Conditioner hair dyes have become increasingly popular in recent years as a convenient and damage-free way to temporarily change your hair color. But how long do they actually last before fading out? Here’s a comprehensive guide on what to expect from conditioner hair dye in terms of longevity and tips for making it last longer.
What is Conditioner Hair Dye?
Conditioner hair dyes, also sometimes called color depositing conditioners, are hair care products that deposit semi-permanent color onto your strands while conditioning. The color molecules are cationic, meaning they have a positive charge that allows them to adhere to the negatively charged areas of your hair shaft.
This type of hair dye gently coats the outside of your hair with color rather than penetrating the inner structure like permanent dyes. As a result, the color washes out over time rather than requiring growth to fade. Conditioner dyes come in vivid fashion shades as well as more natural hues.
How Long Does Conditioner Hair Dye Last?
On average, conditioner hair dye lasts for 4-6 shampoos, though results can vary depending on your hair type and shade choice. Here’s a breakdown of typical longevity:
|Fine or oily hair
|Medium or dry hair
|Thick or coarse hair
As you can see, conditioner dye tends to last longer on thicker, drier hair types. Fine or oily hair often has a harder time holding onto color. The vibrancy of the shade also impacts longevity. Dark colors like black, brown, and red generally last longer than lighter pastels and blondes.
Tips to Make Conditioner Hair Dye Last Longer
While conditioner hair dye doesn’t provide permanent color, there are steps you can take to help the color deposit last as long as possible:
- Shampoo less frequently, ideally every 2-3 days.
- Use a sulfate-free, color-safe shampoo.
- Rinse hair with cool water instead of hot.
- Avoid clarifying shampoos which can strip color.
- Apply conditioner dye to unwashed hair for better absorption.
- Let the product sit on hair for 5+ minutes before rinsing.
- Reapply the conditioner dye 1-2 times per week.
- Protect hair from sun exposure which fades color.
Taking steps to wash hair less often and using gentle, color-preserving products allows the conditioner color to deposit on strands longer before washing out. Adding a weekly touch-up application also helps refresh the tone.
Does Conditioner Dye Damage Hair?
One of the biggest benefits of conditioner hair dye is that it does not damage hair like permanent dye. Since the color simply coats the outside of hair rather than opening the cuticle and altering the inner structure, it avoids the oxidative damage of permanent color.
Most conditioner dyes use ingredients that are conditioning and nourishing for your strands. Some examples include:
- Fatty alcohols – Add moisture
- Silicones – Smooth and soften
- Natural oils – Lock in hydration
- Proteins – Strengthen and repair
- Vitamin B5 – Increase elasticity
Rather than damaging hair, the nourishing ingredients in conditioner dye help improve moisture, shine, and manageability. Using a weekly conditioning mask after dyeing also helps ensure your hair stays healthy.
Does Conditioner Work on All Hair Types?
Conditioner hair dyes are formulated to work on all hair types, including:
- Chemically treated – Pre-lightened, bleached, permed, relaxed
- Natural – Virgin, unprocessed
- Curly and coily textures
- Fine, medium, and thick densities
- Straight, wavy, and curly patterns
The conditioning properties help provide extra moisture and protection for porous, damaged hair from chemical processes. The semi-permanent nature also makes conditioner dye ideal for anyone wanting a temporary color change without a drastic commitment. It’s gentle enough to use on fragile or delicate hair.
|Non-damaging; adds vibrancy
|Gentle for unprocessed hair
|Hydrates and defines curls
|Easy to apply and remove
The conditioning base allows the color to easily spread through hair without overly saturating or weighing down different textures and densities.
Do I Need Developer With Conditioner Dye?
No developer or activator is required when using conditioner hair dye. The color formula is already pre-activated so the dye molecules readily deposit onto hair strands upon application.
This differs from permanent hair dye which requires developer to activate the coloring agents and open the cuticle for penetration. Avoid mixing conditioner dye with developer as it can irritate the scalp.
Does Conditioner Dye Fade Evenly?
Conditioner hair dye tends to fade fairly evenly on most hair types and colors. Because the color sits on the outside of hair, it wears off at a similar rate all over as the strands grow out. However, some factors can cause uneven fading:
- Heat styling – Can accelerate fade on exposed areas
- Sun exposure – Can cause faster fading in highlighted areas
- Frequent washing – Can lead to faster fade near roots and hairline
- Brush contact – Friction can rub off color around part and hairline
Being mindful of these factors and taking preventative steps allows the color to fade gradually for a seamless grow out.
How to Remove Conditioner Hair Dye
Since conditioner hair dyes are semi-permanent, they will eventually wash out on their own over several weeks as your hair grows. But if you want to speed up the removal process, you can use a clarifying shampoo to help strip the color off faster.
Here are some tips for quick conditioner dye removal:
- Lather hair with clarifying shampoo and let sit 5+ minutes before rinsing.
- Repeat clarifying wash daily until color fades to desired level.
- Use anti-dandruff shampoo which contains color-stripping zinc.
- Make a baking soda paste and massage onto hair for 5 minutes before rinsing.
- Use vitamin C dissolving tablets in shampoo to help lift stain.
- Try a bleach or color remover bath for quicker fade.
It’s also important to deep condition after repeated clarifying washes which can dry hair. Starting with less drying removal methods first allows you to fade color gradually while maintaining healthy hair.
- Conditioner hair dye lasts 4-6 washes on average.
- Duration is affected by hair type, shade choice, and washing habits.
- Color lasts longer on drier, thicker hair types.
- Washing less, using cool water, and regular touch-ups help deposit last longer.
- Conditioner dyes are nourishing rather than damaging for all hair types.
- No developer is required; color activates on contact with hair.
- Fading is generally even but can be accelerated in overprocessed areas.
- Clarifying shampoos help strip out conditioner dye.
While not permanent, conditioner hair dyes offer a fun, low-commitment way to temporarily transform your look. With proper maintenance, you can keep the vibrant color looking fresher for longer.