Should I Condition My Hair Before Coloring?

Hair coloring is fun – it’s an excellent way to transform your appearance and boost your confidence. But, at the same time, it can be damaging to your strands. Fret not — there are so many ways you can minimize this damage.

One such way is by conditioning your hair. But can you condition your hair before coloring it? The answer is yes, you can — and you should. Conditioning not only minimizes damage during the coloring process but also makes your hair healthier and shinier overall. 

But here’s the catch: you should not use a traditional conditioner as using it may produce uneven results. I’m sure you have a lot of questions. Don’t worry, we’ll discuss everything in detail. Let’s jump right in. 

Why Condition Hair Before Coloring?

Changing your hair color means exposing your tresses to harmful chemicals such as ammonia. Sure, there are ammonia-free hair dyes available on the market, but most permanent hair colors contain ammonia. 

Ammonia raises the pH of your hair and lifts the cuticles allowing the color to be deposited on the inner part of your hair. In doing so, it also damages the structural integrity of your hair. As a result, your hair becomes rough, dry, weak and prone to breakage. Things can get worse if you already have damaged hair.

The good news is that much of this damage can be minimized if you condition your hair before coloring. Also, conditioning fortifies your cuticles, smooths your hair, reduces frizz, and also increases shine. This is important if you want to achieve a perfect hair color.

When your hair is healthy, it also becomes easier to maintain your perfect color for longer. For all these reasons, you should start conditioning your hair before coloring. 

Why Not Use Regular Conditioners?

Okay, so we’ve established that conditioning your hair is very important. But why can’t we use our traditional conditioners? It’s because your regular conditioner can get in the way of the whole coloring process. 

As we discussed, ammonia opens the cuticles allowing the color molecules to penetrate into your hair and helps you achieve the desired result. But the conditioner may prevent that from happening. As a result, the dye won’t be able to deposit evenly. And you get a bad dye job.

Therefore, you shouldn’t use your normal conditioners just before dyeing your hair. 

How And When To Condition Your Hair?

Most hair dyes are designed to work on dry hair. While it’s generally okay to wash and condition your hair the day before coloring, using your regular conditioner on the day of coloring won’t be such a good idea. 

So, you may be wondering: what products can I use to condition my hair before coloring? The best choice would be to use coconut oil. It nourishes your hair, prevents protein loss, minimizes coloring damage, and offers many other benefits to your hair. 

The best time to use coconut oil would be the night before coloring. This will ensure that the oil is absorbed properly into your strands. If that’s not possible, you can also apply it two hours before dyeing your hair. 

Although it may not be as beneficial as applying it the night before, you’ll still be able to reap the rewards. It’s also important to ensure that your hair is in good health before coloring. So, it would be a good idea to deep condition your hair a week before coloring. 

Also Read: Can I Straighten My Hair After Dyeing It?

How To Maintain Color-Treated Hair?

Follow these steps to keep your color-treated hair looking its best for longer:

  • After coloring, wait 48 to 72 hours before shampooing. 
  • Wash your hair less often.
  • Invest in sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners.
  • Use cold water to wash your hair. 
  • Deep condition your hair once a week.
  • Get protein treatment for your hair. 
  • Don’t dye your hair too often. 
  • Avoid heat styling tools or use them at a lower heat setting. 
  • Use UV protection for your hair.
  • Avoid chlorine. 


1. Is it better to deep condition hair before or after coloring?

You should deep condition your hair both before and after coloring your hair. Use a deep conditioner 5 days before coloring to ensure that your hair is ready for the process. And then use the conditioner that comes with your dye box soon after you take the dye out. This helps seal the color.

2. How should I prepare my hair before coloring?

Wash your hair at least 24 to 48 hours before coloring. This will ensure that your hair is clean, but there will also be natural oils to protect your hair during the coloring process. If you wash hair too close to coloring, your shampoo will strip away these natural oils. 

3. Can you dye hair with conditioner in it?

No, you cannot dye hair with conditioner in it. Mixing conditioner with your hair dye can cause the dye pigments to deposit unevenly with your hair. As a result, your dye job will end up patchy.


While it’s a good idea to condition our hair before coloring, we shouldn’t use a traditional conditioner, especially on the day of coloring. The best way is to use coconut oil the night before coloring.

Do you condition your hair before coloring? If so, what do you use? Do let us know in the comments below.

Also Read: How To Fix Uneven Bleached Hair At Home?

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