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How Long to Keep Hair Dye On Roots Of Your Hair?

It’s inevitable: your hair dye is starting to fade and your natural roots are peeking through. It’s time for a touch-up. But how long to leave hair dye on roots? We’ve got the answers you need.

Whether you’re a seasoned professional double-checking your memory before slapping on some dye or a newbie working through your first dye job, we’ll cover everything you need to know about dyeing your roots.

How Long to Leave Hair Dye on Roots?

How Long Does Hair Dye Need to Be Left on Roots

When it comes to coloring your roots, the thickness of your hair and the type of dye you use determine the timing. Thin hair needs less time compared to thicker hair, and permanent dyes usually require at least 30 minutes, while semi-permanent ones only need around 15 minutes.

To make sure you get the timing right, it’s crucial to read the instructions on the product you’re using, as each brand may have different recommended times. But if you want to personalize your look, we’ve got you covered with some extra detail to help you decide.

Permanent Hair Color

For permanent hair color, you must read the instructions and follow the recommended processing time.

However, most permanent dyes only need at least 30 minutes. For darker or more dramatic color changes, you can keep the dye on your roots for up to 45 minutes, but no longer.

If your hair has been previously dyed or chemically treated, leave the dye on your scalp and roots for only 20-30 minutes to prevent breakage and dryness.

Semi-Permanent Hair Color

Semi-permanent hair color is a gentler option than permanent dye and requires less processing time. Typically, you only need to leave it on your roots for 15 minutes before washing it out thoroughly.

However, ensure you don’t leave it on your roots for too long, or you might end up with an unnatural look and even some staining on your scalp.

Do Roots Take Longer to Dye?

Yes, dyeing your roots can take longer than dyeing the entirety of your head. This is because roots are thicker and more dense, making it difficult for the dye to penetrate the follicle.

Your hair type also plays a big role in how long it takes for your roots to be colored. For instance, thick hair may require more processing time, while fine or thin hair may not take as long.

Understand your hair type and study the brand of dye you’re using to determine the exact amount of time you should leave the dye on your roots.

speeding up the hair roots dyeing process

If you’re looking to speed up the process, you can try:

  • Using an oil-based pre-treatment to open up your hair cuticles before coloring.
  • Apply heat during coloring process to accelerate chemical reactions.

Is it Bad to Dye Your Roots?

No, it’s not bad to dye your roots. Dyeing your roots can be a great way to change your look and add excitement to your hair, and can help hide grays or peeks of your natural color as your hair grows.

However, remember that frequent dyeing can negatively affect your hair, causing breakage and dryness to both your strands and the skin of your scalp.

And, of course, it can be quite costly to keep up with regular root touch-ups. So, avoiding going overboard and giving your hair (and wallet!) some time to recover between dye sessions is best.


Below are some of the most frequently asked questions about how long to keep dye on the roots of your hair.

Can leaving root color on too long harm my hair?

Yes, leaving hair color on roots for too long can cause scalp irritation, dryness, and damage or breakage to your hair due to over-processing. So, it’s essential to follow the instructions on your hair dye product and only keep it for the recommended time.

How long does it take for roots to show on dyed hair?

The period required for dyed hair’s roots to appear is reliant on the rate of your hair growth. Typically, after a period of approximately three weeks has passed since the initial root damage occurred, subtle indications of regrowth at this particular site should begin to manifest themselves.

Will hair dye get darker the longer I leave it in?

Yes, hair dye will get darker the longer it’s left on. This is because the color molecules bond with your hair’s natural hues, resulting in a darker shade.

What happens if I leave hair dye in for 2 hours?

Leaving a permanent hair dye in for more than 50 minutes won’t affect the color anymore. But, it can make your hair dry because of the harmful chemicals in the dye, like ammonia and peroxide.

So, How Long to Leave Hair Dye on Roots?

When it comes to how long to leave hair dye on your roots, it’s important to follow the guidelines for your specific type of dye. Permanent dyes generally require 30 minutes, while semi-permanent dyes need only 15 minutes.

And remember, whether you’re going for a bold new look or just touching up your roots, taking the time to care for your hair properly will ensure that your dye job looks fantastic!

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W. Anthony

Meet Watson Anthony, a skilled and experienced barber based in Alaska. As the go-to stylist at Northern Lights Barber Shop, Watson has built a loyal following among the local community, thanks to his unique and creative approach to haircuts.