Skip to contentSkip to search
pantene logo
Does dying your hair damage it?
A portrait of a woman with long brown shiny hair looking at the camera, smiling and touching her hair

Does dying your hair damage it?

We all know that regular colouring sessions can cause a fair bit damage to your hair in the long run, but it's hard not to be tempted to recolour when you scroll through endless hairstyle inspo on Instagram. 'It looks so good,' we hear you cry, 'but I know it's damaging my hair!'

Thanks to the hair powers that be, there are several tweaks you can make to your haircare regimen so that you can have healthy AND coloured hair.

First thing first, you need to understand what colouring does to your hair to be able to look for the right solution. You might think the easy answer is simply to buy products for coloured hair, but these maintain the colour vibrancy rather than repairing your hair. The tricky part is figuring out which product will give your coloured hair a new lease of life; inside out. We'll come to that, but first…

Does dying your hair damage it?

When you colour your hair, chemicals in the dye change the structure of the individual strands of hair in order to let the new colour take hold. Ammonia lifts the cuticles and the peroxide breaks down the natural hair pigment. This reaction lets the colour in. The peroxide has a strong dying agent which causes the hair to feel dry and straw-like. Over time, and with repeated colouring sessions, these changes in the structure of your hair will leave it weaker and more prone to breakage. The more hair is dye damaged, the less the colour holds. That’s why it’s so important to prioritise repair if you colour your hair.

You’ve probably noticed that if you colour your hair regularly, the individual strands of your hair have also been left thinner. For more on the perfect way to care for your hair type, read our guide on easy ways to combat the look of thinning hair and hair loss the next.

Do highlights damage hair too, we hear you ask?

Any kind of colouring is going to inflict some damage on your hair; it’s not possible to lighten hair without damage, or bleach hair without damage.

Any kind of colouring is going to inflict some damage on your hair; it’s not possible to lighten hair without damage, or bleach hair without damage. Although more bleach results in more damage, nobody is suggesting you have to desert the blonde look you love so much. You just have to put a bit more effort into protecting and caring for your hair. As the saying goes, no pain, no gain.

There are a few things you can do to reduce the possible damage when colouring your hair and to help repairing some of the effects too. Let’s look at those in more detail with your cheat sheet for healthy-looking dyed hair.

How to repair hair dye damage

Use coloured hair repair shot

You’ve probably noticed one of these symptoms of hair dye damage: dryness, yellowish tones where highlighted, hair looks and gives the feeling of roughness (so-called straw-like hair). How to get silky hair and repair over processed strands? Pantene Pro-V Miracles Color Damage Reverse shot comes in handy. It deeply repairs the damage caused by highlights and bleach, transforming straw-like hair to silky soft in just 1 use. Don’t forget to take a look at the best coloured hair repair treatments from Pantene to achieve silky, soft hair you desire.

Purple shampoo to the rescue

Save your hair and bring back their glow and strength with our purple shampoo that contains hydrolysed silk protein. Silk protein, also known as silk amino acid, is extracted from silk and has a great ability to retain water, as it is known to retain 10,000 times its weight in water! It perfectly moisturizes the hair, prevents breakage and repairs colour damage. Our purple shampoo is infused with vitamins, helps neutralize yellow tones and restore hair strength. Silk protein will also help you achieve your hair’s perfect shine and turn these straw-like strands into glowing hair.

Never skip on conditioner

With colour damaged hair, moisture is your hair’s best friend when it comes to repairing that visible damage and fighting the frustrating frizz that comes with it.

Conditioner adds a big dose of moisture to your hair and deposits smoothing agents to leave your hair in a much softer state afterwards.

Conditioner adds a big dose of moisture to your hair and deposits smoothing agents to leave your hair in a much softer state afterwards.

Silky smooth hair can be yours in a flash with an intense deep conditioner like the 3 Minute Miracle Repair & Protect, a two-pronged attack that heals the visible signs of damage, while arming your hair against possible future damage from the environment and styling. It’s a conditioner that acts as an intense treatment.

As you care about the vibrancy of your colour, you can swap your Repair & Protect duo with the Pantene Superfood duo to protect your hair and prolong the life of your colour. It contains a keratin protection complex to guard your colour, lock in moisture and leave hair smooth and soft. Not only will it will keep your hair in good condition, but you’ll feel the need to dye it less often, exposing it to less damage in turn… win-win.

For an intense do use of moisture for dry, damaged hair that’s with gone a few too many colour changes, our Gold Series collection’s uniquely designed to hydrate curly hair. Because of its structure, curly hair’s dryer than straight hair because the natural oils struggle to reach the lengths. This collection’s the ultimate solution. Ideal for curly, colour-treated hair.

Pamper your hair once a week

You’ve invested on the perfect hair colour and shine, so naturally you want that vibrant shade and healthy look and feel to stay put. The key is to treat, treat, treat your hair. If conditioning is a must, adding nourishing masks and treatments once a week is the way to win your healthy hair back. It to floods hair with intense moisture and helps repairing visible damage, so here are a couple to stock up on.

Pantene Pro-V Intense Rescue Shots are a 1-minute intense treatment for over-stressed and damaged hair. It has deeply moisturising and repairing agents that help restore 3 months’ worth of damage after just one 60 second use. The best bit? You don’t have to waste 10 minutes in shower, waiting for your treatment to work its way through your hair and you can’t be wrong on the dosage as the handy individual tubes contain just the right dose for your hair.

Cut down your colouring sessions by grabbing colour protect products

Ironically enough, the more often you dye your hair, the more susceptible it is to colour fade. Hair becomes more porous each time you dye it, which allows more water to pass in and out of the hair and reduce your colour’s vibrancy as it does so. So, what’s a girl to do to ensure that all important vibrancy stays put?

Don’t colour your whole head of hair each time you dye. When covering your roots, only apply dye to newly grown hair that hasn’t been coloured before.

Firstly, don’t colour your whole head of hair each time you dye. When covering your roots, only apply dye to newly grown hair that hasn’t been coloured before. This will help to minimise the possible damage for the hair that’s already been coloured previously and probably doesn’t need a top up.

Secondly, protect and prolong the life of your hair by reducing your hair’s exposure to heat – like styling products or high temperature water. High temperatures open up the hair’s cuticle, letting colour sneak out. So, lukewarm showers and limited use of styling tools like blow dryers and straighteners will make a big difference. Spritz a hair protecting product onto towel-dried hair before using any tools, like our Gold Series Thermal Heat Protector to give hair an added layer of protection. It’s also a good idea to avoid over-exposure to the sun which can cause colour to fade. A hat on those summer days could make all the difference!

Don’t forget that key to colour that lasts is healthy, hydrated hair. Moisturised strands hold colour better for overall lasting results.

In an ideal world, the best solution would be not colouring your hair – but where’s the fun in that? Fortunately, you now have a few remedies in your corner to keep your hair as healthy-looking as possible without sacrificing the hair dye. Guilt-free colouring really is possible. Ready to take up the fight against hair damage?

The graphic ilustrates four men. The first one has a short wavy blond hair, the second one has a short frizzy light-brown hair, the third one has a mid-long frizzy hair, the fourth one has a short brown wavy hair.


Take our quiz to get a free scientific debrief of your hair type and personalized list of products.

Unlock your HairCode!

Related Products

More on this Topic