Did you know most Americans dye their hair four to five times in a single year? And many of these people use permanent dye. At that rate, a single person usually dyes their hair every two to three months. But is that how often you should dye your hair? Should you dye your hair more or less?
About Hair Dye and Hair Health
There’s a reason why following a specific dye schedule is important, and that’s because hair dye affects hair health. When using a permanent dye, there’s a chemical process that occurs inside the hair fiber. This process can break the protein fibers, resulting in breakage and damage.
The more you color your hair, the more stress you place on the hair’s proteins. Over time, this can make your hair brittle. It will become more difficult to style and color your hair. If damage is that severe, it can even become difficult to brush your hair.
Reasons to Re-Dye Hair Quickly
There are many reasons why someone may want to re-dye their hair quickly, and there are alternatives for some of these reasons.
Hair Dye Faded
This is probably the most common reason to re-dye your hair quickly. Hair dye naturally fades with time; however, hair dye shouldn’t fade quickly. Even semi-permanent dye should last several weeks, as we will cover in the next section. If your hair dye faded quickly, there was likely an issue during the dye application process.
In addition, hair usually fades differently in various parts of your hair. The roots usually grow quickly. This is especially true for those who are covering up grays. If this sounds like your situation, understand this is completely normal. For some, the color may actually fade quicker at the bottom. This happens with certain colors, especially unnatural colors.
If either of these situations sounds like yours, simply re-dye your hair in areas that have faded. This is especially important if you used permanent dye.
What if your hair dye faded because of an issue during the initial dyeing process? There are other alternatives to dyeing your hair. Opt for a tint rather than a permanent dye. Wash your hair less frequently. When you do, use color-safe hair products. Avoid heat tools, since they open your hair’s cuticle and cause your color to fade quicker.
Some people may think they want a color change when in reality they want a tonal change. Tone is something that manipulates hair color. They can correct hair color and change the undertones of a certain color. Readjusting the hair tone results in less damage and you get a new and improved hair color.
For example, let’s say you decide to dye your hair blonde and hate the results. Instead of redyeing your whole head, adjust the shade of blonde with a toner. If you had golden blonde hair, you can use a toner to cool it down to an ash blonde, and vice-versa.
Want a New Hair Color
Maybe you dyed your hair a certain color and decided you no longer want that hair color. Hey, it’s happened to me before. But coloring over previously dyed hair is pretty difficult. You can’t just apply a new dye over your hair and call it a day. Certain looks call for you to strip the previous color from your hair. This is especially true if you’re lightening hair.
However, you can avoid this step by dyeing your hair darker. The issue is dyeing your hair too dark, so be sure to start by dyeing your hair only a shade darker.
Another alternative is to only dye over the places you don’t like. For example, let’s say you got an ombre done and don’t like it. Simply dye the lighter part of your hair the same color as the darker part. This way, you do less damage.
Before you go to the salon and shop for new dye, you may want to wait a few extra weeks for your dye to grow out. But this depends on the type of dye you used.
Not surprisingly, lasts the longest. Technically, permanent dye lasts close to forever. That’s because the dye enters the hair shaft and changes the color of the full strand of hair. However, your roots will continue growing. This usually occurs after six weeks. In addition, permanent color does fade. This also occurs after a few weeks.
Is the second-longest lasting dye option. It can last as many as 24 washes. This means if you wash your hair every day, demi-permanent dye will last a little less than a month. But if you only wash your hair once a week, a demi-permanent dye can last 24 weeks, which is equivalent to six months!
Doesn’t last as long. The color usually starts to fade after four weeks.
How Often Can You Dye Your Hair?
With all of that said, it’s time to answer the million-dollar question: how often can you dye your hair? As stated previously, there are different types of hair dye and they all have different dye length times. In addition, these dyes all impact your hair differently, and it’s important to know the ideal amount of time between washes to prevent hair damage.
Even though permanent color lasts practically forever, you can actually redo permanent color quicker than you think. You can touch up faded color and/or re-dye your roots every four weeks.
While you can dye your hair a completely new color, you’ll want to exercise caution. Opt for a semi-permanent color instead of another permanent color. Use hair conditioning treatments to prevent damage.
There are other best practices to keep in mind. If your hair is strong, you can get away with re-dyeing your hair after four weeks. But if your hair is damaged and dry, wait a couple more weeks before dyeing your hair. You should also exercise caution if your scalp is sensitive and/or if you’re prone to hair dye allergies.
Demi-permanent is between permanent and semi-permanent in terms of lasting power. While this color doesn’t penetrate the hair shaft, it does contain a small amount of peroxide to slightly lift the color and deposit the dye. Therefore, demi-permanent dye only penetrates the outer layer of the hair, which still does impact your hair’s cuticle.
When re-dyeing over demi-permanent color, your hair health is the biggest factor in how often you can dye your hair. As long as your hair is healthy and your hair’s cuticles are restored, you can redo demi-permanent dye once every few weeks.
Semi-permanent color is pretty much just pigment and conditioner. It only dyes the hair on the surface of the hair shaft and doesn’t penetrate the shaft at all. This means you can pretty much redo semi-permanent dye as often as you want — you can even change your hair color every weekend with semi-permanent color.
How Frequently Can You Bleach Your Hair?
Keep in mind, bleaching your hair involves a whole different process and this impacts how often you can bleach your hair. But before getting into this, let’s learn a little about bleach and what it does to your hair.
Bleach comprises chemicals that strip the melanin from your hair. As you can guess, bleach is extremely damaging. In addition, bleach is permanent and you can’t wash it out unless you redye over it or wait for your roots to grow back in.
But what if you bleached your hair and want it even lighter? To avoid damaging your hair, you should wait a bit before redoing your bleach. Experts advise you to wait at least eight weeks before bleaching your hair again. If you wait for less time than this, unless you receive assistance from a professional, you risk split-ends, breakage, and even hair loss.
For more information, take a look at our other article, “How Many Times Can You Bleach Your Hair.”
What to Do After Frequently Dyeing Your Hair?
Are you one of those people who can’t go without dye for more than a few months at a time? Join the club! But this means you must take proper care of your hair to avoid damage.
Use Moisturizing Products Daily
There are a variety of moisturizing hair products that can hydrate dry hair, prevent frizz, and more. The moisturizing product you choose depends on your preferences and needs.
Oils, such as olive oil, are by far the most affordable options. There are also specialized oils meant for the hair. However, oil can also weigh down your hair and isn’t a good option for those with fine and flat hair. If your hair is completely unruly, use a little bit of oil on your hair every day.
I personally prefer using leave-in conditioners. Leave-in conditioners protect your hair from damage, add extra moisture to your hair, and also detangles your hair. I don’t think leave-in conditioners weigh down my hair. While there are leave-in conditioners you can apply to wet hair, most are only used on wet or towel-dried hair.
What if your hair is dry? You’ll still have to moisturize your hair. This is important since you’re likely not washing your hair as frequently. Dry shampoo can absorb the excess oils that develop at the roots of your hair, but dry shampoo can also dry out your hair. In addition, the time between washing can also result in dry hair, since you’re depriving your hair of water and conditioner.
There are other solutions when moisturizing dry hair. I personally love dry conditioner and use it practically daily.
Dry conditioners are aerosol products that apply conditioner to your dry hair without weighing it down. I’ve even been able to use a dry conditioner multiple times a day without my hair feeling flat.
You simply spray the conditioner on your hair. I focus on my ends and anywhere I have knots, frizz, and flyaways. The best dry conditioners detangle, moisturize, increase shine, and reduce frizz.
Avoid Heat Styling Tools
Heat styling tools, even blow dryers, not only damage your hair but also weaken hair color. Avoiding the heat tools will not only make your hair feel softer but your dye will be more vibrant for longer periods of time.
Use a Hair Mask
Once a week, use a hair mask to ensure your hair stays hydrated. Regular hair mask use will also prevent damage and breakage. You’ll also notice your hair is softer and shinier after using your hair mask. There are multiple hair masks out there at different price points. Since they do require you to wash your hair, use them minimally and make sure they’re ideal for color-treated hair.
Question: I Use Box Dye. Should I Follow This Advice?
Answer: Again, it ultimately depends on the dye you use. If you use permanent dye, definitely follow the previous advice.
If you use semi-permanent dye, I would wait a little longer because box dyes tend to contain more harsh chemicals that are damaging to the hair, in comparison to the dye stylists use and high-quality DIY dyes. A good time limit to use is four weeks. However, all manufacturers have different advice for re-dyeing your hair, so always listen to their advice.
Question: I Bleach My Dark Hair and My Roots Grow in After a Week. What Should I Do?
Answer: Consult with a stylist. If you bleach your hair every week, you risk seriously damaging your hair. A stylish one will give you the best advice on how to go lighter if your hair is naturally dark. If you ask me, I say skip the blonde and opt for a lighter shade of brown.
Question: No Matter What I Do, My Hair Dye Only Lasts a Week! Why?
Answer: If you dye your hair DIY, there was probably something wrong with the dyeing process. You likely didn’t leave the dye on for long enough. Next time you dye your hair, leave the dye on for the recommended amount of time. If you already are, I suggest trying a new brand.
What if your dye doesn’t last long at all, even if you go to a hairstylist? Well, your hairstylist could be doing something wrong. I have honestly been too bad hairdressers before where my color didn’t turn out well or the color stained everywhere. Try a new hairstylist to see if you get better results.
The problem may not be on you, the dye you use, or your hairstylist. It could be on your hair. For example, if your hair is gray, the dye won’t last as long. The cuticles are packed down on gray/aging hair and your hair has difficulty absorbing the color.
So many of us dye our hair, but I doubt most of us consider the impact that hair dye has on our hair. This is especially true for those who dye their hair frequently. There are different types of hair dye that affect your hair differently. Some dyes also fade out quicker than others.
Before re-dyeing your hair, consider your hair type, hair health, and the dye you use. Use our guide to determine the best time to re-dye your hair. In the meantime, use our advice to preserve your color to hold off on re-dyeing your hair and ask a stylist on other ways to lengthen the time between dyes.
This article was updated on 08/08/2022 by the Hair Kempt editorial team. Our goal at Hair Kempt is to provide the most up-to-date relevant hair information, ideas, and inspiration. We updated some of our links to give you better hair care information.
For more interesting reading, check out:
- How to Find the Best Orange Hair Dye
- Comprehensive Guide To Hair Coloring 
- How Long Does Hair Dye Generally Last? 
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