How to stop semi permanent hair dye from bleeding? Use it on dry hair!

hair dye does not bleed

  • To stop semi-permanent dye from bleeding when you apply it to your hair, you should use it on dry hair and choose a brand of semi-permanent dye with a firmer consistency. I’ll tell you what brands these are soon.
  • If your dye bleeds in the days after you first apply it, for example, when you wash it, it’s because you used too much dye and saturated your hair with the color. In that case, I recommend washing your hair with a lot of cold water, without using shampoo, until it stops bleeding.


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 Are you tired of staining everything around you when you use semi-permanent hair dye? 

Does it seem like your dye bleeds like an out-of-control river?

After a few days, is your dye still bleeding and staining your clothes, towels and sheets?


The truth is that you’re not the first or the last person this has ever happened to.

In fact, today a client of mine who visits my salon once a month named Carmen came in today to touch up her hair cut.

She has a teenager who after bleaching her hair, changes her hair color almost once a month.


Carmen has gotten over seeing her daughter with yellow or green or pink hair.

But when she can’t get over is that every time she dyes her hair with semi-permanent dye, she stains the entire bathroom.

Not to mention the money she’s had to spend on sheets and towels. All of her white towels and sheets are rainbow now.


So, she asked me:

Alejandra,  what can I do to make my my daughter’s semi-permanent dye stop bleeding? 


My answer was simple.

It depends on when the semi-permanent dye bleeds.

Are you in the same situation as Carmen’s daughter?


If so, keep reading because I’ll tell you a few secrets for stopping your dye from bleeding during the application process and in the days afterward.

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To stop semi-permanent dye from bleeding while you’re using it on your hair, use it on dry hair and choose a brand that has a firm consistency

manic panic

Why on dry hair?


 Because if you use semi-permanent dye on wet hair, the extra water will make the dye slip easily. 

If you want to stop the dye from bleeding onto your face during the application process, your hair should be dry.

And you can also reach for another trick.

Want to know what it is?


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 You can choose a brand of semi-permanent dye that has a firmer consistency. 

And in my experience, the brands of dyes that tend to bleed less during the application process are these three:



Semi-permanent dyes have a creamy consistency that make them easier to use on your hair. And this creamy consistency also helps to hydrate your hair.

But some brands make their dyes with an especially firm consistency, like MANIC PANIC, LIME CRIME and PUNKY COLOUR.


So,  if you choose any of these brands and use the dye on dry hair, you’ll reduce the possibility of the semi-permanent dye bleeding during the application process. 


We already went over that in order to prevent semi-permanent dye from bleeding, it’s important to apply it to dry hair and use brands that have firmer consistencies.

Is there anything else you can do to stop the dye from bleeding?



  • Put the dye in a plastic container and use a dye brush. That will help you distribute the dye more evenly and avoid excess in any one area.
  • If you don’t want to stain your skin with the dye, especially your forehead and ears, use a moisturizing cream or vaseline.
  • When you finish applying the dye to your hair, pull your hair back and cover it with a shower cap.
  • Once you’ve left the dye in your hair for the time indicated, rinse your hair and massage your scalp to completely get rid of the dye.  If you don’t get rid of all the dye on your scalp, when you sweat, it can start to bleed. 


Now, the dye can also bleed during the days following when you used it on your hair originally. And soon I’ll tell you what you can do to fix it.


What to do when semi-permanent dye bleeds in the days following the original application

washing hair dyed with semi-permanent dye

As a first step,  if the dye bleeds in the days following the original application, I’d suggest washing your hair with cold water without using any kind of shampoo. 



Because if the dye bleeds the days following application, that means you used too much dye.

And since semi-permanent dye doesn’t penetrate inside your hair, as you wash it or sweat, the excess will start to bleed.


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So, if you used the dye a few days ago and it’s still bleeding,  wash your hair with cold water, and leave the water running until it’s completely clear. 

That way, you’ll get rid of the excess dye and it won’t bleed anymore.

Why should the water be cold?


Because hot water will fade the dye. High temperatures, both from water and from heated styling tools like straighteners or hair dryers, are the worst enemy of semi-permanent dye.


What can you do the next time you need to change or update your color so the dye doesn’t bleed?

  •  Don’t use too much dye.  
  • When it’s time to rinse the dye, run cold water through your hair for a maximum of ten minutes until the water is totally clear.
  • Massage your scalp under the water to completely get rid of the excess dye.
  • Let at least 72 hours go by before washing your hair after dyeing it to make sure the pigments stick completely to the outer layer of your hair.


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If you want to stop semi-permanent dye from bleeding both during the application process and in the days following, use it on dry hair, choose a brand of dye with a firmer consistency and don’t use too much dye.

It’s also important to rinse the dye for at least five minutes after using it to get rid of any excess. That will ensure it doesn’t bleed during the days after dyeing it.

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