Can Hair Dye Cause Hair Loss? (2023)

Whether you're seeing your colorist regularly or using DIY hair dye, the coloring process can be harsh on your hair. You might've even noticed stray strands in the shower drain or more hair shedding than before you began coloring it.

Are you curious if hair dye could be causing more damage than good — and if your beloved color is connected to hair loss? Read on for expert advice on how hair dye products impact your hair, along with what you can do about it. Plus, discover which products you should be using to keep your hair feeling and looking healthy, strong and vibrant.

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Are Hair Dye and Hair Loss Related?

Understandably, experiencing any thinning hair can sound your internal alarm, especially when you have color-treated hair. Yet, there's good news: Hair dye likely will not cause permanent hair loss or other forms of alopecia. In fact, significant hair loss resulting from the coloring process is rare, according to experts.

"It is highly unlikely that people would experience significant hair loss from coloring their hair," said Dr. Gary Goldenberg, a board-certified dermatologist.

Read: How Often Can You Dye Your Hair?

How Hair Dye Might Impact Your Hair

While hair loss isn't a "mane" concern, there are other potential pitfalls that can happen when using hair dyes. Both semi-permanent color and permanent hair color alter the state of the hair cortex, possibly stripping its protective layer. In turn, damage to the hair shaft can also create added stress in otherwise healthy hair, interfering with how hair grows.

Color is a chemical process, meaning it might also lead to additional unwanted effects, including:

  • Skin or scalp irritation
  • Broken hair, split ends or other hair breakage and damage
  • Damage to hair follicles and hair shafts, hindering the hair growth phase
  • Hair cuticle disruption or stalling the hair growth cycle
  • An acute allergic reaction or an increased risk of developing allergies over time

    Related: Hair Shedding vs. Hair Loss — How to Tell the Difference?

    The Color Process Explained

    Still contemplating a color change? The dyeing procedure comes in a variety of formats, depending on what exactly you're going for, along with the type of color treatments being utilized.

    Here are a few things to remember when swapping out your natural hair color for another hue:

    • Let your natural color be your guide: Your natural hair color will affect how permanent hair dyes and semi-permanent colors turn out.
    • Application matters: Non-permanent color coats each strand with color, while permanent color penetrates each hair cuticle, enters the hair cortex and bonds with hair.
    • All hair color is temporary: Non-permanent hair color can eventually be shampooed out over time, while permanent color stays put. However, as hair constantly grows, the color will ultimately grow out.
    • The difference between keratin and melanin: Keratin is the protein that makes up your hair, skin and nails, while melanin is the natural pigment that gives your hair its unique color. Other factors such as stress or aging can also alter your hair.

      "The coloring of hair is related to the melanin in your body," said Carrie Capalbo, hairstylist at Salon YOSHIKO. "As you age, your hair can change its texture, its color and even its shedding patterns."

      Help support aging hair by delaying graying with VEGAMOUR's GRO AGELESS Collection. Combine the nutrient-rich supplement with the nourishing serum to help reduce the appearance of grays on new hair growth.

      (Video) Does Hair Dye make Your Hair Fall Out? Dr. Tace Rico Explains

      Color Cues: What to Watch For When Coloring Your Hair

      If you do opt to continue with color, there are things to consider when caring for your hair pre- and post-dye. Taking the right prep steps and practicing proper aftercare will keep your hair and new hue fresh, strong and in optimal shape. Keep your color without compromising your hair's integrity by paying attention to the following signs and suggestions.

      Color Cue #1: Scalp and tress stress

      Damage-wise, you might want to prepare yourself for the potential of increased breakage, fall out, scalp irritation and inflammation, or even some degree of temporary, stress-related hair loss (also known as telogen effluvium). Luckily, this should resolve itself with time or when the stressor is removed.

      Color Cue #2: Stay aware of allergic reactions

      According to Dr. Goldenberg, there's "absolutely" a chance that you could develop an allergy or have an allergic reaction to certain compounds found in hair dyes.

      "Many patients can become allergic to hair dye," said Dr. Goldenberg. "A specific ingredient called paraphenylenediamine (PPD) is found in some hair dyes and is a common allergen. Even the slightest bit can cause irritation, itching, redness and even scalp scarring if severe. Hair thinning and some loss can happen as well."

      Read: How to Transition to Gray Hair With Highlights

      Color Cue #3: Be cautious with bleach

      For those with a darker natural color, bleaching or lightening often requires pigment to be left on for longer. Brunettes looking to lighten up might need multiple applications of lightening products containing bleaching agents such as ammonia and hydrogen peroxide.

      These chemicals can strip strands, opening up the inner layer, middle layer and outer layer, making hair all the more vulnerable. The weakened state of the innermost layer might also lead to increased hair breakage or damage.

      "Bleached hair is also extremely harsh and drying to the hair," said Georges Rues, colorist atSalon YOSKHIKO. "Use a leave-in conditioner or a hair oil before styling to keep hair healthy and the color vibrant."

      Read:How to Prepare Hair for Bleaching

      Color Cue #4: Choose color-safe shampoo & conditioner

      Lather, rinse and repeat! Proper care for colored hair starts in the shower. Opt for a shampoo and conditioner with naturally hydrating, color-safe, clean ingredients, like VEGAMOUR'sGRO Revitalizing Shampoo and Conditioner. The pair is a vegan-friendly alternative to keratin, leaving hair smooth as silk. Both formulas are powered by Karmatin™, including micro-encapsulated vegan b-silk™ protein, which bonds to and remains attached to your hair evenafterrinsing. Your hair will be silky-soft, radiant, stronger and more vibrant, lasting until the next time you wash your hair.

      Color Cue #5: Prevent dye damage before it starts

      The best advice: Derail damage before it even begins! Ensure your hair is healthy enough to withstand color processing before reaching for that hair dye. Then, assess your hair habits and adjust your care routine accordingly to match the needs of your hair color, type and texture.

      Take a Proactive Approach to Hair Loss Through Holistic Hair Wellness

      Yes, you can have beautiful, vibrant color without sacrificing your hair health! Implement these expert ideas and utilize natural products designed with the wellness of your hair and its color in mind and watch your hair look its vibrant, healthy best!

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      Photo credit: Maria Geller/Pexels

        Can Hair Dye Cause Hair Loss? (11)


        Crystal Fenton


        Crystal Fenton

        Crystal Fenton is a freelance writer & beauty editor with over a decade of experience in both print and digital content, Author of "The Healing Power of the Pineal Gland: Exercises and Meditations to Detoxify, Decalcify, and Activate Your Third Eye Chakra", Simon & Schuster, March '22 and E-RYT®200 YACEP® Yoga Instructor.

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        (Video) Is it safe to use hair dye..? - GG Hospital - Dr Kamala Selvaraj

        Disclaimer: Information in this article is intended for general informational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to constitute medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek professional medical advice from your physician.


        Will hair grow back after falling out from hair dye? ›

        As long as the dye is not doing any damage to or beneath your scalp, new hair will be able to continually grow back. If you start to notice any damage, the most important fix is to condition your hair regularly. Conditioner replenishes moisture and puts a protective layer over the hair cortex.

        Why do I lose so much hair when I dye it? ›

        Hair is stressed by dyeing because it loses natural oils, lipids, and nutrients, causing it to weaken and break. Excessive hair coloring can leave your scalp irritated and damaged. This might also lead to your scalp being unable to produce healthy hair.

        Should you dye your hair if it is thinning? ›

        If you are already suffering from hair loss or hair thinning, it is better not to dye your hair. Hair loss is a sign that your hair is not doing well, and you should not put it under further stress by colouring it.

        How do I fix my hair loss from hair dye? ›

        Reader's Query: How to Stop Hair From Falling Out After Coloring or Dyeing
        1. Wash Your Hair Less But Use Color Protectant Shampoo.
        2. Use Cold Water for Rinsing.
        3. Don't Skip Conditioner.
        4. Make Dry Shampoo your hair's best friends.
        5. Deep Condition Your Hair once a week.
        6. Do hot oil treatment.
        7. Steam will repair damage.

        What is the safest hair dye for thinning hair? ›

        Which Hair Dyes Don't Cause Hair Loss?
        • L'Oréal Paris. One of the safest hair dye brands available in the market, L'Oréal Paris brings a vast range of hair colors that are ammonia-free and are embedded with pro-keratin, which helps in strengthening hair strands. ...
        • Garnier Olia. ...
        • Revlon. ...
        • Clairol.
        7 Jul 2022

        How long does dyed hair take to grow back? ›

        Permanent hair dye typically lasts for between four to eight weeks before it grows out or fades (more on that below).

        Which hair dye does not cause hair loss? ›

        Your stylist's experience with color is important, too, she says. She suggests you ask about vegetable-based dyes, cellophanes, and hennas, all of which are gentle options for thinning hair. Also, ask your stylist about products that are ammonia- and peroxide-free. And avoid bleach.

        What helps thinning hair grow back? ›

        The most common options include:
        • Minoxidil (Rogaine). Over-the-counter (nonprescription) minoxidil comes in liquid, foam and shampoo forms. ...
        • Finasteride (Propecia). This is a prescription drug for men. ...
        • Other medications. Other oral options include spironolactone (Carospir, Aldactone) and oral dutasteride (Avodart).
        26 Mar 2022

        What is the healthiest hair dye to use? ›

        Our best overall pick is Biolage Haircolor, a henna dye that's free-from harmful chemicals including ammonia and PPD. We also love Madison Reed Radiant Hair Color Kit, which is free of ammonia, parabens, resorcinol, PDD, phthalates, and gluten, plus the added benefit of being packed with hydrating ingredients.

        Is lighter or darker hair better for thinning hair? ›

        When coloring thin or thinning hair, go a shade lighter to help mask the contrast between hair and scalp. 2. Choose a tone that works well to complement the skin, while lifting the natural color and highlight around the face.

        What hair color loses the most hair? ›

        Hair Color, Hair density and Hair Loss

        Red Hair: Typically known to have the lowest strand count with an estimated 90,000 hairs.

        What ingredients should you avoid for thinning hair? ›

        5 Products and Ingredients to Avoid for Fine Hair
        • Oils and heavy styling products aimed at making your hair softer. ...
        • Super-strength conditioners. ...
        • Heavy leave-in conditioners. ...
        • Single-duty products, like a regular hairspray. ...
        • Sulfates.

        Does roots mean your hair is growing? ›

        MYTH 1: Cutting your hair frequently makes it grow faster.

        Hair growth occurs at the roots, not at the ends, so cutting the ends of your hair (which we should remind you are not living entities) doesn't actually affect the follicles that are in charge of your hair's growth.

        Does hair dye damage hair? ›

        Unfortunately, hair Color damages your hair. When you dye your hair it lifts the cuticle, altering the hair in a way that will never completely revert back to it's natural virgin state. However, the hair that grows from your scalp will grow out normally so only the hair that has been dyed is affected.

        What lack of vitamin causes hair loss? ›

        Only riboflavin, biotin, folate, and vitamin B12 deficiencies have been associated with hair loss.

        What is the best vitamin for thinning hair? ›

        The 5 Best Vitamins for Hair Loss Prevention, Based on Research
        1. Biotin. Biotin (vitamin B7) is important for cells inside your body. ...
        2. Iron. Red blood cells need iron to carry oxygen. ...
        3. Vitamin C. Vitamin C is essential for your gut to absorb iron. ...
        4. Vitamin D. You might already know that vitamin D is important for bones. ...
        5. Zinc.
        18 Nov 2020

        What shampoo helps with hair loss? ›

        Final Verdict. Our best overall pick is Biolage Advanced Full Density Thickening Shampoo, which contains biotin, zinc, and a gluco-omega blend to strengthen hair while removing follicle-clogging impurities that can prevent new hair growth.

        What hair dye do hairdressers recommend? ›

        When it comes to salon treatments, the best professional hair color line is Wella Illumina Permanent Creme Hair Color. Available in 36 shades, the colorist-recommended formula is gentle, versatile, and leaves hair oh-so-shiny.

        What color makes thin hair look thicker? ›

        Brightened-up colors, such as golden blonde, can work wonders when applied to the money pieces around your face. Likewise, rich colors—like chestnut or caramel brown—can create a shadow effect throughout that feigns depth and thickness.

        What colour makes thin hair look thicker? ›

        More precisely, it is the contrast between light and dark colours which gives the illusion of thicker hair . To achieve this optical illusion effect, your hairdresser will colour your base a tone darker than your natural hair colour and they will lighten a few strands on the surface.

        Does shorter hair look better for thinning hair? ›

        Certain styles—like bobs and blunt cuts—can actually create the illusion that your hair is thicker than it is. "Short hairstyles are best for thinning hair, because too much length can drag the hair down and create an unflattering, stringy appearance," says Alabama stylist Hope Russo.

        Will hair grow back after chemical damage? ›

        Damaged hair follicles cannot grow new, healthy hair. Once the hair follicles are damaged, it is highly unlikely that non-surgical hair loss treatments will be effective. Fortunately, patients with hair loss caused by chemical damage are typically great candidates for surgical hair restoration.

        How long does it take for hair to grow back after chemical damage? ›

        Hair may start to regrow on its own 2 to 3 weeks after chemotherapy is completed. The hair may grow back as a soft fuzz at first. After about a month, hair may begin to grow back at its typical rate of 4 to 6 in. per year.

        Can thinning hair grow back? ›

        Thinning hair can grow back depending on what caused it to thin in the first place. People who experience thinning hair due to nutrient deficiencies, stress, pregnancy, and other nongenetic reasons could experience regrowth. If you're experiencing new hair loss or hair thinning, it's best to consult your doctor.

        How do you recover from chemical hair loss? ›

        11 Ways to Repair Chemically Damaged Hair
        1. Choose a Shampoo That Matches Your Hair Type. ...
        2. Condition Every Time You Wash Your Hair. ...
        3. Wait Between Touch-Ups. ...
        4. Limit Your Hair's Exposure to Heat. ...
        5. Avoid Brushing Your Hair Excessively. ...
        6. Eat a Healthy, Hair-Friendly Diet. ...
        7. Try Applying a Hair Mask. ...
        8. Avoid Tightly Pulled Back Hairstyles.
        19 Apr 2022

        What chemical would make your hair fall out? ›

        Thallium, mercury, selenium, and colchicine have compelling evidence linking toxic levels of these substances to hair loss. Compounds such as boric acid, vitamin A, botulinum toxin, chemicals found in the fungal species P.


        1. Does hair dye cause hair-loss?
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