What Happens If You Mix Conditioner with Hair Dye?

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Conditioners are one of the best ways to instantly add moisture and nourish your hair. In this article, we explore what happens if you mix conditioner with hair dye as well as reveal a few key products to help extend the life of your dyed hair.

Written By Chia Kougianos

Why Mix Hair Dye with Conditioner?

For some people, the benefits of adding conditioner to their hair coloring routine are well worth it.

They may argue that it is a simple yet effective way of protecting their hair against the harsh chemicals present in most commercial hair dyes.

It could also help to combat hair damage as a result of exposure to UV rays. This could be from the sun or even chlorine water from a swimming pool.

For others, adding conditioner to the mix will help to lighten the overall shade as darker hair colors can last a very long time. It can also create a muted tone in the final result.

This is because conditioners have the ability to reduce the harshness of the dye color which results in it being less intense.

But be warned. Although mixing conditioner with hair dye may result in your hair feeling silky smooth, it may also result in your overall color becoming diluted or faded. This is because the conditioner acts as a layer of protection between the dye chemicals and your hair.

Also Read: Gluten Free Hair Color: Your Best Choices for 2021

Does Conditioner Dilute Hair Dye?

The combination of adding conditioner and hair dye together has been known to cause dilution in the final hair color result.

Hair dyes can also be diluted in a number of other ways.

For example, adding shampoo or even hair oil to your hair dye formula may result in impacting the overall shade.

Water can also be used to dilute the final color transformation and even mixing colors can help produce a softer shade.

One of the most popular reasons behind adding conditioner to your hair dye formula is the fact that it helps to adjust the hair color while adding irreverent shine and moisture.

The final result is a shiny yet somewhat muted tone. This is not to say that your hair will look less vibrant but the conditioner absorbs the intensity of the shade making it appear less bright.

However, it’s important to note that some commercial hair dye manufacturers have created formulas which won’t be affected by the use of conditioner or any other hair products.

If you’re looking for a more subtle color, you could always give henna hair dye a go.

Also Read: The Best Hair Dyes For Keratin Treated Hair

Best Conditioners to Mix with Hair Dye

If you’re looking to maximize the vibrancy and life of your hair, a color transformation is your best bet.

But hair dye can be taxing on your strands. Adding conditioner to the mix is a great way to offer protection to your hair as well as boost the overall texture and shine.

We wrote a whole post on the best conditioners to mix with hair dye but have picked out a few select below.

It’s important to always use sulfate-free conditioner when you’re looking to add it to your hair dye formula. They’re great for extending the life of your dyed hair and won’t strip your strands of the color.

The TRESemmé Moisture Rich Conditioner is great in that it protects your hair against damage and works to soften your hair.  

It’s a popular choice for those looking to mix hair dye with conditioner. It consists of a lightweight formula that is designed to leave your hair feeling soft and hydrated.

Sheamoisture Restorative Conditioner has a unique formula combination that includes hand-picked natural ingredients and certified organic Shea Butter to create a gentle conditioner for your hair.

It works well in improving your overall hair health and restores its lustrous shine after a color application.

It’s also great in that it doesn’t include any sulfates or parabens.

You can also use this product as a leave-in conditioner during a normal daily hair routine which will help the color from fading.

ABBA Color Protection Conditioner for chemically treated hair sets out to re-hydrate and protect color or chemically- treated hair.

It’s vegan-made and free from parabens, sulfates and even gluten. It helps to reduce your color fading by adding a protective moisture barrier over your strands.

The Kerastase Reflexion range is perfect for both colored or highlighted hair. The conditioner is infused with UV Filters and Vitamin E which helps to fight the factors responsible for color fading.

Your hair will be left feeling supple and nourished after introducing this incredible formula to your hair care routine.

Handy Tips on How to Mix Hair Color with Conditioner

If you’re looking to mix conditioner with your hair dye and are wondering what happens during the process, these simple hacks are just for you:

  • When applying conditioner to the hair dye formula it’s recommended that you follow a 1:3 ratio. This means that you will need to use three parts hair conditioner to a single part of hair dye formula for the best effect.
  • If you’re looking to create a pastel effect or muted hues then adding conditioner to pink, purple, blue or red hair color dyes are the perfect combination. It will dilute the shade but still ensure vibrant color and shine.
  • We recommend staying clear of mixing colored conditioners to your hair dye formula. Look for conditioners that are clear or white in color, so they won’t interfere with the color of your hair dye.

Mixing Semi-Permanent Hair Color with Conditioner

What happens if you mix semi-permanent hair dye with conditioner? We uncover some of the results as well as a few steps to take during the process:

  1. Firstly, you will need to determine what hair color you would like to achieve for the final result. We recommend choosing a vibrant hair color shade as the conditioner will result in the color becoming lighter.
  2. Choose a conditioner that is either white or clear in color so as to not interfere with the color of the dye
  3. Combine 1/3 cup of conditioner with a generous spoonful of hair dye into a plastic bowl. Mix the two ingredients thoroughly. Once you are sure it is successfully integrated you can then add the remaining hair dye formula.
  4. Follow the directions on the hair dye box to allow for enough time for the formula to develop on your hair
  5. Rinse thoroughly and refrain from washing your hair for the next 24 hours to allow the product to be fully absorbed. This will help to create long-lasting color for several weeks of wear. Typically, semi-permanent hair dyes last for around eight hair washes.

Mixing Permanent Hair Color with Conditioner

If you’re thinking about what happens if you mix conditioner with permanent hair dye, the process is the same as semi-permanent hair dye.

  1. The first step would be to choosing what hair color you would like to create for the end result. Typically, vibrant, or bold color shades work best as the conditioner tends to mute the shade resulting in the final color being lighter.
  2. It’s best to choose a conditioner that is either white or clear in color. By doing this you can ensure that the final mixture is complementary and that the formulas work in harmony.
  3. The next step involves combining 1/3 cup of conditioner with a generous spoonful of hair dye. Place the mixture into a plastic bowl and combine thoroughly. Finally add in the remaining hair dye formula.
  4. Revert back to the hair dye box for the directions and allow the desired time for the formula to develop.  
  5. Once the waiting period has passed rinse the product out thoroughly and try to avoid washing your hair until 24 hours has passed. This will help to allow the dye to be fully absorbed in your hair.

Also Read: How To Use Purple Hair Dye On Black Hair Without Bleach

Can I Mix Purple Shampoo with Hair Dye?

The simple answer is yes, you can mix purple shampoo with hair dye. For those with blonde and yellow tones in their hair, purple shampoo is a great way to correct yellow/brassy tones as well as taking care of gray hair.

A bonus is that it also adds shine and radiance to your strand. Most purple shampoo formulas contain antioxidants which helps to hydrate dry hair and protect against UV damage from sun exposure.

If you’re looking to mix purple shampoo with your hair dye the best ratio is a 50/50 mix.

So, in other words, you will need to add an equal amount of shampoo to the amount of hair dye formula you use.

Make sure the products are thoroughly mixed together well and apply gently to your hair.

Handy Hair Dye Tips for At-Home Coloring

woman getting her hair dyed

Make Sure You Organize All the Tools You’ll Need Before You Start

Use our checklist to get all the tools you will need to color your hair before you actually start the process.

If you’re choosing to color your hair at home rather than at a hair salon there is no reason you can’t enjoy a salon-worthy experience.

We highly recommend getting a coloring kit. This will include everything you need from a bowl and brush to a hair comb all of which can be reused several times.

Another handy tool to have is a pair of reusable gloves and a salon cape. Both are easy to wash and eco-friendly and go a long way in protecting your hands from coming into contact with the formula.

Open a window to ensure the smell of hair dye doesn’t linger afterwards. Also, ensure you protect your surroundings from hair dye by laying down a protective cover. Hair dye can be difficult to remove from tiles but even more so from carpets.

Finally, always dispose of hair dye in an environmentally efficient way.

Always Do a Patch Test

One of the best things you can do is test your color before you make a bold change.

This will help to determine if you are allergic to the brand as well as see how the new shade works for your skin tone.

A helpful trick is to color a few hidden strands of hair first so that they can be styled away or hidden if you don’t like the final result.

Leave Hair Down During the Application Process

For many of us twisting your hair into a bun or knot away from resting on your shoulders is a more comfortable solution while you pass the time.

We recommend leaving your hair down rather than twisting it so that you don’t run the risk of uneven color or patches of light and dark shades in the final result.

Try Adding Water and A Light Massage

Surprising as it may sound, a great way to make your color look even and avoid any streaks or patches is by adding a tiny bit of water to your hair.

Once the application has been on for some time simply spritz a little water directly on to your hair and massage it around your head.

This will help to promote even color in the end result.

Never Use Metal Bowls or Clips

Did you know the developer found in many commercial hair dye boxes can have a negative reaction to metal?

This in turn could cause the formula to oxidize and may affect your overall color.

For at-home coloring, we recommend using a glass bowl or a plastic bowl and clips during the coloring process.

Use Olive Oil and Toothpaste to Remove Dye Stains

What happens if you mix conditioner with hair dye, and you end up spilling a bit of hair dye directly onto your skin? This handy tip is just for you.

Staining your forehead and neck with formula is a common mistake and one that can be easily corrected.

One of the quickest ways to remove the stain is by mixing a tablespoon of olive oil with a small amount of whitening toothpaste.

Simply combine the two products and mix gently to create a paste. Using cotton wool apply the mixture directly to the stain and it will help to gently remove it from your skin.

Disclaimer: This site is not intended to provide professional or medical advice. All of the content on LovedByCurls.com is for informational purposes only. All advice should be followed at your own discretion. Ingredients may change at any time so always check the product label before using. Check our full disclaimer policy here.

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Dee is the founder of Loved By Curls and in-house Curly Girl expert. She loves natural haircare and has tried and tested her share of CGM products. She's always happy to recommend you her favorites.