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How to Dilute Hair Dye | 3 Easy Methods

Not all hair dyes are created equal. Some are harsher than others, and the more harsh ones can be difficult to wash out of your hair.

In addition to removing any leftover color in your hair, diluting a darker dye helps keep it soft and easy to apply. Here is everything you need to know when learning how to dilute hair dye.

How to Dilute Your Hair Dye: 3 Methods

For a piece on how to dilute hair dye, a woman mixing a bowl of blue dye in a black bowl

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Harsh chemicals in some dyes have been known to cause breakage at the ends, split ends, or even cause some people’s hair to fall out entirely! The good news is that by diluting hair color, you can prevent these problems from happening. There are many ways to dilute hair dye including:

  1. Use hydrogen peroxide
  2. Dilute with shampoo
  3. Mix it with hair oil

How to Dilute Hair Color With Hydrogen Peroxide

The process is pretty simple if you’re curious about how to mix dye and peroxide. All you need is a disposable bowl, an open bottle of dye, and a spoon for mixing.

The trickiest part is knowing how much hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) to add. We’ll walk through the steps on how to dilute hair dye with H2O2 below:

Benefits of Diluting Hair Dye With Hydrogen Peroxide

To get the most out of your hair dye, diluting it with hydrogen peroxide is essential. H202 works in the hair cortex to ensure that your dye stays permanent until new hair grows. While it can help in making your hair dye last a little longer and lighten it, you also want to be careful as it’s a chemical. 

Step 1: Carefully Pour the Dye Into a Disposable Bowl

Carefully pour the dye into a disposable bowl. The bowl should be large enough to hold the hair dye and hydrogen peroxide. Ensure your mixing vessel is clean and dry before mixing your ingredients.

Measure one tablespoon of H202 (not concentrate) with a measuring spoon or medicine dropper and add it to your mixture as quickly as possible.

Step 2: Start With One Teaspoon of Peroxide and Add More if Necessary

Mixing 1 part hydrogen peroxide with two parts dye works well for most people who need some help getting rid of unwanted tones in their locks (like greys).

If you’re planning to go from dark browns and blacks up through platinum blondes, you may need more than 2:1 ratios. If your hair is dark, use 3% hydrogen peroxide. You’ll want to use at least 6% to achieve the lightest shade of blonde.

Step 3: Use a Spoon to Mix in Hydrogen Peroxide

Start stirring the mixture. Make sure you don’t leave it to sit for too long. If you do, the dye becomes harder to mix with hydrogen peroxide.

Note: Hydrogen Peroxide may be corrosive

Keep in mind that hydrogen peroxide may irritate bare skin. When mixing your dye, you’ll want to wear gloves. To avoid getting any on your hands, use a spoon to mix the dye with the liquid.

Hydrogen peroxide can cause skin irritation if you’re not careful with the amount that you use. You can help prevent irritations by using petroleum jelly around your hairline and other areas that you might expect it to come in contact with during lightening. 

Going off of the total amount that you use, you want to ensure you don’t overdo it and cause oxidative stress on your hair. This stress can actually cause hair loss which is the last thing that you want. 

How to Dilute Hair Color With Shampoo

If you’ve ever colored your hair, you know that the process isn’t always as simple as it seems. It can be difficult to get the right shade, and even if you do, there’s often a lot of waste.

The good news is that there’s a way to make your next dye job easier and more economical: diluting your dye with shampoo!

Benefits of Diluting Hair Dyes With Shampoo

This technique is making the shampoo something called “toning shampoo.” Commercial toning shampoos help make the color last long in your hair and will help you get more out of your dye.

You’ll get a more even color, covering more of your hair than if you used the dye, without any water or other liquid added. It will make your hair softer and easier to comb after dying, especially if you have long hair (which can sometimes feel tangled).

You can also use this method to add shine to your hair color or just as a conditioning treatment before applying a new color on top of an old one. The best part is that you can either buy commercial toning shampoo or you can choose to make your own at home.

The latter method might be preferable as it will more likely match the color of the dye that you’re trying to emulate since you can use the dye right there and then.

Step 1. Determine How Much Diluted Color You Need

Before you begin, you must know how much shampoo and dye you’ll need. First, take a look at the instructions on the hair color box. Ensure you understand how much dye to use for medium-length or long hair.

Step 2. Squeeze the Dye Into a Container

It’s best to use a plastic container for this step, as it will be easier on your hands and more durable than glass or metal. Make sure that the container is of equal size to the amount of hair dye you want to use. If you want to mix 3 ounces of shampoo into 1 ounce of dye, your plastic container should hold 4 ounces total.

Step 3. Add the Shampoo and Mix Thoroughly

Once you have added the desired amount of shampoo to your dye, stir it thoroughly. You can use a spoon or other mixing utensil for this step.

A large bowl is helpful if you have it available to use. Mix until the dye is a consistent color throughout and there are no streaks or patches of undiluted dye left in the mixture.

Step 4. Apply to Hair and Leave for the Desired Time

Now that you’ve diluted your dye with shampoo, it’s time to apply it to your hair. The recommended time for applying the mixture is 15 minutes, but you can choose to leave it on longer depending on how dark or light you want the shade of your hair.

Read Next: How to Mix Hair Dye With Conditioner

How to Dilute Hair Dye With Hair Oil

Diluting hair color with hair oil is one of the best ways to achieve an even color application. Mixing these two creates a creamier consistency that allows for an even application.

Doing this can also help prevent any potential staining or burning of your scalp, which is especially important if you have sensitive skin!

Benefits of Diluting Hair Color With Hair Oil

While the strong chemical dyes we use to color our hair can be quite harsh on our strands, adding a little hair oil will help moisturize your tresses and stimulate more growth.

The added hair oil can also prevent breakage and split ends, which are some of the main causes of hair loss in men and women. In addition to these benefits, using natural oils like coconut oil or olive oil to dilute your dye will help you avoid any side effects from synthetic products.

Step 1: Get a Mixing Bowl and Pour the Dye in It

A plastic or glass mixing bowl is ideal for this process. If you can’t find a plastic one, get a metal one. As for the oil, any oil that is light enough for your hair type will do just fine. Choose oils that won’t make your hair look greasy, such as lavender, coconut, olive, or avocado oil.

Step 2: Add the Hair Oil to the Bowl

Add the hair dye to the bowl. Slowly pour the oil while mixing well to ensure it all gets incorporated into the water. If you add too much, your dye will become greasy and sticky. If you add too little, your dye will be weak and ineffective.

Step 3: Mix Well Until It’s Watery

When the mixture has cooled to a temperature that’s comfortable to touch, stir it well until it’s watery. If you want to mix with your fingers, wear gloves so as not to stain your hands or clothes. The mixture should be light brown and relatively thin instead of thick like paste or glue.

It’s Very Important to Make Sure You Mix Properly Before Applying

One of the most important steps in diluting hair dye is ensuring you mix properly before applying. Mix the hair oil with your dye to ensure it’s diluted and well-mixed. You can do this by using a mixer or stirring it with a spoon until it’s thoroughly combined.

Frequently Asked Questions

For a piece on how to dilute hair dye, a bottle and other supplies on a layflat table

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Here are a few of the most common questions regarding diluting hair dye.

Can you add conditioner to hair dye to make it lighter?

Yes. Adding a small amount of conditioner can help dilute the dye and make it less intense. However, you should use only a small amount because adding too much may cause the color to run or fade more quickly.

What happens if you mix hair dye with shampoo?

If you add shampoo to your dye, the mixture may become runny, or the color may appear duller than intended. It’s best not to mix these two products. You should also be aware that some shampoos contain ingredients that can strip color from your hair, so check the label carefully before using them together.

How do you make hair dye less vibrant?

To tone down bright colors, try using a semi-permanent dye instead of permanent dye or apply a toner after coloring your hair. If you’re looking for natural-looking results, choose a blonde ash shade rather than a platinum blonde shade. It will give your tresses more depth while still keeping them looking fresh and healthy!

Can I add coconut oil to my hair dye?

Coconut oil has many benefits, including moisturizing and conditioning. You can add it to hair color only after you have mixed the dye with the developer. Once the mixture is ready, apply it to your hair and leave it on for at least 30 minutes. The longer you leave it on, the darker your color will be.

So, How Do You Dilute Hair Dye?

To dilute hair dye, use a bowl with a measuring cup. Fill it with shampoo, hair oil, or hydrogen peroxide, and then add the dye powder.

Stir until the powder is dissolved and all ingredients are well mixed. With these methods, you can be sure to have a way to conveniently and safely dilute your hair dye and ensure you have long-lasting results.