What is Color Depositing Conditioner and Do you Need It?

Last Updated on December 11, 2022 by Gaga

A color-depositing conditioner infuses pigment into your hair when you use it. Unlike standard conditioners for colored hair that only protect against color fading, these tinted conditioners deposit color into your strands. Therefore, a color-depositing conditioner can be a lifesaver when you notice that your stunning color has started to fade.

Color conditioners temporarily coat your strands with semi-permanent pigments. These conditioners don’t use harsh chemicals to lift the hair cuticle. Instead, they only stain the surface of lightened strands to add color and shine. You get both a hair conditioner and a color enhancer in the same product.

These tinted hair conditioners are typically used to refresh the color vibrancy when your shade starts to fade, which makes them a great supplement to your permanent color.

Pigmented conditioners are also the most popular home treatment for adding fashion colors and highlights to pre-lighted hair. If you like experimenting with colors, this might be your holy grail product.

a girl with the hair colored with a color-depositing conditioner

Do Color-Depositing Conditioners Work?

Yes, they work but your hair should be bleached if you want the color to show up. Once the product is applied, the color can last from 5-15 washes. You don’t have to wait for weeks to re-apply it as the product is safe for frequent use. Your color will last as long as you keep using a color conditioner.

What is so great about tinted conditioners is that they can completely transform your look without harming your hair. Moreover, you can switch between fashion colors and have fun without commitment.

Benefits of Using Color Conditioners

  • A color conditioner is typically used to refresh and enhance color tones once hair color starts to fade. It replenishes color pigments with each condition and helps maintain your shade between appointments. You’ll need touch-ups less often and your hair will look freshly colored. It works great for colors prone to fading quickly like red and purple.
  • Color-depositing conditioners can be used to create vivid fashion colors on pre-lightened hair. You can make a big color change or just slightly tint your hair depending on the look you want and your existing color. It’s perfect for anyone not ready to commit to a specific permanent color. It also can be mixed with other shades or regular conditioners to create soft pastel shades.
  • A color-depositing conditioner helps eliminate annoying brassy and yellow tones that often accompany lightened blonde hair. They contain pigments that combat dullness and unwanted warm tones that can appear in between salon appointments. If your base color is darker, this product still works to cancel out unwanted undertones.
  • A pigmented conditioner helps even out hair porosity and enhances shine. Most color conditioners have nourishing ingredients that make your hair look healthier and more attractive.

Color Conditioners for Dark Hair

Most tinted conditioners require a light blonde base to be effective. The color won’t show up on dark hair nor it will affect dark regrowth.

Overtone has a line of fantasy shades specifically developed for brunette hair. Their products are deeply pigmented to suit the needs of darker hair and don’t require bleaching before application.

In addition to shades of rose gold and purple, Overtone recently added blue, green, pink, and orange shades to their brown hair range.

Overtone conditioners for dark hair produce vibrant, rich results on lighter brown hair. Darker strands will pick up some subtle tints that stand out in sunlight. The pigments also neutralize and counteract orange and brassy tones in brown hair.

young redhead girl with healthy hair

How to Dye your Hair with a Pigmented Conditioner

Review the instructions on the packaging to make sure you use the product correctly. Some brands should be used on wet hair while others should be applied to clean, dry hair. Dry, processed hair soaks up the pigments, so you’ll get a more vibrant color.

To achieve bold hues, your hair must be bleached or naturally light blonde. Lighter base colors will ensure more vibrant results.

Longer and multiple applications provide more intense colors. If you use color conditioner every time you wash your hair, you’ll eventually get the nice, bright shade you want. Leaving the product to sit for a longer time than directed won’t damage your hair.

If you want more pastel color, you might want to leave the product in your hair for less time or mix a pigmented conditioner with your regular conditioner. This mixture also can provide more conditioning benefits than undiluted color conditioners.

Make sure to apply enough product to evenly saturate your strands. Leave the product in your hair as directed, then rinse thoroughly.

Always wear gloves as the pigment can be very intense. This product can stain your skin, so in case of staining, wipe it off as soon as possible.

Since pigmented conditioners stain clothing and towels, use only old items. Don’t use this product near porous surfaces as your bathroom may resemble a crime scene.

Reapply when your hair needs a color refresh.

Apply deep conditioning treatments twice a month as some coloring conditioners can leave your hair dry.

This post contains links to Amazon. The publisher may get paid if You purchase something through the links without additional costs to You.

The most popular brands include Celeb Luxury Viral Colorditioner, CHI Ionic Color Illuminate Conditioner, KeraColor Color Clenditioner, 3 In 1 Color Depositing Shampoo & Conditioner by N Rage, Joico Color Infuse Conditioner, and John Frieda Radiant Red Red Boosting Conditioner.

Tender redhead girl with healthy hair

About the author

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Gaga is a blogger and founder of the Softer Hair website. She often says that insomnia is to blame for her first blogging attempts. Being the night owl, she hated the morning alarm. She left her office job and returned to what she loved most - writing.


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