Can You Dye Your Hair After Washing It? Here’s What to Do Before Color Treatment

Watching your hair color fade just a few days after getting it color-treated, is not in any way pleasing. Long-lasting hair color is not only cost-effective but good for the health of your hair. To make the color stay and to prevent scalp irritation, dye your hair one or two days after washing it.

Changing hair color is the new rave and like any new beauty journey, you should know the rules. The rules of getting color-treated hair are not only beneficial to your colorist but also to you. You should know when and how to dye your hair before and after washing it.

In this article, you’ll find answers to your questions on what and how the routine for your colored hair should be.

Can You Dye Your Hair After Washing It?

You can wash your hair at least one day before you dye it. This way your scalp and hair are clean enough for the colorist to monitor the color development. Although there is a common belief that the dyeing process works best with not-so-clean hair, it doesn’t work that way.

Washing your hair a few days before removes dirt from your hair and scalp. Before the color day, your scalp must have secreted oils that will create the protective barrier between your scalp and ammonia in dyes. In essence, you can enjoy protection without going against your haircare routine.

Washing your hair on the day, or just a few hours before you dye it, will not make a successful dye job. The wet state of your hair will make your hair slippery. Even worse, the dye could become runny, making it difficult for the color to set in.

Moreover, if you washed your hair with warm water, your cuticles are most likely still opened. This can make the color penetrate deep into the cuticles and give a result quite different from what you were expecting.

Can You Wash Your Hair After Dyeing It?

You can wash your hair after dyeing it but not immediately after you left the salon. After dyeing your hair, you should give the color time to set. This way, you can be sure that the color will last longer. Colorists advise that you shouldn’t wash your hair until 2-3 days after the color treatment.

When you have a bath with freshly colored hair, protect your hair by wrapping it with a shower cap. To prevent or cut down on chances of getting your hair wet, avoid any involvement in strenuous activities that will make you sweat.

In addition, when you begin to wash your hair after dyeing it, use color-safe, sulfate-free shampoo, and conditioner. Also, wash your hair with lukewarm water instead of hot water. This will preserve your hair color by preventing it from fading away.

This benefit extends to your natural hair. Washing with lukewarm or cold water will keep the cuticles raised and prevents more color from penetrating your hair shaft.

SEE: Skin-Popping Hair Dye Color Ideas Ideal for Your Skin Tone

How Should You Wash Your Hair After Dyeing?

When it is okay to wash your hair a few days after dyeing, follow these steps to wash your hair.

  • Dampen your hair with lukewarm or cold water
  • Squirt color-safe shampoo into your palm and apply it to your scalp
  • Use your fingers to lather the shampoo as your gently rub your scalp and hair to remove any build-up
  • Thereafter, you can rinse out the lather with cold water
  • Then, apply conditioner to the length of the hair. Avoid getting conditioner on your scalp so it doesn’t get greasy
  • Rub it into your hair until every strand has a feel of the conditioner
  • Allow it to sit for a few minutes before rinsing it off
  • Afterward, boost hydration level with a hair mask. It also provides nourishment to your hair and adds shine to your hair color
  • When you rinse out the hair mask, dry your hair
  • If you want to use a blow dryer, first apply a heat protectant that is safe for color-treated hair

How to Care for Your Hair After Dyeing It

Create a pooing routine

After changing your hair color some things may have to change. Your wash pattern and products, for instance, may not be the same. You should replace your regular shampoo and conditioner with color-safe products.

Furthermore, your wash pattern would change. You should wash your colored hair less frequently than you did before getting it colored. Likewise, rinse your hair with warm or cold water after shampooing.

You can also alternate your wash days with dry shampoo to clean your scalp and retain the color.

SEE: How to Use Purple Shampoo Properly to Enhance Your Hair Color

Avoid heat styling

Naturally, heat styling tools can damage your hair. Applying color to your hair puts it in a delicate place such that it is easily damaged by the heat from heat tools. The heat from these tools can strip your hair of color and moisture.

If you have colored hair, you should avoid using heat tools on your hair. However, if you must use them, always use a heat protectant on your hair to avoid damaging your hair. Heat protectants create a protective barrier between your hair and the heat tool.

This barrier prevents moisture loss, color damage, and hair breakage. Hair serum can also fill in as a heat protectant to shield your hair from damage.

Don’t skip conditioning

Colored hair is prone to dryness and breakage because of the chemical process your hair went through. It tends to lose moisture quickly and leave you with dry hair. Do not skip conditioning your hair, even after using a conditioner.

Hair masks are a better choice of conditioners. You can either purchase a hair mask that works well for colored hair or make DIY hair masks to suit your preferences. These masks replenish moisture and keep your hair hydrated.

In addition, the moisture boost strengthens your hair strands against breakage. The moisture boost works from the inside out to give your hair color a glossy appearance.

SEE: What Does Pre-color Serum Do? The Pre-color Treatment You Shouldn’t Miss

It may not always be pool time

After changing your hair color, you should cut down on how much you frequent salt and chlorine water. These compounds can strip your hair of all its vibrancy and leave you with dull hair color. Experts advise that you stay away from pools for the first 48 hours after getting color treatment.

If you must swim afterward, after the color has set in, you should go into the water with your hair covered. Additionally, some stylists suggest that use a leave-in conditioner on your hair before you cover it. It is said that this will prevent chlorine from washing away the color.

Shield your hair

Protect your colored hair from elements like sun exposure. UV rays are also not color-friendly. Frequent and prolonged exposure to sunlight can strip your hair of its color. It makes the color appear dull and lackluster.

Whenever you have to be out in the sun, wear a hair sunscreen on your hair and cover your hair with a headscarf or hat.

SEE: How to Look Smarter by Preventing Permanent Hair Color Fade


How long should you leave hair dye in before washing it out?

Hair dyes need about 30-45 minutes to set before you rinse your hair. Most importantly, follow the instructions written on the pack of the product. Different products are formulated differently; therefore, they may not take the same amount of time to set in.

How often should you wash dyed hair?

You should not wash your dyed hair more than once a week. Too frequent washing will make the color fade away faster. When you wash your color-treated hair, use color-safe products that do not contain sulfates or any other harsh chemicals.

How many washes can a permanent dye last for?

It takes more than 20 washes for a permanent dye to fade away. The color settles in your hair’s cuticles, unlike temporary dyes that sit on the surface of your hair. However, the vibrancy of the color will fade over time. Also, when new hairs begin to grow, the colored roots begin to look faded.

Should you dye your hair wet or dry?

The best time to apply dye to your hair is when it is dry. Applying dye to wey hair will not damage your hair. However, it will not produce an excellent result. The moisture in your hair will not allow the color to stick well. It also affects the distribution of color, thereby producing a less vibrant tint.


Colored hair has its rules and the earlier you get familiar with them, the better for you. These rules all work to make your hair color last and protect the integrity of your hair. It has been established that you keep your hair out of water for at least 48 hours after getting it colored.

There are also rules to follow before you apply color to your hair. You should not apply dye immediately after washing your hair. As exciting as changing your hair color is, the excitement only lasts for as long as you stick with the dos and don’ts.

Keeping your new hair out of water extends longevity and keeps your color looking vibrant and admirable.

In conclusion, getting your hair colored comes with its side effects. Therefore, you should get familiar with the necessary tips that will help preserve your hair color and the quality of your hair.

Thanks for reading.

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