How can you stretch hair dye to make it last longer? Don’t do it! I’ll tell you why not here

woman stretching dye to make it last longer

  • There is no way to stretch hair dye to make it last longer.
  • You can’t add either developer, water, or conditioner to the dye to make it last longer.
  • You need to buy enough hair dye for the length of your hair.
  • So if your hair goes down to your ears or to shoulder length, you will need one box of hair dye. And if your hair goes past your shoulders, you will need two boxes of hair dye.


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How many boxes of hair dye do I need to color my hair? One, two, or three?


I love creative people.

I´m also grateful to Google because it gets me out of a jam when I don’t know something.

But beware. Creativity can lead you to do crazy things. And so can bad information.

Take my advice.  I’m a colorist, and I can assure you that you can’t stretch hair dye in any way. 


At the very least, you can’t stretch hair dye in any way that’s “safe” for the hair and for achieving a successful coloring process.

  •  If you’re about to color your hair with leftover dye and you’re not sure if you have enough to dye all your hair , wait and go to the store to buy a new dye.
  •  If you applied a dye and there’s not enough to cover all your hair , rinse the dye out, and go to the store to buy as many boxes as you need according to the length of your hair.
  •  You shouldn’t mix different leftover dyes to make the dye last longer.  First, you should be sure about the dye’s expiration date. And second, you should have some basic knowledge to know which dye colors you can mix to achieve a harmonious effect. That said, go to the store and buy the boxes of dye in the color you want, and if your hair is very long, several centimeters below your shoulders, buy three boxes, even if you have enough dye left over.


But  don’t add any water, extra developer, or conditioner to the dye.  Don’t add any other leftover dye you may have stored in your bathroom.

Why not?


Because you can damage your hair and ruin the color of your hair, let’s be serious. The coloring process is serious business, and here’s why.


Don’t add more developer to stretch hair dye

add developer to stretch the dye

If you do,  the color of the dye will be diluted . But don’t forget that developer also has lightening power.

So, if you’ve been coloring your hair for a long time, you’ll probably notice that the sections of your hair that have gone through several coloring processes, such as the lengths and ends, are always lighter than your roots. The dye loses intensity after several washes.

This is because the developer has a lightening effect.


So what happens if you add more developer to the dye to stretch it? The color will be diluted, and the lightening power of the developer will leave an uneven color in your hair. Respect the proportions of the developer and dye when you prepare the coloring mixture to achieve an even color without damaging your hair.


Don’t add conditioner to the dye to make it last longer

woman stretches hair dye after mixing it with conditioner

Why not?  Because conditioner contains water . This will stop the chemical reaction you need to generate during the coloring process, which changes your hair color.

If you add conditioner to the dye, the color molecules won’t get fixed inside the hair. Therefore, when you rinse your hair after the exposure time of the dye, you will lose all the color during the rinse.

Also, since most conditioners are white, it will lighten your dye’s color.


So, if you add conditioner to your dye to stretch it, two things could happen:

  • Your hair won’t change color.
  • Or your hair will turn out blotchy.

The only time you could add conditioner to the dye, and only if it’s a semi-permanent dye, is to revive a faded dye after several washes or to create a homemade color mask. But you can never use that mixture to stretch hair dye to cover your entire hair.



You should always respect the exact proportions of the dye and developer to achieve an even and long-lasting color. Don’t invent magic formulas or last-minute solutions to “get by” with less dye.

You can’t add either water, developer, conditioner, or anything else to the dye to stretch it out and make it last longer.

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