If you have dyed your hair or are considering dyeing your hair, you probably have a lot of questions, such as “How soon can I recolor my hair?”.
Understanding this, we have put together this article to answer just that! Read on to find all the information you need to be confident in your hair dyeing journey.
How Soon Can I Recolor My Hair?
You can recolor your hair after 2 to 10 weeks.
You can decide on the specific time based on a few different factors, including why you want to recolor it, your preferences, starting hair color, current color, type of hair dye, and hair condition.
You should NOT recolor your hair right away or before the recommended 2 to 10 weeks time frame.
The reason will be elaborated on in detail, along with the previously mentioned factors. So, continue to read to find all the information you need.
Which Factors Should I Consider to Choose The Recoloring Time for My Hair?
As said earlier, how long you have to wait depends on why you are seeking to recolor it, the color of your hair, and the type of hair dye you are using.
Recoloring because your roots have grown out
In this case, 4 to 6 weeks is the standard time. On average, your hair grows 0.5” a month. So, your roots would have grown out and show the natural color of your hair between 4 and 6 weeks, making that the best timeframe for you to schedule a recoloring session.
Depending on your preferences
If you are low-maintenance and are comfortable with your natural roots showing, then it is fine to recolor your hair after a couple of months.
But if you are high-maintenance and always want your hair to be of nice and consistent color, then we reckon you will want to recolor it as soon as possible.
In this case, it is still best to wait 4 to 6 weeks because you do not want your delicate hair’s shafts to endure more damage and thus, be more prone to breaking, splitting, and tangling.
Depending on the visibility of your natural roots
You may decide to be low or high maintenance depending on the visibility of your roots’ natural color. For instance:
- If you naturally have medium ash brown hair and are dyeing it platinum blonde, you will have to wait close to 4 to 6 weeks since the roots will be very contrasting when they emerge.
- If your natural hair is medium ash brown hair and you are coloring it with a warm chestnut brown, it is possible to go longer without recoloring because your roots are not as noticeable.
Recoloring because you want to fix the way the color turned out
Your hair is too light (to your liking)
If your hair is dyed too light, you may be tempted to recolor it right away and add more pigments to it. But we advise against this. It is better to wait for 2 weeks before deciding to recolor your hair.
The key word here is “deciding.” We use this word because the 2 weeks is approximately how long it takes for the color to settle in your hair and complete the dyeing process by expelling excess pigmentation.
In other words, you will see the ultimate color result of your hair after the 2 weeks. So, if you wait until after then, you can decide whether you want to go darker.
When you do choose to recolor with a darker dye, we recommend going not more than 3 levels down the color scale, as doing so may leave you with a too noticeable change. It will be difficult to become accustomed to the new color.
Plus, if it appears too dark, you would only have 2 options — (1) wait even longer before you can lighten it without bleach, or (2) bleach and expose your hair to harsh chemicals.
Examples of the no less than 3 levels down recommendations: with very light blonde 9, pick dark blonde 6, and with extra light platinum blonde 10, go for light blonde 8.
Your hair is too dark (to your liking)
When your new dyed hair turns out too dark compared to want you had wanted or had expected, we recommend waiting 3 to 4 weeks before recoloring it.
During this time, the dark color would have faded out a bit with washes, and so, it would be possible to lift 2 levels of the color without bleaching it.
For example, you could use a dark brown 5 to lighten your dark brown 3 hair or a very light blonde 9 for a blonde 7 hair.
In this way, you will be able to lighten your hair without causing too much damage to it. Your hair will not have to endure the aggressive chemicals in the bleaching process.
Note: If you want to lift more than 2 levels, you will need to bleach it, and in this case, we recommend going to a professional to get it done instead of doing it yourself at home.
Your hair is too bright (to your liking)
When your hair is too bright, it may be too yellow or orange, and your solution would be to neutralize it.
If you are doing this with hair dye, our advice is to wait for 3 to 4 weeks. So, your hair is free of pigmentation prior to recoloring. If you do it earlier than 3 to 4 weeks, then your first coloring procedure may be interrupted and your hair may become dull.
When you proceed to the neutralizing, be sure to use dye with opposite color pigments. For too-yellow hair, use dyes with purple pigmentation, and for too-orange hair, go with dyes containing blue pigmentation.
To get the right box dye, look at the second number. It is the one that will tell you the secondary pigmentation, which neutralizes your too-yellow or too-orange hair. Blonde that is light gold, for example, is 8.3, and blonde that is dark ash is 6.1.
What Your Starting Color Is
If you are starting with virgin hair, it is alright to recolor sooner than if you had colored your hair before.
For example, if the color does not turn out the way you wanted it to be, you can recolor and fix it after just 1 week because the hair strands have no prior damage.
If your hair has gone through dyeing before and you intend to recolor it, then you need to wait for at least 2 weeks.
What Your Color Is
The color of your newly dyed hair is also a factor to consider. Some colors fade quicker than others. So, such colors need more frequent recoloring appointments.
Darker colors tend to take longer to fade because they are composed of molecules that are smaller in size.
The smaller molecules have the ability to penetrate more deeply into the hair, and thus, can stay in the hair, after they have penetrated, for a longer time than larger molecules.
Hence, if your dyed color is black or brown, you have more time until you have to go for a recoloring session. Usually, black or brown dyed hair will not begin to fade for at least 6 to 7 weeks, and you can schedule for recoloring after that.
Among the lighter and brighter colors, red is the color that fades the quickest, since its dye molecules are a lot larger than those of other colors, and they cannot penetrate into the hair as deep. Typically, red hair starts to fade after 2 to 3 weeks.
Light and bright dyed hair last on average 4 weeks. But if you are careful and take care of your color well, it can last up to 6 or 8 weeks. So, depending on whether you are high or low maintenance, you can decide to recolor after 4 or 6 – 8 weeks.
This waiting time frame also serves as a time for your hair to rest and recover. So, if you feel like your hair needs more time to rest and recover (perhaps it is too dry or weak), then you can wait for longer before recoloring.
What Type of Hair Dye You Are Using
The type of hair dye you choose to use also affects the time you need to allot before you recolor your hair.
Since semi-permanent hair dye does not contain peroxide like other types of dye, it can only coat the hair’s cuticles and cannot penetrate the hair’s shafts. Hence, it will not last as long as permanent hair dye and you would need to proceed to recolor it sooner.
In most cases, you will just need to wait for the color to fade off with washes, and this is typically after 3 to 6 washes, which is roughly equivalent to 2 weeks.
For demi-permanent hair dye, which is between semi- and permanent dye, you should recolor it after about 20 washes, as this is when it would fade off. It is a type of low level peroxide dye so it can penetrate the hair’s shafts and is entirely different from the semi type, which sits on top of the hair’s cuticles.
As for permanent dye, the wait time in between sessions should be from 6 to 8 weeks, as it penetrates the hair deeply and can stay for a longer time before needing recoloring.
If you are bleaching your hair, you will need to wait at least 8 to 10 weeks before you get another bleaching session because you should not bleach on already bleached hair. You must wait for your hair to grow and bleach on what’s new.
What Your Hair Condition Is
If your hair has always been damaged and weak, you need to wait for 2 to 4 weeks, with 2 weeks being the minimum, before you book a session to have it recolored.
The wait time is for your hair to rest and recover. Therefore, the longer it is, the less risk there is for any serious damage. If you are concerned about your hair, you can wait 6 to 7 weeks.
If your hair is only showing signs of damage after being dyed and was healthy prior, then you can consider recoloring it after 2 weeks.
Why Can’t I Recolor My Hair Immediately?
If you try to correct your hair color by recoloring it immediately, you will:
(1) Interrupt the process of the coloring settling in your hair
This may cause the color outcome to be patchy and uneven, which is not only incredibly unsightly but also difficult to fix — you will need to shell out even more time, effort, and money.
Moreover, keep in mind that when you recolor instantly, the new color does not/cannot lift or lighten the color you already currently have, but simply deposits on top of it. Your hair can turn out to be darker than what you desire because of this.
Even though you can choose to use a high lift on your current color. Note that while the color wears off only slightly, there will be a lot of damage from the high vol peroxide. So, your hair will be worse off.
(2) Expose your hair to aggressive, damaging dye chemicals again
You must remember that hair dye is an alkaline product. Alone, it can damage your hair, and coupled with a developer, which lifts the outermost cuticle layer, serious damage is inevitable. If your dye contains harsh agents, like ammonia and ethanolamine, your hair will suffer even more.
Your hair will be dried out, brittle, and frizzy. It can become prone to breaking, splitting, and tangling, in addition to losing both its shine and smoothness. As a result, your hair is straw-like, turning unhealthy and unappealing.
(3) Take away your scalp and hair’s resting time
Without adequate time to rest, your scalp and hair will not be able to fully recover. Then you have a high chance of suffering from other scalp and hair issues, and even allergic reactions.
How To Make Your Dyed Color Last?
Change your hair washing habits
You need to wash your hair less if you want to keep the color on your hair for longer. It is best to keep to washing once or twice a week.
Wash with cool water, not hot water
When you do wash your hair, ensure that the water is not hot. Otherwise, your hair will expand and the cuticles will open, letting water in and washing out the color. That being said, stick to cold water.
Wash with a sulfate-free shampoo
Sulfates are a common ingredient in hair products, notably shampoo. However, they can strip the color from your hair. So, be attentive and avoid using products that list sulfates in the ingredients.
Use dry shampoo to wash less
To preserve your color, you should not wash your hair often, and to space out your wash time, you can use dry shampoo.
Usually, dry shampoo comes in a spray bottle. You hold it at about an arm’s length from your scalp to dispense the product, and it will absorb any grease or oil to make your hair look and feel fresher.
You can use it once or twice a week to extend the period in between your washing time. However, it is important to note that you should not overdepend on dry shampoo. Using it too much can lead to starch build-ups, which clog and weaken your hair.
Use a color-depositing shampoo
Color-depositing shampoos are made to provide hair with colored pigments. Therefore, you can use it to extend the color of your hair. Select one that suits your hair and follow the instructions that come with it.
Keep your hair healthy
If your hair is healthy, it will retain color better.
Use a hair mask to pamper your hair
Hair masks include hydrating ingredients, softeners, and strengtheners that do multiple good things for your hair: hydrate, soften, replenish, rebuild, nourish, detangle, etc. You should use it once a week to keep your hair in tip-top condition.
Stay away from swimming pools
You should try to avoid swimming pools as they contain chemicals like chlorine that can take away the color in your hair. These chemicals also tend to weaken your hair, making it brittle and dry.
Moreover, you will need to use a clarifying shampoo after swimming in a pool to ensure that there are no chlorine remnants on your hair, but this shampoo type can cause your hair color to fade.
Stay away from seawater
Seawater can dehydrate your hair and cause it to lose its elasticity. As a result, your hair will be dry, brittle, and fragile. Plus, it will become more prone to breaking, splitting, and tangling.
Stay away from heat-styling tools
Heat-styling tools are bad for colored hair in the same way that hot water is bad. Simply put, if you do not want your hair color to fade away fast, apply heat to your hair through styling tools as infrequently as possible.
Protect against sunlight and UV rays
The color of your hair can be discolored and faded by the sun. As such, it is necessary to shield your hair from the sun’s rays. When you are going out, be sure to wear a hat or a bandana. You should also use hair products that are formulated to be anti-UV or include SPF, as these can minimize the negative consequences of sunlight on your dyed hair.
Now that you have finished reading our article on “How soon can I recolor my hair?” you should have the answer you need atop of your hair.
If you still have questions you would like to ask or thoughts to share, please leave them in the comments down below. Also, if you think our article benefits a friend, share it with them!