Will Leave-in Conditioner Affect Hair Dye? Yes, this could happen to your hair


  • Yes, a leave-in conditioner could negatively affect the results of the coloring process.
  • If you color your hair with traces of leave-in conditioner, it could end up uneven. Alternatively, it may not get full coverage if you have gray hair.
  • Leave-in conditioner could prevent your hair from absorbing the hair dye properly.


could affect color results

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I was asked that the other day.

Can I dye my hair with a leave-in conditioner in it?


Do you want to know my reply? I already gave you the answer above. Just in case you still have doubts, I’ll tell you again.

 It’s not a good idea to apply leave-in conditioner before coloring hair. 



Because it could affect the results of the coloring process. What could happen?

The results of the coloring process would be unpredictable.

Your hair color could become uneven because it can’t absorb the dye well. Also, your gray hair may not be 100% covered.

I guess you don’t want any of those things to happen when you color your hair, right?


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Then  the best thing you can do is wash your hair with water and traditional shampoo. Then, color it after a day or two. 

In the meantime, don’t use any products on your hair. Don’t use a leave-in conditioner, dry shampoo, or masks.


It’ll ensure perfect hair dye coverage.

Better yet, by waiting one or two days to color, your scalp will create an oily film that will protect your hair from the effects of the hair dye.

Do you still have doubts?


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What do we do in the salon with clients who still have traces of leave-in conditioner in their hair

rinse dyed hair

We assess the situation.


  •   If I notice that the client’s hair is heavy and supersaturated with leave-in conditioner, I have no choice but to wash it before coloring. It’s as simple as that. 

I couldn’t risk doing a professional coloring service if I knew that the result may not be the expected one. What would I say to my client?


Excuse me, Maria. I didn’t rinse out your conditioner,” or “it’s your fault because you had leave-in conditioner in your hair.

No ma’am. Our responsibility as professionals is to make the color result look perfect.


  •   If, when I evaluate the hair, I notice that it has a little leave-in conditioner, I brush it repeatedly and remove the residue buildup. 

That little bit of excess product disappears completely after some brushes. Then, I color the hair as usual.


So now you know


  • If your hair is saturated with a leave-in conditioner, you should wash it before coloring. And this is true whether you color at home or at a professional salon.
  • If there’re only a few traces of leave-in conditioner, you can try to remove them until they are gone. Once your hair is free of product residue, you can color your hair.


Imagine that you don’t follow my advice and decide to color your hair with a leave-in conditioner. What could happen?

That’s what I’ll talk about next.



What could happen if you colored your hair after applying leave-in conditioner?

different color between roots and ends

The leave-in conditioner could negatively affect the results of the coloring process.


  • Your hair color may result uneven
  • The hair dye may not cover your gray hair


There’re many varieties of leave-in conditioners with different formulas and textures.

For example, you may apply a super light leave-in conditioner. Then, when you color your hair, it just happens to be fine. Why do I say that?

Because not all products are the same, not all hair is the same, and not all hair is colored for the same purpose. Covering gray hair is not the same as coloring hair.


Now that you know that coloring your hair with a leave-in conditioner is not worth the risk, I’d like to tell you how and when to wash your hair before coloring it.


How and when to wash your hair before coloring to get perfect results

uses dry shampoo between washes

The ideal situation would be to wash your hair one or two days before the coloring service. Why?


That way, your hair won’t be unprotected from the dye chemicals for being too clean. Alternatively, it won’t be necessary to wash it for being too dirty.

When you don’t wash your hair, your scalp generates a natural oil. It protects your hair from the effects of the hair dye. That guarantees a perfect color.

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