Keeping it simple

How Long to Wait to Wash Your Hair After Coloring or Dying It

After dyeing or coloring our hair, we all want our hair to stay colored for a long time & to increase that long time; there are certain things or steps that one should follow. These steps include not going to swimming pools, using color-safe shampoos, avoiding the sun, and using gentle hair cleaners & one of the most important of them is not washing your hair right after coloring the hair. This is also a common mistake people make after getting colored or dyed. So how long to wait to wash your hair after coloring?

You should wait for at least 72 hours to wash their hair after getting them colored. During this time, the hair cuticles are getting closed with hair colors inside them. If you pass the hair, the color will start to come off. 

Let’s get to know more about this topic. 

Understanding the Hair Dyeing Process

The hair dyeing process is a method of altering the color of one’s hair. People choose to dye their hair for various reasons, including personal style preferences, covering gray hairs, or simply for a change in appearance. Here’s a step-by-step overview of how the hair dyeing process typically works:

  • Selecting the Right Hair Dye: The first step is to choose the type of hair dye that suits your needs. There are various options available, including permanent, semi-permanent, and temporary dyes. Permanent dyes provide long-lasting results, semi-permanent dyes offer a temporary change, and temporary dyes wash out after a few shampoos.
  • Choosing a Hair Color: Decide on the hair color you want to achieve. Hair dye comes in a wide range of shades, from natural colors like blonde, brown, and black to more vibrant and unconventional colors.
  • Preparing Your Hair: Before applying the dye, it’s essential to prepare your hair. This involves washing your hair to remove any oils or product buildup, and in some cases, you may need to bleach your hair if you’re going for a lighter color or if your hair is naturally dark.
  • Performing a Patch Test: To avoid allergic reactions or adverse effects, it’s a good practice to perform a patch test. Apply a small amount of the dye to a small area of skin to check for any adverse reactions or allergies.
  • Mixing the Dye: If you’re using a dye that requires mixing, follow the instructions on the packaging to prepare the dye mixture. This typically involves combining a developer or activator with the dye itself.
  • Application: Carefully apply the dye to your hair, starting at the roots and working your way towards the tips. Use a brush or applicator to ensure even coverage. Be cautious not to get dye on your skin or clothing.
  • Processing Time: Allow the dye to process for the recommended amount of time specified in the instructions. This can vary depending on the type and brand of hair dye. Once the processing time is up, rinse your hair thoroughly with lukewarm water until the water runs clear. Avoid using hot water, as it can strip the color.
  • Conditioning to Styling: Apply a conditioner that often comes with the hair dye kit or a deep conditioner to restore moisture and maintain the color’s vibrancy. Gently pat your hair dry with a towel and avoid excessive rubbing, as freshly dyed hair can be more delicate. Style your hair as desired.
  • Maintenance: To prolong the life of your hair color, use color-safe shampoos and conditioners, avoid excessive sun exposure, and touch up your roots as needed.

It’s worth noting that the success of your hair dyeing process depends on following the instructions provided with the specific dye you choose and, in some cases, seeking the assistance of a professional hair colorist for more complex color changes. Always perform a strand test and a patch test to ensure your hair and skin are compatible with the chosen hair dye.

Read More: How Many Times Should You Wash Your Hair?

How long to wait to wash your hair after coloring?

As we mentioned earlier, the minimum time to wait before you wash your dyed hair is 48 hours. But as per most experts and hair colorists, the best time interval is around 72 hours. 

Well, three days or 72 hours wait is enough to wash hair after coloring. Basically, hair cuticles require a minimum of 48-72 hours to get closed, depending on hair type. If you wash right after coloring or one day later, then it will be a mistake & bad for your hair color. 

Three days are required because the cuticle layer needs time to fully close, so the color molecules are trapped, making the hair color last longer.

Moreover, after getting your hair colored, the first wash should be with cold water & with a shampoo that is gentle & contains no parabens or chemicals. It will be best to use color-safe shampoos on the color-treated hair.

Also, professional does not recommend hair washing until the hair dye is trapped in the cuticles. If you wash the hair just after dying, the color will come out as the cuticles remain open.

So the longer you wait to wash, the longer the color will last on your hair. 

Is it okay to use regular shampoo after coloring your hair?

Obviously, you should wait for 48-72 hours to wash them after dying them. But what about which shampoo to use for the first time hair washing after hair dying, and can we use regular shampoo? 

Actually, you should not use normal shampoo or even clarifying shampoos. Regular or clarifying shampoo contains chemicals that can remove the fresh pigment and tone from your hair. 

It is best to use sulfate-free or color-safe shampoo for your newly colored hair. Some of the best color-safe and sulfate-free shampoos are as below- 

Suave Professionals Color Care Dry Shampoo

Suave Professionals Color Care Dry Shampoo

  • Keeps your hair clean, smooth, and manageable between washes
Buy Now
L’Oréal Paris EverPure Moisture for Color

L’Oréal Paris EverPure Moisture for Color

  • Best for color-treated hair
Buy Now
Pantene Shampoo and Conditioner for Illuminating Color Care

Pantene Shampoo and Conditioner for Illuminating Color Care

  • Color-safe shampoo designed to protect and care for color-treated hair so it always looks radiant
Buy Now

How to Care for Your Hair During the Waiting Period

Caring for your hair during the waiting period after coloring or dyeing it is crucial to maintain the color and overall health of your hair. Here’s how to care for your hair during this waiting period and how long you should wait before washing it:

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  • Follow Professional Advice: The first and most important step is to follow the advice given by your hairstylist or read the instructions on the hair dye packaging. Different types of dyes and colors may require different waiting periods before washing.
  • Wait at Least 24-48 Hours: In general, it’s recommended to wait at least 24 to 48 hours before washing your hair after coloring it. This waiting period allows the color to set and penetrate the hair shaft, resulting in a longer-lasting and more vibrant color.
  • Use Sulfate-Free Shampoo: When you do wash your hair after coloring, use a sulfate-free shampoo. Sulfates can strip the color from your hair faster, so using a gentler formula will help preserve the color.
  • Use Cool Water: When rinsing out the shampoo and conditioner, use cool or lukewarm water instead of hot water. Hot water can open up the hair cuticles and cause the color to fade more quickly.
  • Limit Washing Frequency: After the initial waiting period, try to limit the frequency of hair washing. Washing your hair less often can help extend the life of your color. Consider using dry shampoo between washes to keep your hair looking fresh.
  • Avoid Chlorine and Saltwater: If you’re planning to swim in a pool or the ocean, protect your hair from chlorine and saltwater, which can both strip color. Consider wearing a swim cap or applying a leave-in conditioner before swimming.
  • Use Color-Protecting Products: Invest in color-protecting shampoos, conditioners, and hair masks specifically designed for colored hair. These products can help maintain the vibrancy of your color and keep your hair healthy.
  • Avoid Excessive Heat Styling: Heat styling tools like flat irons and curling irons can also cause color to fade more quickly. If you must use heat styling, use a heat protectant spray and keep the heat setting as low as possible.
  • Protect Your Hair from the Sun: UV rays from the sun can cause color fading. Wear a hat or use hair products with UV protection when spending time outdoors.
  • Deep Conditioning Treatments: Periodically use deep conditioning treatments or hair masks to nourish and hydrate your colored hair. This helps to maintain its health and shine.
  • Trim Regularly: Schedule regular haircuts to trim split ends and maintain the overall health of your hair. Healthy hair holds color better.

Remember that the waiting period and care routine can vary depending on the type of hair dye used and your hair’s natural texture and condition. Always consult with your hairstylist or refer to the product instructions for specific guidance on caring for your newly colored hair.

Quick Link: Hair Thinning: Causes, Effects, and the Fine vs. Thin Hair

DIY vs. Professional Dyeing: Different Rules?

Certainly, here’s a table outlining the key differences between DIY (Do It Yourself) hair dyeing and professional hair dyeing.

AspectDIY DyeingProfessional Dyeing
CostGenerally less expensiveTypically more expensive
ExpertiseRequires basic knowledgePerformed by trained experts
ApplicationSelf-applied at homeApplied by a professional
Color SelectionLimited to store-bought optionsCustomizable and precise
ConsistencyResults may varyConsistent, professional results
Processing TimeLonger, as you may need to work in sectionsFaster, professional application
Color MixingMay mix colors at homeProfessional color mixing
Damage RiskRisk of over-processing or uneven resultsLower risk with skilled professionals
Aftercare RecommendationsGenerally available online or in product instructionsTailored guidance from stylist
Color MaintenanceSelf-maintenance requiredProfessional touch-ups advised
Complex TechniquesLimited to basic techniquesCapable of advanced techniques
Overall ResultsCan be satisfactory, but results varyConsistently high-quality results

In summary, while DIY dyeing can be more cost-effective and convenient, professional dyeing offers more precise, consistent results, especially for complex coloring or when major changes are desired. The choice between DIY and professional dyeing depends on your experience, the desired result, and your budget.

Shampoo Selection After the Waiting Period

Selecting the right shampoo after the waiting period following hair coloring is crucial to maintaining your color and hair health. As mentioned earlier, it’s generally recommended to wait at least 24 to 48 hours before washing your hair after coloring to allow the color to set. After this waiting period, follow these guidelines for shampoo selection:

Sulfate-Free Shampoo

Look for a sulfate-free shampoo. Sulfates are harsh detergents that can strip away the color and natural oils from your hair. Sulfate-free shampoos are gentler and help preserve your hair color.

Aveeno Blackberry Quinoa Protein Blend Sulfate-Free Shampoo

Aveeno Blackberry Quinoa Protein  Shampoo for Color


Color-Protecting Shampoo

Opt for a shampoo specifically formulated for color-treated hair. These shampoos contain ingredients that help lock in color and prevent it from fading quickly.

L’Oreal Professionnel Vitamino Color Shampoo

L'Oreal Professionnel Vitamino Color Shampoo

  • Item Form Liquid
  • Hair Type All
  • Scent Fresh
  • Age Range (Description) Adult

pH-Balanced Shampoo

Choose a pH-balanced shampoo. A pH-balanced shampoo is closer to the natural pH of your hair, which helps keep the hair cuticles closed, preventing color from washing out.

Sebamed Everyday Shampoo

Sebamed Everyday Shampoo

  • Brand: SEBAMED
  • Item Form: Gel
  • Hair Type: All
  • Age Range (Description): Adult
  • Product Benefits: Hypoallergenic

Moisturizing Shampoo

If you have dry or damaged hair, consider using a moisturizing shampoo. Coloring can make your hair more porous, and a moisturizing shampoo can help hydrate and nourish it.

Moroccanoil Moisture Repair Shampoo

Moroccanoil Moisture Repair Shampoo

  • Brand: Moroccanoil
  • Item Form: Creams, Gels and Lotions
  • Hair Type: Damaged
  • Scent Fragrance: Originale
  • Age Range (Description): All
  • Avoid Clarifying Shampoo: Avoid using clarifying shampoos or deep-cleansing shampoos right after coloring. These shampoos are designed to remove product buildup and can strip away color more quickly.
  • Stay Away from Harsh Ingredients: Check the ingredients list and avoid shampoos that contain harsh chemicals, such as alcohol or strong fragrances, as they can be harsh on colored hair.
  • Consider Your Hair Type: Choose a shampoo that suits your hair type, whether it’s fine, curly, coarse, or oily. Finding the right formula for your hair type will help maintain your color while addressing your specific hair needs.
  • Use a Color-Protecting Conditioner: Pair your color-protecting shampoo with a conditioner from the same product line. This ensures that both your shampoo and conditioner work together to preserve your hair color.

Find Here: Redken Purple Shampoo – Best Solution to Brassy Hair!

Remember that maintaining your hair’s color and health involves more than just shampoo selection. It’s also essential to follow the overall care guidelines for colored hair, such as limiting heat styling, protecting your hair from the sun, and using appropriate hair masks or treatments. Consulting with your hairstylist or a professional can provide personalized advice tailored to your specific hair type and coloring technique.

Bottom Line

We hope all your queries regarding hair washing after dying are cleared now. Here’s a pro tip for you- Use semi-permanent colors instead of permanent colors, as most permanent colors contain chemicals, which can affect your hair in the long run. So opt for natural and chemical-free semi-permanent colors. 

What are your thoughts on the article “How Long to Wait to Wash Your Hair After Coloring or Dying It”


Can I wash my hair immediately after dyeing it?

Washing your hair immediately after dyeing is not recommended. Wait at least 48 hours to allow the color to set.

Will waiting longer than 48 hours make my hair color last even longer?

Waiting longer than 48 hours may not significantly extend color longevity. 48 hours is the recommended waiting time for most hair types.

What happens if I wash my hair too soon after dyeing it?

Washing your hair too soon can lead to color fading and less vibrant results.

Can I use hot water when washing my dyed hair after the waiting period?

It’s best to use lukewarm or cool water to wash dyed hair, as hot water can strip away color.

Should I use a special shampoo for colored hair after the waiting period?

Yes, using a sulfate-free, color-safe shampoo is recommended to maintain your hair color’s vibrancy.

Follow these guidelines, and you’ll enjoy stunning, long-lasting hair color that turns heads wherever you go.

Thank you for reading!

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