We’ve all been there. You want a change, so you pick up some dye at the store and head home to try something new. But then you realize that if you leave it on too long or not long enough, things could go wrong. How long to leave hair dye in your hair?
Who wants an uneven colour when they’re trying to look good? So what do you do?
How can you make sure this goes well without having to experiment with different times yourself?
Well, we have great news!
We know exactly how long each type of hair colour needs to be left in for maximum impact.
Just check out our handy guide below. It tells everything – from how much time is needed before washing out the dye until when your colour will start fading away again naturally over time…and more!
Now there’s no need to worry about making mistakes or wasting money on dyes that don’t give the results promised by the box!
Our guide has got everything covered – just follow these simple steps and enjoy beautiful locks every day of your life!
- 1 How long to leave hair dye in your hair.
- 2 How long does it take to dye your hair?
- 3 How long should you leave hair dye in before washing it out?
- 4 Can I leave hair dye in longer than recommended?
- 5 What happens if you leave hair dye in too long?
- 6 Does hair dye get darker the longer you leave it in?
- 7 Is leaving boxed hair dye in overnight more effective?
- 8 Can I leave hair dye in for a shorter amount of time so that it’s lighter?
- 9 Can I leave hair dye in for 15 minutes?
- 10 Parting words.
How long to leave hair dye in your hair.
Demi-permanent – at least 20 minutes
Semi-permanent – up to 30 minutes
Permanent – 30-45 minutes
Henna – 2-6 hours
How long does it take to dye your hair?
How long it takes to dye your hair depends on a few things- the thickness and length of your hair, the product and brand you use and what sort of look you’re going for.
But in general, if you’re dyeing your hair at home, it should take:
- 10 mins for all-over application on virgin hair.
- 30 mins application for roots on dyed hair.
- 30-40 minutes for the dye to develop.
- Up to 90 minutes for the whole process; plus extra time depending on whether your hair was previously dyed before.
You can find out more about how hair dye works, how long the whole process takes depending on your needs and whether you’re dyeing your hair at a salon or at home, in our fabulous guide – How long does it take to dye your hair?
How long should you leave hair dye in before washing it out?
If you’re looking for an exact answer on when you can wash the mixture out, unfortunately, there isn’t one!
After that, check the instructions on your box or bottle of dye for more specific information based on your product.
And if you don’t see anything listed there either, just keep checking every five minutes until it feels right!
That’s really the best way to know when it’s time to wash out your colour – by testing as often as possible until it feels like enough time has passed since applying the colourant ad you can see the colour change.
Can I leave hair dye in longer than recommended?
Hair dye is a beauty staple for many, but the time limit on how long you can keep it in your hair before washing it out varies from brand to brand.
For example, L’Oreal recommends that you wash colour treated hair with cool water and shampoo after 30 minutes of application.
In contrast, Clairol suggests leaving their product on for up to 1 hour before rinsing out.
So what’s the deal? Is there a magic number?
You might be wondering if you can keep it in longer than recommended.
The answer is yes, but it’s not a good idea.
Leaving the dye on your head too long could make your hair dry and brittle or cause an allergic reaction to the product.
In general, dyes should stay on for 30-45 minutes max before rinsing out with cool water and shampooing as usual.
What happens if you leave hair dye in too long?
In terms of colour – the dye will stop working after the maximum amount of time recommended.
If your scalp starts tingling or feels itchy, chances are your roots are too saturated with colour or they may be burnt!
Your hair will also become brittle and break off easily after prolonged exposure to excess chemicals.
That’s why we recommend not leaving any chemical treatments on longer than instructed by the manufacturer or salon professional.
But generally, nothing much will happen if it’s accidentally in for too long.
Bleach is a different thing. It can turn your hair to straw and melt it off!
Does hair dye get darker the longer you leave it in?
You can get a lot of different results depending on how much time you keep the dye in.
If you’re anything like us, then you’ve had more than one horror story of a bad dye job!
When used as directed developer based dye will work as indicated, the will be not darker or lighter colour.
The developer strength is the determining factor in processing time.
Processing twice as long doesn’t mean twice as much colour.
Almost all of the dye develops within 30 minutes. It will only get so dark, no matter how long you leave it on.
Leaving it in for longer than recommended might give your hair a darker colour and more intense tone, but it can also damage your hair.
If you’re trying to lighten up your natural colour or just add some highlights, then leaving the dye in for less time is going to be better for your locks!
Is leaving boxed hair dye in overnight more effective?
Leaving a dye on overnight will not make it darker, no matter how permanent or semi-permanent it is.
This is because:
- The impact of box dye colour lasts only 30 to 45 minutes until it no longer works.
- Leaving it on any longer will merely result in a large mess!
- It’ll dry out and stick in your hair which makes rinsing it out more difficult.
- Not only that, but leaving any colour on your hair and scalp (yes, it does get there) will simply dry it out.
- There’s a reason why manufacturers will tell you an estimated delivery date (they will all only vary by 5 to 10 minutes).
Simply follow the time frames specified in the box colour and trust that it’s doing everything it can within that time limit.
Even if you keep it on for two days, the colour you paid for at the store will show through.
If you prefer a darker hair colour, go ahead and choose one! Just leave a little time in between colourings to give you hair time to recover.
Can I leave hair dye in for a shorter amount of time so that it’s lighter?
It won’t help if you let it develop for less time.
For colour to permeate the hair, it must be left on for a particular amount of time.
If you want to make the colour softer – say getting a pink shade from a red dye – you can add conditioner to dilute it until you obtain the hue you want, then leave it for the recommended amount of time as usual.
This will work better than giving it less time to develop.
Can I leave hair dye in for 15 minutes?
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, it is best to leave your colour in for at least 20 minutes before washing.
This will ensure that you do not damage your hair or cause irritation while dyeing.
However, if you are looking for a quick change without waiting too long before rinsing out, try leaving it in for 10-15 minutes instead.
If you have very thick or curly strands of hair, you will need an even longer time frame like 30-40 minutes.
Hair dye comes in many different forms (powder form vs liquid) and there are many different types of dyes as well (non ammonia vs ammonia).
So ask yourself what kind of dye you’re using, how long your hair is and its texture before you make your decision.
It may take a few tries to find out what works best with your hair type and desired outcome so don’t give up after just one try!
Keep trying until you find something that works well for both your needs – and your budget! Who can afford to keep buying new boxes of dye every month?