Does Hair Go Back To Normal After Highlights? How Do Highlights Fade?

Two of the hairdresser's hands coloring female hair with a brush in a hair salon
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Does hair go back to normal after highlights? Good question! Hair does not go back to the way it was after your highlights fade. You’ll have to wait for fresh roots to grow. Here are the basics of what happens:

  • Bleach completely removes color from the hair, both temporary and natural color. Bleach is a reset button.
  • The parts highlighted will remain stripped of color until you dye or grow them out
  • You can dye over faded highlights to gain your natural color back

Why doesn’t your hair go back to normal after those beautiful highlights start to dim? Here we discuss how the process works and what you can do about it.


Does Hair Go Back To Normal After Highlights?

High-powered bleaching agents remove all the pigment from your hair. These strands will not fade back to their original colors. It will take you coloring over them or growing them out to get your original color back.

High-powered bleaching agents remove all the pigment from your hair. These strands will not fade back to their original colors. It will take you coloring over them or growing them out to get your original color back.

Getting your hair done at the salon is the best, but we understand that many are attracted to home bleaching methods. This stuff is powerful, but you have to remember that it really damages your hair and you should take some time to give your tresses some love and care.

Over time you may lose the shine of your highlights. You might not even notice that it’s happening between hair appointments.

Soon after you schedule an appointment to touch up your roots, your highlights will lose their sheen and vibrancy.

If you wash it the first time, you won’t lose that fresh out-of-the-salon look. The oxidation of the color causes highlights to fade, not you wash them. Shielding your hair from harsh environments is essential for preventing oxidation.

If you’re doing any heat styling, your should be protected by heat protectants, which act as armor, slowing the rate at which it oxidizes. Furthermore, it hydrates and conditions damaged and dry hair!

Traditional Highlights and Balayage

There are multiple types of highlights, but the most important distinction is traditional highlights and balayage. Balayage is a technique that smooths the transitions in your highlights. Balayage will last much longer than traditional highlights.

Balayage grows old gracefully.

You don’t get that hard line of transition from bleached hair to new root growth.

Can I Color Over Faded Highlighted Hair?

This depends on the type of highlights you have on your hair. In the case of bleached highlights, adding color would be easy.

When blonde highlights are put in your hair, it will take out any color you had in your hair. Color pigment is removed from blonde highlights, so it is relatively easy to color bleached hair.

You won’t have to worry about excessive hair damage.

In addition, it adds to the damage done to your hair, but a good conditioner can counteract it. 

Things get complicated when you want to add blonde highlights to dark hair. Darker color-treated hair is not as easy to be bleach, requiring twice the time to treat it. Often you end up with an unpleasant orange color, which can be remedied with a color-toning shampoo.

The bleach you use changes your natural color and bleaches the color deposits. Therefore, you should only bleach color-treated hair if absolutely necessary.

The color should fade within 8-10 weeks.

How Do Highlights Fade? 

The color of your highlights can be poorly affected by hard water. Most homes have hard water, making this an important consideration.

A build-up of magnesium and calcium in hard water can cause problems with your hair. Due to the build-up, the color cannot get into the hair cuticle. The results will be a short lifespan of your dye. You can buy filters for your shower head  to prevent this.

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SLS-based Products Cause Fading

There is usually sodium lauryl sulfate in shampoos. You should, avoid this ingredient. Instead, ensure your shampoo and conditioner are pH-balanced, SLS-free, and designed for your hair type.

Infrequently Used Color

Your hair color can be affected by infrequent coloring. Book your appointments for your hair on time. Avoid waiting too long between dyeing sessions or highlights.

Overusing Heat Styling Tools

Looking after your hair is even more important if you use heat-styling tools like flat irons and curling irons. Always use thermally protected products with an iron, curling wand, or blow dryer. A heat protector such as No products found..

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Don’t Rinse Off With Hot Water

It might feel relaxing to take a shower with hot water, but hot water is harmful to both skin and hair. Dry, brittle hair can result from it.

When you are taking a shower, avoid using warm water. This will be good for your hair and hair color, particularly if your highlights have just been done. You can also use lukewarm or cold water to finish your shower.

Maintaining Highlights to Prevent Fading

As an SPF, Use Coconut Oil

SPF is naturally present in coconut oil. However, the SPF is only 6, which is not good for body protection but great for your hair.

It will double as a moisturizing and UV protection product. This will protect you from UV rays and provide enough moisture.

Try No products found. for gentle hair protection.

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Take Advantage Of Hair Masks

It’s important to develop a routine for treating your hair with the right shampoo and conditioner. Hair masks are also a good idea. In addition to preserving the vibrancy of your hair color, they are great at providing you with hydration and protection for your hair.

Arvazallia Hydrating Argan Oil Hair Mask and Deep Conditioner for Dry or Damaged Hair - 8.45 Oz
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  • Infused with argan oil to nourish hair...
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Check Your Pantry For Vinegar

Your kitchen certainly contains vinegar. People cook with vinegar, which can also serve as a hair rinse. Closing your hair’s cuticle and shining highlights are achieved with apple cider vinegar.

Written by Kayla Young

Kayla is the founder of LuxeLuminous. She has worked professionally in the tanning industry for years. She has been interested in esthetics since childhood, and has tried every hair, skin, and makeup product ever produced (more or less).