Putting oil on hair before coloring, Good or bad idea?

woman with doubts points to her hair

  • You shouldn’t put any oil on your hair before a coloring session.
  • If you use a semi-permanent hair dye, the color won’t be deposited in your hair. And when you rinse it out, the color will fade along with the oil.
  • Alternatively, if you use a permanent dye, the oil will prevent your hair from absorbing the color pigments evenly.
  • If you want to nourish your hair before coloring, I recommend you use a light oil 72 hours before coloring. I’ll tell you about light oils and how to use them before coloring your hair.


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Can I dye my hair with coconut oil in it? Can the oil affect how the dye turns out?


Applying natural oils to hair is a trend that is here to stay. More and more women are leaving industrialized hair products aside.

And I don’t get this from Google or women’s fashion magazines.

I hear it daily from clients of all ages and lifestyles because most of them have incorporated natural oils into their hair beauty routine.


 You can use natural oils once a week to moisturize your hair. However, applying it just before coloring is another story. 


I can guarantee that if you put oil before coloring your hair, the result will be disastrous.

I’m not exaggerating.


Let’s say you bleached your hair and enthusiastically bought a MANIC PANIC. PANIC semi-permanent hair color. To be more precise, you want to dye your hair HOT HOT PINK, which is a strident pink.

However, since you bleached your hair and it feels dry, you thought about moisturizing it with a natural oil before coloring it.


It sounds like a brilliant idea. The natural oil contains no chemicals and you read that it’s very good to apply coconut oil before bleach.

And if it’s good to use before bleaching, it should also be good before applying a dye. Your logic says it’s the same as two plus two equals four.

So, following your logic, you put the oil on your hair. You wait two hours and apply the dye. Again you wait for the exposure time and rinse your hair.


When you finish rinsing, you notice that the strident pink is gone.  Your hair is as pale blonde as it was before you applied the dye.  Logic has failed you this time. Logic works for math, but nothing replaces knowledge and experience in hair matters.

You can’t apply the semi-permanent hair color if you have traces of other products in your hair. The semi-permanent hair color is simply deposited on the outermost part of your hair.


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Therefore,  the oil prevented the dye from adhering to the cuticles.  


The same would happen with permanent dye. As the oil adheres to the cuticle, it’ll penetrate the hair fiber when the developer opens the cuticle.

The oil is heavier than the dye. So, your color will be uneven.

 You should never apply any kind of oil just before coloring. 


But don’t worry, I’m here to enlighten you.

Let’s start with the difference between oils and when to use them if you want to color your hair.


What type of oil to choose to protect hair before coloring it?

woman applies coconut oil on dry hair
I mentioned before coloring it, but that doesn’t mean that you have to use the oil the same day you color your hair. 


I want to show you how to choose the most suitable type of oil that you can apply to your hair a few days before coloring it. And we’ll go into more detail about that later.

Nature offers us different types of natural oils that work on the hair. All repair and nourish damaged hair.


The difference between the oils is in their thickness.  The thicker the oil, the more it’ll penetrate the hair fiber. 


So, if you use the thicker oils like castor or pure shea, you should apply them once a month. And of course,  you should never use them before coloring your hair. 


These oils are very difficult to remove and will leave your hair greasy, even after rinsing.

Medium-thickness oils, such as almond or olive oil, are used once a fortnight. Although they are easier to remove than thicker oils,  they shouldn’t be applied before dyeing. 


So, what kind of natural oil can you apply a few days before coloring your hair? 

Natural oils such as coconut, linseed, or rose oil can be applied before coloring. They don’t penetrate the hair fiber and are easily rinsed out.

So, we already have the type of oil you can use before coloring your hair. Now, when should you use it? I’ll tell you about that below.


How long before coloring the hair can coconut, linseed, or rose oil be applied?

coconut oil to hydrate hair
Coconut, linseed, or rose oil are always  used up to 72 hours before dye application. 

For example:

  • If you color your hair on Thursday, you should use the oil on Monday.
  • If you color your hair on Monday, you should use the oil on Friday.
  • If you color your hair on Saturday, you should use the oil on Thursday.


 Once you apply the oil, you can leave it for several hours.  But remember to rinse it out properly and don’t use conditioner.


If you use light oils, you should wash your hair 48 hours before coloring, and you can skip the conditioner. This way, you’ll remove the oil residue and not add more greasiness with the conditioner.

 Once you’ve rinsed out the oil, wait 48 hours and color your hair. 


Now, if you prefer to use heavy or medium oils, everything changes.

  •  If you use a thick oil  I recommend that you do it four weeks apart between the application of the oil and the application of the hair color. Because remember that these oils are very difficult to remove and any traces left in your hair can ruin the coloring.
  •  If you use medium oils,  you can apply them two weeks before coloring, because these oils don’t leave as much residue.

And at the time of rinsing either of these two types of oil, I recommend that you wash your hair with several rounds of shampoo, to remove all traces of oil.



As a professional, if you want to moisturize your hair before coloring, I recommend you choose a light oil such as coconut, linseed, or rose oil.

They are easier to remove and won’t interfere with the coloring process. It’s also important that you use them 72 hours before coloring your hair.

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