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Coloring Hair: How Often to Apply Treatments

If you enjoy experimenting with different shades of color, you’ve probably already asked yourself, "how often can I color my hair?" The answer is, well, it depends! But don’t worry, we’re here to help you estimate how often you should be visiting the salon or dipping into your collection of dyes at home.


Risks of coloring hair too regularly

Woman with dark hair sitting on a bench
© EyeEm

The magical power of hair dye

Although the specifics of how often to dye hair vary depending on your situation, one thing’s for sure: coloring it too often can be bad for your hair, while overdoing it can lead to brittle strands that are prone to breakage and split ends. This is especially true when you consider how to lighten hair with bleach or some other permanent dye types, since they expose the hair’s cortex, making it more vulnerable to breakage. However, it’s worth mentioning that quality products are perfectly safe when used correctly and not too often!

How often can you dye hair?

Below we’ll offer some specific guidelines on how long to wait based on three key factors. Generally speaking though, it’s best to wait 4-6 weeks before having another color treatment – in most cases, this is enough anyway and reduces the risk of hair damage. There are some exceptions, but in general, it’s better to err on the side of caution and wait for this long. 


Note: If possible, it’s a good idea to consult a hairdresser or stylist to ensure you’re getting the best treatment for your hair.

Factor #1: Hair type

How often you can color your hair partly depends on your natural hair type, color, and what shade you are changing to. For instance, most people’s hair grows about half an inch per month, but if yours grows quicker than that, you may require more regular coloration. Similarly, those with darker hair who are dyeing to a lighter color may also need more frequent attention to avoid their natural color showing through at the roots.

Factor #2: Product type

Permanent dyes and bleaches typically require more topping up in order to maintain an even color, but also come with a risk of hair damage. For that reason, figuring out how often you can dye your hair is a fine balance. As a rule of thumb, refrain from another treatment for 6 weeks if you can, and a minimum of 4 weeks.


Semi-permanent hair color products are the exception to the rule and can be used more often than permanent tints if you want. This is for two main reasons: they’re designed to fade, so require more regular treatments anyway, and they are much gentler on hair since they don’t contain ammonia or alcohol.

Head-turning radiance and colors that last.

Factor #3: Your preferences

Last but not least, your personal preferences play an important role in how often to color hair. Ask yourself, are you the sort of person who’s comfortable with their natural roots showing for a short while, or are you more high maintenance? If it’s the former, you can probably be a little kinder to your hair and get away with re-dying every couple of months.

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