Can You Dye Wet Hair?

You’ve probably asked yourself whether you can dye wet hair when looking in the mirror after a shower. These may be the moments you ask yourself how to make your hair look better. For most women in the UK, dyeing is one thing that comes to mind.

You can dye wet hair. However, the colour will not be as vibrant as when you do it on dry hair. Water prevents hair cuticles from absorbing hair dye, similar to what happens with a soaked sponge. Therefore, hair colour is best applied to dry hair because it soaks in colour, ensuring hair holds on to dye longer.

If you’ve only started learning about hair colouring, here is some helpful information concerning hair dyeing.

What Is Hair Dyeing?

Hair dyeing or colouring is the act of applying artificial or permanent colour to your hair. You can make your hair colour darker or lighter by three shades using hair dye.

Dye is made to penetrate your hair cuticles and transform their colour. Semi-permanent hair dyes only coat the hair cuticle because they do not contain peroxide or ammonia. Using these hair dyes on wet hair will result in a subtle, short-lasting hair dye job.

Demi-permanent hair dyes go deeper into a hair shaft than semi-permanent dyes and last longer. Most of these hair dyes work best on hair that is not freshly shampooed. Therefore, if you decide to dye your hair using a demi-permanent hair dye, wash it the day before your colouring session.

Then there’s permanent hair dye, which stays on hair until the dyed part grows out. These kinds of hair dye jobs are done on greying hair or when you’re looking for a permanent hair colour change. It’s best to approach a hair colourist whenever you need to dye your hair permanently.

Can You Dye Wet Hair?

Yes. You can dye wet hair. It will not turn out as good as when you do it on dry hair or last as long. However, it’s the best way to colour your hair when you want to reduce the intensity of the hair colour.

Dyeing wet, coarse or thick hair is also an excellent way to ensure you evenly distribute the colour. The moisture on your hair will absorb the hair colour, making sure every inch is saturated.

However, there are several drawbacks to dyeing wet hair. One is that you risk applying the colour unevenly. That’s because it’s harder to see what you are doing on wet hair than on dry hair.

You also won’t be able to achieve an intense dye job on wet hair. It usually washes off within the first two shampoos.

Dyeing wet hair may also damage it because your hair cuticles are more fragile when wet. That’s because the water opens up the hair cuticles and exposes the cortex, which contains your natural hair pigment. That may damage it, making your hair dull and lacklustre.


Although it’s possible to dye wet hair, it will not give you the best results. You should only do it when you want to colour your hair subtly. Otherwise, always colour dry hair for a strong and long-lasting hair dye job. And when possible, pay a professional hair colourist to do it.