Does Coconut Oil Strip Hair Color Or Fade It?

does coconut oil fade hair dye

Coconut oil contains medium-chain fatty acids that make it easy to penetrate the hair cuticle. Its nutrient content is highly moisturizing and nourishing. Therefore, people commonly employ it to recover their hair from the damage caused by coloring or bleaching. But is it possible that coconut oil can strip hair color or fade it?

When used too often, coconut oil can fade temporary or semi-permanent hair dye. However, it will not strip the permanent hair color. Why? We will get to it shortly.

Before hair dyeing, people use coconut oil to protect their manes from harsh chemicals like alcohol. Is it the right thing to do?

This article lays down all of the information you’ll need to know about the connection between coconut oil and hair dye fading. So, keep on reading!

Can Coconut Oil Fade Hair Dye?

Usually, coconut oil does not fade a permanent hair dye. However, it can strip semi-permanent hair color, which does not contain a developer that resists fading.

We have explained how different hair dyes work, which one can’t resist fading due to coconut oil, and why, in the following.

Does Coconut Oil Lighten Permanent Hair Dye?

As the name suggests, permanent hair dye stays with your hair until the mane grows or fades out. Coconut oil can’t lighten or remove this permanent dye because it contains strong developer and smaller color particles that easily enter the cortex. 

The reaction between these particles and the developer produces giant color molecules that can’t escape the cuticle. 

You may be wondering how; let me tell you how hair dyes work.

The hair strand has three layers:

  • The outer layer, cuticle, protect the inner layers.
  • Cortex is the middle layer that contains color pigments. 
  • The Medulla is the innermost layer.

The developer in permanent hair dye opens up the hair cuticle, which allows color molecules to enter the cortex. In the cortex, the developer oxidizes the existing color and enables dye molecules to react with each other. 

This reaction produces color molecules big enough, which will not escape the cuticle, even if coconut oil opens it. So, it can not fade the permanent hair dye.  

Will Coconut Oil Strip Semi-Permanent Hair Color?

Semi-permanent dye molecules don’t react to produce more giant color pigments that won’t escape the hair cuticle when it opens. Therefore, using coconut oil regularly can fade this dye by penetrating and opening the cuticle.

Coconut oil contains medium-chain fatty acids like lauric acid that cross the hair cuticle easily. And leaving the oil in your hair for too long will keep the cuticle open. So, it will be easy for semi-permanent dye molecules to flee the cortex.

Moreover, coconut oil can dissolve the semi-permanent hair dye. And when you rinse out the oil with shampoo, the color may also come along.

Temporary Hair DyeSemi-Permanent Hair DyePermanent Hair Dye
Coconut oil will fade dye out by dissolving it away because it’s just a coating of the cuticle.The semi-permanent dye enters the cortex but doesn’t react to make bigger color molecules. So, coconut oil can strip it but slowly, within seven washes at least.Coconut oil can’t remove the permanent hair color because it enters the cuticle and reacts to produce bigger molecules that cant escape.

Will Coconut Oil Fade Red Hair Color?

Coconut oil does not fade permanent red hair color. However, it can strip the semi-permanent if used regularly. Coconut oil contains fatty acids that loosen the hair cuticle protecting the dye pigments. So, color molecules can leak out from the hair cortex, and the dye will eventually fade.

On the whole, coconut oil moisturize and nourish your hair strands and help them recover from damage caused by bleach or dye.

If you want to remove the red highlights from your hair with oil, use warm olive and rinse it with clarifying shampoo. Doing so a few times will fade or remove the red color.

Should You Use Coconut Oil Before Hair Dye

Chemical treatments of hair like bleaching and dyeing involve damage because they rip hair strands of their moisture and cause protein loss. The cuticle becomes weak and dry after losing proteins and leaves the hair cortex and medulla susceptible to damage.

Coconut oil is very nourishing and moisturizing because it contains fatty acids like lauric acid that are quickly taken in by the hair shaft. According to a study, coconut oil is the most protective of all oils when it comes to the chemical treatment of hair.

So, you can use it before dyeing your hair to prevent dryness and protein loss from your manes. But when is it the right time to use coconut oil before hair dye?

We recommend starting using it even weeks before you plan to dye your hair. It makes your hair strand enough to bear harsh chemicals.

However, if you plan to dye hair after a day or two, apply coconut oil to your hair and leave it overnight. But, don’t try mixing it with hair color because it might not allow the chemicals to do the work.

When To Use Coconut Oil After Dyeing Hair?

Hair cuticles need time to close after dyeing, which allows the color to settle in the cortex. Therefore, after finishing permanent hair dyeing, applying coconut oil may not allow the color molecules to set correctly. Wait for two days at least, and then use the oil to nourish and moisturize your hair.

We won’t suggest applying coconut oil to semi-permanently colored hair for two reasons. First, semi-permanent dyes don’t quite damage hair. Secondly, they may quickly fade out if you apply coconut oil to your hair.

Wrapping Up

Using coconut oil on colored hair will nourish and moisturize it and help recover from the dryness caused by hair dyeing. It will not fade the permanent hair dye.

However, coconut oil may quickly fade semi-permanent color destined to disappear after 12 to 16 washes. Also, other multiple factors remove your hair dye fast than expected, like sunlight exposure, clarifying shampoo, and using a low-quality developer.