Why does my hair dye bleed when I sweat? Is there a solution?

lose color while working out

  • Sweat itself isn’t what causes your hair dye to bleed color when sweating.
  • The problem is that right after sweating, you wash your hair with shampoo and conditioner and that does have a fading effect on your hair color.
  • Although it doesn’t affect color, sweat does make your hair dry out and weaken because of the layer of water and salt it creates on your scalp.


The number of mysteries and myths around the hair is pretty amazing. I get these kinds of questions all the time: “Why does my hair dye bleed every time I sweat or work out? Is it true that sweat is what causes hair to bleed color?”


I am surprised by these kinds of questions since sweat can’t do that. What can happen is that your hair bleeds color because of how often you wash it: If you work out every day, then I imagine you shower afterward, so when your hair has contact with water, the pigments in the dye will wash out.

 If you still think that sweat dilutes your color, then imagine the summer. You wouldn’t be able to keep color in your hair for even one week! 


But let’s not forget the topic of the day, because although sweat doesn’t directly affect your color, it does affect other aspects of your hair.

I’ll tell you why you need to be very careful with it, inlcuding:

  • How sweat affects your hair
  • Dye, sweat, and tears: 5 tips for making sure sweat doesn’t hurt your hair
  • How to treat your hair to stop it from losing color


Why don’t we start with where this all began? Let’s give that scary sweat the attention it deserves. Here we go:


How sweat affects your hair

It is key that you’re conscious of the effects sweat has on your hair. Whether you’re a professional athlete, work out a few times a week or you’re just someone with greasy hair.


When you sweat a lot, it creates a layer of water and salt on your scalp that makes your hair dry out and weaken, which in turn are ideal conditions for your hair follicles to break.

  you need to follow a hair care routine, because if you don’t, it might make your hair weaken, possibly leading to early hair loss and bald spots. 


Dye, sweat, and tears: 5 tips for making sure sweat doesn’t hurt your hair


1- Wash your hair every day

wait at least 72 hours

I recommend first using a ph balanced shampoo to do the deep clean that your scalp needs. Then do a combo of shampoo and conditioner to make sure your ends and roots don’t lose moisture, stay healthy, and retain pigment without any problems.

This point is key because  the products you choose are responsible for strengthening and protecting your hair from something as aggressive as sweat and excess washing. 


Even if you don’t do exercise every day or you’re not an enthusiastic athlete, if you notice that your scalp sweats a lot, you should wash it every day. You shouldn’t leave your hair exposed to something as aggressive as sweat.


2- You shouldn’t use hot water

Learn to always wash your hair with cool or cold water, that way you won’t let hot water dry your hair out or erase your color.

It might be surprising to hear that. For one of my clients, she can’t follow this simple rule. She even has her natural hair color, by which I mean her hair isn’t dyed, but all the same, her ends are two shades lighter than the rest of her hair because of the effect of dehydration due to hot water.

It’s not a joke! You need to keep this advice in mind.


3- Use serum

use it before swimming

Use an end-hydrating serum, or if you do a lot of activities outside, get a product that protects your hair from the sun. And don’t forget to use a scarf or hat to avoid hair damage because of direct sunlight and heat.


4- Use professional or high-quality dyes

quantities for the mix

This detail is key if what you’re trying to do is maintain radiant hair color.

I recommend that you don’t go for a bright red or non-traditional bright color because they won’t stick around with your routine. Those kinds of colors are enemy number one of water and all you’ll end up with is a bright color for a few days, and that’s it… It’ll have to be for another life.


5- Try to keep your hair down

without ruining the hair

Keep in mind that even if you don’t work out a lot,  your hair needs to air out and there’s no better way to do that than to wear it down. 

On the other hand, if you need to tie up your hair to do some kind of activity or sport, take it out of the ponytail or knot a few times, then you can tie it back up. It’s also important not to tie it too tightly since that can cause it to break


How to treat your hair so it doesn’t lose its color

This article started with a simple question that one of my clients asked a week after having dyed her hair red. That question was: Why do drops of dye bleed in my hair when I sweat?


Red dyes gradually lose their color, even if you don’t sweat for a few weeks. Commonly, everything around you starts to turn red, from your pillow to your shower to your towel.

I’ll give you a few tips to help you maintain your color:


  • Use high-quality products

If you feel like your hair is losing color when you sweat, it could be because the products you’re using aren’t high quality. In general, the best dyes contain keratin. You can keep that in mind when you go out to buy your dye.


  • Go to a haircare store that you trust

If you want the dye to settle correctly into your hair so it won’t fade after a few days, then I’d recommend going to a haircare store that you trust that sells high quality and professional permanent dyes.


  • Special products

Wash your hair with products specifically for maintaining hair dye.



If after following this list of recommendations, you continue to have the same problems, go to a salon and tell them what’s been going on with your hair.

Once you’ve fixed the problem, you can go on with your normal life and after one month, you can touch up your hair as normal at home. Don’t be afraid to ask whatever questions you have; a good professional will be happy to help.

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