Can You Dye Wet Hair? The Ultimate Guide

Can You Dye Wet Hair

I love DIY projects as much as the crafty people on YouTube. From decorating a cake to dyeing my own hair, I can do it with just the simple instructions that come with the package.

What stops me on my tracks from time to time, though, is the preliminary part of coloring my dear locks. I mean, "can you dye wet hair" or not? What products require the user to apply it on damp or dry strands?

Too many questions yet too few answers are available on the internet, I know! Hence, I have taken the initiative to fill in the gaps for you without needing to go to different sources.Understand how to crack this issue down below.

1. How Do Dyes Work?

Can You Dye Wet Hair

There are semi-permanent, demi-permanent, permanent, and “special effects” colors that you can put on your hair. It’s not hard to figure out how long they will stay on the locks or how intense the change will be once applied, is it?

The general idea is that the pigment will enter the strands of your locks and settle in the cortex. The differences exist because of the additional chemicals that get incorporated in the mix.

For instance, for demi-permanent shades, it mostly has a bit of peroxide, while permanent products contain both peroxide and ammonia that’s why they can alter the hair’s natural color.

2. Why Are There Brands That Promote Coloring Dry Locks?

Can You Dye Wet Hair

As the colorants vary in content, you cannot expect one ruling to fit all, no. Some manufacturers recommend applying the colorant on non-moist mane, and that’s because their merchandise doesn’t not work well on wet hair.

This fact is typically evident on permanent colors since they want to prove that the pigment will last for a lengthy period on your strands. Imagine, if water lodges in the hair, there will not be much room left for the dye to stick to.

It will only get diluted in the process, which often results in uneven coloring. Your colorist may even scold you in case you ask him or her to fix the disaster that has happened to your locks.

3. Can You Dye Wet Hair?

Can You Dye Wet Hair (1)

Of course, since there are exemptions to everything on this planet, you can dye damp – not sopping wet – hair.

That is, if you use semi- and demi-permanent pigments and special colorings from companies such as Direction and Manic Panic.

Even though we cannot find direct explanations as to why it is possible for these dyes but not for permanent ones, you can understand from the get-go that it has something to do with the answer to question #1 above.

With the latter, the chemicals need to settle at the core of each strand so that the color endures multiple washes without fading fast.

With the former, there are no strong ingredients to mind, and partial absorption is what you will get anyway; that’s why applying it on wet hair won’t be a problem.

4. Should You Apply Colorant On Dirty Hair Then?

Should You Apply Colorant On Dirty Hair Then

One of the hair dyeing mistakes that you can commit is just spreading the pigment after a day’s worth of work or being in the field.

After all, the packaging states you should apply color on dry locks, right? It is a faulty cause, however, as you have not factored in the dirt or styling products that may still be sticking to the strands to the equation.

These end up as grime that covers the hair cuticles, hence preventing the dye to perform some magic on your dull mane.

In truth, you have to apply the solution on clean, deeply conditioned hair a day or two after washing so as to allow the synthetic and natural oils to coat both the scalp and the locks. 

Doing so will protect you from having brittle hair and burnt skin, just in case you use a strong dye.

5. Why Should You NOT Dye Wet Hair?

The obvious reply is that you can’t do it if you want to have permanent color, that’s for sure. Nevertheless, there are other reasons why you should not apply colorant on wet hair, namely:

 >> It does not work well with bleach

You are not to apply bleaching solution on wet hair, for the sole reason that the bleach and the metallic compounds found in the water do not produce a harmless chemical reaction.

An old friend of mine actually did this in our younger years, and then suffered the consequences later.Thus, in the event that you do not wish to deal with burnt scalp, just learn how to lighten your mane at home in this quick tutorial:

 >> You can get patchy hair

Applying color on damp locks can prove to be a hit-and-miss kind of thing because the parts that have less water will definitely let a more vivid coloring to set, especially if you forget to squeeze out most of the liquid from your locks.

The resulting dye won’t make you look like the 102nd Dalmatian, I am quite certain about that, but the alteration in the shades may just be as apparent as when you put black against white.

Surely, you don’t want colleagues to ask what happened to your hair instead of commending you about the new change, do you?

 >> You may waste dye

In case you are big on using products until the very last drop, you may not appreciate putting pigment on wet hair.

Due to the presence of water, the colorant will take effect at a much slower rate. Some of it can drip down as well and not have a chance to do good on those locks of yours.

What Can You Do For Your Hair?

What Can You Do For Your Hair

You won’t meet a lot of problems if you follow what’s written on the box. Those instructions, after all, have been placed there by people who have tested the product before marketing them.

"Can you dye wet hair"?. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, but only if you want to achieve demi- or semi-permanent coloring. For permanent dyes, it’s best to apply it on dry yet clean strands to allow the hue to permeate your mane.

If you have more advice to share about this question, your comments are wanted here.

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