How Long After Dying Hair Can I Swim?

Learn when you can start visiting a pool after you had your mane dyed

Written by Kate Holmsy. Updated on How Long After Dying Hair Can I Swi

If you decide to change the color of your hair and dye it, but you also visit a swimming pool regularly, you might be worried about the way chlorine water could affect your freshly dyed locks.

This is why people often ask questions like: can you go swimming after dying your hair? Or “will my hair dye run in a swimming pool?”.

This is why we decided to investigate a bit and performed research on this subject. As a result, you have this article now!

Read it to learn how water in swimming pools affects dyed hair, how soon after the hair dye session it is allowed to start visiting swimming pools again, and how to protect your recently colored mane from chlorine in the water.

Like that, you will be able to preserve the color of your hair and make your visits to a hair salon for redyeing less frequent.

How Long After Dying Hair Can You Swim In a Swimming Pool?

If you want to know how much time you should wait after you have your hair dyed to be able to start swimming after hair dye application, there is no general answer.

See, the answer will depend on the type of hair dye that was used during your hair coloring session. This is why, if you need a more or less precise answer, we recommend you read the following information below.

How Long After Dying Hair Can You Swim In a Swimming Pool
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How Long Shall You Wait Before Swimming If You Used Permanent Hair Dye?

To be short, permanent hair dye cannot be exposed to swimming pool water for at least a week. It refers to any kind of dyeing procedure be it highlights, balayage or your whole head colored. This means you need to wait a full seven days before you can start swimming in the pool with dyed hair.

Why would you need to wait for a whole week?

See, any permanent hair dye has chemicals, such as hair developer. Those chemicals give your hair a permanent color that is able to last pretty long. However, the chemicals in your dye cannot be exposed to other chemicals like chlorine.

If it happens, this could cause an unwanted reaction between the chemicals in the water and in your dye and eventually ruin your color.

This is why, if you are going to dye your hair with permanent hair color, it is best to double-check with your stylist for any recommendations about pool and chemical exposure as well.

How Long Shall You Wait Before Swimming If You Used Permanent Hair Dye
IgorVetushko via VistaCreate

How Long Shall You Wait Before Swimming If You Used Semi-Permanent Hair Dye?

If you have used semi-permanent hair dye to color your mane, we have piece of good news for you! The waiting time is not going to be long before you can start visiting your swimming pool again.

Usually, it is recommended you wait 72 hours, or 3 full days before exposing your freshly dyed hair to pool water and chlorine.

Since semi-permanent hair dye does not use the same amount of chemicals as permanent hair dyes, the waiting period is significantly shorter. However, remember to check with your stylist anyway before you start going to the pool!

Like this, now you know the approximate amount of time needed for your freshly dyed hair to rest from active swimming in pool water.

Of course, to some of you, it may seem to be quite a long waiting period to stay away from swimming pool for a week, for example!

However, it’s worth doing this. Like that, you will let the recently applied pigment set properly, and thus, your new hair color will last longer.

How Long Shall You Wait Before Swimming If You Used Semi Permanent Hair Dye
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How Hair Dye Reacts to Swimming In Chlorine Water?

How can swimming after dying hair affect your hair color? This is one of the most frequently asked questions that come from people who have dyed their hair recently and now want to renew their visits to the swimming pool.

To be short, it is all about the chlorine that swimming pool water contains. See, this chemical tends to react to the chemicals in your hair dye, resulting in quite unexpected effects on your mane!

Just to give you an example, try to remember how a blonde, natural or dyed, looks at the end of the summer. We are sure most of you remembered those green-tinted tresses!

This greenish tint is exactly the effect of the pool. That is from chlorine, and chlorine will do this to natural or dyed hair if a light enough shade.

Why does it happen, you may wonder?

As you definitely know, chlorine is a chemical. And your hair dye also contains chemicals, no matter whether it is permanent or not.

When chlorine gets with interaction the chemicals in your hair dye, it can create a reaction that gradually alters the hair color.

As a result, you will typically get a greenish tint depending on the shade of hair. Of course, it is very unlikely that it will happen after a one-time swim, however, if you swim regularly, it can happen over time.

There is one more disadvantage that chlorine has. It dries your hair out, especially color-treated hair.

Over time, your strands will become brittle and dry, creating split ends. So as you can guess now, in general, chlorine is not good for your hair. However, if you expose your hair to it sparingly, chlorine should not damage your locks too harshly.

Luckily, there are certain methods you can use to protect your hair from chlorine damage, and below we have prepared a few of them for you to check.

How Hair Dye Reacts to Swimming In Chlorine Water
AllaSerebrina via VistaCreate

How to Protect Your Dyed Hair From Chlorine In a Swimming Pool Water?

If you have dyed your hair recently and now you want to limit the damage to your dyed locks from chlorine, there are a few ways you can opt for. All of them are simple and need no special application skills or complicated application routine.

How to have Dyed Mermaid Hair in Chlorine WaterHow to have Dyed Mermaid Hair in Chlorine Water

Oil Your Hair Before Swimming

As we have already told you, chlorine strips your hair of its moisture, making your locks dry and brittle.

Since oil and water do not interact, if you apply a moisturizing oil (like Morrocan oil or argan oil) to your hair before swimming, it will be a great way to lock in moisture. This way, your hair will have less interaction with the chlorinated water.

Oil Your Hair Before Swimming
AllaSerebrina via VistaCreate

Wet Your Hair Before You Go Swimming

One of the best and the simplest tips ever is to simply wet your hair before swimming! So simple. No special hair products are needed like oil or protective sprays, nothing at all!

Just some water. All you need to do is to run your mane quickly under a shower, hose, or sink until it is wet before you head off to the pool. See, since human hair has a texture of a sponge, it will absorb the normal untreated water.

Like this, once you get in the pool water that contains chlorine, your sponge-like strands will not be able to soak up as much chlorinated pool water as they would do if they were dry. It means that your hair will be better protected from excess chlorine.

Wet Your Hair Before You Go Swimming
HayDmitriy via VistaCreate

Tie Your Hair Up Or Cover It

If you are not swimming and instead you are just lounging by the pool with friends and don’t plan to go underwater or get your hair wet, you can opt for this solution. Simply tie your locks up in a high bun or ponytail.

This way, your hair does not get wet from accidental splashes and you can still cool off in the pool from the neck up if you want to.

However, if you know you will be swimming or you are just really protective of your hair, you can always opt for a waterproof swim cap to keep your hair dry in the pool.

So, these were the methods of protecting your dyed hair from the pool water. Luckily, all of them are extremely easy, which means you will anyway be able to keep your strands dry and chlorine-free!

How to Avoid Hair Dye Running From Your Recently Colored Hair?

It is always sad when something you have been longing for ruins suddenly! This is why many of us are afraid of a scenario where we go swimming in the pool and all the salon’s hard work starts running off our heads and into the water!

HOW TO: 8 Ways to Keep Hair Dye from BLEEDING/FADING OUTHOW TO: 8 Ways to Keep Hair Dye from BLEEDING/FADING OUT

For sure, you should realize that, if you do not follow the precautions to protect your dyed hair, your mane will anyway run in the pool or at least change its color from the chlorine. Below you can read about some reasons your hair may run in the pool.

How to Avoid Hair Dye Running From Your Recently Colored Hair
AllaSerebrina via VistaCreate

You Did Not Wait the Allotted Amount of Time

As you already know, after dyeing your hair, you should wait for a certain period of time before you can start visiting the pool.

If you do it before waiting the recommended amount of time to let your dye job set in, your hair will most likely run in the chlorinated water.

Again, depending on the type of dye you used, the waiting time could vary from 7 days for permanent hair dye to 3 days for semi-permanent hair dye. Following this waiting rule correctly will lessen the risk of your hair dye running.

You Did Not Wait the Allotted Amount of Time
AntonMatyukha via VistaCreate

You Did Not Wash Your Hair in the Shower After Dying

When you first wash your hair after a hair dye session at a salon, most of your color will run out. Often this is done at the salon because like that, the stylist can monitor the extent of the dye running.

However, if you go into the pool with your dye job without washing it at the salon or in the shower once or twice beforehand, your hair dye will simply run because it hasn’t gotten the chance to do it yet!

This is why make sure you are following the stylist’s recommendation for any kind of water exposure after dying your hair. And remember to wash your hair at least once after it is dyed and before you head off to the pool!

So, this is all that you might find helpful regarding the subject of waiting time for dyed hair before visiting a pool.

Now you know why swimming in chlorinated water is not the best experience for your hair anyway, and why it can be especially harmful to freshly dyed locks.

In addition, you have learned about a few handy life hacks that will allow you to keep your dyed strands in a decent state and preserve the color longer even if you are an active swimmer.

You Did Not Wash Your Hair in the Shower After Dying
VitalikRadko via VistaCreate

Frequently Asked Questions

⭐Can all hair dye be washed off if I swim in a pool for the first time after the dyeing session?

No, this can’t happen! However, the dye on your freshly dyed hair can bleed, especially if you forgot to wash your mane after visiting the salon

⭐Does chlorine affect all hair dyed the same?

Yes, this chemical affect any type of hair dye the same way. This is why it’s so important to protect your hair when swimming.

⭐Could splashes of pool water damage my hair?

It’s hardly possible. Chlorine is not acid, it won’t burn through your hair, leaving discolored tresses behind!

Written by
Kate worked in "The Fashion Magazine" for four years as a freelance writer and loved to consult and help people with their style. How to create your own style, how to look beautiful, and select trendy colors for your hair - these are just a few of many issues Kate will happily explain in Beezzly Beauty blogs!
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