Should you dye your hair, wet or dry?

With fashion taking a whole new look these days; your hair needs to match your style. Hair dyeing is very common these days. 

Originally started, as a practice to cover your white hairs, now hair dye has turned into a very common style statement especially amongst the youth.

With the onset of the growing demand for hair dyes, a common question that is making a buzz these days is – 

Can you dye your hair while it is wet?


People who have experience in dyeing their hair know that it is usually done on dry hair. But with new-age technology dyeing your wet hair, might not be very surprising to you. 

With new-age techniques like wet balayage, dyeing wet hairs have particularly gained some attention.


Now, to answer the real question –

Should you dye your hair, wet or dry?


In today’s article, we are going to cover all you need to know about the answer to this question.

Is it possible you dye your hair while it is wet?


Of course, you can do it! With the introduction of the wet balayage technique, it is very much possible to dye wet hair now. 

But with that being said, as you must already know, the dye was never used on wet hair, as your hair is at its most fragile state, when wet. So, not even with the new age techniques, dyeing your wet hair can result in damaged hair and breakage problems.



If you are looking to color your hair, my suggestion would be to stick to dyeing your hair while it is dry. Applying dye to wet hair is best for subtle colors and styles that are likely to cause less damage. 

Some people prefer to use dye on wet hairs as some ammonia-free semi-permanent hair colors absorb better into wet strands. Thus wet hair dyes are best for semi-permanent, ammonia-free hair colors.

But having said that, this can still damage your hair. For a heads up, always follow the specific instructions of the product that you are using.


Do you need to wash your hair before applying dye?



Another common question when you think of coloring your hair is – should you wash your hair if you plan to dye it wet? Or, even if you plan to dye your hair while it is dry, should you wash your hair just before applying the color? 

Well, whether you dye your hair, while it is wet or dry, you should not be using shampoo before the procedure. If you use shampoo just before applying the dye, be it on wet hair or dry hair, the colors do not sit well on freshly shampooed hair. 

With that being said you don’t want your hair to be too greasy, because if that is the case, the outcome of the dye will not come out to be very well, and you do not want that to happen. 

So it is best to wash just wash your hair with lukewarm water, before the application of dye, if you want to apply it on wet hair. 

However, if you are heading to the salon for the procedure, there is no need to wash your hair at all, your stylist will decide whether to apply dye on wet or dry hair, based on your desired outcome. 

After applying the dye, be it on wet hair or dry, do not shampoo your hair just after, as it will strip off the colors that you just applied to the hairs. 

And, you do not want it. 

Instead, wash your hair simply with lukewarm water, or as instructed by your hairdresser and wait for 48 hours before you reach out to apply shampoo to your hair. 

While, if you are applying dye at home, read the instructions given on the cover of your DIY at-home color kit. 

While some will advise you to shampoo your hair immediately after applying the dye and others will advise against it.

Either way, it is best if you follow the instruction manual that comes along with your hair dye pack. 


Cases in which you shall dye your hair while it is wet


People who love dyeing their hair, and do it while the hair is dry, might wonder as to why anybody would want to dye wet hair. Well, here are some reasons why you might want to dye wet hair:


For subtle dimension


Wet balayage is the most popular and effective way to color your wet hair, and this is because of the stunning result that it gives to your hair. Want a subtle and low-maintenance hair color? This is your choice. 

A fact that should be kept in mind is that applying dye to wet hair, via wet balayage, is largely about bleaching your wet hairs.


For coarse, thick hair, dyeing wet hair is a good option

    • Sometimes, the ones with thick, coarse hair benefit more by dyeing – not wet, but damp hair. But this of course depends on the individual coloring their hair and the hair dye being used.
  • You can try wet dyeing if you want to use a semi-permanent hair color.

Peroxides aren’t used in semi-permanent hair dye, thus they can work better if applied on wet hair. 


This opens the cuticle of your hair and helps the hair dye to get absorbed better. 


This completely depends on the hair dye you are using, though. Also, never forget to read the instruction manual provided!


Should you dye your hair at home?


Well, usually we would advise against it. Because most of the at-home color kits are made for wet hair. So, leaving your wet hair dyes to the pros is wise, because you don’t want to apply it wrong and have your hair damaged. 

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