How Long to Wait to Wash Hair After Dyeing?

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If you have ever dyed your hair and washed it with a shampoo right after the dyeing procedure or a day after, you should not do it again.

When should you wash your hair after coloring it? Professionals recommend waiting for at least 2 to 3 days to wash your hair if it is freshly-dyed.

Doing this gives hair cuticles time to close and ‘trap’ the dye particles inside. This is the key to preventing quick color fading. Continue reading to learn more about the proper way of washing the hair after dyeing and more information on how to maintain freshly-colored hair. 

Also Read: Can You Dye Your Hair Twice in a Day?

Can You Wash Your Hair After Dyeing It?

Those who are new to hair coloring may not even think of this question as to the answer no may seem to have no point. 

Shampooing your hair after dyeing is not what any hair specialist will recommend you do. Instead, you should rinse the hair with warm water so many times until the water runs clear.

Once you have washed out all of the hair dye, use a conditioner. Almost all hair dyes come with a pack of conditioner which ends up unused by many people.

However, using a moisturizing and softening product on your hair is essential as hair dyes contain harsh chemicals that can be drying and damaging to the hair.

Technically, you can wash your hair right after dyeing but you will get better results if you don’t. In fact, professionals insist that the color fades away quickly if you shampoo the hair after the coloring procedure.

Why You Shouldn’t Wash Your Hair After Dyeing It?

Washing your hair after dyeing it may cause not only color fading but also some damage to the hair. In order to understand why this all happens, it is important to know how hair coloring works.

The science behind hair coloring is not that complicated.

But once you learn how hair dyes react with the hair to create the result you want, it will be more than clear why it is better to wait for some time before you double shampoo your newly colored hair. 

How Does Hair Coloring Work?

When hair dye is applied, the cuticle of the hair opens.

The cuticle may be described as the outer layer of the hair. Chemicals in the dye react with the inner part of the hair. In professional terms, the dye gets to the hair cortex, where it either deposits color or removes natural melanin from there. 

During the application of most permanent hair dyes, the color depositing and removing processes take place at the same time. 

The prevailing majority of permanent hair dyes contain ammonia.

It is the chemical ingredient that is responsible for opening the cuticle thus allowing the dye to get into the hair cortex. Hydrogen peroxide, also referred to as the developer, is the ingredient that works to lift the existing color, be it your natural hair color or another hair dye previously applied to the hair. 

The melanin in the hair is lifted and a new color is deposited to the hair cortex. 

Once the coloring process is over, hair cuticles do not close immediately. This is why it is important not to shampoo the after coloring it. As the cuticles are still open, the possibility of the dye fading away is very high. 

How Long to Wait to Wash Your Hair After Coloring It?

If you have colored your hair but are hesitating about when you should give it a proper wash with your favorite shampoo, then you better not hurry.

Hair professionals suggest waiting for at least 2 days to shampoo your hair. If you can, it is much better to wait for 3 full days to properly wash your hair with shampoo. 

As during the coloring process the hair cuticles open in order to absorb the color, it is best to wait for a few days until they close back. This way the hair dye pigments get ‘trapped’ which ensures a more long-lasting effect. 

Shampooing your hair soon after coloring it may take away the color quickly.

If you have ever made the mistake of shampooing the hair after dyeing it, you will now realize why the color wouldn’t stay rich and last longer on you. 

If your hair is oily, you may have a hard time following the three-day rule. However, you should realize the damage it will cause not only to your hair but also to tour wallet. 

Not only shampooing your hair right after dyeing it means throwing money away, and quite a lot if you do it in hair salons, but it will also have a negative impact on the quality of your hair.

You will have to dye your hair much more frequently. And though many hair dye brands claim to have moisturizing or non-damaging formulas, hair dyes are still quite harmful.

Also Read: How to Get White Hair Without Bleach or Dye?

How Long to Wait to Wash Your Hair After Bleaching?

If you have ever decided to go lighter, you may have a bleaching experience. This is not one of the healthiest things your hair can undergo.

Bleaching is a dyeing procedure which implies lifting the pre-existing color in order to provide ‘a clear canvas’ for the lighter color you want to achieve.

It is a common technique when someone with jet black or dark brown hair wants to go blond. Or try out some fun bright colors, such as pink, purple, or green.

When getting bleached, your hair deals with harsh chemicals, such as hydrogen peroxide and ammonia. They strip the natural oils from your hair, leaving them rather dry and lifeless. 

Is Rinsing Bleach Easy as Rinsing Hair Dye?

You will be mistaken to think that rinsing bleach like you rinse hair dye will work. Although shampoos may strip the hair, even more, they are necessary to get all of the bleaching product out of your hair. 

You will need to carefully wash off the lightener in order to stop the bleaching process. If you skip shampooing or don’t do it carefully, it may be left in the hair. And continue the color-lifting process, which will result in patchiness and hair damage. 

Wash your hair with an SLS and SES free shampoos after you have bleached it.

Do not skip the conditioner as your hair needs a lot of moisture and strength after the hair lightening procedure. 

While some people think that shampooing the hair after bleaching is excessive. And strips the hair, even more, others argue that it is even helpful. Aside from stopping the bleaching process, shampoos also balance the pH.

As most bleaching products raise the pH in order to open the cuticle. And lift the color, another product is needed to restore the balance. In this case, shampoos with a lower pH balance help the cuticles to close back thus making the hair less prone to breakage. 

Can You Use Dry Shampoo After Dyeing Your Hair?

Those who have dyed hair always struggle with washing it too often. The more you wash your hair the sooner the color will fade. 

Using dry shampoos is a great way to keep the hair looking fresh for a day or two longer.

If you can wash your hair less but still not look greasy, why not? Just spray some dry shampoo on the roots that tend to get greasy quicker than the ends do. Leave for a few seconds to soak up the oil.

Then work the dry shampoo in with your fingers. Or a dense brush to get rid of the cast the spray may create. So, using dry shampoo on colored hair is one of the best ways of skipping a few washes. And thus, preserving the color for a little longer. 

How to Wash Colored Hair to Prevent Fading?

As you have already learned, washing your hair with shampoo after dyeing is not the best idea. It will cause color fading and damage.

If you have dyed hair and struggle to maintain the rich color even when your hair is freshly-dyed, then you should follow a few simple rules of washing colored hair. 

  • Firstly, do not sleep on color-safe hair products, as they are on the market for a reason.

Whether you have dark or light-colored hair, you will find a shampoo that targets your color and is meant to preserve it for longer.

  • Secondly, avoid washing your hair with hot water.

It opens the hair cuticle and hair dye fades much more easily. Make sure that the water temperature is low enough not to accelerate the fading process. But high enough to clean your hair and scalp from all the oils and build-up.

  • Last but not least, if you want your hair color to last longer, avoid using too much heat on your hair.

Heated tools, including straighteners and curlers, should be used as less as possible on brightly-colored hair, such as pink or purple. 

You may be tempted to get the same look as your hairstylist has given you. However, if you want to maintain the color, avoid using hot tools. 

Monika Dimitrovska

A makeup freak who's passionate about books, beauty products, vegan food, daydreaming, and stargazing.

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