How much dye do you need based on your hair length? Long, medium and short hair

color kits for home use

Do you want to know how much dye you need, depending on your hair length?


In general terms, you’ll need:

  • For short hair, one color kit should be enough. For medium-length hair, you should get two boxes, and for long hair, you should get two or three.
  • Of course, you should also keep in mind how thick your hair is, depending on if it’s thick or thin.


In terms of dye, the quantity is very important, just like in baking.

If you don’t believe me, ask a baker. When it comes to cooking, you can make some small modifications to the quantities of ingredients.

But, when it comes to baking bread or a cake, you need to follow the recipe to a tee if you’re going to be able to replicate the original taste or texture. There’s no guesswork or estimates.

It’s the same with dye.


 If you don’t use the right amount to perfectly cover your entire head of hair, the results could be disastrous. 

You don’t believe me?


Let me tell you a story.

Lucy decided to dye her hair on her own at home. It’s easy to run to the store and choose a dye. The only thing that she thought she needed to do was keep in mind the color shown in the model’s hair on the box.

Lucy bought her dye based on the box just like that. When she got home, she started to use the dye on her hair.

 Halfway through the process, she realized that she had run out of dye, so she had a little problem… she still hadn’t applied any dye to half of her hair! 


Of course, she hadn’t kept in mind that her hair fell five inches past her shoulders. That’s a lot of hair.

So, she let the dye sit the full amount of time necessary, rinsed her hair, and went running off to the store to buy another box of dye.

She was pretty desperate because her hair was two different colors.


She used the second box of dye on the parts of her hair where she wasn’t able to use the dye the first time.

Afterward, you couldn’t tell that her hair was two different colors, but there did seem to be some kind of dividing line in her hair, where you could see where she applied to first dye and second dye.

You need to use the dye on your entire head of hair, and that was her second mistake.

How did the story end?


When she was finally so tired of the bad results that she was getting dyeing her hair at home on her own because of the mistakes she makes, she came to the salon and we evened out her color.

She decided to buy just one box of dye because of her ignorance and wanting to save money, but at the end of the day, she ended up spending more than double that to fix her hair.


If you don’t want the same thing to happen to you, stick around, because I’m going to tell you:

  • How to calculate the amount of dye you need depending on how long your hair is
  • What can happen if you run out of dye halfway through the dyeing process
  • Why it’s important to keep in mind how much hair you have when it comes time to dye


Don’t waste your money. Instead, grab the bull by the horns and calculate the exact amount of dye you need so your hair looks perfect after dyeing it.


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How to calculate the amount of dye that you need depending on how long your hair is

one color kit is enough

Many people think, for example, that hair that falls just to your shoulders is short hair.

That might be the case from an aesthetic point of view, but when it comes time to dye it, that’s not the case.

Do you know why?


  • In haircare, we consider short hair to be hair that doesn’t fall past your ears.

To give you more of a specific idea, short hair would be a short bob, the popular bob-carre, or a pixie cut.


 If that’s the kind of hair cut you have, then you’ll only need one color kit for dyeing your hair and you might even have a little bit leftover. Either way, you should have enough to completely cover all of the sections of your hair. 

And unfortunately, you’ll have to toss whatever dye you have leftover because unfortunately, it’s not a good idea to save the leftover dye for next time.


  • Is your hair down to your shoulders?

If that’s the case, then we’re already talking about medium length hair. Any cut that extends beyond your ears and reaches to your shoulders is medium length.

What styles are considered medium-length?

two boxes or more

For example, a long bob or a shag would be kinds of medium-length cuts.

 For these kinds of styles, you’ll need two color kits. 


It is also possible that you have leftover product, which, as I said in the previous case, you should also throw out.

But don’t fret about the extra product, instead, remember what happened to Lucy. Do you want the same thing to happen to you if you run out of the product in the middle of using it?


  • And what about long hair?

Well, there’s long hair and then there’s looong hair.

In haircare, we consider any style that falls past your shoulders to be long. Most kinds of layered styles are long.


 For long hair, you’ll need two full-color kits to completely cover all areas of your hair.  

I repeat: Two boxes of dye if your hair is reasonably long. How long is reasonably long hair?


Hair that comes down to your shoulder blades is reasonably long, in this case.

But there are plenty of women that have hair much longer than that, for some women, their hair even comes to their waist.

So, if your hair comes past your shoulder blades, then you’re going to need to buy three boxes of dye.


Are you still feeling like it’s a waste to buy a little more dye than you’ll need?

If so, keep reading because now I’m going to tell you…


What can happen if you run out of dye halfway through dyeing your hair

  • Running out of dye halfway through the job is dangerous. Mostly, because your hair will end up being two different colors.

One color will be the color of the dye you used and the other will be your base color.

And if that’s not enough, remember the damage you’ll do your hair, too. If you don’t have enough dye, your hair will end up looking uneven, so you’ll have to eventually dye all of your hair all over again.

I repeat: You’ll have to dye all of your hair all over again.


  • What kind of dye did you use?

Because if you used a dye that contains both peroxide and ammonia, you’ll be applying those two chemical products to your hair twice, which will lead to more damage, ending in frizz and weak hair.

All because you didn’t want to spend a little bit more.


  • Also, if you already applied the dye, the chemical process for absorbing the dye already started. So, even if you run out of product, you’re going to need to wait the full amount of time to let the product work, then go out and buy more of it.

So, your hair will already have that dividing line in it.

When you apply dye to the area of your hair where you didn’t use it before, you might end up applying it unevenly and that dividing line won’t disappear, which would be a true disaster.

So, you’ll need to buy more dye and apply it to all of your hair, to make sure that the same thing doesn’t happen again.


One of the things that I remember most clearly about my grandma was the pasta she made on Sundays. Fifteen of us always went to her house on Sundays to enjoy her amazing raviolis.

Even though we were a group of fifteen, she always cooked enough for thirty people. When I asked her why she did that, especially considering all the work that cooking so much extra took, she smiled and said, “Better to have too much than not enough, right?”


I’d tell you the same when it comes to dye: better to have too much than not enough.

But, besides your hair length, there is one other detail you’ll need to keep in mind. Can you guess what it is?


Why it’s important to keep in mind the amount of hair you have when you dye it

When it comes time to dye your hair, you’ll also need to keep in mind the amount of hair you have.

  • If you have medium-length hair, but a lot of it, then you’ll need two boxes of dye.
  • And if you have long hair and a lot of it, then I’d recommend you buy three boxes.


There are many different kinds of hair: think, thick, heavy, light, etc. and you can dye any kind of hair without any problems.

But it’s a very different process to dye thin, medium-length hair than thick, long hair.

 If you have a lot of hair, it is generally heavy and absorbent so you’re going to need more dye to be able to apply it evenly. 


If you’re unsure, remember what my grandma said: Better to have too much than not enough, right?

Now tell me, depending on your hair’s length and how much of it you have, how many boxes of dye are you going to need to completely cover your hair?

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