Why Does My Hair Not Hold Color?

Nothing is better than vibrant, freshly dyed hair. But what happens when your strands don’t hold color? Whether your dye doesn’t take or it feels like your color is washing out too quickly, we’ve got you covered! In this article, we’ll walk you through some reasons your hair isn’t holding onto color and provide tips on how to fix it. Let’s get started!

You Used the Wrong Hair Dye

Not all types of hair dye are created equally. Some types of hair dye are temporary and aren’t formulated to leave your hair with long-lasting color. Instead, they coat the outsides of your strands and fall off as you wash and style your hair. Another thing to look out for is the color of your dye. Soft, pastel shades tend to fade more quickly than deep, richly pigmented hues.

You Have Damaged Hair

Unfortunately, dry and damaged strands don’t hold onto color well. Damaged hair has a loose cuticle, with lots of holes, tears, and gaps along its surface. Although these gaps make it easy for dye pigments to enter your strands, your hair has no way of holding onto them. Instead, your color will bleed and fade right away. While there’s no easy solution to getting rid of damage, you can take the following steps to begin moving in the right direction:

  • Get regular trims.

  • Use protein-rich hair products.

  • Give your strands plenty of moisture.

You Didn’t Let Your Dye Sit Long Enough

Both hair dye and developer need ample time to penetrate your strands, so rushing through the coloring process will leave you with color that doesn’t last. You can prevent this by following the directions on your hair dye as closely as possible. Although specific times vary, you should generally leave the dye on your hair for 30 to 45 minutes. And if your hair has a habit of not taking color well, try to stick to the higher end of the time range.

You Used the Wrong Developer

When using permanent or demi-permanent hair dye, the developer you use is just as important as the dye itself. If your developer isn’t strong enough, it may cause your color not to take. Instead, your color may come out splotchy or faded. To prevent this, make sure you’re using the recommended strength developer for your dye, and always follow the instructions.

You’re Washing Your Hair Incorrectly

Does your color look great during the first day or two and then dramatically fade after you wash it a couple of times? If this sounds familiar, it might be a sign that you’re washing your hair incorrectly. Washing your hair the wrong way can lead to significant bleeding or fading, so here are a few tips on how to best wash colored hair.

  • Avoid using hot water.

  • Use a color-safe shampoo.

  • Don’t wash your hair more than two or three times a week.

  • Invest in a showerhead filter.

To sum up, there are various reasons why your hair isn’t holding color. But by making a few minor changes to how you dye your hair, you can ensure that your color is here to stay. And we hope that one of the solutions we’ve gone over in this article is precisely what you needed to do just that!


Author: Andrea Reyes

Andrea is a mother, wife, writer, and natural hair enthusiast of 15 years. Currently on her natural hair journey, she’s been trying countless products and techniques to understand and embrace her natural hair. She is the creator of NaturallyTextured.com, a new website featuring informative articles that share tips, tricks, and techniques aimed to help others learn to love their hair through proper hair care. She writes with the hope of making hair care easier to understand and implement.

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