Skip to Content

Should You Wash Greasy Hair Before Dyeing? Tips to Prep for Coloring (2024)

This site is supported by our readers. We may earn a commission, at no cost to you, if you purchase through links.

can you dye your hair when its greasyI know you’re wondering if you can dye your hair when it’s greasy. Believe me, I’ve been there.

Here’s the deal: A little oil can actually help protect your locks during coloring. But too much grease will make the dye patchy. So assess the oil level before you get started.

If you haven’t washed for a few days but it doesn’t look dirty, you’re probably good to go.

However, if you’re rocking some serious grease, do a quick shampoo first. Your color will turn out so much better.

The most important thing is to keep your strands healthy. With the right prep, you can dye those oily locks and still get great results!

Key Takeaways

  • Wait 24 to 48 hours after washing hair before dyeing it for more even color distribution.
  • Use ammonia-free hair dyes and apply petroleum jelly around hairline and ears to reduce skin irritation and stains.
  • Prepare hair before dyeing with regular shampoo and conditioner, not harsh clarifying products.
  • After dyeing hair, use sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner to help maintain vivid color and shine.

Should You Wash Before Dyeing Greasy Hair?

Should You Wash Before Dyeing Greasy Hair
Experts have different views on washing greasy hair before coloring, but you’d do best to wash and condition it a day or two beforehand. This removes excess oil for better dye results without over-drying. While your hair’s natural oils protect it from damage, too much grease makes the color absorb unevenly.

Don’t fall for the myth that skipping a wash right before dyeing helps the color stick better. Sure, the oils give some protection against chemicals but also hinder even application. Stick to your regular shampoo and conditioner when prepping – nothing too harsh.

For an easy, flawless application, wash away excess grease a couple days prior. This lets your scalp breathe while keeping just enough beneficial oils. With clean yet conditioned strands ready to soak up vivid color, you’ll get gorgeous, even results.

Can You Dye Greasy Hair?

Can You Dye Greasy Hair
You can dye greasy hair, but take precautions. Do a strand test first to see how the color develops. Apply petroleum jelly around your hairline to prevent stains. Wear gloves. Follow dye instructions precisely and apply quickly roots to ends, smoothing through strands.

Processing time stays the same. Rinse until the water runs clear. Don’t shampoo right away so the pigment penetrates.

Grease doesn’t block dye or make it less intense. But very oily hair may absorb unevenly and look splotchy. Touch up roots in 4-6 weeks and use sulfate-free products to maintain vibrant color.

With care, you can beautifully dye greasy hair. Focus on even application and give your locks extra TLC afterwards.

What to Avoid Before Dyeing Greasy Hair

What to Avoid Before Dyeing Greasy Hair
Let’s avoid over-manipulating greasy locks before coloring. When your hair is extra oily, take care to prevent stains on clothes and skin while prepping those dirty tresses for dye. Wear an old shirt and drape a towel around your shoulders during application. Apply petroleum jelly along hairlines and ears for protection against drips.

Skipping the shampoo avoids stripping needed oils before chemicals hit. However, for excessive grease, lightly shampoo just the roots rather than full lengths.

When applying dye, start at the ends of your locks working upwards to deposit the most pigment on the oldest, driest portions. Follow all timing and mixing instructions closely. Rinse thoroughly upon completion, and deep condition to replenish moisture stripped during processing.

With some strategic preparation, you can dye greasy hair beautifully.

Best At-Home Hair Dye Kits

Best At-Home Hair Dye Kits
Looking to dye your greasy locks right at home? L’Oréal Paris Féria and L’Oréal Paris Colorista are two of the top at-home hair dye kits that’ll help you achieve gorgeous, vibrant color even if you haven’t washed your hair in a few days.

With ammonia-free formulas and conditioning properties, these drugstore dyes minimize damage while depositing rich, fade-resistant color that looks great whether your hair is squeaky clean or a little oily.

L’Oréal Paris Féria

To transfer vibrant shades onto your soiled tresses, reach for L’Oréal Paris Féria. The ammonia-free dye saturates your locks with intense color tones for radiant results. With shades evoking red wine, bright fuchsia, and chocolate cherry, indulge your creativity.

The time-tested formula nourishes greasy hair, helping to lock in richness and shine. L’Oréal simplifies at-home dyeing, with finger applicators minimizing mess. For dazzling hues that won’t fade, rely on the leading brand L’Oréal.

L’Oréal Paris Colorista

Ugh, that L’Oreal Colorista’s gonna leave your ‘do looking more tragic than magic if you don’t prep those greasy locks first. Gotta check that greasiness before slapping on the dye – otherwise you’ll end up with splotchy, uneven color.

So grab some gloves and shampoo it the night before. Follow the dyeing process – prep, section, apply. Don’t let L’Oreal Paris Colorista sit too long and fry your hair. And keep it looking fresh with sulfate-free shampoo after.

Maintain that color, girl! Condition, limit heat tools, and boost moisture. Don’t believe the greasy hair myths – do it right so your Colorista color stays poppin’.

How Long to Wait After Dyeing Greasy Hair

How Long to Wait After Dyeing Greasy Hair
You’d be wise to wait at least four weeks before recoloring your greasy locks if you’re not satisfied with the initial results.

Here are some tips for maintaining color-treated hair on greasy roots:

  • Give your scalp and strands time to recover before redyeing. Overprocessing causes dryness and breakage.
  • Use a deeply nourishing hair mask once a week to replenish moisture and minimize damage from dye chemicals.
  • Limit heat styling and tools that can fade your new color. Let your hair air dry when possible.
  • Wash with a gentle, sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner formulated for color-treated hair.
  • Apply a protective serum or oil to the ends to keep your color vibrant.

Greasy hair can make the dye application process trickier. But taking proper precautions, like doing a strand test, watching your developer ratio, and applying dye properly from roots to ends, helps get even, long-lasting results.

Allow your locks adequate time to recover before attempting to redye to maintain the health and integrity of your strands. Consistent deep conditioning and limiting heat exposure keeps both your color and natural oils looking their best.

Maintaining Dyed Greasy Hair

Maintaining Dyed Greasy Hair
Hey there! When it comes to maintaining dyed greasy hair, it’s crucial to use sulfate-free shampoo and deep conditioning hair masks weekly. Limiting hot tools will also help protect colored hair, so be sure to use a heat protectant if you do need to style.

Some other tips are using cool water when washing dyed hair to help preserve color, using clarifying shampoos occasionally to remove product buildup, and using purple shampoo for blonde or silver tones to keep the color bright.

Also, try to stretch washes as long as possible by using dry shampoo between washes. This will help hair retain moisture and avoid stripping color. Protecting dyed hair from sun exposure will prevent fading as well.

Sulfate-Free Shampoo

Step into your shower and lather that colorful mane with a nourishing, sulfate-free shampoo that smells of coconut and feels like silk between your fingers. Sulfate-free shampoos are ideal for preserving your new hair color and keeping dyed locks glossy and vibrant.

They are gentler cleansers that don’t strip hair’s natural oils or fade color as quickly as traditional shampoos. When home hair dyeing, be sure to have a sulfate-free shampoo on hand for post-color care.

Your tresses will thank you for the extra nourishment and your new hue will last longer between touch ups.

Hair Masks

Treat your locks to a nourishing hair mask once a week for some TLC. After coloring, your hair needs a little extra moisture. Apply a hair mask to damp hair after shampooing, focusing on the ends. Let it soak for 10-15 minutes before rinsing.

The weekly deep conditioning will help restore hydration and shine to maintain your fresh color. Avoid hot tools, and when you do style, use a heat protectant. Finally, opt for ammonia-free, semi-permanent dyes between touch-ups for low-maintenance color.

Limit Hot Tools

Restrict irons, your hair’s already frazzled.

  1. Invest in satin pillowcases and hair ties.
  2. Allow your hair to air dry instead of blow-drying.
  3. Skip the flat iron and embrace your natural texture.
  4. Use overnight or heating caps for deep conditioning.
  5. Explore fun accessories like headbands and clips.

Forget the hot tools that cause more damage to your color-treated tresses. Focus on gentle, heat-free styling methods that keep your hair hydrated and vibrant.

Tips for Dyeing Greasy Hair

Tips for Dyeing Greasy Hair
No one wants stained clothes or skin from home hair dye. Therefore, be sure to wear old clothes and apply petroleum jelly as protection. Before mixing your dye, detangle your hair with a wide-tooth comb and follow the instructions properly to combine the color and developer correctly.

Wear Old Clothes

Help yourself stay splash-free while coloring your locks by wearing worn duds and laying out towels. Grab those stained sweats and oversized tees, and keep your faves far from the dye. Unfold old towels on surfaces near your impromptu salon to catch drips. Protect areas prone to staining with a thick layer of petroleum jelly before pulling on those grubby garments.

With these tips, you’ll keep stains off the clothes you cherish while playing stylist with greasy hair.

Remove Tangles

Gently roll your locks before painting them for smoother application. Let your fingertips glide through each strand, unraveling knots with care. This tangle removal allows the dye pigments to saturate every hair uniformly. Avoid breakage that could lead to uneven color results.

Nourish with conditioner and let air dry before rinsing to protect color-treated tresses. Your mane will look radiant, with the vibrancy of the new hue enhanced by diligent tangle disentangling beforehand.

Mix the Dye

When blending the color, be sure to follow the mixing ratio stated on the package for optimal results. Before mixing, put on the gloves. Carefully pour the hair dye and developer into a non-metallic bowl based on the instructions.

Gently stir until well blended. To prevent stains, drape an old towel around your shoulders. For added skin protection, apply petroleum jelly along the hairline and ears. After mixing the dye, section your hair and immediately begin application from roots to tips.

When is Hair Too Greasy to Dye?

When is Hair Too Greasy to Dye
You’d better clean those oil-slicked locks first if you hope that new hair hue will come out even. When dyeing greasy hair, timing is everything. Too much oil can pose an oily challenge, making it hard for dye to penetrate evenly.

First, assess your hair’s oiliness. If your roots are greasy but the lengths are not, you may be able to carefully apply dye just to the roots. Conversely, if your ends are greasy but roots are not, focus application on the lengths.

Next, consider your coloring concerns. For semi-permanent vegetable-based dyes, a bit of oil is okay. But for permanent oxidative dyes, excessive oil can interact poorly. The dye may not deposit right, resulting in spotty color.

When unsure, err on the side of caution. Thoroughly cleanse hair before dyeing for optimal saturation and truest color payoff. Take time to prep those tresses, and your new vibrant hue will shine through beautifully.


As Marilyn Monroe once said, I’m selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as heck don’t deserve me at my best.

Much like our hair, we accept its flaws and all so why not embrace greasy hair before dyeing too? While washing first may seem ideal, don’t shy away from dyeing dirty hair – you may just be pleasantly surprised with the results.

After all, your hair’s natural oils can actually help the color adhere and protect those luscious locks.

So go ahead, dye away and see your true colors shine, grease and all!

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is a published author and software engineer and beard care expert from the US. To date, he has helped thousands of men make their beards look better and get fatter. His work has been mentioned in countless notable publications on men's care and style and has been cited in Seeker, Wikihow, GQ, TED, and Buzzfeed.