The Ultimate Guide To How Often Should You Dye Your Hair!
It can be incredibly tempting to change your hair color whenever your heart desires (and your pocket permits). But how often is too much for your hair?
On Jun 3, 2023 – 12 minutes read
If you are looking for a quick trick to sport a fresh new look, dyeing your hair is a great option. Whether you want to conceal graying roots or channel your inner Kim Kardashian, the right hair dye can work like magic. But before you start saving your favorite hair looks on Pinterest, here’s some food for thought – how often should you dye your hair?
It’s important to think about the frequency so that you can color your hair to your heart’s content without causing any permanent damage. Confused about where to begin? Here’s the ultimate guide to help you figure out how often is too often and what happens if you dye your hair too much.
How Often Should You Dye Your Hair?
Simply put, there’s no straightforward answer or a magical number to go by.
There are various factors at play that decide how often should you dye your hair.
1. Condition Of Your Hair
To find out how often you can color your hair, think about the texture and general health of your hair.
Is your hair already damaged, and do the ends look extremely dry and frizzy? Do you notice a bunch of hair strands on your pillowcase every morning when you wake up? If this sounds like you, it is best to steer clear of dyeing for a few weeks.
Remember that coloring adds additional stress to your tresses, making them more prone to breakage. But if your hair is otherwise healthy, hair experts say you can safely color your hair once every 4 to 8 weeks.
Hair porosity also decides how often should you dye your hair. In layperson’s terms, porosity indicates how well your hair retains moisture. Coloring low-porosity hair leads to quicker fading as hair won’t have sufficient moisture to make it stay. Even the color may not turn out to be as vibrant. So you may need to dye your hair more frequently than expected.
Having high-porosity hair isn’t a win-win situation. While your hair absorbs the color quickly and looks great for a few weeks, it also fades quickly.
2. Type Of Hair Dye And Coloring Technique Used
The science of hair coloring is simple – the pigment stays put on the outermost layer of your hair or goes deep inside the hair fibers.
But hair dye compositions vary greatly. How often should you dye your hair depends on the type of hair dye you use.
For example, if you use a demi-permanent dye, the color penetrates deeper into your hair shaft due to the peroxide and lasts much longer. Ideally, you should maintain a gap of 6 to 8 weeks for recoloring.
The technique used for achieving your desired look also decides how often you need to visit your hair colorist. For example, say you want a two-toned style like ombré. As your roots retain your natural hair color and a different color is blended into the ends, you can skip coloring for at least four to five months as long as you maintain a proper hair care regime.
But if you opt for foil highlights, which involve applying different colors to create more dimension, you need to show up at the salon every six weeks for a redo.
3. Your Current Hair Color And The Desired Level Of Change
There is an intimate connection between the longevity of your hair dye and your current hair color. That’s how you can get the answer to the question of how often should you dye your hair
If your natural hair is darker and you want lighter shades like pastel pink, you need to lift the tone or lighten your hair. Since color cannot lift your hair, you need to apply bleach. Bleaching increases the porosity of your hair, making it easier for the color to wash out.
In other words, the higher you lift your hair, the quicker your hair color fades.
4. The Color You Choose
If you choose a color that’s prone to fading away quickly, you will need to dye your hair more often.
The red color is notorious for being quick-fading because it has large molecules that never penetrate too deep. So how often should I dye my hair red? Ideally, every 4 to 6 weeks to preserve the vibrancy though you may need to schedule an appointment earlier if you notice excessive fading. Darker shades like black and brown stay on longer. If your natural hair color is darker, you can wait six weeks before dyeing your hair again.
And now something that happens far too often – you set your heart on a hair color that looked jaw-droppingly beautiful on your Pinterest board turned out to be brassy and flat on you! Sounds familiar?
If you have been desperately asking Google to answer, ‘How soon can I recolor my hair if I don’t like the color?’ here’s some news. Coloring your hair too soon because you don’t like the color is an invitation to hair damage! So wait a minimum of 2 to 3 weeks before letting a coloring brush anywhere near your tresses.
Finding Out How Often Should You Dye Your Hair
It can be too tempting to dye your hair and stand out in the crowd as social media feeds show hair color options for every season. Check out any haircare forum online and the number one question playing on everyone’s mind is how long they should wait between their hair coloring sessions.
The bad news — there is no scientific formula to tell you exactly how often should you dye your hair. Everyone’s hair reacts to color differently. Those honey blonde highlights your BFF flaunted for a good 8 weeks may last only until a couple of washes for you.
But here are a few things to help you to work out your timeline:
1. Take Advice From A Professional Hair Stylist
Professional hair stylists know the ins and out of hair coloring.
Thanks to their years of experience working with different hair colors and hair types, they are well-equipped to advise you on how often should you dye your hair. Based on the condition of your hair, they can also help you pick the right color and suggest appropriate coloring techniques.
Being armed with a professional’s advice means you don’t need to second-guess yourself whether you are dyeing your hair too soon.
2. Understand Your Hair Growth Cycle
Before thinking about how often should you dye your hair. understand the phases of your hair. Everybody’s hair grows in three phases:
- Anagen: This is the phase when your hair follicles generate new hair. It can last anywhere between 2 to 6 years.
- Catagen: Hair follicles start shrinking and stop growing during this short window lasting 2 to 3 weeks.
- Telogen: The last phase is when your hair follicle starts shedding hair strands. Typically, the telogenic phase lasts for 10 to 20 weeks.
Hair color experts suggest dyeing your hair during the anagen phase, as the color spreads more evenly and stays on longer.
But your hair growth cycle is as unique as your personality. Keeping track of your cycle can help you to pick the right time to schedule your coloring appointment.
3. Follow A Post-Color Maintenance Routine
keeping aside how often should you dye your hair. Colored hair demands a dedicated hair care regimen. Caring for your colored hair in the right way ensures that the color stays on for longer, reducing the frequency of hair dye application. Here are a few tips to help you:
- Schedule your wash day at least 48 hours after you have colored your hair. It will allow the hair color to set in completely.
- Use only lukewarm water to wash your hair.
- Use a color-protect shampoo, preferably without sulfates and parabens, to preserve the vibrancy of your hair color. Color-protect shampoos are specially formulated with ingredients that seal the color. Some shampoos also come with UV filters that protect colored hair from sun damage.
- Colored hair is more fragile and needs extra TLC. So never skip applying a hydrating conditioner. A conditioner creates a protective barrier and prevents your hair color from fading.
- Heat and colored hair are sworn enemies. Excessive heat opens up your hair cuticle and strips away the color. So keep the hair dryer off your dresser for good. If you absolutely cannot do without a blow dry, coat your damp hair with a generous amount of heat-protectant spray before switching on your dryer.
- Don’t wash your hair too frequently. Aim for two or three washes in a week. If needed, use dry shampoo to soak up excess oil and dirt.
- Cover your hair with a protective swim cap before you take a plunge in your swimming pool. Chlorine buildup can cause hair color to fade away quickly.
- Use a leave-in conditioner especially before you step out in the sun or expose your hair to water.
- Apply a lightweight nourishing serum or oil on your hair ends.
- Apply a deep conditioning mask once a week to add extra shine to your hair color.
How Often Should You Dye Your Hair For Different Scenarios?
How often should you dye your hair varies depending on what you wish to achieve.
Here are a few scenarios to consider:
1. You Want To Maintain Your Natural Hair Color
Not too fond of chemicals? Want to maintain your natural hair color using natural hair dyes?
Apart from using kitchen ingredients like henna, coffee, beetroot, and lemon, you can also try out brands that offer chemical-free hair dyes.
Usually, you can use them at your desired frequency as your hair isn’t subject to any chemical process. But to play it safe, don’t go overboard and maintain a gap of at least a few weeks.
2. You Want A Permanent Color Change
how often should you dye your hair if the scenario is you dying your hair permanently? The name is a giveaway — permanent dyes last the longest, thanks to developers.
A developer lightens your hair and allows the color to go deep inside the hair cuticle. If you are aiming for a permanent hair color change, professional colorists recommend re-dyeing your hair every 6 weeks.
If you can’t make it to the salon on time, box dyes from brands like Garnier are a great alternative. They are pocket-friendly and easy to apply. And how often can you dye your hair with Garnier nutrisse? Leave a gap of 3 to 5 weeks, depending on how often you wash your hair.
3. You Are Thinking About Semi-Permanent And Temporary Dyes
How often should you dye your hair if it’s temporary? There is no peroxide in a semi-permanent dye. You can use it if you want to go a shade darker than your current hair color. As the dye doesn’t penetrate too deep into the hair, you can dye your hair every few weeks.
On the other hand, temporary hair dye work just like they sound — the color is meant to be temporary and usually comes off as soon as you wash your hair. Hair chalks, hair mascara, and colored hairspray are some commonly available temporary dyes in the market.
Typically, these dyes do not contain any strong chemicals, as the goal is not to make the color last. So can I dye my hair every 2 weeks with a temporary dye? If your hair is relatively healthy, go ahead. But add a clarifying shampoo to your stash to rinse the color completely.
What Happens If You Dye Your Hair Too Much?
Anything in excess is bad, and your hair dye is no exception. Here’s what happens when you dye your hair too frequently:
1. The Threat Of Hair Damage Is Real
How often should you dye your hair If it starts to damage? The primary ingredient of synthetic hair dyes is chemicals.
Excessive hair dye application breaks up the natural protein bonds and lipids that hold your hair. It also changes the structure of your hair. That’s why your hair dries out easily and becomes too fragile.
Compared to semi-permanent and demi-permanent dyes, using permanent dyes too frequently results in more damage. Since the pigments move to the innermost layer of your hair, it alters the makeup of your hair.
But does dyeing your hair damage it forever? It depends. Exposing your hair to any chemical carries a certain risk of permanent damage. But opting for hair dyes with conditioning agents such as hydrolyzed silk or milk protein can minimize the extent of the damage.
2. You Can Develop Allergies And Sensitivities
how often should you dye your hair according to your scalp? Over time, your scalp may become allergic to hair dye. Redness, itching, hives, and swelling are some of the hallmark symptoms to watch out for.
Dyes containing ammonia can exacerbate asthma. Toluene, another compound commonly used in hair dyes, can also trigger allergic reactions.
Studies show that p-phenylenediamine(1) (PPD), a common ingredient of hair dyes, can increase the risk of contact dermatitis. Scientists have also linked PPD to birth defects and liver toxicity.
Additionally, certain chemical compounds found in hair dyes may be carcinogenic and increase the risk of breast cancer.
FAQ Related To How Often Should You Dye Your Hair
As long as you don’t dye your hair in less than four weeks since your last color appointment, you are safe.
The exact frequency varies for every individual. As a general rule, maintain a gap of at least 4 to 8 weeks between coloring sessions. Speak to a salon professional to understand how long you can go without dying.
Dyeing your hair every month can dry them out and make them prone to breakage.
The frequency depends on what part you are targeting.
Experts say that it is safe to touch up graying roots every four weeks or so. If you want to leave your roots untouched and only concentrate on hair strands, schedule a touch-up every 12 to 14 weeks.
Hair experts recommend waiting for at least four weeks before a color treatment. Coloring too frequently can dry out your hair.
To recap, how often should you dye your hair depends on several factors. Your natural hair color, the color you want, your hair type, the technique used for coloring, and how well you care for your colored tresses — all add up when you think about the frequency of hair coloring
That said, as a rule of thumb, stick to coloring your hair every 4 to 6 weeks. Choose a color that’s closer to your natural hair color to slow down fading. Overdyeing your hair can alter its texture and damage your hair cuticle.
Weigh the pros and cons, play it safe, and practice moderation. Flaunting a snazzy color shouldn’t cost you your hair!
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