Can I dye my hair with oil in it? What could happen if I do?

young woman touches her hair thinking

  • If you used a light oil, such as coconut, rose, or linseed oil more than 48 hours ago, you can dye your hair even if you don’t rinse the oil out.
  • If you used a heavy oil, such as castor oil, for example, you won’t be able to dye your hair. Because heavy oils leave traces that interfere with the dyeing process. Therefore, the dye will come out uneven.
  • If you want to protect your hair during dyeing, I recommend you use the pre-color and post-color treatments included in the hair dye kit.


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Let me ask you to forget for a moment all those things you’ve read or heard about this.

Because if you don’t, and  you want to dye your hair with oil in it, the only thing you’ll achieve is that the oil will prevent the dye from setting properly in your hair’s core. 


And if that happens, when you rinse the dye out, the color will be faded or uneven.

Besides, why would you want to use oil when you dye your hair?


Nowadays, hair dye kits are very safe and don’t cause considerable damage to hair.

Of course, it’s important you follow the manufacturer’s instructions to the letter and respect the dye’s exposure time. That way, your hair will be completely healthy after you dye it.


Now, you may have heard that many women apply oil to their hair just before bleaching.

But there’s a difference. Bleaching is a completely different process from dyeing. Bleaching is a chemical process that’s much more aggressive to the hair, as it strips it of its natural and artificial color.


Therefore, much stronger and more aggressive chemicals are used.

So, do you want to use oil before applying hair dye?

You need to understand something first.

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How hair dye works if your hair has traces of natural oil in it

argan oil application on dyed hair
While oil is great for your hair, not everything you want to put in your hair is “oil-friendly”.

Oil is an excellent moisturizer and nourisher for your hair because it restores softness and shine.

But do you know how oil works in hair?


It mainly accumulates in the cuticles, which is the outermost part of your hair, and is also the part most damaged by hair straighteners, curlers, or prolonged exposure to the sun.

When you use heat tools, many cuticles break from the high temperatures. And when they break, you’ll get frizz and dryness.

Is your hair dry or frizzy? Is that why you want to dye your hair with oil on it?


It’s not a bad idea. Because natural oils moisturize your hair.

But, you should carefully choose the type of oil you want to use with the dye.

Because oil accumulates in the cuticles.  And when the dye opens them to deposit the color, the oil will also penetrate and won’t allow the color to set evenly. 

So, I repeat.


Depending on the type of oil you choose, you may apply the dye together with the oil on your hair.

And that’s what I’ll talk about next.


You should put the oil in your hair 48 hours before dyeing it

cover all the hair with the dye
But, beware.

I’m always  talking about a light oil here. 

For example, coconut oil, linseed oil, or rose oil.


If you use any of these oils as a mask to moisturize your hair, and 48 hours have passed since you put it in, you can color your hair without rinsing out the oil first.

Because the oily residue from these oils won’t interfere with the dyeing process.


You can also apply the dye with the oil in your hair if you’ve only used a few drops of light oil to combat frizz.

Now, there are some cases where you definitely can’t dye your hair with oil in it.

Want to know what they are?

  •  You shouldn’t apply dye over oil if you used thick oils . Because these oils leave residue on the hair that interferes with the dye.
  •  You shouldn’t dye your hair either if you used a thick oil mask less than a week ago.  Why? Because these masks need several washes and rinses to completely remove the residue.
  • And if you feel that your hair is extremely greasy from using any type of oil, you won’t be able to color it either.

Castor, olive, and wheat oils get right to the core of the hair fiber and are more difficult to remove completely in a single rinse. You should wash your hair several times to remove them completely before you color your hair.



If you want to use oil to protect your hair just before dyeing it, it’s important you only use a light oil at least 48 hours before you dye your hair.

But if you’ve put a heavy oil in, you should wait at least two weeks to dye your hair. That way, after several washes, you’ll make sure no oil remains in your hair.

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