woman in a washing tub with blue hair, wearing a yellow towel

The Common Mistake That’s Ruining Your Freshly Dyed Hair

Whether you’ve spent the money to hit a salon or just completed that perfect DIY hair dye job, you’re now rocking the bold, vibrant colour of your dreams! However, one small mistake in your daily routine may be ruining your freshly dyed hair…

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If you have ever dyed your hair, then you know the feeling that I am talking about. That period of time immediately following a fresh dye job is magical. Unfortunately, we all know that time is fleeting, and it’s only a matter of time before your hair will begin to fade out. Sure, some of those faded colours are beautiful in their own right, but don’t you wish you could hold onto that original colour a little longer?

There are plenty of products out there that will brag that they hold the secret to making your colour last longer. Furthermore, if you dig a little online, you’ll find yourself flooded in DIY hair masks and treatments, each promising unbelievable results. If you’re anything like me over the years, you’ve tried them all (and then some) only to find yourself disappointed and out far too much cash…

It wasn’t until I had been dying my hair for a few years that someone shared this little secret.

There are some aspects of caring for freshly dyed hair that are widely known and understood. For example, the main working difference between a permanent dye and a semi-permanent dye is that the semi-permanent will slowly wash out of your hair. Therefore, the more often you wash your hair, the faster it will wash out.

I’d also like that I’m not discounting the importance of using colour-friendly hair care products. You will see a significant difference in how well your hair colour fares over time if you are careful to use a silicone free, colour-safe shampoo and conditioner. Taking steps to protect your hair from the sun and limit heat treatments will also work in your favour.

What many newer hair dye lovers don’t realize is that simply washing your hair in hot water will strip your hair colour away faster! That’s right, if you climb in that nice hot shower and proceed to wash your hair like normal, you can say goodbye to that beautiful, vibrant colour. With this one simple choice, you’re quickly ruining your freshly dyed hair. 

To understand why this happens, you simply need to understand the way that temperature affects the cuticles of your hair. When heat is applied the hair cuticles will open, while colder temperatures will cause them close and seal. This important both while dying your hair as well as in the aftercare.

pinterest image showing a woman sitting in a washing tub, wrapped in a towel with blue hair, says 'the common mistake that's ruining your freshly dyed hair'

Applying heat to your hair during the process will open the cuticles to allow the dye in. Rinsing it immediately afterward will then work to help close the cuticles off, sealing the dye in. However, if you wash your hair with hot water in the days and weeks that follow, you’re opening the cuticles back up and allowing that dye to be washed out. Instead, you should wash your hair in cooler water – the colder the better.

Now, I’m not suggesting that every person out there with coloured hair has to switch to cold showers if they plan on keeping their colour. I love a hot shower as much as the next person! So, how do I continue to melt my skin off as needed in the shower while still rocking my vibrant hair? The secret lies in separating my shower time and my hair washing time.

When I take a shower, I rock a shower cap to keep my hair up and away from the hot water. In order to make the cold water wash a little more tolerable, I wash my hair in the sink or standing over the tub. This way I can use cold, cold water while sparing the rest of my body – Especially in this cold winter weather!

So, if you’re looking to rock that new colour a little longer, make cold water your friend!

What tricks do you use to help maintain your bright coloured hair longer?

18 thoughts on “The Common Mistake That’s Ruining Your Freshly Dyed Hair”

    1. I have been using a semi for a few years now and I wouldn’t switch back, for sure. My hair is much healthier now.

    1. It has really made a HUGE difference in how long my hair holds up now versus before someone filled me in on this little secret!

  1. Ooh! I never knew this! I always just thought my hair faded because I’m using the wrong product… I’m going to give this a try Britt this is GENIUS!!!

  2. I never dyed my hair before but these are useful tips. It makes sense that hot water makes your hair color strip out faster. You can definitely still rock those hot showers if the hair is tied up – thanks for sharing these tips!

    Nancy ? exquisitely.me

    1. I had to start with ‘cool’ water and slowly work towards cold so that I could get used to it lol Also, don’t go TOO cold if it’s going to give you headaches or anything… Even cool is better than hot!

  3. I have always wanted bright hair, but when I had it in the past it did fade quickly. After reading this I realise why! Haha. I do wash my hair in really hot water and never realised that would be wrong. When I get it done again I will definitely remember this! Thanks so much for sharing!

    1. I always washed my hair in hot, hot water until someone shared this little tidbit with me. It’s amazing how one little change can make such a big difference

  4. I had no idea about this! I always thought it was the shampoo and conditioner that ruined hair dye, but now that I know this I can actually wash my hair more often after fresh hair dye.

    Thank you for sharing 😀

    1. As long as you stick with sulfate free products and cold water, you’ll see less fading. Also, focus your shampoo on your roots, that’s the part that needs it anyway, to avoid over fading in the ends. Personally, I try to limit washing a bit using dry shampoo but I gotta have clean hair!

  5. I want to dye my hair during the summer and was wondering how to keep the colour for a long time. This sounds like a great tip, and I am going to keep it at heart 🙂

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