Medically the review by Cynthia Cobb, DNP, APRN, WHNP-BC, FAANP — written by Simone M. Scully ~ above June 24, 2021

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If you’ve ever before gotten your hair colored, chances are her stylist started using the color before washing (or cutting) your hair. However if you’re dyeing your hair in ~ home, that may not have been the case.

You are watching: Can you dye your hair wet

What’s walk on? Why the difference? Is that why her dye task at residence just no look as good? Here’s whatever you most likely want to know:


For the many part, yes, girlfriend can… however the color won’t it is in as vibrant as it might be if you apply the hair color when her hair is dry.

“Water acts as a diluting agent,” describes Nick Stenson, celebrity stylist because that L’ORÉAL/Matrix. “Not come say that coloring wet hair should be thought about ‘wrong,’ however it does protect against the color from lifting or depositing come its complete capacity, which will impact the longevity and also life the the color.”

Hair dye is designed to pass through your hair cuticles, no sit on height of hair strands, yet it can only obtain truly took in into hair cuticles when your hair is dry.

“Imagine hair like a sponge,” describes cosmetologist and also barber Madison. “If the sponge is wet, there is no room left in the hair come soak into.”

“If the hair is dry, all the color can soak easily into the strands and not wash off or out in the an initial shampoo.”

That said, if you desire a much more subtle shade to your hair, coloring her hair while it is wet no a bad idea. It will certainly just an outcome in a thin or much more transparent appearance of the color. This is specifically true if you have actually thick or rough circuit hair, i beg your pardon is more absorbent 보다 fine hair.

“It is not unheard of for a professional stylist to use color on wet hair, particularly when toning the hair to protect against overdepositing as soon as lighter shades room desired.”


If you going come dye your hair yourself, you’ll most likely want to execute it in the shower.

When it pertains to dyeing her hair in ~ home, using the dye come wet hair in the shower can aid you save on computer the mess — i m sorry is simpler than using it v a brush and also bowl the means your shop stylist does.

That’s why numerous at-home dyes recommend coloring wet hair.

Here are some general steps come dyeing wet hair yourself (though be sure to check your hair dye in instance there are any additional instructions for the form of dye you using):

Rinse her hair v lukewarm water, yet don’t shampoo it. Make sure your hair is damp, not soaking wet. The hair shade will just slide appropriate off if it’s soaking wet. Squeeze out the water out of your hair through a towel to make certain it’s no dripping.Apply semi or demipermanent hair dye to the area that you desire to cover.Cover your head v a shower cap and also wait around 20 minutes (check your dye instructions to check out if you should wait much less time or longer).Rinse the out.

Your stylist will certainly usually shade your hair while that dry due to the fact that it helps them manage the result more easily. That’s due to the fact that dyeing wet hair has actually several disadvantages:

The color might it is in uneven

The humidity will aid spread the color when applied to your hair, which way that the color might concentration in part places and slide turn off others. This renders the an outcome a small uneven in part areas.

The color will it is in diluted

This is the main reason why professional hairstylists will color your hair while it’s dry rather of wet. Wet hair — specifically if it’s already dry or damaged — will absorb water prior to you even use the dye, definition it i will not ~ absorb into hair cuticles together well.

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Instead, the color will be more diluted or subtle, sitting much more on peak of your hair.

In fact, in some cases, the shade might not absorb in ~ all and also will simply wash turn off the first time friend shampoo.

It doesn’t work also for permanent color

Since the shade sits much more on height of hair strands 보다 it absorbs, the won’t take as lengthy for the shade to fade or to wash out, for this reason you’re walk to must dye your hair sooner.

Your hair is much more prone to damage

Hair is more fragile when it’s wet due to the fact that hair cuticles open up up when it’s wet. Plus, wet hair isn’t defended from the same natural oils as it is once it’s dry. So, it is in extra gentle with it if you’re using the color treatment.