Can You Dye Greasy Hair? [A Simple Definition]

Can you dye greasy hair

Going to the hair salon with greasy hair is always a little awkward.

But wait, they’re preparing to wash it for you, so what exactly is the issue?

What if we told you that a little oil in your hair was actually a good thing? You may not believe me, but I am telling you the truth, about can you dye greasy hair?

can you dye greasy hair

So, can I dye my hair if it’s oily, is that even possible? When it comes to coloring your hair, the fact is that a little oil can go a long way – it all depends on the scenario and the type of dye you’re using.

Can Hair be Too Greasy to Dye Your Hair?

Both yes and no.

It may surprise you to learn that slightly greasy hair is actually great for dying.

However, a lot of this is dependent on how you style your hair; let’s look at a handful of instances.

If you’re using a semi-permanent, demi-permanent, or completely permanent hair color with a developer that’s less than 20 volumes (these details will be on the hair dye box). It is preferable to clean your hair with a clarifying shampoo the day before. This eliminates grease and build-up, allowing the dye to penetrate the hair more easily.

When hair dyes with little to no peroxide are exposed to oils in the hair, they have a tougher difficulty accomplishing their job. It’s a different scenario if you’re going to use bleach or a permanent hair dye in combination with a developer that’s higher than 20 volumes.

How greasy is too greasy to dye hair

It is preferable to have slightly oily hair for this since it will avoid moisture loss throughout the bleaching or coloring procedure.

Of course, you don’t want it to be so oily that the colors are diluted, but allowing it to get a little greasy is excellent in this case because the product will cut through the oil without leaving your hair dry and brittle.

It’s vital to keep in mind that while it’s necessary to leave your hair a touch greasy, you don’t want any build-ups.

This implies you should avoid bleaching or dyeing products that contain the following ingredients:

  • mineral oils 
  • petroleum oils 
  • polymers silicones

It’s important about striking the perfect balance to protect your hair while also ensuring that the bleach or color does its job properly.

As a result, depending on how oily your hair gets naturally, it’s recommended that you don’t wash it for two or three days before coloring it.

Can you dye hair with product in it?

Yes, you can dye your hair with the product in it. The key is to make sure that the product is not too greasy or too sticky which causes product buildup. You also want to make sure that the product doesn’t have any oils or waxes in it. If you are unsure, just do a strand test first.

Is it better to put the dye on clean hair or dirty hair?

Let’s debunk the idea that having unclean hair is preferable. Fresh hair will color better, resulting in more even results, greater grey coverage, and longer-lasting results. If you’re going to perform a global lightening with a lightener, “dirty” hair is only good if you’re going to perform a global lightening with a lightener.

When does a hairstylist say it’s better to color the hair when dirty, how dirty are we talking about?

It’s preferable to color your hair while it’s still clean. Listen to me when I say that clarifying your hair the night before you color is a good idea. Any hair product, debris, and oil will be present, acting as a barrier to the color being absorbed by the hair cuticle. The night before is your best bet for some oils to protect your scalp from the color but still leave your hair clean enough to pick up the pigment.

can you dye your hair when it’s oily?

can you apply color to oily hair

Can you dye oily hair? Yes, but it should be done with caution.

If your hair is extremely greasy before you dye it, you can dilute the dye’s true color.

This can lead to less-than-ideal results, especially because grease dilution can lower the pH level, affecting the product’s overall performance and effect.

Consider squash: if you dilute it too much, the results aren’t as good!

However, if you want a lighter hair color than your natural tone, leaving a little oil on the scalp can assist make the completed color lighter and closer to your intended result.

The optimal quantity of grease to have in your hair before coloring is just enough to make it feel soft but not slick.

Should You Wash Your Hair Before Dyeing it at a Salon?

Should You Wash Your Hair Before Dyeing it at a Salon

Before asking yourself this question, can you dye wet hair? The greatest thing you can do is ask your stylist what they recommend. After all, you don’t want to show up and discover that you needed to do anything different with your hair. The awkward conversation chat comes into play at this point (did I just make up a new word).

While some hairdressers may differ, the vast majority will request that you not wash your hair for at least 24 hours before they color it.

This ensures that your hair has enough oil to shield it from the harshness of the products you’re using while also locking in moisture.

At the same time, it won’t be so oily that the color struggles to take hold or becomes diluted.

Furthermore, people with hair that does not quickly become greasy (a small portion of the population) can probably go two or three days without washing it and still maintain the proper degree of grease. For the greatest advice, speak with your stylist first.

How to Prepare for Hair Coloring 

Are you ready to get ready for your coloring session? We have the ideal advice for achieving the greatest results.

They are also simple to remember because they are quick and straightforward to follow.

  • #1 Take care of your hair. Make sure you’re using the proper hair products.
  • Treat it well to keep it healthy and lustrous, which will also allow it to withstand harsh chemicals like hair coloring.
  • #2 Use a hot oil treatment on your hair three days before coloring it if possible.
  • This is the ideal hair conditioner, prepping each strand to take on color with ease.
  • This is the oil treatment I use on my hair once a month to preserve it before I color it.
  • #3 If you’re using a dye with more than 20 volumes, don’t wash it before coloring it, for the reasons described earlier in this tutorial.
  • If you must wash your hair, use a clarifying shampoo to get rid of product build-up and skip the conditioner.
  • #4 Select the appropriate color. Never go more than two shades lighter or darker when enhancing your natural tones for a polished look that matches both your skin tone and natural hair color.

What about once your hair has been dyed? So, just for good measure, here are a few brief recommendations for maintaining your locks once the color has been applied and you’re looking stunning. Take a peek around.

To allow the color to settle properly, wait 48 hours before washing your hair.

Use a shampoo and conditioner specifically designed for colored hair. (I’ve included links to the shampoo and conditioner that I use on my colored hair; yes, I enjoy becoming red when I’m bored with my natural brown color.)

To keep it looking great, use weekly hair treatments and color glosses.

Does your hair have to be wet to dye it?

You can, in fact, color your hair while it is still damp. Even in the salon, there are many times when wet hair application is fully acceptable but frequently neglected. Consider this: when you receive highlights, they take you to the shampoo bowl to remove the foils and rinse off the bleach, and the rest of your color is applied while your hair is still wet. Simply said, we apply hair color to wet hair more often than we realize. So, you might be wondering, what’s the difference.

The distinction is one of permanence. Our strands aren’t any less absorbent (in fact, they’re more absorbent) or vulnerable to change when wet. The sort of color formulae we’re using is the only factor that determines whether we should apply to wet or dry hair.

The Advantages of Dying Hair While It’s Still Wet

While hair color can be applied to wet or dry hair, there are a few advantages to applying it to wet hair that is worth noting:

A small amount of dye can go a long way: The moisture from the additional water aids in the color’s equal distribution. When dyeing dry hair, though, you’ll need to pay much greater attention to ensure that every strand is properly saturated.

When the hair is wet, it is more absorbent: When wet, our hair has a higher porosity, which means the cuticle opens up and is ready to absorb liquids. The color has a slightly better chance of penetrating the hair shaft on a deeper level than it would otherwise.

Keeps your mess contained: Let’s face it, when it comes to so many at-home hair color products, being told to apply to damp hair is a huge relief. It’s a lot easier to apply hair color with a squirt top bottle in the shower and mash all our hair together till it lathers than it is to apply hair color with a brush and bowl.

The Disadvantages

Wet hair application has a number of disadvantages, including:

Inconsistent application: While the extra moisture may aid in color distribution, the color application is still less exact. If you want a more dramatic effect, you should pay more attention to a meticulous, dry hair application.

It’s possible that water will dilute your color: If your hair is really dry and damaged, it is already parched and in desperate need of hydration! In this case, your hair may have absorbed so much water that there isn’t much area left for the color to permeate the hair’s cortex. That isn’t to say it won’t work; nevertheless, your effects may not be as vibrant or long-lasting.

Hair is more vulnerable while wet, making it more subject to injury. The cuticle acts as a protective cover for the hair, and as the hair gets wet, the cuticle opens up, weakening the links that typically protect the inner cortex.

The natural oils we create help to protect our strands when we have dry hair, but they don’t work as well under underwater pressure. Avoiding heat, harsh brushing, and towel drying are just a few of the simple things you can do to give wet, fragile strands a little extra TLC (especially after doing a color treatment).

Hair Colors That Fit Better When Your hair is Wet

This may be still another disadvantage, but dying your hair damp does not work for all color jobs. Permanent hair color must be applied to dry hair. It’s possible to go lighter or darker in this way. If you want to lighten your hair using bleach, you’ll need dry strands in order to get a precise, non-bleeding application. Dry hair is ideal if you’re using a permanent color to darken your strands because it allows the color to penetrate and change the state of your hair on a deeper level than just the surface. As a result, below are some color options for wet hair dyeing:

Color that is semi-permanent

There are no ammonia or peroxide developers in semi-permanent colors. These hues are designed to just coat your cuticle. Their compositions aren’t much influenced by the presence of water because their goal is to slightly improve or modify the tone of your hair and produce a more subtle modification with a shorter life duration. These colors look great on damp hair because they don’t lift or change the hair in any way that is permanent.

Color that is semi-permanent

The key difference between a semi-permanent and a semi-permanent color is that demi-permanent colors contain ammonia and thus penetrate deeper into your hair shaft than a semi-permanent color’s simple covering. Semi-permanent color will last you approximately 5 times longer than a semi-permanent color since it absorbs more color. Despite the presence of ammonia, it’s still a temporary color, therefore applying it to wet hair won’t have a significant impact on the work of your color. The minor disadvantage is that your hair has the potential to absorb more water and less dye, diluting your color solution significantly.

Other temporary dyes

Those delightful flashes of bright pink and other highlighter and pastel-hued tones, as well as the toners used to neutralize your highlights at the shampoo bowl, are categorized as temporary dyes and are acceptable to use on wet hair, even if we don’t think of them as semi- or demi-permanent colors.

A simple thing to remember is that as long as the color change you want to create is temporary and not permanent, a wet hair application is a fool-proof solution with benefits.

Can I dye my hair if I haven’t washed it in 2 days?

If you’re simply intending to color your hair for a couple of days, two days without washing it will suffice. You must rinse it if the number is four.

Haven’t washed my hair in 4 days can I dye it?

Yes according to However, they recommend rinsing hair with water without any shampoo to remove any residue and also ensure perfect hair color coverage.

Is Hair Dye Harmful to the Scalp?

Hair coloring isn’t harmful to your scalp. The good news is that most of the time if the dye comes into contact with your scalp, you shouldn’t be concerned.

You should be alright as long as you (or your stylist) followed the hair dye instructions and are not allergic to the color.

As a reminder, your stylist should always perform a skin test at least 48 hours before your hair is scheduled to be colored for the first time with them or when they change products.

This assures that you are not allergic to the product and that if you are, an alternative may be identified.

What Happens If You Keep Hair Color on for Too Long?

If you leave the hair dye on for too long, it might dry out your hair and make it brittle.

It can also cause some hair to become loose and fall out in the most severe cases.

Furthermore, when dyes are left in for long periods of time, they may darken and become more defined, giving you surprising results.

Is it possible to dye your hair while using a product?

Yes, you can color your hair while using a product. However, it is preferable if your hair is a little soft with natural grease rather than heavily produced.

This is because some hair products can obstruct the dye’s ability to do its work, thereby making the dye colorless and effective.

What Should I Do If My Hair Gets Greasy Quickly?

One of the finest things you can do if your hair gets oily quickly is to avoid washing it every day. (I know, it’s easier said than done)

This will assist your hair stay cleaner for a longer period of time. Additionally, you should try to touch it as little as possible between washes to avoid adding to the oil buildup.

You might also try a different shampoo and conditioner, as they are often the main causes of oily hair.

If you must use conditioner, apply it sparingly and only to the ends of your hair to avoid making it oily.


When you’re getting your hair colored, oily hair can actually be a saving grace, and it’s one of those instances when you can go out in public without worrying about your hair seeming oily.

It’s the ideal chemical defense, retaining moisture in the follicles and actual hair to help keep it from becoming brittle and dry.

Whether you get your hair colored professionally or at home, the tips in this book will help you achieve the greatest results and leave you with hair you enjoy.

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