How long to wait to highlight hair after coloring it? A stylist tells you about it

woman looking to the side

  • Actually, you can highlight your hair right after coloring it. In other words, you can color and highlight your hair on the same day.
  • However, as a professional colorist, I recommend you do both processes at a salon.
  • A colorist will evaluate your hair before coloring and highlighting. Hair dye and highlights are applied with chemicals that could damage your hair irreversibly.


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What goes first hair color or highlights? Can you do both in the same day?


So, I guess I’m the bearer of good news.

If you’re anxious to have highlighted hair, now you know that  you can do it the same day you color your hair. 


However, you should be aware. This is good news if you have a lot of coloring knowledge.

Otherwise, if you don’t have coloring experience, I recommend you go to a salon to do the highlights the same day you color your hair.

That way, you won’t lose your mane. It’s as simple as that.

So, just to be clear.

If you want to do the highlights the same day you color your hair, it’s best to go to a salon

hairdresser applies highlights after dye

When you color your hair, you use a coloring mixture that produces a chemical reaction in the hair to change the color. The combination of peroxide and ammonia causes that chemical reaction. Those two chemical ingredients reduce nutrients and moisture in your hair.


So far, your hair has stood up to this. So far, your hair has withstood the dye. Then, it’s time to apply highlights.

However,  are you sure your hair will resist a new chemical process after coloring? 

Are you surprised?


Of course. To do the highlights, you bleach some sections of your hair. Then, you’ll most likely have to apply a toner to neutralize the unwanted colors.

Let’s clarify that.


What do I mean by “bleach some sections of your hair?”  It means that some sections of your hair will go through two chemical processes on the same day only a few hours apart. 


So, if your hair is damaged, you won’t be able to apply both processes on the same day. If you still want to do it, the stylist will use some products like Olaplex or Wellaplex, to repair the hair while the chemical process is taking place.

Olaplex professional treatment

In this case, doing the highlights and coloring your hair on the same day will be more expensive. But it’s really worth it because you’ll get the look you want on healthy hair.


You should put your hair in the hands of a professional to do the highlights and color your hair on the same day. Your colorist will evaluate your hair and check aspects such as:

  • How long ago did you color your hair?
  • How long ago did you bleach your hair?
  • How many times have you bleached it? What developer did you use to bleach it?
  • Do you flat iron your hair often? Do you curl it?
  • What products do you use for washing?
  • What type of hair dye do you use?


Then, your colorist will decide the best way for you.


I can assure you that  if you have bleached your hair more than twice in the last three months and then applied a permanent color,  the stylist won’t do the highlights. Instead, you’ll get a repair routine until your next visit to color your hair and apply highlights on the same day.


 If you colored your hair more than four times in the last two months,  the stylist won’t apply highlights either. Your hair is too processed. In this case, she may advise you to use detox products.

That’s why you should go to the salon to apply highlights after coloring your hair. Otherwise, you can cause breakage of your hair, and consequently, hair loss.


Now, I’ll answer the question you are probably asking yourself.


Why do colorists dye hair and apply highlights on the same day?

hairdresser doing highlights on dyed hair

 Because they have the necessary training and experience to perform both processes without risking your hair health. 


Also, they apply their common sense.

I’ll explain it to you with an example.


Imagine you arrive at the salon to color your hair because it’s time for root retouching and maintenance. You apply the color and the colorist asks you to come back in three weeks for highlights.

After three weeks, you return to the salon to have the highlights done on your colored hair.

What happened to your hair during that time?

  • Your roots will have grown at least half a centimeter, so they will need to be touched up.
  • Your color will be faded, so they will need to color your hair again.
  • And your highlights will be too far away from your roots, so they will also need to be dyed again.

To avoid this, colorists apply the highlights the same day we color the client’s hair.

When you arrive at the salon, the colorist will advise you whether it’s better to use your natural color and dye the highlights or if it’s better to dye all the hair and apply the highlights on top of that.



If you want to color your hair and get highlights the same day, I advise you to go to a salon. This way, you’ll get the look you want without risking your hair health.

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