Does temporary hair color damage your hair?(All You Should Know)

The easiest way to change the way you look is to change your hair.

However, changing the length of your hair or the type of haircut is intimidating.

This is because you are stuck with the new look for a long time.

You have to wait till your hair grows back before you can go back to normal.

And, no matter what stylists say, you cannot be sure of how it will look.

However, using temporary hair color is the best solution to all these problems.

You can experiment as much as you want without worrying too much.

Yet, you should know what temporary hair color actually does to your hair. 

Does Temporary Hair Color Damage Your Hair?

Temporary Hair Coloring

Temporary hair color will not generally damage your hair. This is because it contains large molecules that cannot penetrate into your hair shaft. Instead, it just sits on top of your hair, coating it. Therefore, it does not alter the structure of your hair itself. However, the way temporary hair color behaves will depend on your hair.

If you have healthy hair, the temporary hair color will not cause any problems.

It will fade away easily when it is supposed to.

However, if you have hair that is very light, the color may be too harsh for your hair.

Thus, it might stain it.

Hence, it will last longer than you expect it to.

The same goes for hair that is color-damaged.

If your hair is damaged by color, it means that it has become more porous. Hence, when you apply temporary hair color, it will not just sit on top of your hair.

It will be able to penetrate the inner layers.

This will make it last longer.

What Are The Ingredients In Temporary Hair Colors?

Components of temporary hair color

Even though your hair is composed of Keratin, it is still on your body.

Therefore, you should know what goes inside it.

The ingredients of temporary hair color vary from brand to brand.

However, the following are the major components of temporary hair color:

Cationic Dye

These are directly responsible for coloring your hair.

Further, when these are chosen, manufacturers take care so that they are not toxic to your skin.

Now, these molecules are what make your hair color temporary instead of permanent.

They are too large to diffuse into your hair and thus sit on the surface.

Furthermore, they have a positive charge.

On the other hand, your hair has a negative charge.

Therefore, these molecules attach themselves to the surface of your hair.

Anionic Polymer That Is Soluble In Water

While the cationic dye in itself differs from permanent hair color, it produces the desired effect when added to an anionic polymer.

This also ensures that the color looks more natural.

These polymers are used to thicken the entire dye.

Further, they need to neutralize the charge on these anionic polymers.

Usually, alkalis are used for this purpose.

In addition to this, makers may use some additional thickeners to make the hair dye.

This is to ensure that it reaches a good consistency.


It is also an important ingredient of most temporary dyes.

Usually, the reaction to make temporary hair dyes start with the addition of water to the polymer.

Then, the makers heat this mixture to drive the reaction.

In addition to these major ingredients, hair dyes may also contain preservatives to make their shelf-life long.

Also, they have fragrances as the ingredients by themselves may not have a pleasant scent.

Some temporary hair dyes have conditioners to make them gentler on your hair.

How They Affect Hair And Scalp Health?

Before you can understand how temporary hair color affects the health of your hair and scalp, you should understand how your hair grows.

It happens in the following cyclical steps:


The word anagen comes from two distinct parts – ana and gen.

Ana means again or on. At the same time, gen means producing or a producer.

Thus, anagen is the phase during which the hair grows.

This is the active phase of the hair cycle.

However, it does not mean that all the hair strands you have, are growing.

That does not happen at the same time.

Yet, you can note that about 90% of your hair is growing at this time.


Since hair growth is a cyclic process, the catagen phase comes after the anagen phase.

It is only a phase that comes in between the first phase and the last phase.

Hence, it does not affect the majority of your hair.

On the contrary, it only affects a minuscule 3% of your hair at a time.

During this phase, the growth of your hair slows down considerably.


This is the last phase of your hair growth.

It is during this phase that your hair rests completely.

On average, people experience this phase for a hundred days.

It is during this phase that people have hair fall.

When you color your hair, you risk loosening the hair in the final phase of hair growth.

This makes the hair prone to hair fall.

While your hair will not completely fall out, you may notice considerable hair thinning.

This is especially true for hair coloring products that contain ammonia.

They make the hair shafts weak.

However, switching to temporary hair color does not mean that it is risk-free even though it reduces the effects.

You may be told that temporary hair color is actually good for your hair.

You might even think, based on what you hear, that since it forms a coating, it protects your hair from pollution.

It forms a coating on your hair alright, but protection from pollution is debatable.

On the other hand, coloring your hair over and over again means loading your scalp with chemicals.

No matter how safe they are, they are still chemicals.

Further, the process of coloring your hair, even temporarily, involves rigorous combing.

This can be too harsh for your hair, especially the strands that have been colored, making them prone to falling.

Hence, you should stick to coloring only once in a while.

This will ensure that your hair has enough time to recoup.

New strands will replace the ones that have been damaged.

How To Choose A Safe Temporary Hair Color?

Safe Temporary Hair Color

When choosing a temporary hair color, you should keep the following points in mind:

Ensure You Are Not Allergic To It

While allergies to temporary colors are rare, you should still check for any allergies.

Sometimes, allergies to hair colors can be severe.

They can cause effects such as swelling of lips.

, you should first test your hair dye.

Then, leave it for at least 24 hours to see if you develop any side effects.


When choosing your hair color, you should ensure that you go through the list of ingredients.

You should confirm that it does not contain any toxic substances.

Some makers substitute the good ingredients for cheaper versions that are not good for you.

A good way to check this is to look for natural materials.

However, no hair dye product will usually contain a hundred percent natural ingredients.


Finally, coloring your hair temporarily is usually safe.

To make the coloring process safer, you should follow the best practices.

Always condition your hair when you color it.

Further, avoid any chemical process on hair that is already damaged.

In case you have any trouble with the products, you should consult your dermatologist.

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