Can you reuse hair dye after opening it? You could if you saved it properly

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  • You can reuse hair dye after opening it as long as you store it properly.
  • You should store it in a drawer below twenty degrees away from sunlight or humidity.
  • Of course, you can reuse hair dye that’s still in its original container. On the contrary, the leftover blend should always be discarded.
  • I’ll tell you how you check if the dye is in good condition to be reused.


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I know. These are hard times where we all want to make a maximum effort to avoid extra costs in our lives.

That’s why I understand that we make the most of every single thing we buy. And I’m no exception.


For example, when I discover that some fruits in my fridge are a bit past their best days, I make jam with them. The same with vegetables.

Food leftovers definitely don’t end up in the trash can anymore.


But when it comes to cosmetic products, you have to be careful.

Many women use box dye to touch up their roots. Usually, one kit lasts for two applications to color the growth and roots.


Now,  if you want to store the dye once you open it to reuse it for the next root touch-up, you’ll need to store it properly. 


If you store it properly, you can use it again.

But you have to strictly observe the correct way.

Otherwise,  if the dye expires, it may cause irritation to your scalp and damage the lengths of your hair. 


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So, the first thing I’ll do is show you how to store opened hair dye to be reused later.

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How to store opened dye properly

handle dye with gloves

When you open your hair dye, you can use only half of it, for example, to touch up your roots. Then, you can save the leftover half for the following root touch-up.

But  you must store it in a way that its ingredients do not degrade. 


You must check the expiration date. Obviously, it’s not worth storing a dye that expires in a few days.

So, before I show you how to properly store opened dye, keep in mind that permanent dyes have an approximate shelf life of six months from the moment you open them.

That being said, let’s get down to business. I’ll tell you how to store opened permanent and semi-permanent hair dyes so you can reuse them.


How to store opened permanent dyes:

  • Store your dye in a drawer where   between 15° and 20°.  If the temperature is higher, the ammonia may activate and lose effect.
  • Keep the dye away from the sun. Direct sunlight may increase the temperature and the ammonia vapors can cause explosions.
  •  Don’t store your hair dye in humid areas.  Humidity could elevate the temperature of the dye. Then, the properties of the ammonia may be lost.


How to store open semi-permanent dyes

dark pink hair dye

Semi-permanent dye is easier to store because it doesn’t contain ammonia. Therefore, it doesn’t degrade or explode.

There is only one thing to keep in mind.

  •  Keep the dye away from the sun. Sunlight will cause your dye to lose color molecules the resulting color in your hair could be faded.

However, if you still have doubts about your open dye check it out before applying it.

And here’s how to do it.


How to check if the stored opened dye can be reused

box hair dye to cancel orange

Place a small amount of the dye in a plastic container and observe it:

  •   If it has liquid and creamy areas,  you should discard it. It means that the ammonia in the dye has degraded and won’t work.
  •  Alternatively, if you notice that the color of the dye is dark,  discard it. In general, dyes are white and change color when they contact the developer. If the dye you saved changes color, it won’t be strong enough to be mixed with the peroxide.
  •  If it smells acid,  it’s in bad condition too.


If the dye you kept open has at least one of these characteristics, you should discard it. It lost its properties and could damage your hair.

As for semi-permanent hair dyes, the observation is much simpler:

  •  If you open the bottle and observe liquid at the top,  you should discard it because the dye has degraded.
  •  Alternatively, if the dye changed color,  obviously heat ruined the pigmentation.
  •  Finally, if the dye smells badly,   you should also discard it because it’s expired.


If you apply semi-permanent hair dye with any of these characteristics to your hair, chances are that your hair won’t change color or the resulting color could be odd.



If you want to store open hair dye for reuse, you should do it in a drawer away from sunlight and humidity below 20° C.

Both permanent and semi-permanent hair dyes can be stored in specific ways so that they last for months.

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