Can You Dye Your Hair When Wet? What Stylists Say

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I just thought I should ask, can you dye your hair when wet? Because I think I just messed things up.

If this is you, don’t worry. We have all the answers.

Have you’ve ever had your hair dyed, it’s likely that your hairdresser began applying the color before washing. Care to know why?

And now you want to dye your hair at home, you could get a bit confused. Should I put it on wet hair or I should blow-dry my hair?

Can You Dye Your Hair When Wet?

Yes, you can dye your hair while it’s wet.

There are a lot of times, even in the salon, when wet hair dye application is completely normal, but y’all overlook it.

It’s like this: When you get highlights, the person who does your hair takes you to the shampoo bowl so they can remove your foils and rinse off the bleach.

Simply said, we apply hair color to damp hair more often than we think. So, what’s the difference?

However, when your hair is wet, it is at its most fragile state, so if you don’t get it right, it could break and damage your hair.

There aren’t many at-home hair color kits that are meant to be used on wet hair so it’s best to leave this kind of coloring to the professionals.

As a bonus, if you’re coloring your hair at home with a kit, always follow the directions that come with it.

Related: How to Curl Hair With a Wand in 4 Steps

What happens if you put hair dye on wet hair?

The hair color will not be as bright as it should be if you apply the dye when your hair is dry.

“Water acts as a dilution agent,” says Nelly Stone, a hairstylist.

“When you color your hair while it’s still wet, the color won’t be able to lift to its full capacity, which will affect how long and how well the color lasts,” he adds.

Hair dye is meant to get inside your hair cuticles, not just sit on top of your hair strands. When your hair is dry, the dye can get truly inside your hair cuticles.

The first shampoo won’t get rid of all the color if your hair is dry.

But, as long as you don’t want the color looking too intense, you can color your hair while it’s wet.

It will just make the color look a little less opaque or sheer.

This is especially true if you have thick or coarse hair, which is more likely to soak up water than fine hair.

The Benefits of Dyeing Hair While It’s Wet

Sure there are good sides to dyeing your hair wet. Let’s see them.

1. You can’t mess it up

Let’s be honest: when it comes to so many at-home hair color products, it’s a relief to be told to apply it to damp hair.

Applying hair color with a squeeze bottle and massaging all of our hair together till it lathers in the shower is much more convenient than what’s necessary for brush-and-bowl applications.

Related: What Hair Color is Best for Pale Skin? 20 Best Color Ideas

2. A little does it

With the extra water, your hair dye spreads more evenly on your hair.

However, you’ll need to pay much greater care to ensure that every strand is properly saturated with your color.

What are the drawbacks of dyeing wet hair?

There are a few reasons you may reconsider dyeing your hair when wet.

1. The color may not be even

“There will be a lot of water in your hair, which will help the color spread. This means that the color might stay in some places and slide off in others,” says hairstylist Clara Mark.

The end result? Uneven hair color.

2. Doesn’t work with permanent hair dye

When you dye your hair wet, the color rests on top of hair strands so it doesn’t seep into the hair. That’s a waste if you are using a permanent dye.

3. It could damage your hair

Wet hair is fragile because, at that point, your hair cuticles are open.

There are also no natural oils to protect your hair when your hair is wet. So when dyeing, be extra gentle.

Should you wash your hair before coloring It?

Is it necessary to wash your hair before coloring it?

Most hair dyes are designed to work best on hair that hasn’t been washed recently, so skip the shampoo right before your coloring session according to Clara.

Instead, rinse your hair the day before and then merely soak it with lukewarm water before dying it wet.

If you’re going to the salon, there’s no need to wash your hair.

Based on your desired result, a  professional colorist will decide whether it is preferable to color your hair dry or wet and proceed from there.

Can I dye my hair after washing it in the morning?

The hair dye needs to get into your hair cuticles, so yes your hair should be free from grime. It won’t allow the dye to spread well or sink into your hair.

You should wash your hair prior to your hair coloring session. However, make sure you wash for like two days before then.

This will give your scalp enough time to produce its natural oils and prevent irritation from the chemicals.

Related: 20 Best Leave-In Conditioner For Healthy Hair

Can bleached hair be wet?

You shouldn’t dye wet hair after bleaching. If you’ve noticed, after you bleach, your hair feels dry and oilless.

Adding hair dye to that kind of hair could cause further damage. If you’ve bleached your hair, give it 2 weeks before dying.

Why do salons wash your hair after coloring?

The best time to wash hair is after you’ve applied the dye. If your hair is wet before application, the dye doesn’t stick as it should. That way, it’ll fade away easily.

How long after dying hair can I dye it again?

Once you’ve dyed your hair, you should wait for about 2 – 4weeks before dyeing it again.

Even if you have healthy hair, give yourself a minimum of 2 weeks before dyeing your hair again.


When it comes to hair care, we all need a guide, an expert guide guys.

That’s why you have me.

So, can you dye your hair when wet? Yes, but don’t expect it to look as vibrant as it should if you dyed dry hair.

If you still have questions about this article? Kindly drop it in the comment box below, we will be happy to help you.

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