How Long Does it Take to Dye Your Hair? | Salon vs. At-Home

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Coloring your hair is not just a big commitment because it changes your appearance for a long period of time. It can also be a pretty big time commitment. How long does it take to color your hair at a salon, and how long does it take to do it at home?

Coloring your hair at a salon takes 2 to 6 hours, depending on the condition of the hair, the original color, and the new color that is being applied. Coloring your hair at home takes 2 hours or less, but if bleaching is necessary, it may take an additional 20 to 45 minutes.

There are many factors that influence how long it takes to color your hair. It’s good to know how much time to set aside and how that time may change based on your situation.

How Long Does It Take to Color Your Hair at a Salon?


You can’t just show up to a hair salon on a whim and ask them to color your hair. There is some preparation involved to make sure that your hair is ready to be colored. The preparation process likely won’t take very long unless your hair is extremely damaged.

Preparation Salon

It is important that you choose your color and style before getting your hair colored. It will streamline the process if you go in knowing what you want and know how to explain it to the stylist. If you are planning on coloring and cutting your hair, you should get your hair cut first; your stylist may do a rough cut to help save you money and also to use excessive hair color.

You may have heard that it’s best not to wash your hair for a few days before getting your hair colored because the oils in your hair will help the color stick. While this is true to an extent, it’s best to wash your hair the day before getting it colored. It’s important that you have clean hair so that the color is able to penetrate the cuticle. Coloring freshly washed hair is not very efficient; you could possibly cause irritation to the scalp, which can cause a burning sensation. Try avoiding styling products before your color service so that there is no build-up on the scalp or anything that can prevent the hair color from processing correctly.

Overall, the preparation won’t take up too much of your time, but it’s best to do what you can before going to the salon. Contact your stylist to set up a consultation, especially if you are making a drastic change.


The process of coloring your hair at a salon usually takes from 2 hours to 6 hours. This process may take longer depending on many different factors. The first of these is the current condition of your hair. Hair that is in bad condition, whether it is dried out, neglected, or damaged, needs to be treated with caution; your stylist might refuse to color your hair, but in most cases, they will recommend some products that will help repair the hair. If you have colored your hair within the past few months, you also have to take care not to dry your hair out too much when coloring it again.

Color salon

Another factor is how much of your hair you are coloring. You may want to color your whole head or only part of it. Coloring your whole head will take longer than just getting highlights. If you have long hair, it will take more time to color than short hair because there is more hair to color. If you have thicker hair, you will also find that it takes longer to color.

The current color of your hair and the color that you want it to be are other factors to consider. If you have dark hair, you will need to have your hair bleached before it can be colored, which can add an hour or two to the color process. If you’re getting your hair colored a color similar to your natural color, it won’t take as long. If you’re coloring different parts of your hair with different colors, that will greatly increase the time you spend at the salon.

How Long Does It Take to Dye Your Hair at Home?


Preparing your hair for coloring it at home is similar to preparing it before going to a salon. Wash it the day before, don’t use styling products, and make sure that it is dry before starting.


Many of the factors that influence the time it takes to have your hair colored at a salon also influence the time it takes to color your hair at home. However, the time it takes for different types of hair doesn’t vary as much because it is hard for you to change the process depending on your specific hair. You’ll likely end up soaking the hair for the same amount of time regardless of your hair condition.

Color Hair At Home

The main factors that influence the time it takes are what type of dye you buy–some will take only 20 minutes to finish processing, and some will take as long as 2 hours–and whether or not you need to bleach your hair first. If your hair is light, you won’t need to bleach it first, but if it is dark, the color won’t show up otherwise. Bleaching takes 15 to 45 minutes, depending on the bleach you buy and how dark your hair is. It will be easier to bleach blonde hair than black hair. Fine hair will also take less time to bleach and dye than coarse or thick hair.

Dye at the Salon vs. At Home: Which is Better?

The benefit to having your hair colored at a salon is that your hair is being colored by a professional who knows what they are doing. They can personalize your hair color and design, while colors that you use at home have limited variety. They can also take care of your hair better if it is sensitive or damaged. Coloring your hair yourself won’t guarantee that your hair will be treated well. Salon hair colors are also much higher quality and will last longer than box dyes.

The main benefits of coloring your hair at home are the cost and the time. Buying box dyes or hair dyes that you can purchase to use at home is much cheaper than paying for a coloring hair appointment. Hair color at the salon also tends to take longer, mainly because of the quality and personalization involved.

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