was VERY pale compared to what I have had for the last year. Got rid of the brown completely and the pink and orange become peachy, so i've decided to go over with atomic hot hot pink for now, just so I don't have a wretched mess, and then hopefully I can get the maji on the roots in a month. How long should I leave the pink on, and should I condition after???


So pleased Colour B4 worked so well for you first time!  :D No idea what time of day it is where you are but if you want the strongest colour many people leave overnight, otherwise several hours, and your hair may well be conditioned enough after that. It would be worth doing a very dilute vinegar rinse when you rinse the dye out to helps the cuticle close/ hair feel softer and look shinier/ colour lasts longer. Atomic Pink is apparently borderline permanent - even bleach struggles to shift it - so hope you are sure you want pink if that is the shade you have!


what do you think counts as excessive straightening and what is "normal"?

I've got several applications of XXL Hypnotic red on my hair, which is on top of a hairdresser applied red, which is on top of several applications of brown (hairdresser and home).  I really dont know what my natural colour is!!  Sort of mousey, I think.....

Anyway, I'm wanting a change from the red and was wondering whether colour B4 would work for me?  I see various different levels of success when looking through the forum. 

I do straighten my hair every time I wash it - and sometimes inbetween washes - is this excessive?  Will my XXL colour be sealed in for ever?


Although I do think that much straightening is too much (heat will damage your hair, but straighteners force down the cuticle so it looks healthy even when it isn't), excessive in this context refers to the amount of heat used--if you're regularly straightening your hair on the highest settings (200+ degrees), it could potentially boil in the silicone and then not even bleach removes it.

But it is always worth giving colour B4 a chance to work first.


Umm - not sure about what temperature I staighten at - I have GHDs and they just have an on and an off!

I think I've already decided that I'm goinjg to give colour B4 a go anyway - I was just wondering what sort of results to expect really.  I don't expect it to get rid of all the colour in my hair anyway.



generally GHDs are super duper hot. but ladies on here have had alot of success with b4, even with excessive heat. defos do it =) i imagine you'd get to dark ginger, bright ginge if you're lucky


There are no silicones in Live XXL Hypnotic Red, I used to use that one.  ;) I have cuticle staining from years of use so ended up half ginger and half close to my natural dark mouse, but a couple of sessions of Colour B4 Extra did shift loads of red/ brown tones so WELL worth doing IMO. No hair straighteners should be hot enough to permanently weld the silicones in any heat styling products you use, it is only the dyes. TBH you only have a couple of hours and a few quid to lose by trying, the product doesn't damage your hair as bleach can.


Really Firefox?!!  That's encouraging ! :-)  I'm definitely going to give it a go - I was just wondering about what colour non perm to buy to cover the result really....?  Then it's just a case of plucking up the courage and deciding when to do it! 
TBH - I don't even know what colour  I want to get to yet - I've just decided that the red I put on last week is the last one and its time for a change!
I'll report back with the results!!