How long should you wait to dye your hair again?

Did you end up with a different shade than what you originally planned? Is it lighter, darker, or do you think it doesn’t suit your face? Did you try to color your hair yourself and ended up with a complete mess? are you thinking How long should you wait to dye your hair again? Is there a new hair color trend, and you don’t want your previous color anymore? Or were you and your stylist not on the same page? It’s ok your stylist is a human too. Errors happen many times while finding the right shade for your locks. Whatever it is, it’s too late to reverse the time. But before you think of dyeing your locks again, which may do more harm than good, there are a few things to consider.

But first, why wait?

Any chemical process like dyeing your hair does some damage to your hair. That is why coloring your hair right away isn’t a great idea since it will expose your hair to harsh chemicals once again. It doesn’t matter if you have weak or strong hair; even the healthiest of hairs are no exception from the chemical damage caused by dyeing your hair.

Many commercial hair dyes contain ammonia which helps the color penetrate the hair cuticle and gets eposited there. Thus overuse of hair dyes will lead to dry, brittle, and unhealthy-looking hair with irreversible damage. Frequent hair dyes can lead to allergic reactions, skin burns and might even cause respiratory problems.

Since you have already colored your hair, your hair is damaged. Styling hair with heat or hairsprays hurts even on non-colored hair, but on colored hair, the damage is relatively more. If you dye your hair again in this state, your hair will become more brittle, and you may face breakage, and you won’t be able to use heat tools for styling since it’ll severely damage your hair.

If you do not care about the damage, should you wait?

Yes, you should. I will tell you why. Apart from the damage, your hair will have to endure if you want to dye your hair the next day, since you did not get the desired color, you may not get your desired color even after the second time. Assuming you used permanent color, you will be applying another permanent dye which will sit over the first one, which may not change your hair color to your desired one. The new color will not remove your previous dye. If you want a lighter shade, it will not make your hair color lighter. It might make your hair even darker.

Although if you are using a staining dye without a developer, you may dye your hair again without waiting long. Since staining dyes do not have ammonia and peroxides in them, the damage done by them is minimal.

How long should you wait?

It depends on the state of your hair.

Analyze your hair. Does it feel dry, brittle, weak, dull, and has split ends? Then your hair can not handle another coloring session if not given the time for it to heal. Dyeing your hair again will only cause irreversible damage.

Instead of coloring your hair again, please repair your hair using deep conditioning masks. Coconut oil is effective in improving damaged hair since it penetrates the hair shaft. Use coconut oil masks at least twice a week to help your hair heal from the previous dyeing. You can also use coconut oil as an overnight mask for better results. Although coconut oil is your best bet, there are various hair masks available in the market for color-treated hair if you choose not to go with coconut oil. There are also some DIY masks to help your hair, such as a banana mask or olive oil mask.

If you think your hair is healthy and can endure another coloring, you still need to wait a minimum of two weeks. In the meantime, repair your hair with deep conditioning masks such as coconut oil to prepare your hair to take another chemical treatment. Apply coconut oil on dry hair and wrap a warm towel and let it sit for an hour or overnight and then wash it off as usual.

If instead of a permanent dye, you had used a semi-permanent dye, you have a bit of luck with you. You need to wash your hair with shampoo so that the color fades. But remember not to wash too much such that it damages your hair in the process of getting the color out.

On how you feel about the color you got.

As long as you did not end up with a whole different color, there are a few ways in which you might be able to alter a few shades without doing much damage and also without having to wait for a long time.

Is it too dark?

If you ended up with a darker shade than what you originally wanted, you could wash your hair with shampoo that is not designed for color-treated hair. This process will lighten up your hair a bit. Wash your hair for five to six days, and do not forget to condition it to avoid your hair getting dried up. After you got your desired shade, wash your hair with shampoo for colored hair to protect the coloring.

Is it too light?

If you ended up with a shade lighter than you wanted, you might dye your hair once again. But wait, you do not have to go through the same dyeing process once again. For this, choose a shade darker than your previous one from the same brand and keep it on for half the time mentioned after applying before you rinse it off and moisturize with a hydrating mask.

Is it only the roots?

Did you only color the roots, or may you want a different color for your core only? Then you may opt for root sprays for minor damage. It is simply not worth dying again and doing more damage just for a few inches. These spray colors also wash off after a single wash. This way, you can also try different colors without being stuck with one.

The ideal time to wait before you dye your hair again.

Ideally, as hair experts recommend, you should wait for four to six weeks, depending on your hair health. If your hair is completely healthy, you can recolor it after five weeks if it’s essential. If you have used temporary dye, you may dye your hair after two weeks which is the bare minimum. If your hair is unhealthy, it is best to wait at least six months, if not more, before you dye your hair again.

Things to remember when you dye your hair again:

  • It’s better to choose a darker color than a lighter one since lighter ones bleach your hair and cause more harm.
  • Prepare your hair beforehand by conditioning it with oils and masks to reduce damage.
  • Do not go for dyes with harmful chemicals such as ammonia, parabens, peroxides, resorcinol, diaminobenzene, etc.
  • Henna might be the safer alternative, but it’s also hard to get rid of if you don’t like the color.
  • Always experiment on few strands to see if you want that color.

Avoid your scalp and roots while coloring if it isn’t necessary since chemical dyes severely harm the scalp causing allergic reactions and may even result in hair fall if the roots are damaged too much.


The waiting period might be challenging for you, especially if you do not like the new look. You may try to hide or avoid meeting people, but avoid doing more damage to your hair, be confident about the waiting time and resist your urge to appoint a booking again at your hair salon. You can also try different hairstyles such as fishtail braid, dutch braid, french braid, messy buns, pigtails, etc. Who knows, the wrong hair color may end up looking good when put in a different hairstyle.

Was the previous disaster created by yourself? Then do not make the same mistake again and book an appointment with a specialist the next time you’d dye your hair again. Chances are your hairdresser will know better than you what to do.

The bare minimum time to wait before you dye your hair is two weeks if your hair is healthy solid, and undamaged. Suppose you want a different color and can not bear to look at your current one. It is always advisable to wait at least four weeks before you dye your hair again to let your hair regain its health from the previous treatment. If you love your hair health and want to prevent being damaged, it’s always better to wait six weeks or longer.

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