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How Long Does It Take To Dye Hair? An Hour Or More?

How Long Does It Take To Dye Hair? An Hour Or More?

Did you ever consider how long it takes you to dye your hair at home or the salon?

The time difference isn’t that big, but it’s still worth mentioning.

That is because the time you spend dyeing your hair depends not only on where you do it but also on a few other factors, such as the length of your hair, your natural hair color, and styling it afterward.

If you’ve given this topic some thought, or you’re sitting in the hair salon thinking as you’re reading this, then you’re at the right place.

We’ll be talking about how long does it take to dye hair in the salon or at home – along with a few crucial factors that can either prolong or shorten this experience.

Stay tuned!

Dyeing Your Hair At The Salon 

Dyeing your hair at the salon will take you approximately two hours.

Of course, this is merely a general rule, and you shouldn’t live by it – especially not if you have something scheduled afterward.

Your hairdresser will know how long it would take for the whole process to be done because they’ve probably worked on your hair before.

Now, let’s break down the time frame.

Let’s say you’re a natural brunette, and you want to dye your hair an icy blonde. It’s going to take some time – this process, in particular, can take up to four to five hours if you have long hair.

Generally, hair dye should remain on your head for about 45 minutes until it dries completely and is ready to be rinsed. However, applying the dye and mixing it depends on your natural hair and how healthy it is.

That is where the type of hair you have comes into play – straight, curly, wavy, or kinky hair. With some types, such as curly, the hairdresser will spend a little more time to ensure they don’t miss a strand.

Perhaps the most critical factor in hair dyeing is the porosity of your hair.

If it’s your first time dyeing your hair, the process will surely go much faster because your hair is healthy – and, therefore, it will absorb hair dye easier. But if you’re constantly dyeing your hair, you’ll spend much longer in the chair.

Finally, there’s the styling process:

Once you’ve dyed your hair, you probably want to come out with a lovely new hairstyle – and that requires styling.

So, how long can this process take?

It depends on your desire. With someone who just wants to keep it simple, a blow-dry will do the job. But maybe you have an event of some kind after that and want something a bit more striking, such as curls or waves or completely straight hair if you already have natural curls.

Either way, this part should not take longer than 45 minutes, considering that you’ve already washed and dyed your hair.

Read Also: How Much Does It Cost To Dye Your Hair?

Dyeing Your Hair At Home

Dyeing your hair at home can take twice as long or twice as short – depending on how skilled you are.

Since you’re going with the home option, let’s assume you have all the necessary equipment for the process. In case you don’t, and this is your first time dyeing your hair at home – you’ll have to set aside a day to find everything you need. 

There are too many hair products out there. So, it’s essential not to rush it with the choice – but to research them well and choose the products that will do the least damage to your hair.

Next, we have the actual preparation part. And by that, we mean deciding the room in which you will do this.

It would be best to work in the bathroom, where you have good lighting, of course. You will also need some towels, brushes, and gloves. Keep in mind that these towels will be totally covered in hair dye, so we’d advise against using new ones.

Also, the gloves should be disposable.

With everything you need, preparing the workspace will take you about half an hour.

After that, you have the color mixing.

If you’re not new to this, and it’s not your first time mixing hair dye, the process should take 10 minutes max. 

People generally opt for mixing when they want to achieve a specific shade. Most will go and buy a hair dye at the market – a couple of bottles, of course.

Since you’re dyeing your own hair, this can take a little longer. 


Because you only see the front, it can become a little tricky – and messy – when you have to color your roots and the back of your head.

Applying the dye to short hair can take about half an hour. You can add another 30 minutes if you have long hair, though.

Attention: Make sure you apply the hair dye evenly!

Sometimes, people don’t put enough hair dye on the back of the head, so after rinsing, they realize that they’ve ended up with uneven results.

That’s not a good look!

After you’ve left the hair dye on your head for about 45 minutes to an hour, it’s time to rinse.

Rinse your hair properly! It’s vital to wash all the hair dye off your head, rub the hair strands well, and wash everything away.

When you’re done washing, all you’re left with is styling – if you want.

We assume that the whole hair dye process took you too long and that at this point, you just want to get it over with and make yourself a cup of coffee. If that’s the case, then a good, old blow-dry will do the job.

Your hair will look fresh – and you’ll be ready to flaunt it.

Check Out:

Tips To Know Before Dyeing Your Hair

Before you decide to dye your hair in a salon or the comfort of your home, you should go through a few tips that will help keep your hair healthy.

#1: Don’t Believe The Photos On The Box

A common mistake of beginners is believing in the pictures on the box – and expecting that their results will be 100% the same.

Don’t rely too much on the color you see on the box, especially if this is your first time dyeing your hair. Keep your expectations within normal limits. 

The colors you’ll see on the box are made for advertising purposes and are generally full of photoshop and unrealistic results.

#2: Stay Within Two Shades 

Let’s rely on the example we mentioned once again:

If you’re a natural brunette and wish to dye your hair icy blonde, it would be best to take this one step at a time and not rush the process.

For starters, it would be best not to go beyond two shades from your natural color. Too much contrast can severely damage and burn your hair.

You should ask yourself: 

Is my hair healthy enough to take it?

#3: Choose The Right Application Method

The way you apply hair dye can also significantly affect the time and the results of your work. That depends a lot on the length of your hair, though.

You’ve probably seen hairdressers in salons mix the color in the bowl and then apply it to your hair with a brush. Yup, that’s the professional way of doing it. 

However, it isn’t the only one.

If you apply hair dye at home and you have longer hair, feel free to rely on your hands – with gloves, of course. That will not only save a lot of time but will also be less painful if your hair gets tangled.

#4: Be Careful With Sensitive Skin And Scalp

If you have a sensitive scalp, take good care before applying the hair dye – you could risk significant damage to your skin.

People with sensitive scalps should generally avoid dyeing their hair at home due to the potential risk of allergic reactions. 

If you still want to do this, we’d recommend that you first consult the workers in the store and explain the type of your hair and skin to avoid making a mistake when choosing the product.

#5: Do A Patch Test

To be 100% sure that the hair dye you bought won’t damage your hair, be sure to do a patch test.

That includes applying a small portion of hair dye on a strand of your hair. Pay attention to whether the color is too ashy, dark, or light compared to the effect you hope to achieve.

Related Post: What Happens If You Leave Hair Dye In Too Long?

Final Thoughts

We managed to come to a definite answer of how long does it take to dye hair.

The general rule is that the hair dyeing process takes about two hours. However, this also depends on many other factors – the length of your hair, whether you do it at home or in the salon, what your natural hair color is, and many more.

And remember: Before you start coloring, do a patch test – and don’t rely on what you see on the box. It’s just advertising!

Related Read: What Color Can I Dye My Hair After Blue? 5 Best Colors To Choose From!