Can you Get a Balayage on Already Colored Hair? – Tips from a professional hair stylist

gone wrong

Are you thinking you want to balayage your dyed hair?


Hold on, stoplight, because when we talk about getting a balayage in hair that’s been dyed, the consequences to your hair could be dire.

And I’m not exaggerating.


  • Since I know you’re anxious to find out, I’ll cut to the chase, you can get a balayage if you’ve used temporary dyes to color your hair.
  • On the other hand, if you’ve used a permanent dye after bleaching your hair, it’s best to forget that balayage altogether for at least three to four months.

Or don’t, but best believe you’ll be sentencing your hair to the death penalty.

And I repeat, I’m not exaggerating.


 At my salon, every now and again people will come in who’ve decided to do things to their hair, ignoring the recommendations of professionals and lacking the proper knowledge. 

This was Mariana’s case.


She came in wearing a bandana over her hair. I thought it was just for style nothing more.

But when she took it off, I think I lost my breath.


Her hair was truly a disaster.

I couldn’t even specify the color, because it was as if she was trying to disguise herself like a zebra.


And when I took a few of her strands in my hand, I was afraid they were about to turn to ash, like in one of those vampire movies, how when the sun touches one of Dracula’s offspring, they turn into dust.

Unfortunately there wasn’t much that could be done.


It’s as if you had some kind of ailment and you went to the doctor. He tells you how to treat it, and you leave the appointment and decide to do the exact opposite.

The days pass and the symptoms get worse. You go in for a second appointment, but it’s already too late. There’s no reason to even go back, and now you’ll have to do an even more invasive treatment.

Doctors aren’t miracle workers. Hairdressers aren’t either. And there’s a point of no return: fried hair.


Mariana had fried her hair by getting a balayage after having already dyed it. And I didn’t have the necessary tools to undo her mistake.

I did what little I could: I trimmed up her ends and I recommended that she do many, many intensive hydrating treatments. Oh and patience, and more patience.

Have I gotten your attention yet?


Ok then, keep reading, because if you want balayage hair after you’ve already dyed it, you have to take a few questions into account, for example:

  • Is your hair bleached
  • How much time has passed since you applied the dye
  • What kind of dye did you use, permanent or temporary
  • Do you have dry hair


If your answer was yes to any of the questions above, I’ll explain what to do in each case before going ahead with getting a balayage.

Because to fully enjoy a balayage hairstyle, you should always put your hair’s health first.


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Can you get a balayage in bleached hair?


When we mention the word “bleach,” all the fire alarms should start to go off.


 Firstly, balayage is a vintage technique that’s very popular right now, which consists of bleaching your strands without touching the roots. 

Yes, I said bleaching. Bleaching is a chemical process that damages the hair, which is why before you get a balayage you must take into account the health of your capillaries.


As I explained before, bleach causes intense damage to your hair.

Within it is peroxide, which is a chemical that breaks up capillary fiber leaving it dry and tarnished.


For this reason, if you’ve already bleached your hair, before doing a balayage, I recommend that you:

  • Apply a crème rinse for 20 minutes once a week
  • Use a shampoo rich in keratin and a restorative cream rinse.
  • Furthermore, you can do a deep coconut oil moisturizing treatment, letting it set and take effect overnight and rinsing it off well in the morning.


If you follow these steps for one to two months, your hair will recover from the damage done by the bleach and you’ll be ready to go ahead and get that balayage.

Do two months sound like a long time?


Well you can go ahead and have what happened to Mariana happen to you.

Though as they say, patience is bitter, but its fruits are sweet.


You want to get a balayage, but how much time has passed since you dyed your hair?

If you recently applied color to your hair, you ought to wait approximately 3 weeks to get a balayage.

It’s not recommended to get one before that time, until the coloring pigments have completely set in your hair.

So, to achieve those highlights in your hair, you will have to go through a heavy bleaching, utilizing more than 30 volume preparations of peroxide.

What’s the quantity of volumes recommended so as not to exceedingly damage capillary fibers?

And most important of all, what kind of dye did you use?


Because if you didn’t know, there are two kinds of dye:

  • Permanent
  • Temporary


If your hair has permanent dyes in it, you should keep in mind that this kind of dye contains peroxide and even though you may not like it, this causes damage to your hair.

If you wish to get a balayage, you ought to perform a strand test, that consists of separating a small portion of your hair and applying peroxide to it to see how your capillary fibers react.


If you notice that:

  • it breaks…
  • it gets gummy, in other words, you comb it and it sticks back up…
  • the ends split…


Unfortunately, I have to be completely honest, even though you’re going to hate me for it.

Your hair will not be able to endure the wear and tear of a balayage.

As I explained before, you can restore your hair for 1 to 2 months and then get one.


 If your hair has semi-permanent dyes in it, it’s a completely different story, since you don’t have to worry about the effects of a previous bleaching. 

Simply put, semi-permanent dyes don’t use peroxide and they wash out.


But you should keep in mind that if you get a balayage, you can’t then apply temporary dyes to it, therefore you’ll have to bleach your hair and then apply permanent color.

And afterward, nurture your hair a great deal to restore it and strengthen it.


And what happens if, besides that, my dyed hair is dry and I want to get a balayage

Another resounding NO, a NO the size of a house.

 If your hair is dry and dyed, I do not recommend balayage, at least not for now. 


Because part of getting a balayage is bleaching your hair, which will dry it out even more, causing more damage.

You’re just asking for trouble.


Another factor that you should consider is the base color of your hair that you’ve applied a dye to.

In other words, if your hair is dark or black, the peroxide you use in your balayage will be stronger. Which means your hair will end up dryer.


The length of your hair is also important. If you have medium length, you should keep in mind that after getting your balayage, you ought to cut three centimeters off the ends.

Because it’s the ends of your strands that suffer most from the chemical process. Because of this, if you want your balayage to shine, you should always cut the ends.



Just as there will be times of despair in the salon, there will also be times of hope.

Mariana came back to my salon six months later.


She had followed my instructions to the letter. She’d restored the health of her hair, after many hydrating treatments and had even done treatments with coconut oil, which had become her best ally.

She had colored her hair with semi-permanent dyes four weeks prior, and so now we could go ahead and do her balayage at no risk to her hair.

And afterward we were both left breath taken, but this time with excitement and joy.


Because getting a balayage in your dyed hair is possible, but you must take the longer, yet safer path.

So which path will you choose? The longer, safer one? Or the short one that’s full of thorns and potholes?

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