Can you Dye Wet Hair? 7 Tips to do it and Look Awesome!

Can you dye wet hair?

I'm sure you've heard that it's not a good idea to dye your hair when it's wet. After all, the color won't take as well and can lead to even more damage. But what if you have an emergency? What are your options? Well, there are some things you should know before dyeing wet hair.

Have you ever wondered why most home hair colors advise us to apply them in the shower while at a hairdresser's we are dyed dry?

We talked to three prestigious hairdressers, and they answered all of our questions.

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Can you dye wet hair?

There is a chance that the hair color won’t be as vibrant if you apply it when your hair is dry, but for the most part, yes.

To get the best results, make sure your hair is completely dry before you dye it. If there's any moisture left in your tresses after washing or towel drying them, that water will dilute the color and result in a less-than-stellar hue.

Coloring wet hair will also be a little messier, as the dye will drip and run off your head. For the best results, apply Vaseline to the skin close to your hairline before starting.

How to dye hair while it's still wet

Mixture dye well

Wet hair application is the easiest way to dye your hair. It offers very minimal mess and is the perfect example of the least time, least effort method!

The following are simple steps on how you can achieve wet hair application:

1)Mix up your hair dye according to its packaging.

The amount of hair dye to be used depends on the length and volume of your hair. Make sure that you are wearing an old shirt or smock, because it may stain clothing.

2)Fill up a disposable cup halfway with room temperature water.

It is best to use distilled water because it has a neutral pH, preventing the dye from fizzing out.

3)Add half a teaspoon of shampoo to the water and mix.

This will prevent the hair from getting dry and stiff from the chemical ingredients in the dye.

4)Drop in your mixture and stir well.

This will slowly dilute the chemical ingredients found in the dye, thus preventing it from getting into your scalp. It will also help to reduce skin irritation.

5)Apply to hair immediately for best results!

Hair dye does not require any real "setting time," but it is best to apply dye to your hair while it's still wet. This will allow for an even application of the dye and ensure that no patches get missed. If you need more time, place a plastic bag over your head (secured with a rubber band) and follow the next point.

6)Time yourself on how long you can wait after applying before rinsing out.

Depending on your hair and the type of dye, this could be anywhere from 1 minute to 20 minutes.

7)Rinse out with lukewarm water until all traces of dye are out.

If you are using semi-permanent dye, then this should take about 3 to 5 minutes. If you are using permanent dye, double the time is taken.

By following these simple steps, you can achieve an even dye job without any mess. However, to maintain your hair color, it is advisable not to wash your hair for at least 24 hours. This will allow for a more uniform deposit of the dye on the surface of your hair, and it will also keep the color from running out before it has a chance to bond to your hair.

Do take note that you should not mix up the dye if it requires different amounts of water and dye, as this can cause the dye to fizz out at any point in time. Also, make sure that you wear an old shirt or smock during this process because it will stain clothing.

The benefits of hair dyeing wet

While it is not the most frequent, we might benefit from dyeing our hair wet in certain circumstances.

The color is more subtle.

If you are not set on making a drastic change to your look, or like only very subtle coverage with dye, ask the hairdresser about applying it while hair is wet.

The one benefit of this method involves doing something relatively unnoticeable. Because water prevents the product from fully setting in and adhering properly to strands, results will be barely noticeable.

It is more comfortable.

If you are going to dye your hair yourself at home, getting in the shower before applying it is much more comfortable than drying it.

The fear of staining (and above all that it won't come out) is something we have when trying this method for ourselves.

You need less amount of dye.

When dyeing wet hair, you need to apply a little less color. This is because dry hair will absorb it more evenly, whereas, on wet locks, the pigment does not distribute as well and can leave some patches untouched.

What are the negatives of dying hair wet?

The result will not be as good.

If the hair is wet, the water blocks the active ingredients from reaching into the hair properly, and the result will not be satisfactory.

Water dilutes the color.

If you want the dye to be less strong in your hair and not show up as much, then you can use it. You will not cover any gray hairs or lighten the tone.

Damage to wet hair is common.

When your hair is wet, it can protect it from damage. But when you have dry and damaged hair, the heat of a blow drier or a brush can make the problem even worse. So please don't use these things on your hair when it is wet.

Hair shafts have a cuticle. When you dye your hair, the walls of this structure become porous to receive the dye. When the dye is applied, the cuticle pushes the dye into the hair.

Natural oils make hair dye less effective.

When you apply color to dry hair, the pigment sticks to it better. However, if your hair is too oily, this can lower its effectiveness and even cause stains that are very hard to remove from the scalp.

What kind of hair colors can we use on wet hair?

One of the drawbacks of wetting hair with color is that it works differently on all types of coloring. The professionals have informed us that permanent hair coloring must be dry for the best outcomes, particularly when treating gray hair or lightening hair color.

All dyes that contain developer, which is the oxidant, work to a greater or lesser degree. This is because the dyes have hydrogen peroxide in different degrees, which is what activates a color.

Hydrogen peroxide opens the cuticle and lets the pigment in the hair develop. That is why if we do it on wet hair, it will be more diluted.

However, everyone agrees that it is possible with other types of hair color:

Vegetable-based dyes

It could work on wet or clean hair, which doesn't have as much covering power. It also works with vegetable dyes, which only provide shine. On the other hand, it might not work for pigments or shades, which only change reflections slightly.

These dyes are made without any ammonia and don't use hydrogen peroxide. You can apply it to your wet hair or damp hair. But first, we need to remove the dirt and residue so that the color can stay there.

The color of our hair does not change on the inside but instead changes on the outside. This is because the pigment covers 70% of the gray and is not as strong. So it mainly just brightens or revives your natural hair color.

Hennas hair dyes

You use the shampoo and then put it on your hair. It would be best to do this when you have washed your hair and it is wet. This isn't a dye, so there are no chemicals in it. Instead, the color comes from nature.

Permanent hair dye in wet or dry hair?

A dry hair application is necessary for permanent color jobs. This could mean going lighter or darker, and sometimes it's even possible to lighten the hair with bleach! The precise application of this chemical will not bleed into surrounding strands if they're already dried out.

Permanent hair dyes do not use hydrogen peroxide as their oxidizing agent (developer). Instead, they contain resin as the active ingredient. It opens up the hair cuticle and locks in the color pigments to create a long-lasting result.

If you apply it to wet hair, the water will dilute the color. This is because the cuticle has not been opened and will bond with water molecules rather than the dye itself.

Sometimes it's ok to mix permanent hair dye on wet hair, but this depends on your shade or tone. For example, color dyes mixed to lighter shades will react differently than dyes mixed to darker tones.

Semi-permanent hair dye

It is important that the hair is not wet when we put it on our heads, but if you want to do a strand test and it's still wet, don't worry.

You can apply this semi-permanent hair color to your dry or wet hair. This isn't as strong as permanent dyes, so that it will last about twenty shampoos. You can also use a semi-permanent hair dye without ammonia.

It is widespread to apply semi-permanent dyes on wet hair because you can see which areas of your head have been dyed and if any spots need more color. In addition, you can leave the dye in for about ten minutes before washing it off.

Demi-permanent hair color

To avoid complications with demi-permanent hair colors, it is recommended to use color on dry hair. The main reason for this recommendation has to do with the chemical composition of these dyes and their ability to penetrate deeper than semi-permanent ones due to ammonia concentration.

To get even better results, you can apply dye onto wet hairs but be careful not too much water absorbs into your strands because that will dilute or change the intended hue after rinsing off.

Can I dye wet hair after bleaching?

It is not advisable to dye wet hair immediately after bleaching. Strands become dry, brittle, and prone to damage as a result of bleaching. Furthermore, if you dye your wet hair, it can cause even more damage. This is because your hair does not have time to repair or become moisturized before adding dye on top of it.

Hair strands become weak and porous. After bleaching, your hair becomes extremely fragile due to protein loss, so it is best to wait for some time before dying your hair…


You can dye wet hair, but it might not be as vibrant. For the best results, make sure your hair is completely dry before you apply color to it.

When you have less-than-stellar hair color, use a toner or gloss after you dry your hair. This will help your natural highlights and make them better.