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Floating and Hair Color: Everything You Need To Know

Float tank therapy is an effective way to unwind and relax, but for people who color their hair, it can be a nerve-wracking experience. Will the salt water strip color from your hair? Will it permanently damage your hair color?

Whether you use semi-permanent color or you worry about your freshly-dyed professional ‘do running, you don’t want your float therapy to sabotage your looks.

Fortunately, a little preparation can help you float without worrying about your tresses. Here’s everything you need to know about floating and hair color.

The risks of floating and hair color

The Epsom salt used in Krysus’ float tanks is great for rejuvenating the body, but some floaters are concerned about getting salt water in their hair — especially if they color their hair.

If you float too soon after dyeing your hair with semi-permanent or permanent dye, it could damage both your color and the float tank.

The high salt content in the water can strip the color from your hair. That’s especially true for vibrant colors like red, pink, and purple. The good news is that Krysus float tanks don’t contain any chlorine, so you don’t have to worry about your highlights turning green. But even so, floating the day after a dye job can strip the color from your hair. That means you’ll need to pay for yet another salon session, which can be expensive and time-consuming.

Plus, stripped hair color can damage the float tanks. It changes the chemical composition of the water, which requires draining the pod. In some cases, the hair dye can permanently stain the pod, which is expensive to replace.

Guidelines for floating and hair color

If you don’t want to damage your hair (or the pod) while you float, it’s good to follow a few rules of thumb, depending on how you color your hair. The good news is that, with a little advance planning, you can enjoy the benefits of both a stylish new hair color and floatation tank therapy.

For semi- or demi-permanent hair color

Semi-permanent colors are especially popular for fashion colors like pink, green, blue, and bright red. This includes color-depositing conditioners like Overtone.
Semi-permanent color has larger dye molecules that don’t penetrate the entire hair shaft. They sit on the surface, which means they wash out more easily, especially for the first two weeks after dyeing.

For that reason, it isn’t a good idea to float immediately after using semi-permanent color. This type of dye runs more easily than permanent dyes, and vibrant fashion colors are even more at risk of running.

A good rule of thumb is to schedule a float tank therapy session once your shower water runs clear. You should be able to dry your hair with a towel and not see any color transfer.

For permanent hair color

hair-color-and-float

This is the type of hair color you get at a professional salon. Because permanent hair dye has a different chemical composition, it’s more float-friendly. This is because the dye completely penetrates the hair, which means it won’t run nearly as much as semi- or demi-permanent color.

However, it’s still a good idea to wait a few days to do a float. This way, the dye has time to set in your hair and you have a lower chance of the Epsom salt stripping the new color from your hair.

For red hair dye of any type

Whether you opted for semi-permanent or permanent color, red hair dye is the exception to the rule. It’s a fun color, but any type of red hair dye can leach color for weeks. It’s best to float at least 30 days after dyeing your hair red.

For henna hair dye

Henna is a popular natural alternative to hair dye for people with dark brown hair. Unfortunately, henna and float tanks don’t play well together. You shouldn’t float at all if you dye your hair with henna. It’s a natural product that doesn’t bind to the hair as well as conventional dyes. This means a float will not only strip your hair color, but it will also stain the pod.

For highlights

Highlights simply remove the color from your hair, so you can come in to float the day after adding highlights to your hair. Krysus doesn’t use chlorine in its tanks, so you don’t have to worry about the water reacting with the bleach in your hair.

For keratin treatments

While keratin isn’t a color treatment, it’s good to know that keratin treatments don’t react well to the salt in floatation tanks. You don’t want to ruin your pricey keratin treatment, so it’s a good idea to grow your hair out before you do a float.

Tips for protecting hair dye during floatation therapy

Except in specific situations, you don’t have to choose between float therapy and awesome hair color. However, if you want to do both, follow these best practices to protect your hair while you enjoy a relaxing float session.

Wait 14 to 30 days after dyeing to float

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Generally speaking, it’s a good idea to wait two to four weeks after dyeing your hair to float. At this point, semi-permanent dye will have washed out and your permanent dye will be completely set.

We recommend waiting 14 days for professional color and 30 days for semi-permanent dye. As long as your shower water is clear and your hair doesn’t transfer dye to a towel, you’re in the clear.

Use a swim cap and neck pillow

For added assurance, you can use a swim cap and neck pillow to minimize your hair’s exposure to the water. This is ideal if you want to do float therapy regularly and don’t want to give up your salon appointments.

There’s no such thing as an airtight swim cap, so even with perfect use, you may still get a little bit of water on your hair. Krysus will give you both a cap and a neck pillow to keep your hair out of the water as much as possible, but contact can still happen. That’s why it’s a good idea to rinse your hair after a float, even if you didn’t fully submerge your head in the water.

Protect your hair color

When you get home, be sure to use color-safe shampoos and conditioners. Use products that are made specifically for locking in color and moisturizing your hair. This can help protect your hair against salt water by sealing in the color.

Use clarifying shampoo after a float

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You want to minimize the exposure your hair has to the Epsom salt in a floatation therapy tank. If you didn’t use a swim cap, use a clarifying shampoo to remove the salt and buildup from your hair. It’s also a good idea to shower with warm water to rinse out the salt. Heat is the enemy of hair dye, so try to keep the water as cool as possible to protect your hair color.

Protect your gorgeous hair color before floating

Floating and hair color go together, but only with the right precautions. When in doubt, it’s best to protect your hair color from the salt water, especially if you float frequently. Use Krysus’ swim caps and neck pillows to protect your hair color during a float.

Ready to book your relaxing float session? Book your visit to Krysus now.