Can I wash my hair 24 hours after dyeing it? I don’t recommend it

toning brassy hair at home

  • You shouldn’t wash your hair 24 hours after coloring it with any hair dye.
  • After you dye your hair, don’t wash it for at least 24 hours because the hair is still absorbing the dye pigments and therefore will be more like to fade faster.
  • I recommend waiting 72 hours to wash it so that the color stays fresh and longer.


I just finished a phone conversation with a client that really put me to bed.

It’s was actually an argument instead of a conversation.



Because she’s one of those   clients who nod to my instructions, but the moment they walk past the salon door, they forget all about it.  

They simply forget.


This was the case with Rosita, whom I saw yesterday.

She came to see me because she wanted to darken her hair color. She wanted to take her dark blonde to a chocolate brown.


I thought it would suit her because the chocolate brown would brighten her face and bring out the color of her hazel eyes.

When I finished the coloring job, Rosita was happy, and I was even happier. There’s nothing better for a hairdresser than having satisfied clients.


Before she left the salon after coloring her hair, I gave her two very specific and simple instructions:

  • Don’t wash your hair for 72 hours.
  • Use a sulfate-free shampoo to protect the new hair color.


They’re simple instructions, aren’t they? And very easy to follow.


Well, I don’t know what part Rosita didn’t understand.

I don’t know at what point she forgot my directions.

All I know is that she called me an hour ago to tell me that there was almost nothing left of her chocolate brown.

What did she mean?


Then, she told me she had washed her hair.

I thought I’d made my point clear.


remove hair dye

It had only been 24 hours since the coloring job.

  To make matters worse, she had washed her hair with her usual sulfate shampoo. 

Of course, the color had faded. Of course, the beautiful chocolate brown had gone down the drain.


Even worse, she wanted me to color her hair again and for free.

First, I wasn’t going to dye her hair again because you shouldn’t dye your hair two days in a row. Actually, you can, but it would ruin your hair.

Also, Rosita was to blame for not having followed my directions.


I needed some tea to relax.

If you don’t want to suffer the same fate as Rosita, follow my advice.

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You should never wash your hair 24 hours after coloring it

It applies to both permanent and semi-permanent hair dye.

But I’ll start with permanent hair dye.


  You should let the permanent hair dye settle in for around three days before washing it.  

The permanent dye penetrates the inner layer of the hair because the developer lifts the cuticles for the new color to reach the hair core.


You need to leave the dye on for approximately 45 minutes for the pigments to be absorbed by the core.

Then, you should rinse your hair to remove the excess dye.


Most permanent box dyes include a post-color treatment to nourish your hair and help the cuticles to close.

I’ll ask you a question: do you think the coloring process finishes at that moment?



  The coloring process doesn’t end when you rinse the dye. At that moment, “color settling” begins.   The core absorbs all the color and three or four days later it expels the excess.


What do you think would happen if you wash your hair within the next 24 hours after coloring it?

neutralize yellow hair after bleaching

Cuticles that haven’t yet closed will be permeable to water, shampoo, and conditioner. The hair core will start absorbing them.

Therefore, later, your hair won’t only expel color, but also the water and the products you have used. As a result, the new color will start to fade.

In other words, the water will fade the color. It’s the quickest way to take your hair from fab to faded.


  That’s why you need to wait for 72 hours to wash your hair after coloring it permanent.  

That will help keep the color intense for weeks.


What if you color your hair with semi-permanent hair color?

Things don’t change much.


Why should you wait 72 hours to wash your semi-permanent colored hair?

violet and pink over bleached hair

Ideally, if you dye your hair semi-permanent you should let it settle for at least four days to wash it.


Semi-permanent hair dye doesn’t penetrate the innermost layer of the hair, and its composition is very different.

Semi-permanent hair color doesn’t need a developer or ammonia, but it’s very sensitive to external factors such as the sun, chlorine from the swimming pool, sand, and sulfate hair products.


Semi-permanent hair dye doesn’t penetrate the inner layer of the hair to reach the core. Instead, the color pigments adhere to the outside layers of your hair creating a color film on each strand of your hair.

  Therefore it needs time to settle and fully adhere to your hair.  


If you wash your hair less than three days after coloring it, you run the risk of fading the color. Semi-permanent hair dyes fades with washes. So, the countdown to fading begins from the first wash.

The longer you can wait in between washes, the longer your color will last.



Whether you color your hair with permanent or semi-permanent hair dye, you should always wait at least three days to wash your hair.

Remember that you have to use shampoos and conditioners for color-treated hair, which are sulfate-free and protect the color for longer.

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