Can You Dye Your Hair With Product In It?

can you dye your hair with product in it

Can you dye your hair with product in it” Well, that would depend on the result you hope to get.

You will get different answers to this question from people who got great results after dyeing their hair with product in it and those whose hair turned out to be a complete flop.

However, we are going to give an answer you can trust and provide reasons why you should consider our answer above others.

Going back to the question “Can you dye your hair with product in it?

The answer is NO?  Some people believe that dyeing your hair with hair products like gel in it wouldn’t affect the dye or cause a bad result while others would say that it doesn’t have any significant effect if you brush it all out.

Well, those who dyed their hair with hair products in it while using permanent, semi or demi colors have achieved less favorable results and we are going to tell you why.

Most people believe that leaving your hair unwashed or dirty is best when it comes to hair coloring.

This is true to some extent, as washing right before dyeing your hair will wash away the natural oils that protect your scalp from irritations and burns caused by the dye.

Also, leaving your hair unwashed will make the color last longer in the hair.

However, that doesn’t mean you should go to the salon with dirty hair. If you have hair products in your hair, it would affect how your hair absorbs the dye and therefore make the color fade faster than normal.

According to professional hair colorists, you should wash your hair with a clarifying shampoo a day or two before coloring to remove any hair product buildup.

Washing the hair makes it more porous and easier for the color to take evenly.

If you’re wondering how dirty your hair should be when you dye it, then you should know that leaving your hair dirty wouldn’t do you any good or give you any good results.

As said above it would make it difficult for your hair to completely absorb the color which is something common with hair washed just before dyeing it.

Once again, you should wash your hair a day or two before dying to get the best results.

Make sure your hair is completely dry before dyeing it as the color usually sits well on dry hair.

To make it easier for you to understand the importance of washing your hair before dyeing, we will look at issues like product buildup in hair which is one of the reasons why it is advised that you wash your hair thoroughly at least a day before coloring it.

What is Product Buildup?

Product buildup on hair differs from a natural buildup in the sense that it refers to a buildup from residues of hair products like shampoos and conditioners in strands of hair.

Natural buildup, on the other hand, refers to the clogging of hair follicles by dead skin cells and excess natural oils.


Common causes of product buildup in your hair are ingredients present in most hair products like silicone, petroleum and mineral oil.

Surprisingly, some natural products like plant gels, vegetable oil, butter, and waxes can also cause product buildup in your hair.

Cleansing Related Causes

If you’re not rinsing your hair enough, you’re more likely to have product buildup in your hair even if you don’t use hair products frequently.

This could be due to the buildup of dirt, natural oils and dead skin cells in the hair.

They are usually a result of infective cleansing. However, that doesn’t mean you should wash your hair every day just to prevent buildup.

You would rinse it out thoroughly when in the shower. If this doesn’t work (which is most likely), you can turn to other remedies we have listed below.

Using Non-Water-Based Products

If you are not using water-based hair products, you are more likely to have a buildup in your hair.

This is one of the reasons why washing or rinsing with water isn’t effective in getting rid of product buildup no matter how hard you wash or rinse.

Using too Much Hair Products

There is something as overly using hair products. If you think adding gel heavily to your hair will only hold moisture, then you should know that it will also leave you with greasy, waxy and flaky hair which is a sign of a buildup.

Hard Water

It does not cause product buildup in hair but causes the buildup of minerals and deposits in your hair.

Hard water contains several minerals and deposits that gradually buildup in the hair shaft and could change the color of the hair especially that of blondes.

The solution could be to use shampoos to wash off the minerals and rinse properly, however, treating the water system provides a long-lasting solution.


The most common symptom of buildup in your hair will be an itchy scalp. Dry, limp, or dull hair could also signal that the outer layer of your hair is getting blocked by your hair products.

Flakes, and heavy and clumpy hair are also signs to watch out for. If your hair is very difficult to style, it would be a sign of product buildup.

You may experience one or a combination of these problems and if so, you have to take some necessary steps to get rid of the buildup immediately.

The presence of a white residue on your scalp or hair is also an indication of product buildup. If you notice that your hair color treatment is fading quicker than usual, then you could have product buildup in your hair.

This is why it is advised that you wash your hair with clarifying shampoo a day or two before dyeing your hair.

How do you Remove Product Buildup from Hair?

Most people would turn to hair products or simply wash their hair believing it would get rid of the problem, however, it takes more than washing your hair to get rid of product buildup.

Changing your hair products wouldn’t make the situation any better except if you start using some products that help get rid of product buildup in the hair.

Causative ingredients like silicone can’t be washed out by your regular shampoo so you will have to try out other remedies or stop using hair products with this ingredient.

Clarifying Shampoo

Clarifying shampoos are different from regular shampoos as they have more active ingredients that go a step further to clean the hair.

They are the main non-natural remedy of buildup in hair, however, using them daily as your regular shampoo can be too harsh for your hair. It is best to use it only when you notice a buildup in your hair.

Clarifying shampoos don’t just work on cleansing buildup due to hair products but also due to natural causes as they dry up the natural oils (the main cause of natural buildup) in your hair.

There are many brands of clarifying shampoos out there with great reviews which makes it difficult when it comes to picking out the best one for your hair.

The easiest way to get the best product is to ask your hairstylist or a friend to recommend one she has used or you could pick up a shampoo based on reviews and popularity.

Popular choices include Clear Ultra Shea Shampoo, Herbal Essences Drama Clean Refreshing Shampoo, Viviscal Gorgeous Growth Densifying Shampoo, Moroccanoil Clarifying Shampoo, and Fekkai Apple Cider Shampoo.

When picking a clarifying shampoo, always check out for the ingredients. Make sure the choice you settle for does not contain ingredients like silicone, wax, and sulfates as these are the causes of the buildup and would end up worsening the situation.

Clarifying shampoos could cost anything between $5 to $45, however, being expensive doesn’t necessarily mean it is a great shampoo.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Those who prefer natural solutions can consider using Apple cider vinegar to remove product buildup. The process is quite simple, however, you will have to wash with shampoo to get the maximum effects.

This solution is not best for those with color-treated hair, if you want to get rid of product buildup in color-treated hair, you can turn to clarify shampoo as they can provide a solution without causing the color to fade.

However, you should only stick to clarifying shampoo made specifically for color-treated hair.

  • Mix two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with cool water. Add essential oils for healthy hair to the mixture (this is optional)
  • Wash your hair with shampoo as usual
  • Pour the mixture onto your hair, then massage into your scalp and leave for 2 minutes.
  • Rinse off with cool water.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is another natural solution for product buildup. Its effect and preparation process is similar to that of apple cider vinegar.

  • Mix two tablespoons of baking soda with cool water.
  • Wash your hair with shampoo to get rid of most of the dirt and product buildup.
  • Pour the baking soda solution onto your hair. Tilt your head back while doing so to allow the solution flow from your hairline down your hair.
  • Rinse off with cold water.

Baking soda can dry out your hair so you should condition it immediately after washing out the baking soda. This will prevent it from becoming too dry

Instead of using baking soda as a mixture, you can use baking soda paste to get rid of buildup in your hair. In this case, you will have to;

  • Mix the baking soda with hot water and stir till it becomes a thick paste
  • Wet your hair and gently massage the paste into your scalp.
  • Leave the paste on your scalp for 2 – 5 minutes.
  • Rinse the paste from your scalp with cool water. You should massage your head with your fingers to get all of the paste out.
  • Use your shampoo and conditioner to wash your hair then rinse it out well.

Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is effective in cleansing the scalp due to its acidic nature. It is not only effective for buildup caused by hair products but also buildup due to natural oils and dirt.

Something to keep in mind is that lemon juice can lighten your hair color and would not be the best solution for those with color-treated hair.

Once again, those with color-treated hair should use an only color-treated clarifying shampoo to get rid of product buildup in their hair.

  • Mix one tablespoon of lemon juice or lime juice with cool water.
  • Wash your hair with shampoo as usual
  • Tilt your head back and pour the mixture onto your hair. Allow it to run from your hairline and flow down your hair.
  • Leave for 2 – 5 minutes.
  • Rinse off with cool water.

Just like baking soda, lemon juice or lime juice can dry out your hair so you should wash and rinse with conditioner immediately after you have thoroughly rinsed out the lemon/lime from your hair.


Going through this article, it is easy for you to see why having hair products in your hair before you color is completely wrong. It can affect how well your hair absorbs the color leading to a poor result.

If you’re still considering whether or not to dye your hair with product in it, you can give it a try and experience the after-effects for yourself.

However, it wouldn’t be in the best interests of your budget if you spend about $200 on a hair coloring technique like Ombre and have it fade quicker than usual.

If you’re having issues with hair product buildup, you can try out the solutions listed above.

It is worthy to note that clarifying shampoos remain the best solution for a hair product and natural buildup but you can still go for the natural solutions if you are a fan of mixing chemicals.

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