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Can I Oil My Hair After Coloring? The Colorist’s Verdict

can i oil my hair after coloring

Can I Oil My Hair After Coloring? The Colorist’s Verdict

Like an artist’s canvas demanding tender care, post-dye hair unveils an enigmatic quest for the perfect elixir. The allure of vibrant tints fades, entwined with the vulnerability of compromised strands.

In the kaleidoscopic world of hair coloring, a stunning transformation often comes at a cost, a tangled dilemma that haunts many: how to preserve the radiant allure of freshly colored locks without sacrificing their luster? As pigments settle into the hair’s core, the strands thirst for nourishment, torn between the desire for revitalization and the dread of losing their newfound brilliance.

One question that often arises after coloring is whether it’s safe to apply oil to just dyed hair. In this article, we will delve into the dos and don’ts of oiling newly dyed hair and explore whether popular oils like coconut oil and olive oil have any impact on hair color.

The Importance of Choosing Quality Hair Color

Coloring your hair can be an exciting way to change your look and express your personality. However, maintaining the vibrancy of your newly colored hair requires proper care.

Before discussing oiling after coloring, it is crucial to highlight the significance of choosing high-quality hair color. Don’t compromise on the color to save a few bucks. Opt for reputable brands that offer long-lasting and vibrant results.

Some quality hair dyes often come with moisturizing agents that nourish and repair dry hair during the coloring process. Look for ammonia-free and sulfate-free options that are gentle on your hair, leaving it silky-smooth and full of life.

Can i oil my hair after coloring?
Permanent hair dyes tend to last longer than semi-permanent or temporary hair dyes

1. Hair Structure and Composition

Hair is primarily composed of a protein called keratin, arranged in three layers – the cuticle, cortex, and medulla.

  • Cuticle: The outermost layer of the hair shaft is the cuticle, consisting of overlapping scales that protect the inner layers. It plays a crucial role in regulating moisture and protecting the hair from external damage.
  • Cortex: The cortex makes up the majority of the hair shaft and contains melanin which is responsible for hair color. It also determines the hair’s strength, elasticity, and texture.
  • Medulla: The innermost layer, the medulla, is often less defined and may not be present in all hair types.

2 . How Hair Colorants Work

Hair colorants are used in the hair coloring process to deposit or remove pigments by penetrating the cuticle and cortex. There are two main types of hair colorants: oxidative dyes and direct dyes.

Oxidative Dyes: These are the most common and contain dye precursors and developers (like hydrogen peroxide). When applied to the hair, the dye precursors react chemically with the developer, forming larger pigment molecules that permanently alter the hair color.

Direct Dyes: In contrast to oxidative dyes, direct dyes do not require chemical reactions to deposit color. They are larger and can penetrate both the cuticle and cortex without altering the natural pigment. Direct dyes are commonly used for temporary or semi-permanent color changes.

3 . Professional Color Application and Maintenance

For those seeking professional results and longer-lasting hair color, consider the following:

Professional Application: Trained hairstylists ensure proper color application, enhancing the color’s longevity.

Beneficial Hair Oils: Discuss with your stylist the use of beneficial oils for colored hair, such as coconut, almond, or sesame oil.

Customized Care Routine: Your stylist can create a personalized hair care routine, considering your hair type and color to maintain vibrancy.

Preserve your stunning hair color with a salon-recommended tip: avoiding oil applications on freshly dyed hair prevents the need for excessive shampooing, ensuring your color stays lustrous and long-lasting.

The Impact of Different Oils on Hair Color

Not all oils are created equal when it comes to maintaining freshly dyed hair. Some oils can contribute to color fading, while others can promote healthier and longer-lasting colors.

Coconut oil, almond oil, and sesame oil work best for colored hair due to their ability to protect and counter the side effects of bleaching.

Coconut oil, with its high lauric acid content, helps reduce protein loss from hair when applied pre or post-wash, ensuring better color protection.

Impact of Oil on Color Fading: Infographic

Infographic on when oil fade hair color

When it comes to caring for color-treated hair, carrier oils are generally considered to be the best option. Carrier oils, such as argan oil, jojoba oil, and coconut oil, possess nourishing properties that help maintain color vibrancy and overall hair health.

On the other hand, essential oils are highly concentrated and should be used sparingly, if at all. While they can offer some benefits, it’s important to dilute them properly and seek professional guidance to avoid adverse reactions or color alterations.

Here are some color-friendly oils:

  • Argan oil
  • Jojoba oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Sunflower oil
  • Sweet almond oil

Oils unsuitable or cause color fading in dyed hair:

  • Lemon essential oil
  • Tea tree oil
  • Chamomile oil
  • Eucalyptus oil

The Waiting Period: Can I Oil My Hair After Coloring?

Immediately after applying permanent hair dye, the hair cuticles, which are like tiny scales on the hair shaft, remain slightly open for approximately three days due to the alkaline nature of hair dye. During this period, the color molecules are still being absorbed and assimilated within the hair shaft.

If you apply oil during this time, it may interfere with the color absorption process, leading to premature fading and loss of color intensity.

Similarly, semi-permanent hair dyes, which do not require developers, adhere to the outer layer of the hair. Using oil right after applying a semi-permanent dye can result in complete color fading after the first wash.

Using hot oil treatments and thick masks after hair coloring can lead to gradual color fading as the heat and deep-penetrating properties can weaken and remove the color molecules in the hair shaft. Waiting at least a week after coloring is recommended to preserve the vibrancy of the hair color.

How to Oil Your Hair After Coloring

Oiling your hair after coloring is an essential step in maintaining the health and vibrancy of your colored locks. It can help replenish lost moisture, protect the hair from damage, and prolong the longevity of the color. Here’s a round-off and some effective tips for oiling colored hair.

Step-by-Step Guide to Oiling Colored Hair

1. Choose the Right Oil: Opt for a hair oil that suits your hair type and the color treatment you’ve undergone. Some oils, like coconut or argan oil, work well for most hair types, while specific oils like jojoba or grapeseed oil may be better suited for certain hair colors or textures.

2. Perform a Patch Test: Before applying any new oil to your colored hair, it’s crucial to conduct a patch test to check for any adverse reactions or allergies.

3. Wait for the Right Time: Allow some time for the hair color to set and stabilize before starting to oil your hair. Usually, waiting for at least 48 hours after coloring is recommended.

4. Gently Detangle: Before applying the oil, gently detangle your hair using a wide-tooth comb to prevent unnecessary pulling and breakage.

5. Warm the Oil: Warm the hair oil slightly by placing the container in warm water or using a microwave. Avoid overheating, as excessively hot oil can fade pre-applied hair dye.

6. Divide and Apply: Divide your hair into sections to ensure even distribution of the oil. Apply oil to each section, starting from the roots to the tips.

7. Focus on the Ends: The ends of colored hair are more prone to dryness and damage. Pay extra attention to these areas while oiling.

8. Wrap and Rest: Once you’ve thoroughly applied the oil, wrap your hair in a warm towel or use a shower cap. Allowing the oil to sit for 15-20 minutes at first without disrupting the color molecules.

9. Shampoo and Condition: After the resting period, wash your hair with a sulfate-free shampoo, followed by a color-safe conditioner. Rinse thoroughly to remove any excess oil.

Read More: Best Deep Conditioner for Color Treated Hair in 2023

Tips for Effective Oil Application

  • Avoid excessive oil application, as it may lead to an oily and weighed-down appearance.
  • Don’t rub the hair vigorously with the towel after oiling; gently pat dry instead.
  • Use a wide-tooth comb or your fingers to detangle hair while it’s still damp.
  • Consider using a leave-in conditioner or serum to further nourish your colored hair.
  • Maintain a consistent oiling routine to experience long-term benefits.

How to Care for Newly Colored Hair

Caring for newly colored hair involves making a few adjustments to your hair care routine to preserve the color’s longevity:

Wait Before Washing: After dyeing your hair, it is crucial to avoid washing it for 48-72 hours. Allowing the cuticles to stay open for this period allows the color molecules to penetrate deeply into the hair cortex and bind effectively, resulting in longer-lasting and vibrant hair color.

Skip Certain Treatments: After dyeing your hair, always skip certain in-shower treatments and masks that penetrate deeply into the hair. These treatments, especially those containing harsh chemicals or intense moisturizing agents, can cause the hair cuticles to open and release newly deposited color pigments.

Limit Heat and Styling: Limiting heat and styling is crucial to preserve hair color. Heated styling tools, such as flat irons and curling wands, can raise the hair’s cuticle, leading to color pigment loss. Additionally, hair products containing alcohol can strip away the hair’s natural oils, which protect and retain the color.

Regular Oil Application: Regular oil application is an essential step for maintaining colored hair. Applying hair oil just before shampooing provides a protective barrier that minimizes the impact of harsh cleansing agents on the hair cuticles, preserving the color’s vibrancy.

Does coconut oil fade hair color?

Debunking Myth: Does Coconut Oil Fade Hair Color?

Coconut oil often faces scrutiny regarding its impact on hair color. Let’s address some common myths:

Coconut Oil and Fading: Coconut oil does not have color-lifting or stripping properties, and it doesn’t fade hair color. The slight fading that may occur within the first week after coloring is common and not attributable to coconut oil.

Using Coconut Oil to Remove Hair Dye: While heating oil may help open the cuticle, the process of removing hair dye with oil requires multiple applications. Olive oil, due to its cleansing properties, can be more effective in this regard.

Does Olive Oil Fade Hair Color?

While olive oil is generally hair-friendly, there are a few situations when it can mess with your fresh or not-so-fresh hair color. Firstly, if your hair color is semi-permanent or temporary, and you apply olive oil right after dyeing, it might cause some fading.

The reason is that these types of color molecules don’t penetrate deep into the hair shaft, and the oil can lift them off. Secondly, if your hair color is fading or washed out after a few days, using olive oil as a leave-in treatment can also lead to gradual color fading.

The oil might act like a slip-and-slide for the color molecules, making them slide right out of your strands. So, play it safe, and avoid using olive oil right after coloring or when you notice your color starting to fade.

Does olive oil fade hair color?
The tendency of olive oil to penetrate hair shafts and displace dye molecules can result in a gradual loss of color intensity over time.

Read More: Strip Out Your Coloring Mistakes Using Homemade Hair Dye Removers

The Balance Between Nourishment and Color Retention

It’s essential to strike the right balance between nourishing your hair and retaining the color. A proper hair care routine, including the use of hair oils in moderation, can ensure that your colored tresses remain vibrant and healthy.

Here are some points to further explain the balance between nourishment and color retention:

Quality Hair Products: Using high-quality hair products formulated for colored hair is essential. Look for sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners that are gentle on the hair and help retain color for longer periods.

Deep Conditioning: Regular deep conditioning treatments help nourish the hair and lock in moisture, preventing dryness and color fading. Consider using a hair mask or deep conditioner once a week to keep your hair hydrated and vibrant.

UV Protection: Sun exposure can cause color fading and damage to the hair. Use hair products with UV protection, wear a hat when outdoors, or use protective hair sprays to minimize UV damage.

Color-Safe Oils: Choose hair oils specifically formulated for colored hair, as they provide nourishment without compromising the color’s vibrancy.

Avoid Over-Washing: Frequent shampooing can strip the hair of its natural oils, leading to color fading and dryness. Consider washing your hair less frequently and using dry shampoo between washes.

Cold Water Rinse: After shampooing and conditioning, rinse your hair with cold water to seal the hair cuticles and lock in the color, making it less prone to fading.

Regular Trims: Regular trims help remove split ends, which can contribute to color fading. Keeping your hair trimmed and healthy promotes better color retention.

Patience in Styling: Avoid heat styling immediately after coloring. Wait for a few days to let the color settle before using heated tools, allowing for better color adhesion and longevity.

By adhering to these practices and maintaining a well-balanced approach to haircare, you can enjoy a harmonious blend of nourished and brilliantly colored hair, achieving a stunning and enduring result.


In conclusion, oiling newly colored hair always requires caution and attention. Waiting for the cuticles to close and choosing suitable oils can extend the life of your hair color.

Coconut oil, when used appropriately, can be a valuable addition to your hair care routine. However, it is essential to avoid heavy treatments and certain oils that may lead to color fading.

Remember, a well-maintained hair care routine, complemented by the appropriate use of hair oils, will not only preserve your hair color but also leave you with luscious, shiny, and nourished locks.

Frequently Asked Questions

Your go-to guide for all the common queries and concerns regarding oiling newly dyed hair. Find answers to understand how it works, its benefits, drawbacks, and more, helping you achieve better vibrant tresses.

Can I oil my hair immediately after coloring?

It’s best to wait at least three days after coloring your hair before applying any hair oils. This allows the color to set and the cuticles to close properly, ensuring the longevity of the color.

Will oiling my hair too often cause color fading?

Frequent oiling, especially on the scalp, can lead to some color fading at the roots. Stick to moderate and targeted applications to avoid this issue.

Are there specific hair oils designed for colored hair?

While there are no oils exclusively formulated for colored hair, you can choose lightweight and non-greasy options that are less likely to weigh down your colored tresses.

Can I use essential oils on colored hair?

Yes, you can use essential oils on colored hair, but it’s recommended to dilute them properly and do a patch test first to avoid any potential damage or fading of the color.

Is it okay to use hair styling products after oiling colored hair?

Yes, but use styling products specifically designed for colored hair to ensure they won’t compromise the color or cause damage to your tresses.

Ammar Riyar

Ammar Riyar

Ammar Riyar, an esteemed authority in men's hair care and grooming, boasts an impressive eight-year tenure within the hair industry. Apart from his expertise, Ammar is renowned as a long-hair model, serving as an inspiration for countless individuals seeking to enhance their personal grooming routines. Learn more...

Ammar Riyar

Ammar Riyar

Ammar Riyar, an esteemed authority in men's hair care and grooming, boasts an impressive eight-year tenure within the hair industry. Apart from his expertise, Ammar is renowned as a long-hair model, serving as an inspiration for countless individuals seeking to enhance their personal grooming routines. Learn more...


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