How Long Does It Take for Hair Dye to Fade? – Learn about fading hair color

Do you know how long it takes for different hair dyes to fade out of your hair?

A couple of weeks ago I got a question from someone who read my blog. The question was as follows:

“Hi Joy-Lee, I dye my hair regularly, and often times it fades quicker than I want it to. I’m confused because I make use of permanent hair dye and thought that it wouldn’t fade as fast as it does. Can you maybe tell me how long it normally takes for hair dye to fade?”

So, I thought I would help her out and tell her my thoughts! Afterward, I turned it into a new article and you can read all the information you need below!

How long does it take for hair dye to fade

How long it takes before your hair dye starts to fade depends on the type of hair dye you use, how it was applied to your hair, and the amount of developer that was used. Generally speaking though, semi-permanent hair dye will last up to 6 weeks, while permanent hair dye can last up to 6 months before it begins to fade. 

How long does it take for Permanent Dye to Fade

Permanent hair dye can last up to 6 months. This is longer than semi- or demi-permanent hair dye because permanent hair dye uses a higher concentration of developer. The high concentration of developer helps the dye pigments to fully penetrate your hair for long-lasting results. 

It’s worth mentioning that most people will go for a touch-up around the 6 to 8-week mark because their newly grown roots become noticeable.

How long does it take for Semi-Permanent Dye to fade out of your hair

Semi-permanent hair dye typically lasts 8-10 shampoos, although it can last longer depending on your hair type and the condition of your hair. After 10 washes, most semi-permanent dyes will have faded significantly. This is because semi-permanent dyes are designed to gently penetrate the cuticle of the hair, deposit color, and then gradually fade away. 

The dye is not intended to last too long in order for it to maintain its vibrancy. When shampooing your hair over time, the dye will be washed out and eventually all of the colors will be gone.

Hong long does it take for Demi-Permanent Dye to fade out of your hair

The average amount of time it takes for Demi-Permanent Hair Dye to fade is about 12 to 24 shampoos (for most people this is about six to eight weeks). This is because Demi-Permanent hair dye uses deposits of color instead of oxidative dyes, which means that the pigment sits on top of the hair shaft instead of being absorbed into the cortex. As such, it will naturally start to wash out over time with regular shampooing and exposure to sun and other elements.

Do hair Dyes Fade Completely?

Yes, eventually all hair dyes will fade completely over time. The fading of your hair dye is caused by a combination of washing, exposure to sunlight, your hair care routine, and other environmental factors. 

Hair dye molecules are large compared to the cuticles on our scalp which makes it difficult for the hair dye molecules to stay put. Over time these molecules gradually get weakened and break down, resulting in the color fading away. 

Additionally, some natural oils can further contribute to the fading process as they make their way into the cuticle layer and absorb some of the color molecules within.

My hair color fades too fast, how can I prolong my hair color

There’s almost nothing as frustrating as having beautifully dyed hair only to see it fade too quickly. That’s like watching money go down the drain! 

So, what can you do if your hair dye washes out too quickly? Below are some recommendations per kind of hair dye.

Tips to prolong permanent hair dye

1. Use a color-safe shampoo and conditioner: Color-safe shampoo and conditioner will help keep your hair dye from fading too quickly by locking in the color. These products are formulated with fewer detergents that can strip away the pigment from the dye, as well as contain additional conditioning agents to nourish and protect colored hair. 

2. Use cool water to wash your hair: Washing your hair with lukewarm or cold water helps preserve the color because hot water opens up the cuticles of your strands, allowing more pigments to escape during each wash. 

3. Invest in a UV protectant spray: The sun’s UV rays break down chemical bonds in dyed hair faster than they do natural hair, making it fade quicker. A UV protectant spray is designed to defend against these harsh elements on days when you have extended exposure outdoors, shielding your shade from oxidation damage caused by sunlight and heat styling tools. 

4. Try an at-home toner: An at-home toner contains less peroxide than permanent color or bleach so it won’t lighten existing hues but refreshes them instead while cooling off bright highlights that have gotten too intense over time. This process will give you brighter results without damaging strands from added processing or discoloring new growth once you start retouching roots again for maintenance touchups later on down the line.  

5. Avoid chlorine pools: Chlorine is a major culprit for lightening up previously applied permanent dyes so steering clear when swimming is essential if you want to maintain even color throughout each strand until it’s time to do another full service again or refresh with toners every couple weeks.

Semi-permanent hair dye

1. Boost Your Color With Glazing: Glazing adds a sheer layer of color to your hair, which can help revive any fading semi-permanent dye. When applied properly, it can also give you an extra glossy finish as well!

2. Try A Toner To Refresh The Color: Toners are great for reviving faded colors and making them look, fresher. They will help you get the original vibrancy back in your hair without having to completely redo the coloring process. 

3. Extend The Life Of Your Dye With A Deep Conditioning Treatment: Deep conditioning treatments can restore lost moisture and nourishment to dyed hair, helping extend the life of your color and keep it from fading too quickly. Give yourself deep conditioning treatments regularly for the best results!

demi-permanent hair dye

1. Use a sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner: Sulfates can be drying to the hair, and they can strip out the color more quickly than other ingredients. Opting for a gentle, sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner will help keep the demi-permanent color in your hair longer.

2. Avoid using hot tools: Heat styling tools like straighteners or curling irons can cause damage to the hair shaft, which will result in fading of your demi-permanent dye over time. If you do need to use heat-styling tools, make sure to use a protective spray beforehand. 

3. Pre-treat with an oil or mask: Applying an oil such as coconut oil before you wash your hair is a great way to lock in moisture and prevent fading of your dye job faster. You can also opt for using a hydrating mask once a week which will help protect the integrity of both your natural color and dyed color when washing it later on down the line!

Which hair dye coloring is fading the fastest

Red hair dye is the hair coloring that fades the quickest. Red hair dye fades fast because of the molecules that give red pigment its color. Those molecules are much larger than you would typically find in other shades.

Due to the fact that the molecules on red hair dye are bigger, the red hair dye has a hard time penetrating the hair strand and is therefore much more likely to fade out quickly. 

But red is not the only hair color dye that fades fast. light and pastel shades will also fade more quickly than most other colors. This is because those hair dyes are less pigmented and so you have a lot less color to lose and will lose it faster.

Which hair dye colors fade slowest

Now that we’ve talked about hair color that fades the fastest, you might want to know which color fades the slowest.

When it comes to hair dye colors that fade slowest, brown and black dyes are the winners. Those two tend to last longer than the lighter hair dyes. 

As you can imagine, the darker hair colors are more richly pigmented and therefore will fade more slowly. Also, dark hair dye has, contrary to the ones described above, small molecules that easily penetrate your hair. And so the hair dye stays longer in your hair.

How to Slow Down Dye Fade

1. Use a Color-Preserving Shampoo: Using a shampoo specifically made to preserve color will help prevent the fading of dyed hair in between touch-ups. This is because these shampoos use special compounds, such as keratin and amino acids, that contribute to coloring longevity. 

2. Wash Hair Less Frequently: Washing your hair too frequently will strip the color away. Try only washing your hair 3 times a week at most with lukewarm water and using specialized dyeing products to keep it from fading quickly. 

3. Condition Properly: Leave-in conditioners are important when looking to extend the life of colored hair as many contain components that act as an additional safeguard for your newly dyed locks against wear and tear of everyday activities like using heat or brushing your hair too often.  

4. Deep Condition: Applying occasional deep conditioning treatments can help repair any damage done to colored strands caused by daily styling and add extra moisture back into the newly dyed mane, further strengthening its hold on vibrant hues over time. 

5. Avoid Heat Styling Tools: Using hot tools frequently on already damaged dye-saturated areas can be destructive and completely dry out sections causing them to lose their vibrant colors faster than if being handled more gently with cooler temperatures over time instead!  

6. Put A Halt To Sun Exposure: Too much sun exposure not only causes natural shades of hair to lighten up but also prompts regular color shades to dull out quickly – so make sure you protect your locks during hotter days either by using SPF headwear or sprays containing UV filters!  

7 Don’t Overdo Touch-Ups: Routine touch-ups are great for maintaining vividness but going overboard with applications could result in unnecessary stress on already damaged strands leading them towards earlier demise due to potentially harsh chemicals found in some dying kits used more often than necessary!

How to Speed Up Dye Fade

1. Wash your hair with shampoo and conditioner regularly – This will help to remove excess dye from the hair and slow down the fading process.

2. Use a clarifying shampoo once a week – Clarifying shampoos are formulated to strip away product build-up, which can also break down dye molecules and speed up the fading process.

3. Make use of heat styling – Heat styling can cause damage to your hair, leading to it becoming dry and brittle which will accelerate color loss. 

4. Take a dive and start swimming in chlorinated water – Chlorine is known for stripping color from hair so avoiding this whenever possible will help keep your color vibrant for longer. 

5. Do not protect your hair with an ultraviolet spray before going out in direct sunlight – UV rays can be damaging for colored hair, so if you want to make sure that your hair dye fades quickly, start by being in the sun a couple hours a day without any protection like an UV spray. 

6. Start to over-process your color-treated locks – Over-processing can lead to premature fading of your color as well as causing damage to the strands of your hair itself. So, if you want your hair to fade quickly, this is also one way to go.  

Final thoughts

By now you know a lot more about different hair coloring types and what it takes to let them fade out completely. For most hair dyes this is an easy thing. Just wash your hair once, or a couple of times, and your hair will be back to its natural color.

Permanent hair dye requires other steps as you read above. Don’t let it freak you out that it doesn’t fade out completely. I hope by now you know how to go about keeping your beautiful color or how to go back!

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