How long we should leave a hair dye in the hair to obtain maximum results?


If you are dyeing your hair for the first time there will be plenty of fears, thoughts, doubts, and questions in your mind. But the main and important question is for maximum results, how long the hair dye should be present in your hair? The answer to this question is very simple. Never leave a hair dye for less than 30 minutes and more than 45 minutes in your hair. If you are interested in knowing the exact time then it will depend on lots of factors. 

Keeping hair dye longestFactors could be?

  • The brand dye you are using
  • Effects you want to get after dyeing your hair
  • If you are interested only to retouch your roots.

Dyes which contain ammonia will work in 30 minutes. In the first 10 minutes, it will open up the cuticles; in the next 10 re-coloring will take place beneath the cuticles. The final 10 minutes are for the pigment to sit in into the melanin in the cortex. Now a day’s dyes are non-progressive, which means they will stop working after the 30 minutes of processing time. If your dye contains hydrogen peroxide it will keep functioning and will make your hair dry. You should follow the instructions provided by the brand. If you don’t leave the dye for a long time does not mean that you will have no coverage. 

How long we should leave the dye to sit according to the brand?

There is a huge variety of permanent and semi-permanent hair dyes. You may into a black hole if you don’t know much about them. If you just want to darken your hair then the semi-permanent dye is best for you because it will last for almost 15 to 20 shampoos. It will depend largely on the hair wash you do. If you are interested to lighten your hair then it is better to use permanent dyes. These dyes will last for almost 20 days. 

Amount of time color stays in hair will depend on hair type

Your hairs can be either thick and fine or virgin and processed. Everything matters when it comes to the timing of color stay in the hair. It has been observed that when the color in the roots is two or three time’s darker than the rest of hairs than the color of the roots will remain for longer periods of time. This is the reason you should start the coloring process from the roots. The density of hair also matters a lot. 

If your hairs are heavier and dense coloring near the roots will take less time and more time will be required to color the ends. It is better to leave the color for the process in the roots for just 10 minutes and then move to the middle portion and when you reach the ends complete the 25 minutes. Damaged and thick hair will require more time than normal hair. For such cases, it is better to perform a chunk test. In this test, you will apply a product to only a small portion of hair and see the results, how it works? This will help you to know how much time your hairs need to get the desired color. 

If you leave the hair for a longer period of time, then what will happen?

Everyone expects that this will never happen to them. If the twenty-five minutes have been passed since you applied the color and the bell of the phone rings then you will pick up the phone. Color is still in your hair and time reaches to almost fifty minutes. This is too much time. You will not end up bald, but it will cause a significant amount of damage to your hair. 

In permanent hair dyes, there is a developer like a hydrogen peroxide that will keep on to dry your hair. If it is not present in your hair dyes then the color will automatically stop working after 30 minutes. Be careful and don’t put yourself at stake. If it happens to you say sorry to them and let them know I will call you back after some time. 

For best results how to apply hair dye?

  • If you want to color your hair at least don’t wash them for a day. When you will not wash your hair for a day or two it will produce natural oils that will resist the chemicals in the hair dye. 
  • Use a few drops of coconut oil a night before the coloring. It is also a natural product and resists the chemicals.
  • Get all the elements ready that is needed during or for the coloring process. 


The perfect answer to this question is it will depend on the hair dye you use for your hair. There are some dyes that you need to apply for just a few minutes but some have strict timings. Some dyes will have more processing speed and heat settings. The best way to do is apply the dye according to the instructions provided on the label. Keep checking the progress and processing on your hair. Companies will tell you the maximum safe time to leave the hair color on your hair. 

The label of the brand will tell you how to apply the hair dye how long to leave it on your hair for the best results. Companies have invested a lot in research to make these products safe and easy to use. It depends on the hair dye you are using if you are using semi-permanent dye to darken your hair then there will be no issue if you leave it for more than 30 minutes. If you are using a permanent hair dye it contains hydrogen peroxide if you will allow the dye to sit for a longer period of time it will start to dry your hair. How much time you should allow the hair dye in your hair will depend on the hair dye and hair types?

Efforts have been made to get the information as accurate and updated as possible. If you found any incorrect information with credible source, please send it via the contact us form
Sky Hoon
Hair Lover, Idea Starter. He started HairQueenie, which is ranked #27 in the FeedSpot Top 40 Hair Care Blogs and mentions in ManeAddicts and Tempest. Hair is not everything but something. He started Hairqueenie to share great hair products. Over time, he found there are more value to share answers to hair problems that cannot be found easily.
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