Can You Dye Wet Hair?

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Many hair color instructions tell you that you should put hair color on dry hair. However, can you color wet hair?

Hair color can easily be used on wet hair if it is done right. Taking good care of hair and wringing out the hair gives the best results. Hair color is used on wet hair to prevent further damage and add a more subtle color. Some hair stylists prefer to color wet hair rather than dry hair.

Here are the facts on coloring wet hair.

Can You Dye Your Hair While It’s Wet?

Hair can be colored while it is wet. Hair can also be colored when it is dry. Wet hair can easily be colored and turn out very beautiful, but the color will not last as long or won’t turn out to be as vibrant of color unless the hair is dry beforehand.

Hair color is made to absorb into the hair strands instead of just being placed on top of the hair. When the hair is dry, the hair color can be distributed evenly. When you color your hair while it is wet, water can create a barrier preventing the color from fully penetrating your hair. Resulting in uneven results.

Can You Dye Your Hair While It's Wet

However, choosing to color your hair when wet is not always a bad idea. If you are looking for a more subtle color change in your hair, it would be best to color it when wet to achieve a more natural look.

Do additional research to find out what each hair color brand says in the directions to find what method is best for coloring your hair. Keep in mind that each brand has different instructions and different outcomes for different hair colors.

How to Dye Hair While It Is Wet

If you are planning on coloring your hair while it is wet, preferably take a shower to wet the hair and prep it for the hair coloring process. Going to a salon or doing it at home are two options to accomplish this.

If you are confident in your abilities, try it at home. If you are not confident or haven’t colored your hair in the past, to prevent heartache, it might be best to go to the salon in order to get the best results.

How to Dye Hair While It Is Wet

Home Hair Dye

When coloring hair at home, it is important to follow the following steps:

  1. Rinse your hair with room-temperature water. Don’t wash it or apply product to it.
  2. Check to see if the hair is soaking wet or damp. Damp hair will provide the best results.
  3. After rinsing the hair, dry it with a towel to prevent the hair from dripping.
  4. Apply the hair dye to your hair in the desired spots.
  5. Put your hair into a shower cap to let the hair color sit.
  6. Let the color process proceed according to the directions on the box.
  7. Wash the hair color out of your hair.
  8. Dry your hair with a blow dryer, or let it air dry.

Cons of Dyeing Wet Hair

Even though you can color your hair while it is wet, keep in mind that there are disadvantages to doing so.

Uneven Color

Uneven coloring is a side effect of coloring wet hair. The reason this happens stems from moisture. The moisture in the hair will spread the color unevenly throughout all of the hair because of the ability for hair color to slide off the hair in some areas while wet. To prevent the colors from sliding off of the hair, make sure the hair has been wrung out and isn’t dripping.

Diluted Colors

Oftentimes, if you go to the salon, a professional will put color on dry instead of wet hair. When hair is wet, it tends to absorb the water into the hair before the dye has even been applied. This will cause the hair color to not absorb into your hair evenly.

When using the hair color on wet hair, it may not even soak into the hair and instead wash off like it wasn’t even placed on the hair. Be careful when deciding how to color your hair, depending on what you want your hair to look like in the end.

Not as Good for Permanent Colors

When using permanent hair colors, the hair color will most likely want to stay on top of the hair instead of absorbing all the way. This will cause it to not last as long as expected, which is bad, especially if you want your hair color to last for a long time.

Hair Damage

There is always a risk of damaging your hair when it is wet. The hair strands are weaker than normal when wet. For this reason, you will need to be cautious when coloring your wet hair that has a lot of chemicals in it.

Wet hair doesn’t have the same level of protection that dry hair does. Dry hair has natural oils that keep the hair from becoming too tangly and damaged, but this goes away once the hair is wet. The wet hair has been stripped of its natural oils and needs extra care, as it’s more fragile.

Pros of Dyeing Wet Hair

There are good things about choosing to color your hair while it is wet.

Even Distribution

Since there is moisture prevalent in wet hair, the hair color can be distributed evenly throughout the hair. Trying to distribute hair color to dry hair evenly is less effective because it takes more patience to make sure the hair dye is evenly spread throughout the hair.

More Absorbent

Wet hair has the ability to be more absorbent than dry hair. The hair cuticles are able to open up more when the hair is wet, and this allows the color pigments to absorb into the hair.

Dye Application

The color application for wet hair uses a significantly less amount of hair color than dry hair. This helps you save money and potentially prevents damage to your hair.

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