Should I Condition Hair Before Coloring It? Expert Tips

Medically reviewedby Dr. Bilal Khan M.B.B.S.
WrittenbyLuat Duong
Last updated

Conditioning your hair is an important part of any hair care routine, but what about when it comes to coloring your hair? Should you condition your hair before coloring it? This question often puzzles many who are planning to color their hair. This article aims to demystify this topic and provide you with comprehensive insights.

Should I Condition My Hair Before Coloring It?

The answer to this question is generally no. You should avoid washing and conditioning your hair immediately before coloring. Hair color tends to adhere better to hair that is not too clean or soft, and the natural oils in your hair can help protect your scalp during the coloring process.

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Why Shouldn't I Condition My Hair Before Coloring It?

Conditioning the hair just before coloring can leave a residue on the hair shaft that may interfere with the dye's ability to penetrate and bind to the hair. This could result in uneven color or the color washing out more quickly. Moreover, the natural oils in your hair that build up a few days after washing can help shield your scalp from the chemicals in the dye, providing additional protection.

When Should I Wash and Condition My Hair Before Coloring It?

As a rule of thumb, it is recommended to wash and condition your hair 24 to 48 hours before coloring. This allows enough time for the natural oils to return to your scalp and hair, providing protection during the coloring process. However, the use of sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners is highly advised to prevent any potential damage or color-fading.

How to Take Care of Colored Hair?

After coloring, wait for at least 48 to 72 hours before washing your hair to allow the color to settle. Deep condition your hair once a week to keep it hydrated and nourished, which can help maintain the vibrancy of the color. Using cold water to rinse your hair can also help to prolong the color and add shine.


In conclusion, while conditioning is an important aspect of hair care, it should be avoided immediately before coloring your hair. Taking care of colored hair involves some extra steps but following the right pre and post-coloring care can help you achieve vibrant and long-lasting hair color. Remember, when it comes to hair care, everyone's hair is different, so it's always beneficial to understand what works best for your individual hair type and needs.

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Luat Duong

Luat Duong is a Copenhagen-based writer and content strategist specializing in hair loss and health. His work has been featured in MyHealthGuide, The Right Hairstyles, and Woman's Era. He is a graduate of Vaasa University. You can connect with him on LinkedIn.