What Is Color-Depositing Conditioner and How to Use It?

One of the secret weapons behind shiny, healthy, and vibrant hair is color-depositing conditioners. This unique product category saves time and money by nourishing hair and enriching its color. If we’ve piqued your interest, read on!

In this article, we’ll explain everything you need to know about conditioners, including what they are, the different types, and how they compare to color-depositing shampoos. We’ll even explain how to make your conditioner and use it. Let’s get colorful!

What Is a Color-Depositing Conditioner?

Deposit Color Conditioner is a pigmented conditioner that deposits color into the outer portion of the hair shaft. Since it is a conditioner formula, it also helps to condition the hair.

Conditioning means several different things: it moisturizes the hair, forms a protective layer outside the hair shaft, smoothes the cuticle, and makes the hair less prone to tangles and easier to comb.
Different conditioners do it differently in terms of coloring your hair. Some are very richly pigmented, almost like a semi-permanent hair dye, while others provide only the faintest tones.

Types of Color Conditioners

Understanding the different types of hair coloring conditioners is essential so you can pick the right one for you.

Coloring Conditioners
Let’s start with the most noticeable type! This rare coloring conditioner can be used as a hair dye because of its high pigmentation content. Such a formula can be used exactly like a dye, or it can be used like a conditioner to achieve lighter tones or refresh the color.

As a conditioner, the more pigmented formulas are rarely surprising and can sometimes leave individual hair slightly dry. This is good because they should not be used more than once a week, while you can use a proper conditioner the rest of the time.

Lightly tinted conditioners
Illuminating coloring conditioners are more common and easier to use, even if their effects are not as dramatic. These conditioners have a slight color meant to enhance dyed or natural hair. They are great if you want to prevent your hair dye from fading rather than trying to strengthen it actively.

Often, these conditioners are used as part of a system with a more intense pigmentation shampoo, although they can be used alone. If you’re nervous about using an overly pigmented conditioner, these are a great option because the color is gradual, and the effects are subtle.

Neutralizing conditioners
Finally, there are neutralizing conditioners, which usually come in blue or purple. They are similar to toners in that their color is specifically designed to neutralize unwanted undertones.

Purple conditioners neutralize the yellow tones of blonde or platinum hair, blue conditioners balance orange and cyan tones while giving hair a more relaxed style, and green conditioners neutralize the red tones of dark hair.
They are also light in color, making their effect subtle and gradual. If you want a faster development or to deal with more intense undertones, you can usually purchase a matching, more pigmented, neutralizing shampoo.

Color-Depositing Conditioners vs. Shampoo

When it comes to hair color care products, you can choose from shampoos and conditioners, but how do these two product types compare to each other?

First, there are some fundamental differences: shampoos are cleansing products, so they’re made with surfactants that lather in water and help remove dirt and oil. On the other hand, conditioners are like moisturizers for hair, so they are designed to nourish and seal the cuticle, making hair smoother and less prone to tangles.
Beyond that, however, there are some significant differences in color depositing effects. Color-depositing shampoos are almost always more pigmented than color-depositing conditioners. Because of this, a color-depositing conditioner can be used more frequently for continuous refreshing, while you may want to use a color-depositing shampoo more sparingly.

When they come from the same brand, color-revealing shampoos and conditioners usually have to be used together, one right after the other, even though this is not mandatory. Depending on your needs, you may prefer to use a complete system from one brand or just one of the steps.

Making Your Own Color-Depositing Conditioner

Creating your own DIY sink-in color conditioner can be very easy! All you need is your favorite conditioner and a semi-permanent dye in the color of your choice.

In a plastic bowl, squeeze out a little conditioner and add a spoonful of semi-permanent dye. The more paint you add, the more dramatic the effect will be, while if you use less paint, you’ll achieve a more subtle effect. Mix everything and you have your own custom-pigmented conditioner

Since we are always concerned about the formula’s stability, we recommend mixing up just enough for one use. The process is so quick and easy that doing a little shouldn’t be a problem when you need to refresh your color.

How to Use Color-Depositing Conditioner

There is no distinct difference between using a color bleeding conditioner and a regular conditioner, just a few minor differences. If you have a more pigmented formula, you can use it like a traditional semi-permanent dye.

Using it as a conditioner
First, hop in the shower and wash your hair.
Next, squeeze out a spoonful of the precipitated conditioner. If the formula is highly pigmented, you may want to wear plastic gloves on this part.
Apply the conditioner to your hair, starting at the midsection and pulling down. Then, add a little near the roots of your hair.
Be extra careful to ensure the conditioner is evenly dispersed to avoid empty spots that aren’t being treated.
Leave the conditioner on the hair for a few minutes for a more intense color.
Finally, rinse the conditioner out of your hair.
If your hair doesn’t feel like it has enough conditioner, you can follow up with a regular or deep conditioner, which you should also rinse out of your hair.
Step out of the shower and style your hair, as usual; that’s it – your hair should now be conditioned or refreshed.
As a colorant
Start with slightly damp hair, as hair color is not suitable for dry hair unless the package says so.
Put on a pair of plastic gloves to avoid getting your fingers dirty.
Squeeze out some color conditioner.
Using a hair coloring brush or fingers, apply the conditioner to your hair section by section, starting at the roots and pulling the color down to the ends.
Once your hair is covered, leave the conditioner on your hair for 15-30 minutes.
Finally, hop in the shower and rinse the color out. If necessary, follow up with a regular conditioner.
Step out of the shower, get your hair colored, and enjoy your new look!

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