Can You Dye Wet Hair?

Curated by Claudia Shannon / Research Scientist / ishonest

  • The Benefits Of Dyeing Hair While It Is Wet
  • Permanent Hair Color On Wet Hair: Why It Does Not Work
  • Hair Dyes That Work Best On Wet Hair
  • How To Dye Wet Hair
  • Can You Dye Wet Hair After Bleaching?
  • Should You Dye Wet Hair At Home?
  • The Drawbacks Of Dyeing Wet Hair
  • The Takeaway

The Benefits Of Dyeing Hair While It Is Wet

Here is what happens if you dye wet hair:

You can dye wet hair, but not all hair colors will work on wet hair. Permanent hair colors do not work on wet hair. Wondering why? Here is the answer.

Permanent Hair Color On Wet Hair: Why It Does Not Work

ishonest No.501 - Frizzy Hair

No.501 - Frizzy Hair

It is because of its chemical composition.

Permanent hair dyes contain ammonia and hydrogen peroxide. These chemicals work only on dry hair. They raise the hair cuticles to help the color pigment penetrate the hair shafts. In this process, the chemicals also strip the natural oils produced by the scalp.

If you wash your hair right before color application, you are stripping the natural oils, making it further susceptible to damage. And if you apply permanent hair dye on wet hair, the moisture will dilute the chemicals and prevent proper color absorption. This may result in uneven application and poor color payoff.

Pro Tip: Wash and condition your hair a day before the permanent dye job to minimize damage.

For strong and hydrated hair

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Now, the question is, what type of dyes work on wet hair? Find out in the next section.

Hair Dyes That Work Best On Wet Hair

Wet hair color application is best for those who are looking for temporary results. These dyes will produce the desired results on wet hair:

Semi-permanent dyes do not contain peroxide and ammonia and are not affected by the moisture in your hair. They coat the hair to enhance the hair color. These dyes work well on wet hair as they do not penetrate the hair shaft to alter the hair color.

Demi-permanent dyes contain some amount of ammonia, and, thus, penetrate the hair shafts. As the amount of ammonia is less than permanent dyes, they do not penetrate deeper into the shafts. The results are temporary but may last longer than semi-permanent dyes.

ishonest No.142 - Humectant

No.142 - Humectant

Other temporary dyes that are safe on your wet hair include pastel-hued, bright pink, and other highlighters. If you want to dye wet hair, you can either follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the packaging or these steps.

How To Dye Wet Hair

Remember that semi-permanent hair dyes will fade with every wash. Some fade completely after one wash. These colors may stain your skin and clothes. Hence, secure them during application and washing. Here are answers to a few more questions that you might have.

Can You Dye Wet Hair After Bleaching?

No, you can not dye wet hair right after bleaching. Bleaching makes the hair strands dry, brittle, and prone to damage. Coloring your wet hair immediately after bleaching may cause further damage. It is better to wait for at least 10-15 days to color your hair post-bleaching.

Should You Dye Wet Hair At Home?

Yes, you can use a semi-permanent or demi-permanent hair dye to color your wet hair at home. It is easy to apply and less damaging than permanent hair dyes.

Volume and structure for your hair

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While dyeing your wet hair is less messy than a permanent dye job, it also has several disadvantages.

The Drawbacks Of Dyeing Wet Hair

The drawbacks of dyeing your hair while it is wet include:

The Takeaway

If you are looking for subtle and temporary results, you can dye your wet hair with temporary hair dyes. This process is ideal for those who want to experiment with colors but are afraid of the damaging effects of ammonia and hydrogen peroxide. However, if you are looking for long-term results, you have to apply hair dyes to dry hair.

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