How To Get Color Oops Smell Out Of Hair

How To Get Color Oops Smell Out Of Hair?



13 MIN READ | March 21, 2024

Color Oops is made up of some active chemicals like sulfur that work with thrills to take out artificial hair pigments. But while doing so, the same chemicals leave some really bad stench and it’s so stubborn, it won’t just budge.  

The worst part is that even after shampooing the hair properly and frequently, the odor will still be there. This may make you ask- how you get Color Oops smell out of your hair?

You can get rid of Color Oops smell with some effective quick-fix solutions like tomato paste, essential oils, lemon juice, clarifying shampoo, vinegar or apple cider vinegar and Aloe Vera. All these can be amazing tools for on-the-go fragrant correction.

However, it’s important that you use these tools properly otherwise they can end up causing damage to your hair. While dealing with them, you have to be patient and careful. This will help you get results effectively and quickly. 

Why Does Color Oops Smell So Bad?

Why Does Color Oops Smell So Bad

The reason Color Oops smells so bad after use is because it contains Sodium Hydrosulfite. Such a content is used as bleaching reductive chemical in the product since it helps remove excess dyes, stains, pigments and residual oxide from your hair. Not just that, it also tends to work as antioxidants in the hair treatment process.

However, as per a study by Zhong-Guang Li and Ming Gong, Hydrogen sulfide or Hydrosulfite gives off this distinct rotten egg-like odor. So, when the product is applied to hair, the chemical clings to it and starts emitting such stench.

The intensity of Color Oops smell varies based on how much product is used, how long it’s been kept in hair, and its chemistry with the scalp and hair. So, the stink can be strong or mild for people.  

Because Color Oops has Sodium Hydrosulfite which is alkaline, you need something acidic like tomato, lemon or vinegar that will work as pH neutralizer to remove the smell. 

How Do You Get Color Oops Smell Out Of Your Hair?

How Do You Get Color Oops Smell Out Of Your Hair

Home remedies like tomato paste, lemon and vinegar have acids that can neutralize the odorous particles of alkaline chemicals in Color Oops. Besides, essential oils, clarifying shampoo and deep conditioning can also help you get the smell out of hair by nourishing hair and supplying their amazing fragrances. You can try the tools individually or combined. 

For instance, you may start with tomato paste, lemon or vinegar then wash the hair with clarifying shampoo. Or opt for essential oils, then deep conditioning and finally clarifying shampoo.

A bonus tip: you can also mix 2 teaspoons of cinnamon with your go-to mild shampoo. Cinnamon is a natural antibacterial, so it can destroy the eggy smell of Color Oops. Shampoo your hair with the mix for 5 minutes, leave it for another 5 minutes and finally rinse it for 5 minutes.

However, here are 8 remedies that can remove Color Oops smell: 

Method 1: Treat Your Hair With Tomatoes

Tomato paste is a great home remedy for removing Color Oops smell out of hair effectively. According to the studies, such fruits are rich in citric and malic acid so they use their thick consistency and acidity to do the job. As the paste is applied to your hair, tomato puree interacts with odor molecules and breaks down the chemicals causing it. This way, the paste not only neutralizes the odor and covers it with its own tangy scent but also leaves it smelling much fresher.  

Making tomato paste is super easy as it just requires a blender.

  • Apply the paste well
  • Leave it in the hair for around 2 hours
  • Lastly shampoo it and give it a good rinse

Just note that tomato paste can irritate or dry out the hair. So, make sure to use moisturizing shampoo to fix that. Oiling and hair serum can also help fight dry hair.

Method 2: Employ Some Essential Oils On Hair

Essential Oils have natural properties that work to get Color Oops smell out of hair. They are prepared with a wider range of plant oils like from flowers, buds, fruits, peels, seeds, leaves, wood, bark, twigs, roots, bulbs, rhizomes and resin of plants. All these have compounds like esters, aldehydes, ketones and terpenes that help improve scalp environment and hair so they get healthier. Among them, terpenes are basically responsible for the distinct fragrances of different oils which eventually can help take out the Color Oops stench.

You can try essential oils like lavender, rosemary, peppermint and tea tree as they have this strong pleasant scent that works to mask any lingering odors. There are two ways through which essential oils can be used for treating Color Oops issue.

Essential Oils with Other Oils

  • Add 8-10 drops of essential oils and mix it with 2 tablespoons of olive or coconut oil
  • Apply the solution to the scalp and hair, cover it with a towel
  • Leave it overnight
  • Next day, wash the hair well with a clarifying or moisturizing shampoo and rinse it with warm water.

Essential Oils with Shampoo

  • Add 3-4 drops of essential oils to a small 60ml bottle of your shampoo or conditioner
  • Use the mix on your scalp and hair
  • Keep it for 15-20 minutes
  • Then rinse it off

Method 3: Leverage The Goodness Of Lemon Juice

Lemon and lime juice not only lifts Color Oops foul smelling from the hair but also makes sure to leave a fresh citrusy fragrance on the scalp. It happens to be a rich source of citric acid having around 1.44 and 1.38 g/oz. in its juice which helps deodorize the trapped odor.

  • Get yourself some fresh lemons and use 3-4 cups of juice. The amount may vary depending on the length and thickness of the hair but make sure it covers well
  • Apply the juice
  • Keep it for around 30 minutes
  • Then rinse the hair with water

It should remove the Color Oops smell.

You can repeat the process for a few days in case it still smells but don’t go overboard since it can lead to hair damage. The best would be to use a good lemon-based shampoo for a quicker result. It’ll help keep your hair healthy while infusing its lemony essence into it.

Method 4: Clean Your Hair With Clarifying Shampoo

Clarifying shampoos are special products made for removing build-ups from hair products but it also deals with odor caused by Color Oops. Such shampoos have ingredients like sulfates, antioxidants and surfactants that work to break down residue and rinse away odor molecules. So, keep massaging hair gently with clarifying shampoo until it lathers and takes the ‘oopsy’ smell out of it.

Consider using products like Paul Mitchell Shampoo and Olaplex No. 4C Bond as they can do the job effectively especially with their cleaning agents and citrusy fragrances.

Method 5: Vitalize Hair With Vinegar or Apple Cider Vinegar

The acidic level of both vinegar and apple cider vinegar can help you get rid of Color Oops smell in your hair. Studies show that vinegar has between 4% and 7% acetic acid while apple cider vinegar has around 5%. This acidity works to counter balance the odor coming out of hair products. Not just that, the strong scent of vinegar and apple cider vinegar also contributes to fading the odor.

Such natural ingredient is widely available and very easy to use.

  • Mix 1 teaspoon of vinegar and 1 teaspoon of water in a bowl
  • Apply the solution to the hair
  • Leave it for 10 to 15 minutes. 

This should do the trick.

However, using vinegar for too long and frequently can leave your hair dry. In case the smell doesn’t go away, try a strong-scented moisturizing shampoo.

Method 6: Apply Aloe Vera Gel To Your Hair

You can get rid of Color Oops smell by applying Aloe Vera gel to the hair since it contains a number of compounds that do the main work. As per the study by National Library of Medicine, Aloe Vera has more than 75 active components like amino acids, enzymes, vitamins, minerals, salicylic acids, lignin, sugars and saponins which utilize their anti-inflammatory and antifungal properties to attack the source of Color Oops source.

It’s better to use freshly cut gel off the plant on the hair to make it work more effectively.

  • Smear the gel over your hair
  • Leave it for 30 minutes
  • Then wash the hair

However, removing the smell completely with Aloe Vera can be a slow process but it’s safe to use the gel every other day since its key function is to moisturize the hair through its vitamins, minerals and fatty acids.

Method 7: Put On Some Baking Soda Paste

Baking soda traps and neutralizes almost all kinds of odors whether they come from your body, clothes, appliances or products. Hence, it’s called an effective deodorizer. In that sense, baking soda has the power to reduce Color Oops smell in your hair as well by absorbing excess oils and lifting odorous particles from hair strands. However, since the product produces alkaline smell, the alkaline nature of baking soda may not be able to remove it completely.

What it does is- mask the odor and/or neutralize it if it comes from any acidic ingredients of the product which further helps lessen the smell. It’s better to use baking soda only when the Color Oops smell is mild and not overpowering as it only helps with the masking.

You need a small amount of Baking soda paste but make sure it covers the hair completely.

  • Use 3 teaspoons of baking soda and 1 teaspoon of water to mix them
  • Comb the paste through the wet hair with your fingers so it coats all the hair strands evenly
  • Keep it for around 30 minutes
  • Lastly rinse the paste off

It should absorb all the odorous molecules as well as mask them.

In case the odor doesn’t go away or is pretty strong, then it’s recommended to use other remedies like tomato paste, lemon juice and clarifying shampoo since they have acidic contents to neutralize the Color Oops smell and eliminate it.

Method 8: Try Out Deep Treatment (DT)

Deep treatment can lift Color Oops stench by penetrating the hair shaft and breaking down the molecules that contribute to the odor. DT usually refers to the use of thick mask that’s meant to stay on the hair for a longer period. Such masks usually have nourishing contents like minerals, vitamins and botanical oils from natural ingredients that work to fill in nutrients and moisture. Not only they keep the hair shiny and hydrated but also help make the hair smell fresh.

In case of Deep treatment, look for hair masks enriched with ingredients like Aloe Vera, Shea Butter or Argan Oil as their fragrances work more effectively.

  • Apply the mask to your hair
  • Keep it for 15 to 30 minutes
  •  Rinse it well

Avoid leaving your mask on for too long or using it too frequently since it can result in over-conditioning of your hair which can cause your hair to become weak. It’s safer to try the mask twice a week although it may take around 1.5 to weeks for the Color Oops stink to go away. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Does The Smell Of Hair Color Remover Last?

The smell of hair color remover like Color Oops can last 1-3 weeks depending on the amount applied on hair, use duration and other factors. You can get rid of the smell more quickly by using different techniques like tomato paste, lemon juice and vinegar as well as by properly oiling, shampooing and conditioning the hair.  

 What Happens If You Leave Color Oops In For Too Long?

Leaving Color Oops in for too long can reduce its efficiency in removing hair dyes, change the color of hair and cause damage to it.

So, apply the product for 20 minutes and make sure you don’t exceed the time. After that, shampoo your hair with warm water, rinse for 20 minutes, shampoo again and rinse it well for 5 minutes.

Does Color Oops Go Back To Your Natural Color?

No, Color Oops doesn’t help hair go back to its natural color.

The hair dye remover contains peroxide activator that does the job of lifting artificial dye molecules as well as pigment of your natural hair color. So, using Color Oops can make the hair lighter or brassier than your natural shade.


Dylan Mustapich is a NYC-based lead esthetician who has been featured in New Beauty, Teen Vogue, Wired, and The Huffington Post. With a lifelong love of all things skin, he is incredibly knowledgeable about skincare ingredients, routine refinement, and personalized skincare, and follows emerging technology closely.

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