How soon after highlights can I dye my hair? Wait at least one week, here’s why

touching up roots of highlighted hair

  • It’s generally suggested to wait at least one week to dye hair after highlights. That’s how long it takes for the color to settle.
  • If you want to cover your highlights to match the rest of your hair after that week, you can choose two levels darker than your highlights.
  • Alternatively, if you want to match the rest of your hair to the color of your highlights after one week, you should bleach your hair. In that case, wait at least three more weeks to care for your hair.


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Unfortunately, you should wait at least one week to dye your hair after highlights.

Highlights are achieved by bleaching small strands of hair. It means that your hair has already undergone a harsh chemical process and lost moisture and nutrients once.


 That minimum interval is recommended to wait and see how the color of the highlights finally settles. 

Color settling is the process by which the hair absorbs the hair dye. Once the core is full of color, it begins to expel the excess pigmentation.


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In the case of highlights, this process is longer. First, during bleaching, your hair loses nutrients and moisture. The following seven days, it continues to absorb the color slowly.

Also, keep in mind that the hairdresser who bleached your hair also applied a toner or hair dye. It helps the highlights gain shine and avoids unwanted colors.

So, during the first week, your hair is trying to process all that chemical treatment you applied.


 If you still don’t like the highlights after one week, my first piece of advice is to go to the salon again and talk to the hairdresser. 

Explain what you don’t like about the highlights.


Professional colorists are used to these situations and will always try to find a solution.

If you don’t want to go back to the salon, you’ll have to make a decision:


  • Apply a hair color to match yours.

In that case, as you’ll apply a color darker than the highlights, you can dye your hair one week after highlights.


  • Bleach to lighten the rest of your hair and match it with the highlights.

In this case, you’ll have to wait for three more weeks to change your hair.

Whatever you decide, here are the details for each of them.

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Dyeing your hair one week after highlights

peluquera cubriendo reflejos con tinte

If you decide to dye your hair with highlights, the hair dye will even out the color and your highlights will disappear.


You can opt for the hair dye brand you like, but   choose a color that is at least two levels darker than your highlights.  This way,  your new color will be even.

  • If your highlights are in a light brown 5, you can apply a dark brown 3.
  • If your highlights are a blonde 7, you can apply a light brown 5.
  • If your highlights are in a very light blonde 9, you can apply a blonde 7.


This way, if your new color is at least two shades darker than your highlights, you’ll achieve an even color in your mane.

 You don’t need a special technique to apply the product. Apply it according to the manufacturer’s instructions and respect the exposure times. 


Remember that this hair dye also needs to settle in the hair for one week. I recommend you apply a deep moisturizing hair mask.

Don’t forget that your highlighted strands were bleached. Then, later, you subjected your hair to another chemical process, the hair dye.


So, you need to nourish and strengthen your hair after these chemical processes.

If you want to even out your hair color with the highlights, you need to respect other steps.


To match the hair color to your blonde highlights, you’ll have to wait three weeks longer

match roots with the rest of the hair

Yes, three more weeks, as long as you prioritize your hair health. Why three more weeks?


Because you need to bleach your hair again for it to match the highlights. This time, it’ll be all over your hair.

You should wait for at least three weeks to bleach your hair again. In the meantime, you must nourish your hair to strengthen and prepare it for another harsh chemical process.

Therefore,  I recommend that you wait at least three more weeks before thinking about bleaching. 


Also, I advise you not to act on impulse.

When we don’t like something about our hair, we usually try to fix it at home. In those cases, the end result doesn’t turn out as expected.


 Believe me, I see many women in my salon with their hair ruined  after trying to bleach it without letting it rest as necessary.

Don’t try to bleach your hair at home. Instead, go to the salon for help if you want to bleach your hair again.



After highlights, you should let your hair rest for a week to re-color it.

Then, your decision will depend on the final color you want your hair to be.


  • If you want to darken all your hair, you can dye it a week after highlights.
  • But if your idea is to even out your hair with your highlights, you should wait at least three weeks to bleach it again.


Again, I recommend that you go to a salon to get the best advice and not expose your hair to more damage.

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