How long to leave Hair Dye On (2024)

Hair dyeing at home can be a fun little process, but there is so much to it; for example, how long to leave hair dye on? The process of dyeing your hair is pretty simple. You just put the dye and bleach on and let the magic begin. Do note that one should follow the general rules and instructions on the product packaging to make sure nothing goes wrong.

How long to leave hair dye on? A general rule of thumb is that you shouldn’t leave hair dye on your hair for more than 45 minutes. It takes around 30 minutes for the hydrogen peroxide, ammonia, and developer to penetrate your hair cuticle and change pigmentation.

Hair dye is a great way to change your natural hair, darken your gray hair, or dye your virgin hair (natural hair color).

How Long To Leave Hair Dye On

How long to leave dye in hair?

It takes around 30-45 minutes for the developer(containing hydrogen peroxide bleach) to completely penetrate your hair cuticle and changes its natural pigmentation. You shouldn’t leave the developer on for more than 45 minutes. Leaving the hair dye on for more than 45 minutes puts you at risk of damaging your hair and different results, such as a color that is way too dark or light. There are different hair types, and these are:

  • Fine hair.
  • Medium hair.
  • Thick hair.

Fine hair changes color quickly as compared to the two types because the hair strands are thinner. Medium and Thick hair also change color differently as the hair strands are a bit thicker.

Many times, the results are unsatisfactory, following the instructions written on the product packages and other general rules when it comes to hair dyeing. These can occur for several reasons. Let’s address these problems so you can get the results you desire.

Your Current Hair Color

When it comes to dyeing your hair, the results depend heavily on your current hair. Do you have virgin hair (just a fancy word for natural hair color that hasn’t been dyed) or dyed hair?

If your hair hasn’t been dyed before, the next thing to check is whether your hair has a lighter color, such as blonde hair, white hair, or darker hair color, such as black, red, brown, etc.

If you have dark hair and try to change it to a lighter color, it is best to leave the developer on for no more than 45 minutes. Changing light hair to a lighter color requires more time than changing a light color hair to a darker one.

How long to leave hair dye on also depends on whether your current hair color is your natural color or is it dyed.

Hair Porosity

Hair porosity describes how fast your hair absorbs water and moisture. Some people have hair that has a high porosity, while others have low porosity. If your hair porosity is high, it means your hair will absorb moisture quickly, as it can play a major role in the hair dye process. To determine if you have high porosity hair or not, dip your hair in water and see how fast it sinks. That way, you’ll be able to determine your hair porosity.

The higher your hair porosity is, the better results you can get with hair dye. On the other hand, if you have less porosity, you might need another batch of hair dye to get the results you want completely but always have the second hair dye treatment after at least a weak to avoid damaged hair.

Bleached Hair or Unbleached Hair

How long to leave hair dye on matters a lot if your current hair is bleached or unbleached. The duration of leaving the dye on your changes if you have bleached hair not.

Bleached hair

If you have bleached your hair, it means it has already lost its natural pigmentation due to the chemical process of the bleaching which removes all the color from your hair shaft. If you are trying to change your bleached hair to a lighter color such as white or whitish blonde, leaving the developer on you for around 20 minutes should do the job.

Make sure to take a product that has a low bleach content as your hair is already bleached. Using a  hair dye with more bleach in it can cause hair damage.

Unbleached hair

If you have unbleached hair, you should get a higher bleach content product if you want to change to a lighter color. Bleaching hair is compulsory if you want to change the look of your dark hair to something new. Using a hair dye without bleach will not give the proper results, and you’ll end up with a hair color that’s just dark and has a shade of the color you were trying to get.

How Long to Leave Hair Dye on for Gray Hair

How Long To Leave Hair Dye On For Gray Hair

You might be wondering how to turn your hair back to its natural color if it has been turning gray, or you might have gray hair and want to change it to a darker tone.

Hair turns gray as it loses its natural pigmentation over time. You can always change it back to your desired color by using a hair dye.

You should follow the instructions written on your product packaging and make sure to not leave the hair dye on for more then 30-45 minutes.  If you are worried that getting the hair dyed every now and then might give you damaged hair, you can always opt for semi-permanent dyes. Rinse your hair with cold water to get even better results.

How long to leave hair dye on for fine hair

There are three different types of hair, and these are fine, medium, and thick hair. Each of these hair types is thicker than the other, starting from fine to thick hair.

Fine hair is the thinnest of all hair types, and it gets damaged pretty quickly. Therefore, we need to take extra care while dying fine hair. You must not leave the hair dye on for more than 30 minutes at a time with thin hair. The chemical process of bleach can be pretty daunting on hair and even more if it is naturally thin.

If you are trying to change dark hair color to a lighter color, you have to do it in more than one process. You will not get the best results the first time but try again after a week or two. Make sure to keep using keratin high shampoo and conditioner to prepare your hair for its next dye treatment.

Similarly, if you have thicker hair, you can leave the hair dye on for more than 30 minutes but no more than 45 minutes.

Types of Hair Dye

Types Of Hair Dye

When it comes to dyeing your hair, you need to know about all the available products you can get. Mainly, there are two types of hair dye.

  • Semi-Permanent Hair Dye.
  • Permanent Hair Dye.

Let’s discuss both of these in detail.

Semi-Permanent Hair Dye

If you want to try a new hair color but don’t want it permanently, you should choose semi-permanent dyes. Semi-permanent hair dyes are temporary; that is, they wash off in around 2-4 weeks as they don’t contain bleaching elements such as hydrogen peroxide.

The processing time for semi-permanent hair dyes is also 30-45 minutes.

Your hair can return to its original color the more you wash your hair. You can extend this period slightly by avoiding hair washes, but nobody wants to be dirty. You can also extend the period by using dry shampoos, as those don’t go deep inside your hair to wash your color out.

Keep in mind that with semi-permanent dyes, you can’t get a lighter hair color if your hair is already dark. For example, let’s say you have brown hair; you can’t get white or silver hair by using semi-permanent hair dyes as changing a dark brown hair color will require bleach. However, you can get darker colors through semi-permanent hair dyes if your hair is already naturally dark.

Permanent Hair Dye

Permanent Hair dyes go deep inside your hair cortex and change hair pigments through the oxidation process of bleach, such as hydrogen peroxide and ammonia. The processing time of the hair dye to kick in is around 30-45 minutes. Make sure not to exceed this limit to avoid damaged and dry hair.

The hair bleach completely changes the natural pigment of your hair, and there is no way to reverse this other than dyeing your hair again. Since permanent hair dyes contain bleach, they can cause allergic reactions to your skin, so you should always take care to avoid the dye touching your skin. If skin contact occurs, wash the area with lukewarm water. If you accidentally get hair dye in your eye, wash them quickly with lukewarm water.

How to prepare your hair for dye

How To Prepare Your Hair For Dye

Dyeing your hair can sound pretty daunting if you haven’t done it before, but it’s a pretty simple process, and we’ll make it even easier for you by providing some quality tips.

  •  Don’t wash your hair a day before dyeing your hair. It might be uncomfortable, but having natural fats and dirt in your hair can prevent harsh chemicals such as hydrogen peroxide from damaging your skin and scalp.
  • After you are done dyeing your hair, you shouldn’t use shampoo right away. Wash your hair with cold water for better results. You should use the shampoo after a few hours and try to use dry shampoo. Normal shampoo can remove the color from your hair over time. 
  • Accidents happen all the time; if you get some hair dye in your eye, quickly wash your eye with warm water. Washing the eyes with warm water will remove the dye from them and save you from injury. If your eyes still sting after washing them off, you should see a doctor.
  • Wear an old t-shirt when dyeing your hair because the process can get a bit messy. You don’t want to ruin your favorite shirts with stains of dye on them. Also, make sure to wear gloves because getting the dye on the skin can cause skin irritation.
  • You can apply petroleum jelly or coconut oil on your forehead and behind the neck to avoid the developer from getting on your skin. Coconut oil will act as a protective barrier and protect your skin against harsh chemicals.
  • After you are done dyeing your hair, make sure to take proper care of it. No matter how careful we are, dyeing the hair changes the hair structure because of harsh chemical processes. It is essential we follow proper hair care steps and a proper hair care routine to keep our hair healthy. If not, we can end up with colored hair that doesn’t look appealing. Dry hair does not look appealing, so we need to take proper care of our hair.
  • If you are in doubt whether you’ll be able to use the dye correctly, it is best to visit a professional hair stylist. Using the right amount of bleach on hair can be pretty tricky if you have black hair, so it is best to visit a professional stylist. A Professional stylist knows what they are doing and can get you the desired results you want.
  • After putting the hair dye on, wear a hair mask while you wait for 30-45 minutes. This will prevent any dirt or impurities from getting in your hair or accidentally touching your hair.
  • Use a good hair product. Always aim for slightly higher-priced products because cheap hair products contain cheap material that is not good for maintaining healthy hair.
  • If you have white or gray hair, try to use a dark brown dye instead of plain black hair dye. Black hair dyes give the fake wig look to your hair, while a dark brown dye will give you a more natural look.
  • Make sure to cover the entire hair with dye because people forget to cover the roots with the dye more often than not, and the result ends up disappointing. On the contrary, keep in mind not to cover the entire hair if you only want part of your hair colored.
  • Never re-apply bleach in the same session if you didn’t get the desired results because it can cause permanent damage. You can always have another hair dyeing session a week afterward but you can’t repair hair that has irreversible damage.
  • Set a realistic hair goal. Turning a dark-colored hair to a lighter tone like white requires more than one session of hair dye. Overly color-treated hair can look fake if you overdo it so make sure you do it in session.

Conclusion – How long to leave hair dye on

In this article, we’ve talked in detail about the process of dyeing your hair. You should only keep the dye on your hair for around 30-45 minutes. Any longer than that and you run the risk of making your hair dry and damaged. Always make sure to cover your skin, mainly your forehead and behind the neck area with petroleum jelly or coconut oil to avoid allergic reactions.

Keep in mind that there are permanent dyes and semi-permanent dyes and that you should choose the one depending on your goals.

Permanent or semi-permanent hair dye can be used depending on different situations and both give different results. Visit a hair colorist if you tried and didn’t get the best results. Adding color to hair can be pretty daunting at first but don’t let that stop you from expressing yourself as you want.

If you have any questions or suggestions, ask us in the comment section. Go check out our other blogs “What is Diffused LED?” , “What is Walmart Cash Back Limit?” , “Laugh Now Cry Later Meaning

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