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Can You Dye Your Hair When It’s Greasy (Tips Included)

Can You Dye Your Hair When It’s Greasy (Tips Included)

If you colored your hair before, you know that a small bottle of hair dye can completely change your look. In fact, hair dye will add more shine and color to your locks. It also has the power to cover up your greys and make the hair look healthy once again.

So you want to dye your hair, but you haven’t washed it in a couple of days and it feels greasy right now? You might be thinking of postponing the dyeing until you wash your hair, but there is no need to worry.

You may still dye your hair even if it is greasy. However, you need to asses your hair situation. If you haven’t washed it for more than four days and it is also very dirty besides all the greasiness, the hair dye might not work properly and could leave you with uneven color.

This doesn’t mean you have to dye your hair only when it is clean. A little bit of grease will not ruin your dye. So if you want to learn how to dye your hair properly even when it is greasy, keep reading.

Can Hair Be Too Greasy to Dye?

The short answer to this question is: yes. The chemicals in the hair dye will not work properly if you haven’t washed your hair in a while. The grease and dirt will build upon your hair, which will eventually leave you with an uneven color.

This can be very visible on grey hair and roots so be mindful of that. Hair that hasn’t been washed in a couple of days and it is not naturally greasy will not be too difficult to dye.

However, if your hair gets very shiny after only one day, consider rinsing it quickly before you apply your hair dye. You can also wait twenty-four hours after you normally wash your hair and then dye it. This will give you the best possible color results when it comes to greasy hair. In addition, check the dye packaging and see if you are allowed to use the conditioner on your hair before you dye it.

Can I Apply Color On Oily Hair?

Oily hair is very difficult to dye. The oil that is naturally produced by the scalp creates a barrier so the color cannot get to the follicles. The result can be somewhat disappointing because the hair color will not be even at some parts.

But there are a couple of useful tricks that will prepare the oily hair for the dye. For instance, it is best to wash and condition your oily hair one day before you dye it. The conditioner will keep the hair strong even when you apply harsh chemicals to it.

Additionally, take a little bit of baby powder right before you start coloring your oily hair and apply it to your scalp. Leave it there for a couple of minutes and then comb the powder out with a brush. The powder will soak up some of the oil and make the dye more effective. The color of your hair should look even after you dye it.

Hair Dye

How Dirty Should My Hair Be Before I Dye It?

It is best to wash your hair twenty-four to forty-eight hours before you apply any dye on it. This will ensure that the hair is clean, the color will go evenly on it, and that there’s still a little bit of oil on your scalp.

The oil will protect your skin from irritation, which can happen often because hair dyes are basically chemicals. Also, it is important to wash your hair gently because you might injure your scalp and create small cuts that will make the process of coloring very uncomfortable.

Avoid applying dry shampoo before you dye your hair. It can also be the reason why your hair color looks uneven. However, styling products that are not oil-based are perfectly fine unless you use a lot of them.

So yes, hairspray is allowed but don’t overdo it. The same goes for hair creams. Control the amount of product you put on your hair after washing, and your color will look flawless.

Can I dye my hair with product in it?

This really depends on the type of products you use on your hair. As previously mentioned, dry shampoo is not a good idea because it can also create a barrier that cannot be penetrated by the hair dye. Also, avoid the sprays that cover up your grey roots. These hair products cannot be brushed out properly before you apply the color.

Of course, there are some styling products you can easily brush out before you start dyeing such as hair spray, gel, etc. But it is recommended that you avoid any oil-based hair products because these cannot be easily removed. So yes, certain hair styling products are perfectly fine to use before you dye your hair. Just make sure you don’t forget to comb them out!

Should I wash my hair before dying it at a salon?

The same rules apply even if a professional is coloring your hair. This means there is no need to wash your hair right before you go to a salon. As a matter of fact, your hair has to be completely dry. Once again, hairstylists recommend slightly dirty hair. So there is no need to wash it for one or two days before you get your hair dyed.

There are a couple of exceptions to this rule which everyone should be mindful of. The first one is you simply have to wash your hair if you had an exhausting workout before going to the salon.

Your scalp will produce more oil and sweat when you exercise, and that is not a good combination if you want to get even hair color. The second one is to shampoo your hair really thoroughly if you went swimming in a pool. The chlorine will not work well with the dye, and you need to get it out of your hair.

Related Questions

Is hair dye bad for your scalp?

If you follow certain rules, the hair dye will not damage your scalp. But before you try out a new hair color product for the first time, make sure you are not allergic to it.

Apply a small amount of dye behind your ear and see if there are any reactions to in on the skin. If everything seems alright, the dye will not damage your scalp when you apply it to the hair.

Also, make sure you follow the instructions if you are coloring your hair at home. Don’t leave the dye longer than what it says on the box. This can damage the structure of your hair. Rinse out the dye from your scalp once you are done. If you don’t do this part properly, your scalp will be itchy for days.

What happens if you leave the hair color on too long?

Hair dyes generally develop after thirty minutes. Therefore, it is recommended that you wash it out as soon as time runs out. Leaving the color on too long can actually dry out your hair and make it prone to breakage. This can cause split ends which will make your locks appear unhealthy and dull. You will not get better color if you leave the hair dye longer than necessary.

If you are going for a lighter shade, you need to be extra careful when it comes to the timing. The bleach can change the structure of your hair so always keep an eye on the clock.

It is best to massage your hair every now and then just to make sure everything is alright and that you will get the shade you desire. There is no need to apply any heat to your scalp when dyeing it, this will not improve the color either.

How soon can I recolor my hair if I don’t like the color?

If you don’t like the end result, you might want to color your hair right away. However, it is recommended that you wait for four weeks before doing so. After all, you are exposing your hair to strong chemicals so you shouldn’t do that too often.

Four weeks is the minimal wait time for people who have really strong hair that cannot be damaged easily. After all, hair colors penetrate the outer layer of the follicle, and there is no need to do that very often.

If your hair is naturally thin, you might want to wait for about six to eight weeks before dyeing it once again. This is just enough time to make sure your hair is healthy and ready for another color change.

If you break this rule, you are risking hair damage. As a matter of fact, it might lose its natural shine and become dull or dry. So if you don’t want to deal with split ends, give your hair some time to rest before you reach for the hair dye.


Saturday 5th of November 2022

That should read can I dye the roots without first washing a few days before when the last time washed was 2 weeks before?

Irina Tracy

Saturday 5th of November 2022

@dee, yes, as long as you condition your roots afterwards you can do that. Good luck!


Friday 4th of November 2022

My hair doesn't get greasy between washes in fact it gets drier. I can go a full 2 weeks between washes and only end up washing it because it is so dry. Can I dye the roots (lots of grey) when I have gone up to 2 weeks since last wash?

Irina Tracy

Saturday 5th of November 2022

@dee, hello and thank you for reaching out. You sure can dye your roots after two weeks since past wash. But i do recommend using a strong conditioner after you wash your hair. Since you mentioned about dying your roots, go for a scalp conditioner that can be applied on the entire length of your hair, including the scalp. You can use coconut oil as well to make sure your hair stays moisturized and makes up for the dryness. Hope this helps.

Erin Everskemper

Saturday 19th of September 2020

I had been using olive oil on my face for a few days now for a skin condition I have. It's AMAZING!!!! BUT it's traveled to my hair over time (which I don't wash daily). I was just about to color my hair and did a quick search just to check if I was in the clear or about to destroy my hair (lol). Your article was suuuuuuuper informative! I also loooooove that there's no useless "fluff". So many bloggers do this. It's hard not to. I so get that. You delivered a ton of information which is exactly what I think most of us are looking for. Your professionalism is inspiring! That alone made me think this chic is dope. Then I just happened to notice your bio below "nonconformist blogger". You are beyond dope! YOU. Are EXCEPTIONAL!!!! ????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????


Friday 2nd of October 2020

Hello, thank you so much! I am glad you found the information useful!! I have to confess that I use olive oil as skin care and hair care at times too...coconut oil works great as well. Have a great day and rest of the week! :*