Can you mix conditioner with permanent hair dye and developer?

woman doubts about her hair dye while having it wrapped in a towel

  • You shouldn’t mix conditioner with permanent dye and developer. Otherwise, the dye color won’t stick properly in your hair.
  • If you wanted to protect your hair by mixing conditioner with permanent dye and developer (because it’s weak), your best alternative is to opt for a semi-permanent hair dye. You can even find traditional colors on the semi-permanent hair dye color chart.
  • If you need to use a permanent hair color because your hair is extra gray or because you prefer this type of hair color, and you want to protect your hair from the effects of the hair dye, you can apply a hair mask two days before coloring your hair. I’ll give you more details later.


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 Sorry. It’s a terrible idea to mix conditioner with permanent hair dye or developer. 


Because if you do that a few things could happen, and none of them are good.

  •  If you mix conditioner with permanent dye and developer, the color won’t set in your hair . The water in the conditioner would slow down the chemical reaction for the coloring process to finish.
  •  When you rinse your hair, some of the strands, where the color got slightly fixed, will be stained  but most of the dye will fade completely when you rinse it out.
  •  You will have wasted time and money  because some sections of your hair will have the same color as it had before you dyed it, or worse, some left by the dye won’t fade.

drop of conditioner that should not be mixed with the dye

That’s what awaits you if you mix conditioner with permanent dye and developer. Conditioner is made up of 50 to 60% water.  And that percentage of water will instantly slow down the coloring process. 


I imagine that if you thought of mixing conditioner with the dye and developer, it’s because you’re concerned about your hair’s health. Perhaps, it’s weak or dry, and you’re afraid that coloring might ruin it even more.

If this is the case, you have two options:

  •  Use a semi-permanent hair color , which you don’t apply with developer and which doesn’t contain ammonia. That means it’s less corrosive to damaged hair. The only disadvantage is that it fades faster than permanent hair dye. Therefore, you should wash your hair less often, use sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner, and avoid using heat tools.
  • Or  you can also apply a hydrating mask two days before coloring your hair  with permanent dye. And here’s how to do it.


To protect your hair before dyeing it, apply a mask two days beforehand

woman applies moisturizing mask to her hair before dyeing it

If you’re worried about the health of your hair when you dye it,  my first tip is to choose a suitable hair dye, enriched with oils or moisturizing ingredients.  Most permanent hair dyes have improved coloring formulas that are less aggressive to hair.

In addition, you can also apply a moisturizing mask two days before coloring your hair.

  •  Wash your hair with shampoo and don’t use conditioner. Rinse with lukewarm water.
  • Remove excess water gently with a towel and apply a moisturizing mask from the roots to the ends.
  • Cover your hair with a shower cap and   leave the mask on for 20 to 30 minutes. 
  • Rinse it out with lukewarm, almost cold water.


Don’t wash your hair for two or three days; then apply the dye.



If your hair is dry or weak and you want to protect it from the chemicals in permanent hair dye, apply a moisturizing mask two days beforehand. But never mix conditioner with permanent hair dye and developer.

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