Why won’t the ends of my hair take color? What can I do?

worried woman looking at the ends of her hair that do not take color

  • Unfortunately, if the ends of your hair won’t take color, you’ll have to cut them. Because if they don’t take color, they’re so damaged they can’t retain the dye pigments.
  • If you don’t want to trim your ends (as a hairdresser, I don’t recommend this), you can dye them with semi-permanent hair dye. This will stick to the outermost layer of the hair.
  • But you should know that this dye will fade after a few washes, and your ends will still be weak. Therefore, applying a semi-permanent dye when your ends don’t take color will be more of a band-aid solution.


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I know it’s not what you wanted to hear.

But  if the ends of your hair don’t take color, the best thing to do is trim them. 


It sounds dramatic, I know, but I’m not exaggerating.

Trimming four or five centimeters off your hair is not the end of the world either, and I can assure you that everything will stay the same after you trim your ends.


And to explain why you should trim your ends if they don’t take color, you need to understand the reasons. A word to the wise.

Let’s see: The ends of your hair aren’t taking color for one of three reasons:

woman looks at the ends of her hair that did not take color

  • The hair cuticles are too weak and don’t have the strength to retain the dye pigments. Therefore, the ends don’t take color. It’s as if you dyed your hair, but you don’t notice any changes.
  • The innermost layer of the hair cannot absorb the dye chemicals. Therefore,  the ends don’t change color because the coloring process isn’t complete. 
  • You often used chemical processes, such as bleaching or coloring, and the ends are badly damaged. The ends may also be weak if you straighten or curl your hair too often, even if you use heat protectant.

No one better than you will know why your ends don’t take color. Because no one knows better than you how you treat your hair.

So now you know why your ends don’t absorb color, you need to decide to do what’s best for your hair, even if you’re not too happy with the solution.

Read on.


The best option if your ends don’t take color is to cut them

cutting hair ends that do not take color

Because this way,  you will remove the damaged parts of your hair. These prevent it from growing healthy and strong and the ends from taking color. 


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Imagine for a moment that your hair functions as a complex electronic circuit. The energy source is born in the scalp, which carries blood through capillaries to distribute nutrients to the hair, from the roots to the ends.


But if your ends don’t take color, it means they are badly damaged. Therefore, the nutrients the scalp distributes through the capillaries won’t reach the ends. But in addition, it will waste a lot of moisture and nutrients as well.


 If you cut your ends, your scalp will produce nutrients. It will distribute these without interruption throughout your hair, strengthening it.  Therefore, your hair will grow healthier, and your color will be even.


Once trimming your ends, you can apply rosemary water twice or thrice a week to your scalp. Massage it gently and leave it on overnight to stimulate hair growth.


If you refuse to trim your ends, you can apply a semi-permanent hair dye

Clairol semi-permanent hair color for faded ends

Although I don’t recommend it as a colorist, I can’t fail to mention it. Because I owe it to all my readers, even those reluctant to follow my advice.

The truth is that applying a semi-permanent hair color if your ends don’t take color is like running away from your problems. Because the more you run, the faster they will catch up with you.

In other words, you won’t get rid of the problem, and you’re just patching it up. Because your damaged ends will still be there, weakening your hair and slowing its growth.

But the final decision will always be yours.


So  , if you don’t want to trim your ends, you can apply a semi-permanent hair dye . It will be ammonia-free, and you don’t apply it with developer. So at least it won’t further damage your ends or your hair.


Also, unlike permanent hair color, semi-permanent hair color sticks to the outer layer of the hair, like a color mask.

You should also know that semi-permanent hair color fades with washing, so use sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner and avoid heat tools. That way, it will last a little longer.



When your ends are fragile, they don’t take color. The best solution is to cut them. But if you don’t want to do that, you can use a semi-permanent hair dye.

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