Let’s say you found the new hair color of your dreams and honed your bleaching and application techniques. Your look is almost perfect, right? Styling is the next step, but dyed hair is more prone to heat damage. So, can you still blow dry, straighten, or curl your locks?
If you take precautions, yes! You can absolutely heat-style dyed hair. Here’s what you need to know.
The Risks of Heat-Styling Colored Hair
Bleach opens the outer hair cuticle to lift the strand's pigment. This is what allows the dye to bond with the hair and provide color. The cuticle normally creates a protective layer around the hair’s core. When that barrier is breached, the strands dry out more easily, making them brittle and prone to breakage.
Heat-styling drains even more moisture from your locks, increasing these risks. On top of that, heat can cause the pigment in your hair to oxidize. The result? Faded color. This is even more likely shortly after dyeing hair because it's more porous.
Our Unicorn Hair color collection uses a moisturizing semi-permanent formula to help reduce some of these effects.
Tips for Safely Heat-Styling Colored Hair
The question remains: Can you blow dry, straighten, or curl your hair after dyeing it? Yes—but not right away. For basic blow drying, give your hair at least 72 hours to recover. You can straighten dyed hair, but you should wait a week. For curling or perming colored hair, wait a full 15 days.
You can also minimize the risk of damaging your locks with these best practices:
- Never style damp: When hair is wet, the cuticle opens, making strands susceptible to damage. Straighteners and curlers should be used on dry hair only.
- Use a heat protectant: No matter what style you’re going for, apply a heat protectant to create a protective shield around the hair's cuticle. This keeps the hair at a more consistent temperature instead of heating up quickly and producing steam.
- Reduce the heat: Heat-styling tools let you control the temperature level. Keep the setting in the 200- to 300-degree range to prevent thermal shock—this happens when hair heats up too quickly and moisture escapes all at once, creating damage.
- Don't heat and reheat: When using heat-styling tools, treat each section of hair only once. Repeated heat exposure means increased damage.
- Try a leave-in conditioner: Even if you’re careful, frequent heat-styling can make hair dry, brittle, and frizzy. Our Unicorn Hair hydrating hair mask is perfect for refreshing strands between styles.
Healthier dyed hair also depends on your wash routine. Keep your color fresh with our Unicorn Hair Color Shampoo and Conditioner. These ultra-moisturizing products gently cleanse hair and deposit pigment to keep your hue vibrant. Find the shade that corresponds with your hair dye, or choose the colorless Universal option for all the shine you could ever want.
The best part? Our formula uses a special silicone emulsion for an all-in-one conditioning and heat-protecting application.