How to rinse out hair dye: Is it better to use hot or cold water?

in her home shower

  • Once you’ve used hair dye in your hair, it comes time to rinse it. You’ll need to start by rinsing with cool water and finish rinsing with cold water to trap the dye pigments in your hair cuticle.
  • You should also use shampoo and conditioner, and if possible, a sulfate-free version of those products specially formulated for dyed hair.
  • And remember that the next time you wash your hair should be 72 hours after you dyed your hair and with cool water, again finishing with cold water.


Psst! Yes, you! I’m talking to you!

Do you want to know what step of the dyeing process determines how long it will last in your hair?


 You’ll find that the first wash and rinse that you do after using the dye on your hair determines everything – absolutely everything.  Yep, you read that right.

If you’re not careful when you wash your hair after dyeing it, then I am sorry to say that all of the efforts you put into getting the absolute perfect hair color will be for naught.


 If you don’t wash your hair with the right temperature water after dyeing it, you’ll lose half of the dye pigments right in that very moment. 

What will the result be?


It will all depend on your hair color and hair texture.

For example, if you used a bright, electric blue semi-permanent dye, you’ll end up with a sad, pale blue, that of course, wasn’t what you had in mind.


 Yes, water temperature is key when it comes time to rinse the dye. It’s important the first time you wash your hair after dyeing it, and it continues to be the following times, too. 

Unless, of course, you want all of the time, money, and expectations invested into your new color to go down the drain in the form of colorful water.

Do you want to know how to correctly wash your hair after dyeing it?


If so, stick with me, because I’ll tell you:

  • What water temperature you should use to wash your hair after dyeing it
  • Other tips for caring for your hair during the dyeing process

Are you ready to learn how to do the ritual post-dye wash to make your new color last longer?


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What water temperature you should use to wash your hair after dyeing it

with shampoo and conditioner

I know that when you get home from work in the winter with your fingers and toes frozen and your nose cherry red, we all want a hot shower. And the more steam, the better.

But, hot water can turn into your worst enemy after you dye your hair. Also, hot water isn’t very good for circulation.


 If you want your hair color to stay intact, you shouldn’t use hot water when you wash your hair.  Not the first time, not the time after that, or after that, or after that. Never. If you do, your hair will oxidize and wash out easily.

Hot water can damage your hair’s outer cuticle, making your hair turn more porous. The result?


Dye pigments will escape through the open pores. To stop that from happening,  you should wash your hair with cool water and finish with a cold rinse. 

The cold water will seal your hair cuticles and make sure the dye doesn’t escape your hair fiber.


In general, hot water isn’t good for your hair, whether it’s dyed or not, because it can cause frizz, premature hair loss, and weakening, and dehydrating of your hair fiber.

Do you think that my recommendations for washing your hair end here? Nope, let’s keep going!


Other tips to keep in mind when you wash your hair after dyeing it

shampoo and conditioner

The second most common question when it comes to washing your hair after dyeing it is about shampoo.

Tell me: Do you think that you should use shampoo on your hair when you wash it after dyeing it?


 You definitely should use shampoo and conditioner on that first go around.  But, you can’t just throw any old products into your hair any way you feel like.

No, you’re going to do the following.


  • With cool water, dampen your hair and using your fingertips, make suds that you’ll scrub through all of your hair.
  • After scrubbing for two or three minutes, it is time to rinse, again with cool water. Once you see the water running clear, it’s time to use the shampoo and conditioner.
  • Start with shampoo, scrubbing it into your hair fiber for a minute, then rinse, again with cool water.
  • Then it’s time for conditioner, which you should use on the middle and ends of your hair, then rinse with plenty of cold water. The water must be cold for this last rinse.


 If you don’t want to deal with the cold water on your whole body, you can always wash your hair separately. That way, you don’t have to go through the ordeal of a cold shower, but you’ll still use the right temperatures for rinsing your hair.  


We were just talking about shampoo, and I want to highlight that it’s very important that you use a sulfate-free shampoo designed for dyed hair because those products won’t damage the dye pigments.

It’s also a good idea to do a nutritive treatment on your hair once a week, which you should always rinse with nice and cold water.



You should always follow a simple routine for rinsing out hair dye so you can stop the dye pigments escaping from your hair fiber.

It’s important that you use cool water throughout the entire process, and that the last time you rinse your hair, it’s with cold water. You should also use a sulfate-free shampoo designed for dyed hair.

Follow these rules, both the first time you wash your hair after using the dye and every time afterward.

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