Can you dye your hair after stripping it? (And Should You?)

One day you may decide that you would like to take your hair dye out of your hair. To add a new color, for example, or because you’re just fed up with it! It is also possible that you are not happy with the final result and want to get rid of it quickly.

Many people, therefore, look for a way to get the hair color out of their hair. 

That is why this blog was written. Below you’ll find answers to questions like: can you dye your hair after stripping it, what does stripping your hair mean, and how to take care of your hair, and more!

So read on and find the answers you need to make the right decision!

Can you dye your hair after stripping it?

Have you ever tried stripping your hair? What does that even mean? Stripping is a process where deposited color in the hair is removed by using sulfur-based products. This is done to remove the hair’s current color. It’s different from bleaching because this process involves removing the hair’s natural color to make it lighter. In other words, stripping is for color removal while bleaching is for hair lightener.

Let’s find out if you can do this, how you should do this, and what kind of things you should take into consideration! At the bottom of this article is a FAQ with some more answers to your questions!

So, can you dye your hair after stripping it? 

Yes—but with a lot of precaution. Assuming that you’re done coloring your hair, what can you do to protect it? Is there anything you can to mitigate the damage? Here are some helpful tips for keeping your hair color strong and vibrant and your hair shafts happy:

Use sulfate-free and salt-free shampoo

Are you tired of watching your hair color fade or go dull after just a couple of washes? Why is this happening in the first place? Chances are that the culprit can be found in your bathroom: regular, harsh, and sudsy shampoo. These make use of rough surfactants that lift not only dirt from your scalp and hair strands—but color, as well. 

One of the reasons why normal shampoos are so refreshing when we use them is because sulfates attract oils, dead skin cells, grime, and other nasty things off our hair. But that’s what makes them the number one enemy of hair color. If you can recall, dyed hair is porous and it has raised cuticles. This doesn’t only mean it’s easy to deposit color in them, but it’s also even easier to lose it. 

That’s why you want to be extra gentle with your hair and use sulfate-free shampoos instead. They might not be as sudsy as your usual shampoos, but these are way gentler and work just as efficiently in removing dirt and grime—minus the act of stripping your hair of its natural moisture. 

Deep condition

You should know by now that subjecting your hair to multiple chemical processes strips it of its natural oils and moisture. Not only that, but they’re also considerably more porous and prone to breakage now. What you need to do is to maintain the integrity of the hair shafts by depositing as much moisture and nutrients the hair needs to stay well-hydrated, shiny, and bouncy. This means you need to use deep-conditioning products like hair conditioners and hair masks.

Indeed, you can dye your hair after stripping it. But at what cost? Slow down and think about it. Do you want a vibrant color hair that will likely go dull in a few days, develop split ends and break off—or do you want to take it slow so you get the color you want without the damage you don’t need!

What does stripping your hair actually mean and how does it work?

If you’ve ever tried it, you know that it is a process where you remove the color with sulfur-based products. Stripping hair exposes your hair to extremely irritant chemicals that will not only damage it but can also cause allergic reactions on the skin it comes in contact with—and that means your scalp and the back of your ears—wherever the solution is applied. This means that you not only deal with dryer, porous, and more fragile hair, but you could also end up with a red and itchy head. 

Color strippers don’t alter the structure of your hair other than removing any artificial color that has been deposited in it. So in comparison to bleaching, color strippers are less damaging. However, when used often, it will still wreak havoc on your hair strands by leaving raised cuticles. This causes the strands to become more breakable. 

Now, imagine dyeing your hair right after you used a hair stripper. Consider the damage of the first process and what happens when you color your hair. 

Hair dyeing is a procedure that makes use of a mixture of pigment or hair color, and an oxidizer. The oxidizer lifts the hair cuticles which allows for better color deposit. By lifting the hair cuticles, the mixture leaves the hair dry, porous, and prone to breakage—similar to how hair strippers work but even more intense. 

So when you put two on two together, you can conclude that it’s dangerous to dye your hair after stripping it. But is that going to stop you from achieving your dream hair color? No. Isn’t that why you’re finding ways to control the damage? You’ve come to the right place. 

Tips to reduce the damage from stripping your hair

Don’t wash your hair before coloring

The scalp produces natural oils that protect and nurture the hair strands. If you wash your hair before dyeing it, you’re removing this natural layer of protection. If you must wash your hair, wash only with cold water. 

Don’t use color strippers and dye your hair on the same day.

Allow your hair to “rest” after each procedure. This will give you a recovery period and help prevent further breakage due to chemical processes. This will also help your hair and scalp regain some moisture. Remember that the damage from color strippers goes beyond dried-out hair. Hair Stylists recommend refraining from dyeing your hair at least 48 hours from using a color stripper and at most 2 weeks. The longer you wait, the better. 

Use a pre-shampoo conditioning treatment 

Before you apply color strippers or hair dye, use a pre-shampoo conditioning treatment. This infuses the hair with a much-needed dose of moisture, shine, and bounce. The treatment serves as a protective layer of the hair strands. 

Deep condition

After dyeing your hair, use deep conditioning treatment. At this point, your hair is dying from thirst. Be generous with nutrient-rich hair masks or conditioners. If you’re looking for ingredients that help nurture your hair, here are some examples:

Proteins
Glycerol
Propylene Glycol
Panthenol
Hyaluronic Acid
Hydrolyzed Proteins
Amino Acids
Plant Oils
Glycerin
Mineral Oils
Dimethicone

Color the roots only

If the rest of the hair strands still retain color, refrain from applying hair dye over these areas and instead focus on the roots. Remember, dyeing your hair is damaging. You don’t have to put another layer of pigment unless you want badly damaged hair just to have the same color. Practice damage control whenever possible. 

Use temporary or semi-permanent color

If you must color your hair on the same day—right after applying color strippers—it’s advisable to use temporary or semi-permanent hair color over permanent ones. These types of hair dye do not contain bleach, nor do they need the use of oxidizers. These are also free of harsh chemicals that irritate the scalp and the hair strands such as peroxide and ammonia. 

In other words, it’s gentler than permanent hair color while still delivering vibrant hues. Unfortunately, as the name suggests, these wear off after each wash and you will need to reapply more frequently. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is stripping your hair of its color once enough to start dyeing your hair again?
Yes. But this depends on the type of hair color you had prior. Darker hair colors might need more stripping before you can remove their traces and preserve the vibrancy of the new hair color. 

If I leave color remover in longer, will it remove more color?
The answer is a big NO. In fact, it can do the opposite and darken your hair instead.

Will stripping my hair lighten my natural hair color?
No. Stripping hair is merely a process where you remove deposited color. If you want to lighten your natural hair color, try bleaching.

Is it true that my hair will turn orange after stripping my hair? 
Yes—but only if your hair was partially gray before dying it with a permanent darker color. 

Final thoughts

So getting the hair dye out of your hair is possible! However, the question is, as mentioned earlier in the article, whether you should want this. You are dealing with a lot of chemicals that affect your hair and can cause it to break quickly, for example.

Take this advice to heart and make the right decision. Sometimes it is better to go a little longer with your hair color and let it fade than to try and get the hair color out of your hair right away. However, this is not always the case so consider what is the right decision for you!