Will Leave in Conditioner Affect Hair Dye? Yes…But Read This First!

Published Categorized as Beauty Tips

If you’re wondering, “Will leave in conditioner affect hair dye?” then this is the post for you. As you probably already know, dyeing hair can be a tricky little dance. There’s a right way and wrong way to do it, and there are several mistakes you’ll want to avoid in order to get the best dye job possible. So, will leave in conditioner affect hair dye? Yes, it will! But to what degree will depend on a few things.

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Will Leave In Conditioner Affect Hair Dye? Yes…but Read This First!

Hair Products and Hair Dye

First and foremost, it’s helpful to know exactly how hair dye works in order to understand to what degree a leave in conditioner would affect your hair dyeing results.

To achieve colored hair, permanent hair dye, semi permanent hair dye, or temporary dye is applied to hair strands. Whether or not you apply the dye to wet hair, damp, or dry hair will depend on your desired results. But we’ll save that for another post.

The goal of the hair dye is for the hair dye molecules to penetrate the shaft of your hair fully and evenly. This is what ensures bold and accurate colors, as well as uniformity throughout the strands.

If, however, you are putting a deep conditioner, leave in conditioner, gel, hair lotion, hair spray, or other products in your hair before dyeing, you could be headed for trouble. Since the job of the hair dye is to penetrate the cuticle layer of each strand, applying any hair products to your tresses would effectively halt this process. Instead, the hair products would act as a protective barrier around the hair cuticle. This would prevent hair dyes from being distributed evenly.

It may even alter the hair color!

Will Leave in Conditioner Affect Hair Dye?

Can I Use Leave in Conditioner Before Dyeing My Hair?

You really shouldn’t.

Remember what we said about hair products acting as a protective barrier around the hair? That isn’t a good thing when attempting to dye your hair.

In order for dye chemicals to properly penetrate your hair cuticle, it will need nothing standing in its way. It is for this reason that many stylists recommend adding nothing to your hair before dyeing it

Once you apply color, the coloring results will come out as desired if you have leave in conditioner in it. Especially if there’s a lot!

Can You Dye Your Hair if You Have Leave in Conditioner In?

If you have leave in conditioner in your hair then it is best to wash it out. Ideally, you’ll wash your hair up to three days prior to applying the dye.

However, if there is a ton of leave in conditioner on your strands and you plan to dye it right away, you’ll need to wash the conditioner out first.

If you know that there is only a slight amount of leave in conditioner (or other product) in your hair prior to dyeing, you may be able to brush it out. A scant amount of hair product may be able to be brushed out if you brush your hair vigorously enough.

For saturated strands, it is important to wash your hair first before applying dye. Washing will give your tresses the blank slate they need to absorb all the pigment possible. This will also work to prevent color loss.

Does Leave in Conditioner Make Hair Dye Fade?

Applying hair dye over strands that have leave in conditioners on them can certainly lead to color loss. Coloring hair over leave in conditioner, shampoo, or any other product will prevent color molecules from fully entering the hair shaft. The result is color that is less vibrant to begin with, but also, color that won’t last long.

This means the time, effort, and resources invested into coloring the hair will be lost. And no one wants that!

Does Conditioner Ruin Hair Dye?

It can.

Many people love and recommend combining conditioner with hair dye. But the truth is that this only works with certain hair dyes. Thus, it is only advised that you mix conditioner with hair dyes marked as being semi permanent. To combine hair color that is permanent with conditioner will only cause the dye to apply unevenly to strands. It will also lighten the final outcome.

Know that many people add conditioner to semi permanent hair dye for the sole purpose of making the hair color lighter. Others do it for the moisture it adds to locks. Either way, remember that conditioner acts as a barrier to the strands themselves. Therefore, you can expect your color to fade a bit faster than it may have if you hadn’t combined it with conditioner.

Note: There are some that claim mixing a conditioner with your semi permanent dye can actually make the color last longer. However, it is more likely that you’ll see your hair fade faster with every shampoo and rinse that your scalp undergoes.

Because of this, we strongly recommend you deep condition and wash your hair up to three days prior to coloring. We do not recommend mixing these products with dye unless you intend to make your dye lighter and don’t mind it fading faster.

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Should I Wash Out Leave in Conditioner Before Dyeing Hair?

Yes, absolutely.

Remember that you can brush out any scant amounts of leave in conditioner that remain in your hair. However, if your hair is saturated with leave in conditioners, it is important that you wash your hair immediately.

This will help ensure that the hair dyeing process goes as planned and that there aren’t any splotches or uneven coloring that takes place.

Remember that the coloring process can be tricky, but there are a few tips that you can follow to make it easier. For best results, avoid putting leave in conditioner when having hair colored as doing so may alter the expected results.

Does Leave in Conditioner Affect Dyed Hair?

Having a ton of leave in conditionner in your hair can certainly do a number on the coloring process. When attempting color treated hair, it’s important that you start with clean strands. This will allow the conditioner to penetrate the shaft of the hair. By piling up conditioner on top of your tresses, you are limiting the dye’s ability to produce the desired results.

The more product that is on your strands, the more difficult coloring your hair will be. And while the color will likely still show up, it may be patchy, lighter, and overall not as even as you may have hoped. On top of all of this, you may find your color fades faster. This will be the result of not having been able to penetrate the hair cuticle as much as was required for color sustainability.

Will Leave in Conditioner Affect Hair Dye?

How Should I Prepare My Hair Before Coloring?

Before coloring your hair, there are a few coloring tips and tricks you’ll want to take note of. If you’re wondering, “What do I need to know before I dye my hair?” you aren’t alone. Try the following to ensure your hair color turns out bold, evenly distributed, and well, just plain fabulous!

How Do I Prepare My Hair for Coloring?

Tip #1: Do Wash Your Hair…Just Not Before Dyeing

If you wash your hair right before you color it, you’ll strip the strands and your scalp of its natural oils. When this happens, it makes it more possible for your tresses to become damaged.

Instead, it is generally recommended that you wash your hair 1-2 days prior to coloring your hair. Skip the conditioner. This will allow your hair and scalp’s natural oils to come out which act as a barrier between the dye and your strands which helps prevent damage.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, the oils in your hair, in this instance, won’t be enough to make the dye splotchy, light, and uneven. It’s only when your hair is saturated in hair products that this happens. But don’t worry. We’re about to cover this point in more detail right now in Tip #2!

Tip #2: Skip the Products…fFor Now

So, yes, forgoing a shampoo to your hair will give your hair a chance to secrete natural oils to help minimize the amount of damage that can occur to tresses when dyeing. However, you shouldn’t assume that an applying conditioner of any type (including leave in) will do the same.

In actuality, it WILL act as a protective barrier, but the barrier will be a little too effective. By having a thick layer of conditioner over your tresses, you block the dye’s ability to fully distribute the pigment the way you want it to. Thus, we recommend you not only skip conditioner, but ALL hair products until the big day arrives.

It can be hard, frizzy, and messy, but don’t worry. Pull your hair back into a ponytail or rock a messy bun until you’re ready to have your locks colored.

Tip #3: Keep Your Hair in Its Natural State

This is a hotly debated issue, but in general, it’s best to leave your hair in its natural state before dyeing. Doing it this way, keeps your locks from getting overworked. This is especially true if your method of straightening involves chemicals (such as when using a perm relaxer). In this instance, you should wait at least 15 days between perming and coloring.

Tip #4: If You Plan to Cut Your Hair, Do So Before Getting Your Color Applied

This isn’t a requirement, but it can be helpful to do a cut before you get your hair colored. The theory is that by doing so, you can better understand how the hair color is going to “fall” if you’ve already cut it. Conversely, by dyeing first and cutting later, you may not like the color placement, especially with highlights. This may have you wishing you’d cut first and dyed later!

Tip #5: Be Careful About What You Wear Before (And After) Your Coloring Appointment

When getting a bright, vibrant, or neon dye job, you’ll need to remember that the application of dye can be a very messy process. Because of this, it’s important not to wear light-colored clothing on dye day. In addition, you’ll want to avoid wearing your favorite outfit.

Remember also that these colors can begin to bleed after a while. This means you could end up finding dye on your towels, pillowcases, shirts, your couch, and blankets.

You get the drift.

Will Conditioner Affect Hair Dye? Yes, Absolutely!

If you only have a scant amount of leave in conditioner on your hair, you don’t need to worry about it affecting your dye job as much. Run a brush through it several times to help remove some of the product before applying your dye.

However, if your locks are full of leave in conditioner (gel, hair lotion, wax, pomade, setting lotion, hair spray, or the like) you’ll need to wash it out. Ideally, you’ll wash your hair at least 1-2 days before coloring. This is without conditioner or other hair products applied to it. Nevertheless, if you arrive at dye day and find your hair to be full of product buildup, you’ll have no choice but to wash it first.

All in all, just remember that it is best to have your hair stripped of hair products before dying. Still, it is ideal for a bit of your hair’s natural oils to be present, which is why waiting 1-2 days between washing and dyeing is recommended.

Hope this helps answer the question, “Will leave in conditioner affect hair dye?” If it didn’t, let us know below.

See you next time!

More posts about dye on the blog:

Will Leave in Conditioner Affect Hair Dye – FAQs

Does conditioner ruin hair dye?

The conditioner will almost certainly lighten your hair dye. It may also affect its lastability and its even distribution. Thus, you should be very careful when choosing to apply conditioner and hair dye at the same time.

Should I condition my hair before coloring?

No, you shouldn’t. Doing so could affect the dye’s ability to penetrate your strands. Some people do purposefully mix semi permanent dyes with high-quality conditioners to lighten the colors a bit. If this is you, do so with caution, knowing that your color likely won’t last very long.

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