How Long Should You Leave Hair Dye in? Between 30 and 45 minutes

let hair dye sit for 30 minutes


Did you decide to change the color of your hair?

If it’s the first time you’re doing it, I’m sure that you have an infinite amount of doubts and fears, but the main one will always be, in all cases, how long to leave the dye in your hair?

The answer is simple.



Never leave the dye in your hair for less than thirty minutes or more than forty-five minutes.


Do you want to know the exact time?


That will depend.

It will depend on a lot of factors.


Like, for example, the brand of the dye.


Or the effects you want to get.

Or if you only want to retouch your roots.


That’s why, today, I will tell you everything to apply the color in your hair correctly.

  • How long to leave the color in your hair according to the brand
  • How the processing time affects the color of each type of hair
  • Which dye is easier to apply
  • Secrets for applying the color like a real professional



How long to let the dye sit according to the brand, and what effect you want to get

humidity and heat for the dye to take effect

The universe of permanent and semi-permanent dyes is vast, varied, and you can fall into a black hole if you aren’t well-informed.

Keep in mind that if you want to darken your hair, semi-permanent dyes would be the best, which last approximately fifteen to twenty shampoos.

Of course, it depends on how frequently you wash your hair.



Now, if you want to lighten your hair, it may be better to use permanent dyes, which can last about twenty days, when the roots with your natural color will show.

But don’t worry.


I have a series of recommendations that make it easier to make the decision.

But first, let me tell you what the process of coloring your hair consists of.



What is the process of coloring your hair?

waiting for the dye to take effect

Any coloring process includes some chemical components like the color developer and the hydrogen peroxide.

Within those components exists an alkaline agent, which is in charge of opening the cuticle so that the new color can penetrate.

At that moment, the developer and the hydrogen peroxide change the natural pigment of your hair in the cortex of the hair fiber.


The time it takes for these products to develop new color molecules in the hair cortex is known as the processing time of the color.

 On average, the color processing time for any standard hair application is thirty minutes. 

It can change according to the porosity of the hair or the color you want to achieve.


In the first fifteen minutes, the product will open the cuticle and penetrate to the hair cortex, while in the following fifteen minutes, it deposits the new color molecules.

Now, let’s move on to what I promised you.


Some brands of hair color that I use to color my hair habitually.



Garnier Nutrisse

hair color kit for home using

I recommend this color specifically for those that want either two tones lighter than their natural color or two tones darker.

If it’s the first time you will dye your hair and if you haven’t dyed your hair for more than three, or if you want a darker tone, apply it first in the roots and let the product sit for twenty minutes.


After, continue applying the product in the middle and on the ends and let it sit for another ten minutes.


After, wash and moisturize your hair.

Now, if you only want to color your roots to even out the color or because your grays are coming in, apply the product in your roots, leaving it to sit for twenty-five minutes.

After, wash and moisturize your hair.


John Frieda, Precision Foam

This is an authentic innovation.

The color is in mousse form.


It’s for those that like to play while they transform the color of their hair.


One of the most important benefits is that it is easy to get out stains that appear on your temples and ears when you dye your hair.

You can use a little bit of make-up remover cream or a wet baby wipe.


Apply a bit of mouse in your hands; this is the fun part, like when you place a white pom-pom in your hands and then apply it to your roots.


After, distribute it all over your hair uniformly and wait for thirty minutes.

After, wash and rinse your hair well to get out any residue of the product.


How the amount of time the color stays in your hair changes according to hair type

leave it for forty minutes

Fine hair and thick hair.

Virgin and processed hair.


Everything makes a difference at the hour of coloring.

There is something that you should know.


When the color that appears in your roots is two or three tones darker than the rest of your hair, the processing time for your roots will be more.

That’s why you should always start coloring at the roots.



The density of the hair also can influence it.

 If your hair is dense and heavy, it could require less time to color near your roots and take more time at the ends. 

For these cases, I recommend letting the color process for only ten minutes at your roots and continuing in the middle and at the ends until you complete the 25 minutes.


 Thick and very damaged hair could require more time to take in a new color. 

My advice in these cases is that you do a chunk test.


This consists of trying the product on a piece of your hair to evaluate the results.


That’s how you’ll know how much time your hair needs to get the color you want.


What happens if I leave the color in for longer than I should?

I know.

You think that this will never happen to you.

But none of us are exempt from when the twenty-five minutes have passed since you applied the color, your cellphone rings, and you cut off communication at minute fifty.

The result?



You end up with the dye in your hair for fifty minutes.

Don’t freak out. You won’t end up bald.

But you will cause unnecessary damage to the hair.


Most products that contain hydrogen peroxide keep acting in the hair, drying it out.


According to the specialists, if it doesn’t contain hydrogen peroxide, they miraculously stop working after thirty minutes.

I don’t put my hands in the fire.

Do it as I do.

When I receive a call in the middle of the coloring process, I excuse myself, and I tell them that I’ll call them back in a few minutes.


Which type of color is easier to apply?

 The truth is, I don’t know how to tell you this, but all of them seem easy to me.


And I’ve been fighting my gray hairs for years.

Just as many traditional dyes, those boxes that you can find in specialty stores, as well as the mousse, are very simple to apply.

And now, the best part.


I will tell you how to apply the dye just as a professional would in a salon.

But first thing is first.


If you want a drastic change, consult a professional because if you want to lighten your hair more than three tones, you could run the risk of ending up with an irregular tone.

Now, let’s go step by step.


How to dye your hair step by step to get some fantastic results


  • Don’t wash your hair for at least one day before coloring your hair.

It’s not that I want you to live a dirty life.

If you don’t wash your hair one or two days before applying the color, your scalp will produce natural oils that protect the hair from the aggression of the chemicals in the dye.



  • Apply a few drops of coconut oil to your hair the night before.

If you still feel uncomfortable, coconut oil is also a natural protector against the dye’s chemical elements. Also, it doesn’t interfere with the color penetrating the cortex of the hairs.

With that, don’t forget to sleep with a shower cap on so that you don’t stain your pillowcase.


  • Gather together all the elements that you’ll need.

This is fundamental so that you aren’t running around at the last moment.

You have to prepare:

  • The coloring kit
  • Gloves, although most kits have them. I prefer to use gloves to keep my nails from getting stained
  • Moisturizing cream. This is simply to apply a thin film on the zones that always get stained when we color our hair, like on your temples or your ears


  • Start the application of the dye on your hair.

Start by separating the hair in layers from the upper part to the lower part since the first thing that you will color are your roots.

With the help of a brush, start distributing the dye as close as possible to the base of your roots, and spread it out about ten centimeters.

Keep doing this from the upper layers to the lower layers, always covering the roots’ area.

Once you finish, wait for twenty minutes.



Once the time has passed, finish applying the rest of the dye on the rest of your hair, meaning the middle and the ends, and wait ten minutes.

Once those ten minutes have passed, you can rinse your hair.

Always with lukewarm water, if you can put up with cold water, that’s even better.

It’s not necessary to use shampoo.


Get into the shower and massage your hair under the shower until the water runs transparently.


At that time, use a conditioner. Generally, a coloring kit has one.

And now, enjoy your new color.


Because now you know everything for dyeing your hair at home and the results can be almost, almost as if it was done by a true professional.

What color do you want to color your hair next time?

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