Does Coconut Oil Fade Hair Color?

Oil fade refers to the gradual reduction or dissipation of oil-based substances, often due to natural processes or intentional interventions, leading to a decrease in their presence or impact over time.

Curious about the impact of coconut oil on your hair color? Wondering if this natural elixir might be causing your vibrant hues to fade? Let’s unravel the mystery behind whether coconut oil plays a role in altering your hair color and discover the truth behind this popular beauty myth.

Coconut oil does not fade hair color; in fact, it can help preserve it. Due to its molecular structure, coconut oil penetrates the hair shaft, preventing moisture loss and protecting against damage. Regular use of coconut oil can maintain the vibrancy and longevity of your hair color, making it a nourishing and color-friendly option for hair care.

Will Coconut Oil Fade Red Hair Color?

Using coconut oil on red hair may not necessarily fade the color, but it could affect its vibrancy over time. Coconut oil is known for its moisturizing properties and can help maintain the health of your hair. 

Frequent use of coconut oil might lighten red hair due to its ability to penetrate the hair shaft and lift some color molecules. If preserving the intensity of your red hair is a priority, it’s advisable to use coconut oil sparingly or opt for other color-preserving hair care products. Always perform a strand test before applying any product to your entire head to understand how your hair will react.

Things That Actually Fade Hair Color or Remove Hair Dye

Sun Exposure: Extended exposure to sunlight can fade hair color over time. UV rays break down the dye molecules, causing colors to lighten and lose vibrancy. To protect your hair, consider using UV-blocking hair products or covering it with a hat when outdoors.

Harsh Shampoos: Some shampoos contain strong detergents and sulfates that strip away natural oils and, in turn, remove hair dye. Opt for sulfate-free and color-safe shampoos to preserve your color and maintain its longevity.

Hot Water Showers: Hot water opens the hair cuticles, allowing the dye to escape more easily. Washing your hair with lukewarm or cool water helps seal the cuticle and retain color. It’s a simple adjustment that can make a significant difference.

Chlorine in Swimming Pools:  Chlorine, commonly found in swimming pools, can be harsh on colored hair. It can lead to discoloration and fading. Before swimming, wet your hair and apply a protective conditioner to create a barrier against chlorine absorption.

Use Coconut Oil to Preserve Your Hair Color

Use Coconut Oil to Preserve Your Hair Color

Preserving your hair color can be as simple as reaching for a jar of coconut oil! Coconut oil is a natural and effective way to keep your hair color vibrant and beautiful. After coloring your hair, apply a small amount of coconut oil to the ends and lengths of your hair. 

The oil creates a protective barrier that helps seal in the color and prevents it from fading too quickly. Not only does coconut oil lock in moisture, but it also adds a healthy shine to your hair. For best results, leave the coconut oil on for at least 30 minutes before washing your hair. Incorporating this easy step into your hair care routine can extend the life of your hair color while keeping your locks nourished and glossy.

Should You Use Coconut Oil Before Hair Dye?

Using coconut oil before hair dye can be a helpful step to protect and nourish your hair. Coconut oil has moisturizing properties that can create a barrier, helping to prevent the hair from absorbing too much dye and reducing damage. 

Before applying hair dye, you can massage a small amount of coconut oil into your hair, focusing on the ends and any particularly dry areas. This can help keep your hair hydrated and may make it easier to distribute the dye evenly. 

Effects of Coconut Oil on Hair Color

1. Apply Coconut Oil: Gently massage coconut oil into your hair, ensuring even coverage from roots to tips.

2. Leave it In Allow the coconut oil to sit in your hair for at least 30 minutes, or preferably overnight, to let it deeply penetrate the hair shaft.

3. Shampoo Out: Wash your hair thoroughly with a mild shampoo to remove the coconut oil. You may need to shampoo twice to ensure it’s fully cleansed.

4. Notice Shine: Observe the natural shine and luster that coconut oil imparts to your hair, enhancing its overall appearance.

5. Experience Softness: Feel the softness and improved texture of your hair, as coconut oil helps moisturize and condition, potentially making hair appear more vibrant and vivid. Note that coconut oil doesn’t change hair color but contributes to its overall health and appearance.

Properties of Coconut Oil

MoisturizingHydrates and nourishes the skin and hair.
AntioxidantContains antioxidants that may help fight free radicals.
AntibacterialExhibits antibacterial properties, aiding skin health.
Anti-inflammatoryMay reduce inflammation when applied topically.
Medium-Chain Fatty AcidsRich in MCFAs, beneficial for health.
Saturated FatsContains saturated fats, including lauric acid.
PenetrativeCan penetrate hair shaft, aiding in moisture retention.
CookingSuitable for cooking due to high smoke point.
Skin CareUsed in skincare for its moisturizing benefits.
Hair CareApplied to hair for conditioning and shine.

Tips for Using Coconut Oil Without Fading Hair Color

Tips for Using Coconut Oil Without Fading Hair Color
  • Apply Sparingly: Use a small amount of coconut oil to avoid over-saturation. Start with a dime-sized amount and adjust based on your hair length and thickness.
  • Pre-Shower Protection: Prior to washing your hair, apply coconut oil at least 30 minutes before to allow it to penetrate the hair shaft. This helps create a barrier, minimizing color fading during washing.
  • Avoid Scalp Application: Concentrate on the mid-lengths to ends of your hair when applying coconut oil. Avoid the scalp, as excessive oil can make your roots greasy and may contribute to color fading.
  • Wrap Hair Securely: After applying coconut oil, consider wrapping your hair in a warm towel or using a shower cap. This enhances absorption and protects your surroundings from potential oil stains.
  • Use Sulfate-Free Shampoo: When washing out the coconut oil, opt for a sulfate-free shampoo. Sulfates can strip away natural oils and, over time, contribute to color fading. A gentle, sulfate-free formula helps maintain your vibrant hair color.

Coconut Oil Benefits for Hair

  • Warm It Up: Gently warm a small amount of coconut oil in your hands until it becomes liquid. This makes it easier to apply evenly to your hair.
  • Apply to Hair: Massage the melted coconut oil onto your scalp and through the lengths of your hair. Ensure that every strand is coated for maximum benefit.
  • Wrap and Wait: Cover your hair with a shower cap or towel and leave the coconut oil on for at least 30 minutes. This allows the oil to deeply penetrate and nourish your hair.
  • Shampoo and Rinse: After the waiting period, shampoo your hair as usual to remove the oil. You may need to shampoo twice to ensure it’s fully cleansed.
  • Admire the Shine: Enjoy the results! Your hair should feel softer, look shinier, and be more manageable. Repeat this process regularly for healthier and more luscious locks.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I apply coconut oil immediately after coloring my hair?

It’s advisable to wait at least 72 hours after coloring your hair before applying coconut oil. This allows the hair cuticle to close properly and helps the color set before introducing any additional products.

Does the type of hair color affect the impact of coconut oil?

Coconut oil is generally compatible with all types of hair color, whether it’s permanent, semi-permanent, or temporary. It works well with both natural and synthetic dyes.

Can coconut oil be used as a pre-color treatment?

Yes, applying coconut oil as a pre-color treatment can be beneficial. It forms a protective barrier, reducing the absorption of chemicals from hair dye, and can help minimize damage to your hair during the coloring process.


There is limited scientific evidence to support the claim that coconut oil fades hair color. While some people believe that coconut oil may have a slight lightening effect on hair, it is not a reliable or significant method for fading hair color. 

Hair color fading is more likely influenced by factors such as sun exposure, harsh shampoos, and other chemical treatments. Therefore, if you’re looking to maintain your hair color, it’s essential to focus on proper hair care practices and use products specifically designed for color-treated hair.

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