How Much Hair Dye Do I Need? For All Hair Lengths And Types.

One of the oldest questions we get asked is, “How much hair dye do I need?” And it’s completely tempting to answer, ‘How long is a piece of string?’!

But let’s be real for a minute. Nobody wants to be halfway through their dye job and realize they don’t have enough dye to finish the job. We’ve been there!

So whether you have a pixie cut or waist-length locks, we’ve got you covered. Here’s the inside scoop on measuring out the perfect amount of hair dye for your desired style and hair type.

No matter what look you’re going for, we’ll make sure you have the perfect amount of product to achieve it. Let’s go!

How much hair dye do I need Infographic Chart:

Hair Length & Type - How Much Hair Dye Do You Need?

Short Hair (Pixie Cut or Bob): 1 box of hair dye (4oz-4.7oz)

Medium-length Hair (Falls Around Shoulders): 1-2 boxes of hair dye (4.7oz-9.4oz)

Long Hair: 2 boxes of hair dye (9.4oz)

Thin or Fine Hair: Less product needed as hair is more porous and absorbs color more easily

Thick or Coarse Hair: More product may be required to ensure even coverage

Curly Hair: Unique texture requires special care; use two boxes of hair dye to determine coverage

Bleached or Lightened Hair: More product needed to cover the bleached area

Permanent vs Semi-Permanent Dye: Permanent dyes require more product as they provide greater coverage

Color Intensity: Subtler colors need less product, while bold colors will require more dye for full saturation

How much hair dye do I need? The ultimate guide.

One of the most important things you need to do when coloring your hair is to know how much dye you should use.

Using too little dye may not cover all your hair or create an uneven pigment, while using too much dye can damage your hair or even stain your scalp.

Fortunately, with the right knowledge, you can perfectly determine how much hair dye you need, regardless of your hair length, type, and color intensity preference. Here’s what you need to consider:

What’s your hair length?

When it comes to hair lengths, the amount of hair dye needed can vary widely.

For shoulder-length hair, about two boxes of hair dye are usually needed.

However, if your hair is longer or thicker, you may need to use three or more boxes. Here’s guide to how much hair dye you need for each hair length.

how much hair dye do i need - short hair instagram post

Short Hair – 1 box of hair dye (4oz-4.7oz)

If you have short hair, you’ll typically need one box of hair dye.

This is because short hair generally has fewer and shorter hair strands, so it requires less product to cover.

If you have a pixie cut or a bob that falls above your shoulders, one box should be enough to cover your entire head.

But if you have thick hair, we’d recommend getting an extra box just to be safe.

how much hair dye do i need for medium length hair instagram post

Medium-length Hair – 1-2 boxes of hair dye (4.7oz-9.4oz)

For medium-length hair that falls around your shoulders, you’ll typically need about one and a half boxes of hair dye.

However, this sometimes varies depending on how thick your hair is and the level of coverage you want.

If you have long layers, you may need to use an extra box of hair dye to make sure every strand is covered evenly.

how much hair dye do i need for long hair copper hair instagram post

Long Hair – 2 boxes (9.4oz)

Long hair requires more hair dye, and you’ll likely need two boxes to cover your entire head.

This is because long hair has more surface area to cover, and you don’t want to risk running out of product before you’ve covered everything.

If you have very thick or curly hair, you may even need to use more than two boxes to get the desired level of coverage.

What’s your Hair Type & Texture?

The thickness and texture of your hair also affects how much hair dye you need.

If you have thin or fine hair, you may be able to get away with using less product because your hair is more porous and absorbs color more easily.

If you have thick or coarse hair, you may need to use more product to ensure that the color takes evenly and fully saturates your strands.

If you have curly hair, it has a unique texture that needs special care. It’s a good idea to buy two boxes of hair due and see how well your hair takes the hair dye in the dyeing process.

What type of hair dye do you need?

The type of hair dye you use can also impact how much you need.

Permanent hair dyes require more dye than semi-permanent hair dyes, simply because they cover the hair more completely.

If you’re using a bleach or lightener, you may also need more dye to cover the bleached hair.

If you’re using a hair dye kit with multiple components, such as a separate developer, make sure to read the instructions carefully, as this can affect the amount of product needed too.

Most of the time, at-home hair dye kits come ready-made with the right ratio of hair dye to developer.

What Color Intensity do you want?

The intensity of the color you are going for will also impact how much hair dye you need.

If you are going for a subtle change, you may be able to get away with using less dye.

But if you are trying to achieve a vibrant, bold color, you will need more dye to achieve the right result.

If you have lots of stubborn gray hairs, you’ll likely need more product and will have to leave your hair dye in for longer to make sure you get the best coverage.

Tips for Hair Dye Success

When applying hair dye, be sure to follow the instructions carefully and work quickly to avoid any patchiness or uneven color.

If you’re unsure of how much hair dye you need, it’s always better to purchase an extra box just in case.

And, if you’re looking for more intense or vibrant color, consider using a color intensifying conditioner or hair mask to boost the pigment and prolong the life of your new hue.

How many ounces of hair dye do I need?

The amount of hair dye that you need depends on your hair length, type and texture, the type of hair dye you’re using, and the color intensity you’re looking for.

As a general guideline:

  • Short hair typically requires 4oz-4.7oz of hair dye.
  • Medium-length hair may require 4.7oz-9.4oz of hair dye.
  • Long hair needs 9.4oz.

But it depends on many other factors too. For instance, thick or coarse hair may need more product to ensure even coverage and curly hair will likely also require a higher volume of hair dye in order to get the desired level of saturation.

Permanent dyes also take more product than semi-permanent dyes as they provide greater coverage and more intense color.

For bolder colors, you will need more product than for subtler hues.

And if you have lots of stubborn gray hair, be sure to leave your dye in for longer to achieve full coverage.

Remember: It’s always better to purchase extra dye, just in case!

How many boxes of hair dye do I need?

Of course, how many boxes of hair dye you need depends on the amount of product each box contains.

But generally:

  • For short hair, a single box is usually enough.
  • For medium-length hair, you may require 1-2 boxes depending on the thickness and texture of your hair.
  • And for long hair, 2 boxes will be necessary to ensure full coverage.

It’s also important to consider other factors like the type of dye used, color intensity and graying hairs when determining how much dye you should purchase.

It’s always better to have too much dye than not enough, so don’t be afraid to stock up.

How many oz or ml of hair dye in box dye?

A standard box of hair dye contains 2oz/60ml of color cream and 2oz/60ml of activator or developer (hydrogen peroxide).

You need to mix the two together to activate the colorant that will dye your hair whatever fabulous shade you have chosen.

This then gives you a total quantity of 4oz/120ml hair dye. This is enough to dye hair up to shoulder length.

1 standard box of hair dye contains:

2oz/60ml of color cream + 2oz/60ml of activator or developer (hydrogen peroxide).

= total quantity of 
4oz/120ml hair dye.

Is 50 ml of hair dye enough to dye your hair?

No, it’s very unlikely you can dye your hair with such a small amount.

50 ml might seem like a decent amount, but when it comes to hair dye, trust us: you’re going to need more.

In fact, 50 ml is less than half the amount of formula you would typically find in a box of dye!

Depending on the length and thickness of your hair, you could end up needing anywhere from 100 to 200 ml of dye to get the perfect color you’re after.

So go ahead and stock up, because there’s nothing worse than running out of hair dye halfway through a dye job. Trust us, we’ve been there!

Is 120ml of hair dye enough to dye your hair?

Yes. 120ml of hair dye is enough to dye your hair up to shoulder length. Any longer and you may need more boxes.

If you have longer or thicker hair, you may need more than this for full coverage and even saturation. It’s always better to be safe rather than sorry, so if in doubt buy an extra box just in case. You’ll often find many 2 for 1 deals on box dye in stores just for that reason!

That way, you can ensure you get the vibrant color results you’re hoping for without any patchiness or unevenness!

Will 1 box of hair dye be enough?

If you have short hair, or you’re just looking to touch up your roots or add a subtle change to your current color, one box should be enough.

If you have longer hair or you’re going for a more dramatic transformation, you might need to pick up a second box.

Can you put too much dye on your hair?

The truth is, when it comes to achieving bold hues and great coverage, the more dye on your strands, the better.

Some hair colorists recommend applying as much dye as possible to create a rich and saturated result.

While it’s possible to overload your hair, the good news is that hair dye stops working after an hour or so, so you can rest assured that you won’t end up looking like a walking rainbow!

Watch and learn: How to use box dye the right way.

Here’s a great video from a professional hair colorist that gives you some awesome tips on tricks on how to use box dye to get fabulous results.

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How to dye your hair at home.

Are you ready to switch up your look?

With our guide, you’ll learn how to dye your hair at home like a pro.

Not only will you save money, but you’ll have the freedom to experiment with different colors and techniques on your own time.

Whether you’re a seasoned DIY hair dyer or a beginner, our step-by-step instructions and expert tips will help you achieve the perfect hue for you. Get ready to rock a new and exciting look with confidence.

How to dye your hair at home.

How to care for dyed hair.

Dyed hair is a bold statement and can add an extra oomph to your look. But being this beautiful requires special care to keep your hair luscious and healthy.

The first step to taking care of dyed hair is to invest in color-protecting shampoo and conditioner.

Avoid using hot water when washing your hair as it can strip off the color and make it fade faster.

Using a deep conditioner once a week will keep your hair moisturized and prevent breakage.

And minimize the use of heated styling tools as they can damage the hair and make it look brittle.

Finally, whenever possible, protect your hair from UV rays by covering it with a scarf or hat and using a good heat protectant spray.

With proper care, your dyed hair will look stunning for a long time.

Parting words.

So there it is. Everything you need to know about how much hair dye formula or liquid you need, and how to use it for the best results when dyeing your hair at home.

From finding the right amount to choosing the best products for your hair type and maintaining dyed locks – you now have all the tools you need to achieve a beautiful color that will last.

Go ahead and show off your new look with confidence! We know it’s going to be amazing. Good luck!


  • Nicola Freeman

    With over two decades of passionate hair dyeing experience, I've experimented with nearly every shade imaginable. My journey began long before blogging; as an award-winning copywriter in London and New York, I shaped narratives for iconic brands. However, when friends sought advice during Covid for at-home hair dyeing, I realized my true calling. Beyond being your hair color expert, I'm a mom of two girls, wife to artist Tony, and an avid soccer player. Win me over with a plate of sushi anytime!