Will Leave-In Conditioner Affect Hair Dye?

Changing the color of our hair is fun, but it involves a rather tricky process regardless of whether you are dyeing your hair at home on your own or relying on a hair technician at a hair salon.

There are a lot of things to think about and questions inevitably arise, such as, “Does leave-in conditioner ruin dyed hair?” If this is stumping you right now, continue reading. Our article will give you answers and other useful, relevant information. 

Will Leave-In Conditioner Affect Hair Dye? 

Leave-in conditioners will not interfere with hair dye or a color treatment as long as you use them after you dye your hair. 

Using a leave-in conditioner can affect your hair dye positively. It can help you keep the colors for longer, as: 

  • It does not have to be rinsed off. So, you do not need to take showers that would quicken fading and discoloration. 
  • It detangles your hair. So, while brushing/combing, you will not have to be rough and damage the hair structure, making it prone to losing colors. 
  • It nourishes damaged hair. So, the hair’s cuticle layer will not allow water to seep in. As such, your colors will not dull or fade. 

In addition, leave-in conditioners can make your hair soft, shiny, and more manageable. You can kiss split ends goodbye once you start using leave-in conditioners, as it imparts nutrients to your hair and moisturizes, strengthens your hair and lengthens its life. 

But this is if you pick the right leave-in conditioner for your hair and apply it properly. If not, it can leave build-ups that cause your dyed hair to become dull. 

To ensure your hair dye is not affected, it is also best to use a leave-in conditioner made for color-treated hair

Shampoos Hub
Shampoos Hub

You should not conditioner on the day you are dyeing your hair. You should use it 1 to 2 days before your appointment because your hair will be healthy and thus, take colors better. 

Using Leave-In Conditioner Before Dyeing Hair 

It is a good idea to condition your hair before getting it dyed. Condition makes your hair healthier overall, and so, minimizes damage during the dyeing process. 

However, there is a caveat. You should not do condition on the day of your appointment. Conditioners typically contain silicones, which coat the hair cuticles. 

This can interfere with the colors depositing during the dyeing process as hydrogen peroxide cannot open up the hair and do its job. As a result, your dyed hair can be uneven and not as saturated as you desire. It may also appear rough instead of smooth. 

Condition your hair five days before getting it dyed, not on the day of the appointment
Condition your hair five days before getting it dyed, not on the day of the appointment

You should condition your hair at least five days before getting it dyed. This is one of the most important things to remember among dos and don’ts before coloring your hair

Can you dye hair with leave-in conditioner in it?

That being said, you should not dye your hair when it has leave-in conditioner. Based on the same notion above, it can prevent the colors from properly depositing into your hair and leave you with patchy, uneven results. 

Using Leave-In Conditioner After Dyeing Hair 

You should definitely condition your hair dyeing it. It closes your hair cuticles, and thus, prevents your new colors from “leaving”. Moreover, it restores the moisture in your hair, which has become dry and brittle after the dyeing process. 

Healthy hair will also absorb the dye better. so you can observe more evenly distributed hair color. And by the same token, you will not have to be concerned about a botched or patchy coloring outcome! 

But you should wait at least three days before you use the conditioner. This period is meant to give the colors time to set. If you do not wait but condition right away, the colors will set and fade unevenly. Then, it will look ugly and require a lot of time and effort to fix. 

Note: Three days is the minimum recommendation. If you can, it is better to wait at least 1 week. 

Post-dyeing, leave-in conditioner can also be an alternative to hair masks. It delivers the same effects for your hair but does not have to be rinsed off. Therefore, you do not need to wash and drain colors down the drain. 

How to Use Leave-In Conditioner on Dyed Hair? 

First, you need to get a suitable leave-in conditioner. It is best to get one made specially for colored hair. If you have oily hair, you must choose one with a lightweight formula. 

It is possible to apply it to dry or just-washed hair.  But most hair experts agree that it is better to apply to damp hair. 

You can apply leave-in conditioner on dry or damp hair, but we recommend the latter 
You can apply leave-in conditioner on dry or damp hair, but we recommend the latter

For the former (on dry hair):

  1. Apply the conditioner all over your tresses, starting from the ends and going up, but avoid the scalp. 
  2. Let your hair air dry or blow dry it before styling as you normally would. 
Be sure to apply leave-in conditioner from the bottom to the top 
Be sure to apply leave-in conditioner from the bottom to the top

For the latter (on just-washed hair):

  1. Pat dry your hair to remove excess water; your hair should still be wet but it is no longer dripping wet. 
  2. Apply the conditioner all over but avoid your scalp and allow time for it to air dry as you go. Make sure you follow the guidelines on your conditioner packaging. 
  3. Detangle your hair with a brush or a comb. 
  4. Let the hair air dry. 
  5. Proceed to style your hair as normal. 

This process can apply to all types of hair, but it will vary slightly for each: 

  • Thick Hair – You need to use more leave-in conditioner than if you had fine hair. 
  • Curly and Thick Hair – You need to use a wide-tooth comb to spread the leave-in conditioner better. 
  • Fine Hair – You should just apply the leave-in conditioner to the ends/tips of the hair. 

If you use leave-in conditioner daily and observe that your hair looks and feels healthy, then you should continue using it. But if you feel like your hair becomes limp or too oily, you should cut down on the frequency. 

If you don’t want to get a commercial one, you can also make your own. Use these DIY recipes here:

Recipe 1 

Prepare the following:

  • 1 ounce of coconut oil 
  • 2 ounces of aloe vera gel 
  • 1 teaspoon on avocado oil 
  • 1/3 cup of water 
  • 1 spray bottle   

Then, follow these three steps: 

  1. Mix the coconut oil and avocado in the spray bottle.
  2. Add the aloe vera gel and water to the same spray bottle. 
  3. Cap the spray bottle and shake vigorously to combine the ingredients.  

Recipe 2 

Prepare these ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of coconut milk 
  • 3 teaspoons of shea butter 
  • 2 teaspoons of jojoba oil 
  • 5 drops of lavender oil 

Then, proceed with these steps:

  1. Melt the shea butter in a microwave or over a heated stove.
  2. Pour it into the spray bottle. 
  3. Add the coconut milk. 
  4. Cap and shake it to combine the shea butter and coconut milk. 
  5. Add the jojoba oil and lavender oil. 
  6. Cap and shake it again to mix everything. 

Recipe 3 

The ingredients you will need are:

  • 1 ounce of shea butter 
  • 1 ounce of coconut oil 
  • 1 teaspoon of honey 
  • Several drops of lavender oil 

Now, follow the steps below:

  1. Use a microwave or a heated stove to melt the shea butter. 
  2. Mix the melted shea butter with coconut oil in a spray bottle. 
  3. Add the honey and lavender oil to the same spray bottle. 
  4. Cap and shake the bottle to combine everything well. 
  5. Refrigerate the mix until you get the desired consistency. 

Once you have your leave-in conditioner, you can proceed to apply it.


Leave in conditioner detangles and nourishes hair, which is both critical for preserving hair colors. It also does not have to be rinsed off, so you do not need to hit the showers frequently and speed up fading or discoloration. 

But it can leave build-ups that cause your dyed hair to become dull if you do not get the right one and use it properly. For the best results, it is also recommended that you use a leave-in conditioner for color-treated hair. 

Hopefully, our answer was helpful to your hair dyeing experience. Leave any thoughts and questions you still have down below!

Edna Feber

I’m Edna. I'm here to guide you about hair products and maintenance tips. You'll fine here product reviews regarding hair tools, hair color, hair care and more along with tips to keep your hair healthy!

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