If you want to know how to straighten your hair after coloring it, you have come to the right place. We’ve put together an easy guide that explains the process in detail. Keep reading!
Why Is Newly Colored Hair More Sensitive?
Hair strands have a cuticle layer that protects the internal layer of the hair shaft.
Most permanent hair dye uses ammonia to break through the cuticle so that hair dye molecules can enter the hair strand and change your natural hair pigment.
Lifting the cuticle layer makes it possible to dye your hair, but it also removes a valuable protective layer from your hair strand.
It’s common for hair dyes to contain other potentially damaging ingredients as well.
For example, hydrogen peroxide interacts with molecules that control your hair pigment, making it possible to lighten your hair, but it can also remove keratin, a natural protein from your hair.
This can leave your hair weaker and more susceptible to damage.
Over time, you can restore your hair with deep conditioning treatments and hair masks (1), but it will initially be much more sensitive.
Since your newly dyed hair will have less protection than it normally does, heat styling tools like flat irons have the potential to cause a lot of damage.
Can You Use A Hair Straightener After Dyeing Hair?
You can use a hair straightener on newly dyed hair, but it has the potential to damage both your hair and your hair color.
Since hair dye opens up the cuticle layer of your hair, your hair won’t have the protection that it normally does.
You’ll have to take extra steps to protect your hair and avoid damage
This doesn’t mean you have to stop straightening your hair, but it does mean you should take precautions to avoid damage:
Here are a few tips:
1. Apply heat protectant
Before you use a hair straightener, you should apply a heat protectant product that will give your hair strands back some of the protection that it’s currently lacking.
2. Avoid high temperatures
You should also avoid using extreme temperatures to style your hair. The higher the temperature of your flat iron, the more likely it is to remove the pigment from your hair.
By styling your hair at lower temperatures, you can help to prevent some damage.
3. Do not straighten wet hair
In addition, you should make sure that your hair is completely dry when you use the hair straightener.
When your hair is still wet, heat styling tools can steam the moisture out of your hair strands, making it more brittle.
If your hair is even slightly damp, using a straightener could burn or break your damaged hair strands.
How To Use Straighteners After Dyeing Your Hair
You don’t have to give up heat styling if you want to dye your hair, but you will need to take steps to protect your hair from damage.
Keep these tips in mind when you’re using heat styling tools on colored hair:
1. Apply Heat Protectant Products to Wet or Damp Hair
While there are many products that can protect your hair from heat, these products will be less effective when they’re applied to dry hair.
Heat protectant products are able to seal in moisture, giving dyed hair a layer of protection from heat.
Applying the products to wet hair will also make it easier to evenly distribute the product throughout your hair.
Don’t use a straightener until your hair and the product have both dried completely.
2. Don’t Use the Highest Temperature Setting
While high temperatures make it easy to smooth out coarse or curly hair, they can also cause more damage to hair strands and even strip away the pigment from your dye.
Even if it takes longer, it’s best to style your hair at a lower temperature.
The best temperature setting for your hair will vary based on your hair type.
If you have thick hair, your hair may be able to handle temperatures between 300 and 340 degrees Fahrenheit, even after it’s been dyed. For thinner hair, it’s best to use temperatures below 300 degrees.
3. Invest In a High-Quality Flat Iron
If you dye your hair and straighten it regularly, it may be worthwhile to invest in styling tools that will minimize the damage to your hair.
High-quality flat irons are able to distribute heat more evenly throughout your hair, allowing you to straighten strands with less heat overall.
Tourmaline flat irons are an especially great option for colored hair.
These flat irons have a mineral coating that provides hair strands with extra protection. It essentially serves as a barrier against the high heat of the straightener.
Hair that has been damaged by hair dye produces positive ions that can leave you with frizzy strands.
Tourmaline flat irons create negative ions, which can prevent frizz and leave you with smoother and silkier hair.
4. Straighten Smaller Strands
It can be tempting to straighten large chunks of hair at a time so that you can style your hair more quickly.
However, when you try to straighten a lot of hair at once, it’s difficult for the styling tool to evenly distribute heat across your hair strands.
If you stick to smaller strands, you may be able to straighten the hair in one pass, preventing damage.
How To Keep Your Dyed Hair Healthy
Hair dye can be damaging, but that doesn’t mean that colored hair has to be unhealthy.
There are plenty of things you can do to restore your hair and prevent future damage. These include:
Washing Your Hair Less Often
The less you wash your hair, the better. Not only does washing your hair cause your color to fade, but it also strips the hair of its natural oils.
To keep your hair from getting overly oily, use a dry shampoo to keep it clean between washes.
Give Your Hair Plenty of Moisture
Hair dye can strip your hair of moisture, especially if you use bleach or peroxide on your hair.
Use leave-in conditioners and other moisturizing products to restore some of the moisture that your hair has lost.
Make sure you use a moisturizing conditioner when you wash your hair in the shower.
Use the Right Hair Products
Using the right products can help you to repair your hair and keep your color vibrant. Look for products that are specifically designed for color-treated hair.
Try using a hair mask at least once a month to nourish and restore your hair.
Protect Your Hair from the Sun
Most people are aware that UV rays from the sun can damage skin, but you may not know that the sun can damage your hair as well.
Consider using a sun protectant product on your hair after it’s been styled. That way, your hair will have a layer of defense from the sun.
Limit Heat Styling
You can keep straightening your hair after it’s been dyed, but you’ll want to cut back on the amount of heat styling that you use.
Instead of using a blow-dryer to get your hair dry, you may want to allow your hair to air dry before you use a straightener.
If you’re able to cut back on washing your hair, you’ll be able to cut back on straightening as well.
Can I Chemically Straighten My Hair After Dying It?
Chemical straightening uses harsh chemicals to make hair look silky and smooth.
These chemicals can cause significant damage to the hair shaft, especially when it’s applied to hair that has already been damaged by hair dye. (2)
Keratin straightening can achieve similar results without causing damage, making it a popular alternative to chemical straighteners.
However, keratin treatments have a low pH formula that has the potential to interact with artificial hair color, changing the color of your hair.
Dyed hair can be chemically straightened or smoothed out through keratin treatments, but you’ll want to get advice from your hairstylist before proceeding.
Your stylist can provide you with advice and tell you more about how these treatments will impact the color and condition of your hair.
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.
Dee has been following the Curly Girl Method for over four years and is our in-house Curly Girl expert. She has a keen interest in natural haircare and has tried and tested her share of CGM products. She has a photographic memory of most sulfate and silicone-free hair products available on the high street and she’s always happy to recommend you her favorites.