What happens if you leave hair dye in too long? Two things could happen

let the dye work

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  • If you leave permanent dye in your hair too long, your hair will become damaged and dry.
  • Also, overexposure can saturate your hair with color. Then, the product will fade quickly with washing.
  • Regarding leaving semi-permanent hair dye in too long, your hair will be dull and stiff. Also, the color will fade in two or three washes.

 

YOU MAY ALSO BE INTERESTED IN: Does hair dye get darker the longer you leave it in?

When do you start timing hair dye? When you finish preparing the mixture or when you finish applying the dye?

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As you can see, neither situation is encouraging.

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But what I can assure you is that   your hair won’t get lighter or darker no matter how much longer you leave the dye in.  

 

The exposure time of permanent dyes has to be followed.

Dye manufacturers are very clear about the maximum exposure time.

  You should never leave permanent dye on your hair for more than forty-five minutes.  

Besides, why would you want to do that?

 

Let’s see.

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I’ll put myself in your shoes and try to guess why you would want to leave the dye in any longer.

  • You think that if you leave the dye in longer, your color will look brighter.

I’m sorry to tell you that it won’t happen.

 

The shine of your hair depends on its health.

  If you have healthy hair, apply moisturizing masks at least once a fortnight and trim the ends every two months. That way, your hair will be shiny after coloring.  

Leaving the hair dye in for long won’t do the trick.

 

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handle dye with gloves

  • You think that if you leave the dye in for longer, your color will be more intense.

Again I’m sorry to disappoint you, but this won’t be the case.

  The intensity of a dye color has to do with the color you choose.  

If you want a dark brown, you should choose dark brown 3. The time you leave the light brown 5 dye in your hair won’t turn it deeper brown.

 

  • You think that if you leave the dye in longer, the color will last longer.

Another disappointment.

Although the permanent dye penetrates the hair core, don’t forget that your hair grows.

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Therefore, you’ll need to touch up the color after three to four weeks to avoid noticing the difference between your roots and the rest of your hair.

 

This way, I’ve debunked some of the most common myths about hair coloring.

  They’re popular false beliefs that can cause pretty severe damage to your hair when you leave permanent dye in too long.  

 

Do you think that you can leave semi-permanent hair dye in for more than twenty minutes, which is the maximum time recommended by the manufacturers?

You’re also wrong. Semi-permanent hair dye also has a maximum exposure time, and I’ll go deeper into this topic later.

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Now, I’d like to focus on people who use permanent dyes.

 

If you leave the permanent dye in for more than 45 minutes, your hair will be damaged and the color will be dull after a few washes

hair coloring gloves

Let’s start with the most important thing: leaving your permanent hair dye on too long will damage your hair.

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What do I mean?

 

  •   A lot of frizz will appear  because your hair lost moisture and nutrients.
  •   You’ll notice split ends.  When hair is dry, it’s more fragile and breaks when untangled.
  •   When you touch your hair, it’ll look like straw.   Here again, moisture loss plays a role.

 

Why will this happen?

Permanent hair dye contains chemicals that can dry out your hair. So, you need to respect the exposure time.

 

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When you color your hair, the dye generates a chemical reaction.

The 20-volume developer opens the hair cuticles for the color to settle in your hair due to the action of the ammonia.

This chemical reaction lasts between 40 to 45 minutes.

 

What happens after 45 minutes?

The chemicals degrade.

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When that happens, it’s bad news for your hair.

 

Let’s start with the first one.

 

Leaving the dye in longer than necessary will dry out your hair

Even though the chemical reaction that changes hair color is over, the chemicals are still working.

In other words, what ends after 45 minutes is the coloring process.

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Still, the chemicals are there, and   as the cuticles are still open, your hair will start to absorb the chemicals to regain moisture as if the peroxide and ammonia were water and nutrients.  

When your hair becomes saturated with these two chemicals, the damage will begin from root to tip.

Your hair will become weak and brittle.

 

That’s why you need to leave the dye in for 45 minutes and rinse it out. That way:

  • You’ll close your cuticles.
  • You’ll remove the chemicals from the dye.
  • Protect your hair.

But there’s more.

 

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If you leave the permanent hair dye in for too long, you’ll saturate it with product

What does this mean?

 

Let’s explain what color saturation is.

When you apply permanent hair dye, the hair goes through several processes.

  • The first week, it finishes absorbing the product.
  • During the following days, it’ll expel the excess pigmentation with each wash.
  • After fifteen days or six or seven washes, your color will be a little more faded. That is the actual color that will remain in your mane.

This process is called color settling.

What happens when you leave the dye in longer than necessary, and your hair becomes saturated with color?

 

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  Your hair will expel twice as much excess pigmentation. In a few washes, your color will be gone.  

If you use semi-permanent hair dye, things don’t get any better.

 

If you leave semi-permanent hair dye in for too long, your hair will be dull and stiff

violet and pink over bleached hair

Semi-permanent hair dye isn’t applied with a developer and doesn’t contain ammonia. So, it’s less damaging to the hair than permanent hair dye.

This product doesn’t penetrate the hair core. Instead, it forms a color film that adheres to each hair fiber in your mane.

 

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Generally, the exposure time is 20 minutes, although some brands recommend leaving it in for up to 30 minutes.

What happens if you leave it in longer than that?

 

ALSO YOU MAY BE INTERESTED IN: How Long Should you Leave Semi-Permanent Dye in Your Hair? The 8 most popular brands’ exposure times.

 

Your hair will be stiff and dull because you’ll saturate it with pigmentation

Remember I told you that semi-permanent hair dye forms a color film?

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If you leave it on longer,   the dye will adhere to your hair and leave such a thick film of color that your hair will be dull and stiff.  

From that moment on, you’ll stain your bedding, your clothes, towels, and everything in contact with your hair.

 

The color saturation leads us to the second consequence that you’ll suffer if you leave the semi-permanent dye too long.

 

The color will fade faster

Generally, and depending on the brands, semi-permanent hair color lasts between 16 and 18 washes.

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But   if you leave it in your hair for more than thirty minutes, your hair will become saturated with product and the dye will fade in one or two washes.  

Why will this happen?

 

Because the dye will deposit in your hair forming such a thick film of color. Then, when you rinse your hair, the color will completely fade.

 

If that happens, two things might occur:

  • The color will be faded and will have nothing to do with the color you had chosen.
  • Your hair will have the same color as before applying the dye.

 

Each brand of semi-permanent hair dye provides detailed instructions on how to apply it and how long to leave it in.

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Follow the manufacturer’s directions and you’ll get the color you want.

 

Conclusions

You shouldn’t leave any type of hair dye in longer than the manufacturers’ recommendations.

If you leave the permanent dye in too long, your hair will be damaged and the color will fade faster.

Alternatively, if you leave the semi-permanent dye in for more than twenty minutes, the color will fade within the first few washes.

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