This site contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a commission from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you.

How To Use Color Depositing Conditioner

Coloring your hair is one of the most fun and creative ways to spice up and refresh your look. That’s why many hair lovers have a trusted go-to colorist at their fave salon and are willing to pay big bucks to get the perfect highlights and coloring job.

But paying for expensive color treatments isn’t the only way you can experiment with fashion colors or tone your blonde highlights or even just enhance the shade of your hair right now.

Sometimes, all it takes to do all of the above is by using a trusty and affordable color-depositing conditioner.

Not only do color-depositing conditioners work to color your hair and improve its current tone and shade, but it nourishes and softens your locks simultaneously.

Not sure how this innovative hair coloring tool works? Read on to learn more on how to use color depositing conditioner.

What Is A Color-Depositing Conditioner?

You can tell from its name what a color-depositing conditioner is: It’s a conditioner that deposits color pigments into your hair.

Like a regular conditioner, it adds hydration to your hair for added softness and silkiness.

But its main purpose is to add highlights or a bit of temporary color to your locks.

Aside from coloring the hair, color-depositing conditioners also aid in maintaining your current color.

For example, purple or blue conditioners can tone blonde locks and keep brassiness at bay and keep your tone cool and ashy.

You can also use a color-depositing conditioner to make your current hair shade more vibrant.

Had your hair colored a pastel pink?

Simple use color-depositing conditioner to maintain its vividness.

It’s a terrific way to extend the lifespan of your color-treated tresses.

Color-depositing conditioners can be beneficial to everyone in different ways.

That’s because most of these conditioners are only truly effective when used on light or pre-lightened locks.

The darker your hair color, the more difficult it will be to dye your hair with color-depositing conditioners.

Therefore, those with blonde or light-colored hair can use them to experiment with jewel and pastel hair colors.

Meanwhile, those with darker hair shades can likely only use these conditioners to tone or add a layer of tinted gloss to their hair.


Why Opt For A Color-Depositing Conditioner Instead Of Dyeing Your Hair?

Dyeing your hair with bleach and permanent dye is notorious for dealing tons of damage to your beloved hair.

Permanent hair colors usually contain chemicals like ammonia and hydrogen peroxide – chemicals that break the bonds of your hair and force your cuticles open to deposit pigments into the hair shaft.

These hazardous chemicals can often leave the hair dry, rough, and brittle.

But people still put their hair through the process because they want to get their dream hair color.

Color-depositing conditioners, on the other hand, don’t make use of harsh chemicals that destroy your hair’s health.

Instead of injecting the color into your hair strands, these semi-permanent or temporary colors simply coat the outside of your hair strands, leaving color on the surface instead of the cortex.

how to use color depositing conditioner

Because of that, using a color-depositing conditioner is one of the gentlest and most hair-friendly ways you can color your locks.

Even if you leave the conditioner in your hair for a long period, it won’t damage your hair.

Maybe it’ll even moisturize it more!

Try out color-depositing conditioners if you’ve been meaning to dye your hair but have been wary because of the horror stories surrounding the damage from bleach and permanent color.

In just a few minutes, these conditioners can change up your tone and color without putting your hair in a dangerous position.


Ingredients To Look For In Your Color-Depositing Conditioner

The first thing you need to do is select the best color-depositing conditioner for your specific hair needs.

You do that by looking for the best ingredients that will address your main hair concerns while giving you rich and intense color.

For example, if you have fragile hair that’s prone to breakage, it might be hungry for some protein.

One color-depositing conditioner rich in keratin proteins is the Keracolor Color + Clenditioner.

This conditioner comes in 19 different colors ranging from basic blacks and browns to flashy magentas and greens.

It’s infused with hair-strengthening keratins to repair damage and give your hair added softness and bounce.


If you have extremely parched, dry hair, you should consider using a color-depositing conditioner rich in nourishing oils and extracts.

The Moroccanoil Color Depositing Mask is perfect for this.

The fact that it’s a deep conditioning mask instead of a daily conditioner should already tell you that it’s more moisturizing than the usual color-depositing conditioner.

It’s also infused with extremely hydrating ingredients like argan oil and apricot kernel oil to add softness and elasticity to your tresses.

These oils are rich in vitamin E, a popular hair vitamin that is considered a natural moisturizer for the hair and also adds immense shine.

It also has a unique blend of amino acids that protect your color from fading fast.

These amino acids work to give you the best color retention possible while adding extra luster to your hair to bring your bold color to life.

Another great thing about this color-depositing deep conditioner is that it’s made with 50% recycled material, so it’s great for the environment.

If you’re into eco-friendly beauty products, this is the one for you.


How To Use Color Depositing Conditioner

Perhaps the best part about using a color-depositing conditioner for your hair-coloring needs is how easy it is to use.

It’s kind of like using your regular daily conditioner in the shower.


Strand Test

Before using your color-depositing conditioner of choice to color your entire head of hair, do a strand test to get a better idea of how long you should leave it on.

Apply the conditioner to a tiny lock of hair and leave it on for three minutes.

Rinse the conditioner off and assess the result.

If you want a richer, more vivid color, try applying it again on another lock for five or more minutes and wait for the color you’ll get.

Do this test until you know the perfect amount of time you need to leave the conditioner on to get the color you truly want.

And now, you’re ready to do it to the rest of your hair.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to properly color or tone your tresses with a color-depositing conditioner:


Wash Your Hair

You always want to start with freshly washed hair.

Shampoo as you normally would in the shower.

Then, get a washcloth or towel and scrunch your hair with it to get as much moisture as possible out of your hair.

Pigments from the conditioner won’t bind to your locks if they’re drenching wet.


Section The Hair

Divide your hair into sections.

You can do two big sections parted right down the middle if you have fine hair, or put them in quarters for thicker hair.


Apply Conditioner

Grab your color-depositing conditioner.

If you want a pastel finish, dilute it in some of your regular conditioner.

Apply it generously in every section, making sure that every single strand is saturated from root to tip.

You can use a wide-tooth comb to distribute it more evenly across all locks.

You can also use your fingers to do this, but it’s best to wear gloves for that (especially if the color you choose is super intense, like red or hot purple).


Leave The Product For Some Minutes

Leave the conditioner in your hair for as long as you need to depending on the results of your strand test.

This will probably be anywhere between 5-15 minutes.

If you’re only trying to tone your hair with a blue or purple shampoo to get brassiness out, a shorter amount of time will suffice.

But if your intention is to color all of your hair, then by all means, leave it for as long as it takes for you to get the perfect shade.

The longer the conditioner stays in your hair, the more bold and intense your color will turn out.


Rinse With Cold Water

Rinse your hair thoroughly with cold water.

Make sure you get all of the conditioner out.

Leaving some streaks of it in your hair could result in a patchy, uneven color throughout your locks.

When you’re done, you can style your hair as desired.


Repeat The Process If Necessary

If your hair has a medium shade, you might have to do this process again the following day or week to see the colors actually turn up.

Be patient – your hair won’t show color as fast as light-colored hair will, but it doesn’t mean it won’t work for you.


Do this process once a week to maintain the vibrant color and tone of your hair.

Some color-depositing conditioners might even instruct you to do it more often to keep that rich shade alive.

Make sure to double-check the directions on your specific conditioner to see how often you should use it.


How Long Does The Hair Color Last?

Since the color you get from color-depositing conditioners is temporary, you might be worried about how long it will last.

Don’t worry – it isn’t like those clays and spray-on hair stains that wash off the second you step into the hot shower.

Generally, your color will last about 5-10 washes, depending on what kind of shampoo you use.

The more stripping and powerful it is, the faster it will fade your color.

Other factors also play a small part in how long your color from these conditioners will last.

For example, people with more porous hair have the benefit of keeping their color longer.

And those who go out into the sun more often might find that their color fades quicker than those who stay indoors all day.


Maintaining Your Hair Color For As Long As Possible

The color you get from these conditioners isn’t meant to last forever.

They’ll gradually fade over time.

But if you love your color too much and want to extend its lifespan, there are things you can do to let it last longer.

Here are a few of them:


Switch To A Sulfate-Free Shampoo

Sulfates are harsh surfactants that can dry out your hair and fade hair color pretty quickly, especially something as temporary as pigments from a color-depositing conditioner.

Switch to a gentle shampoo without sulfates so that you can wash your hair freely without worrying about how fast your color will disappear.


Shampoo Your Hair Less Often

Go as long as you can without shampooing your hair.

Washing your hair not only fades your color fast, but can leave you with dehydrated locks.

If you live in a colder climate and don’t sweat too much during the day, think about skipping wash days.

On days when you don’t wash your hair, you can use dry shampoo instead.

This soaks up all the excess oils and sebum that make your hair look greasy.

So you refresh your scalp and hair without having to disturb your color.


Avoid Excessive Heat Styling

If you can go for weeks without styling and curling your hair with hot tools, you can prolong your color.

Exposure to flat irons and curling wants opens up your hair cuticles, hastening the process of color fading.

Try to wear your hair natural as much as possible.


Protect Your Hair From The Sun

UV damage is another major culprit of hair color fading fast.

Minimize the impending damage by slathering your hair with SPF-infused leave-in serums and conditioners to protect against discoloration.

You can also wear hats and bandanas for quick walks under the sun.



It goes without saying that color-depositing conditioners are excellent multi-taskers.

They tone, enhance color, and let you change up your entire shade.

They’re also very versatile and flexible to your color preference – using them alone gives you a deep, rich shade, while diluting it in regular conditioner results in a pastel finish.

This post has explained in detail how to use color depositing conditioner.

While these conditioners aren’t permanent, there are lots of things you can do to prolong the life of your new hair color – like minimizing heat contact and switching to dry shampoo instead of washing your hair daily.

Regardless of what you’re using color-depositing conditioners for, it’s undeniable that they’re a must in any hair color junkie’s arsenal of coloring products.

They’re a great way to keep your hair color fresh and captivating without having to burn so much cash at the salon.

Related: Best Color-Depositing Shampoo For Gray Hair

Leave a Comment

You cannot copy content of this page