Here's When You Can Wash Your Hair After Dying It

Fall can be a great time for a hair change up. Whether you're embracing the red hair trend from the summer or looking to add darker tones into the mix, dying your hair can be a fun way to celebrate the changing seasons. With that being said, dyed hair comes with a few more rules and products than you might be used to. There can be lot of pressure to keep your hair looking vibrant, which can lead you to ask a lot of questions about what your new haircare routine should look like. Perhaps one of the most common questions is how long you should wait to wash your hair after you've dyed it.

We get it, sometimes your hair might still smell like chemicals, and maybe your color is even bleeding into your pillowcase at night. Those first few days with a new hair color can be complicated, but you might be surprised to learn that you don't actually need to wait very long to wash your hair. While colorist Kathy Debski told Byrdie that she advises clients to wait at least 24 hours, there is no need to wait much longer than that for a shampoo. She explained the reason the first day is so important: "It allows the hair cuticle more time to close and lock in those beautiful, newly added tones. The pigments are just settling in and the cuticle of the hair shaft is still trying to return to its normal, closed state."

Give it at least a day

There's a LOT to know about dyeing your hair, especially if it's the first time. Perhaps one of the most important things to know is that the temperature of your shower water can have a big impact on the longevity of your color. Balayage expert and colorist Ashley Pineda explained to Byrdie, "When water is too hot, it opens up the hair cuticle and releases color molecules at a rapid pace." This can fade your color and lead to brassiness.

Speaking of showering, while waiting a little longer to wash your freshly dyed hair can definitely give your color an added longevity boost, there are other long term wash implications to consider for your dyed hair. Specifically, is can be really beneficial to switch to washing every other day rather than every day. While that might be difficult for some people (especially those who might struggle with oily scalps), it's best for preserving your color. Connor Daniels, a professional hairstylist, told Marie Claire, "Two to three times a week is often a good goal in order to maintain color. Fewer washes is ideal, but you want to make sure you aren't neglecting your hygiene for the benefit of your color." Finding the right balance can be the key (and don't forget about the wonders of dry shampoo) to keeping your new color looking good while also keeping your hair clean.

Preserving color-treated hair after the first wash

Beyond being mindful of temperature, another important tip for preserving your color-treated hair is to invest in quality color protecting hair products. Color-safe shampoos and conditioners are typically free of sulfates, which are capable of stripping pigment. Connor Daniels, a professional hairstylist, told Marie Claire, "The best thing you can do for your colored hair is to avoid shampoo with sulfates. Sulfates are meant to cut through grease and create a foamy lather, but this will also strip the color from your hair much quicker than shampoos that are free from sulfates." You can also seek out products that are formulated for your specific color. For instance, blue shampoos are designed to tone down red and orange tones in dyed brunette hair, while purple shampoos use pigment to tone down yellow hues and bring out cool, silver undertones in blonde hair. It's important to do your research to determine what product will work best for your color and hair texture.

Speaking of important products, if you don't already use a heat protectant, you absolutely need to invest in one to protect your new color from heat damage caused by using a curler, blow dryer, or flat iron. Since your hair is fragile post-dye, using heat too early can lead to damage, dryness, and breakage. As a note, you should especially make sure to avoid any heat styling for the first few days after receiving any color treatment.