Why Didn’t My Hair Dye (Color) Take on Roots or Ends?

Most women change their hair color with the seasons, but sometimes the hair dye won’t take hold. What causes hair color not to take? It’s frustrating, but there are reasons for the loss of color.

You thought you did everything right, but you have dull and choppy-looking hair or it’s too brassy. The new color is not even a shade, so it doesn’t look natural. You wonder if the hair dye is beyond the expiration date or if you’ve used the wrong brand.

You’re just not sure what went wrong. So, you call a friend, and she listens to your rant, but she doesn’t know either. She goes to the salon and doesn’t have the foggiest idea how to help you.

Well, the first thing you should do is calm down. You’re more than capable of dyeing your hair or adding highlights, so don’t cut all your hair off just yet. You just need help and help is not far away, so keep scrolling.

Table of Contents:

What Causes Hair Color Not to Take?

What’s your current hair color? Does it have too many colors in it already? Some women are hair dye fanatics, and it’s difficult to know what is the actual hair color. If you or anyone has layer upon layer of color, then it’s going to be hard to for the hair color to take effect.

If you have lots of layers of colors, including the original color on the scalp, the results are not going to be what you expect. It may end up looking a little choppy. The hair dye ends up being a shade darker on parts of your hair and naturally, lighter in other areas.

1] Over-Processed the Hair

Are you letting the dye process for too long? When you allow the color to set for longer than necessary, it takes away from the dimensions of the strands. It’s an easy fix, thankfully. You need to wash your hair with a clarifying shampoo. It may take a few tries, but it works.

The clarifying shampoo should bring the color out. If it doesn’t, you may need to speak to the color experts. But, if you still want to go at it alone, check the color every five to ten minutes.

2] Hair Processes Better When It’s Damaged

It’s the strangest thing, but your hair will process better when it’s damaged.

Part of the color process means the chemicals will have to loosen the outer layers of the hair so the color can attach itself to the strands. It just happens to be easier if the cuticle layers are damaged.

New hair or new growth is stronger than the rest of the hair. Therefore, it won’t relax enough, so the color molecules can get in. The molecules have to get in or else the color won’t change.

Tips for Hair Dye Not Taking to Roots:

Your roots don’t match the color of your hair. Some say to leave the color on the roots longer. Wait before you rinse it out.

  • If the instructions call for a 20 minute processing time, give it an extra 10 minutes or so.
  • Color the roots of your hair a couple of times just to be on the safe side. To take advantage of this, put some of the color to one side.
  • Combine the rest of the coloring and go over the roots of the hair again. What this does is damage the hair and ironically, it’s what you want so the dye takes effect and you won’t be asking “Why didn’t my hair dye take?”
  • Aside from that, you must remember, not everyone will have the same results. Try experimenting to get to know your hair better.

3] Changes in Texture

When anyone changes the color of their hair, they change the texture of it at the same time. Whether this texture change is intentional or not, your hair will take on a different effect. In other words, it’s going to happen regardless, so don’t be surprised.

Fortunately, this is not a bad thing for you. The change could be shine and manageability, or it will help to straighten curly hair. It could also make the hair less frizzy. This is the beauty of dyeing or bleaching the hair.

4] Perms or Relaxers

One of the biggest mistakes women make in styling their hair is relaxing the hair or perming it and coloring it too soon after that. This is too much chemically, and it will strip the hair of its color. Wait a couple of weeks after relaxing the hair to color treat it.

Also, hair relaxers have side effects that you need to understand.

5] Protein Deficiency

It’s strange to think how a vitamin deficiency can be what causes hair color not to take, don’t you think? Not enough protein can alter the hair dyeing process. The best alternative is to use a colorless protein filler before dyeing it.

This is done to increase the hair’s porousness and to make sure that the color is spread and absorbed equally. During the next few weeks, continue to use a color filler to help the color stay longer. What happens is that the hair’s consistency will change.

6] Product Buildup

You may want to clarify your hair before dyeing the hair. The excessive buildup will prevent the hair from taking the color. You don’t want to coat the hair with treatments and other dyes as it will stop the dye from working. The result will be patchy-looking hair.

7] Check Your Shampoo/Conditioner

The shampoo you use regularly may not be the best choice for color-enhancing or retaining color. You may need to look into using another brand – a shampoo for dyed red hair or color-treated hair. Remember, it should be both the shampoo and the conditioner, not just one.

8] Refrain from Over-Shampooing

Some people wash their hair every single day, and this is not necessarily the best way especially if you want to dye your hair. Try shampooing every other day or every three days. This way, the hair won’t dry out as much as it would washing every day.

Think about what makes the hair lather. Does it strip away the natural oils? Well, if it takes away the oil from your hair, it will sure do the same for the color. Try another shampoo that doesn’t lather for top-quality results.

9] Developers

There’s a couple of developers on the market, but you must be sure which one to get. Remember, if you want to go darker, use a 10. This should also put you in the same shade as your original hair color. If you’re going to go lighter, try a much stronger volume, something between a 30 and 50.

hair too porous to hold color

10] Heat Damage

Damage done by heating tools should be maintained with conditioning treatments. Do this before you color your hair. It may take a couple of days or weeks to strengthen the hair, or you may need to trim your ends.

This, in turn, will help reduce fading. Color fades faster when the hair is damaged although it’ll give off an ombre hair color. Half the battle is making sure your hair can handle the change. If your hair is already damaged, you should expect specific results because of it.

11] Avoid the Sun

Staying out of the sun’s way can be difficult. However, there are ways to protect the hair from the sun. Being in the sun for extended periods can fade the hair color. Wear a hat or scarf to protect your hair from the UV rays so the color last.

12] Freshly Washed Hair

If you’re wondering why your hair is not retaining color, it could be that you washed your hair too soon. No, you should not shampoo before coloring. Your hair should not be grimy either, but a little dirty is okay.

You want the color to latch on to the strands, so the color lasts a long time. Wait roughly two to three days before coloring after shampooing.

13] Is the Water Hard or Soft?

The water used to clean the hair is essential as well. If the water is too hard, this means there is a lot of minerals which will be added to your hair that you don’t need. What happens, in this case, is it fades the new color.

14] The Water Temperature

Hot water is good for cleaning the hair as it opens the pores. However, it’s not so good when you have color-treated hair. Warm water is better in this case and particularly for those of you who have red hair. You should follow up with a cool water rinse.

15] Swimming

It may be good for the body, but swimming is terrible for the hair and scalp. If you swim in water that has tons of chlorine, you should avoid it if at all possible. It will cause the hair to dry out even more and eventually, more damage to your tresses like split ends and breakage.

Is My Hair Too Porous to Hold Color?

Is your hair subject to over-exposure to heat due to styling efforts? Curling irons, flat iron, and chemicals do much damage to the hair, and often, it makes the hair too porous to hold color.

Although the color sticks to the hair fast, it fades just as quickly, leaving you profoundly disappointed.

Here are a few ways to help heal the hair so that this doesn’t happen to you:

  • Get a trim regularly. If you have split ends and dry hair, the best thing to do is to cut the hair so that when you are ready to have it colored, the highlights will last longer.
  • Condition the hair at least twice a week. Leave in for approximately five minutes for a deep conditioning and especially at the roots of the hair.
  • Always use a sulfate-free conditioner and shampoo for colored hair. Don’t use hot water and don’t shampoo every day.
  • Stay away from heat including blow dryers, curling rods, and straightening irons.
  • Visit a professional salon at least once a month and when you’re ready to color.

Why is my hair not retaining color?

Why Won’t My Hair Take Color After Bleaching?

What you do to your hair on a daily basis can affect the hair when it’s time to color it.

Certain chemicals will strip the hair of its natural oils and dry the hair, make it brittle, so forth. Although the color will look right, it will only last for a little while. You should repair the hair before dyeing it and not after.

Here’s what to do:

  • Don’t shampoo for a few days but do rinse it and condition it. Do a deep conditioning for about 15 minutes and rinse well. Reject the urge to rub your hair dry but get all the water out.
  • Use a moisturizing, sulfate-free shampoo to avoid causing more damage. At the same time, if you do have damage, try a shampoo that will repair the hair so it will be stronger.
  • You can also use a home remedy using olive oil. Heat a small amount of the olive oil and when it cools, apply it to damp hair, in particular, the ends. Let it stay in for about an hour. Rinse it out, followed by a shampoo and conditioner.
  • Mix one avocado and a spoonful of mayonnaise together to either wet or dry hair. The focus should be on the ends but apply to the whole head. Wrap in a plastic cap for about 15 minutes. Next rinse it completely away and then wash and condition as normal.
  • See a stylist for a trim and deep conditioning.

You want to make sure your hair is in the best condition, so you don’t have to ask “why didn’t my hair dye take?” Have a little patience and do the right thing to get the right results.

Copyright 2018 by DryScalpGone.