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Can I Dye My Hair Wet?

5 mins

Vanja Mitic

Is it right to color your hair wet? Does it dilute the color? Does it damage your hair? Or does it make coloring easier and more evident? Learn more about coloring your hair wet.

Hair plays a major role in your appearance. Even the minimalist change to your hair can transform your face. It is great to have different colors on your hair and change your style regularly.

But it is wiser to play with hair colors with essential precautions in place. It is better to approach a hair stylist to get your coloring for the best and safest results. If you want to dye your color in a DIY way, then ensure that you know all about safe hair coloring techniques and products.

One of the most frequent questions you may encounter as a hair coloring enthusiast is whether you can color your hair wet. Discover more about coloring your hair wet.

Table of Contents:

  • Is Coloring Wet Hair Recommended?
  • Anatomical Features of Hair Critical to Coloring
  • The Cortex and the Cuticle
  • PH of Hair
  • How Does Wet Hair Help in Coloring?
  • Benefits of Coloring Wet Hair
  • Faster Color Absorption
  • More Efficient Coloring
  • Uniform Color Distribution
  • Better Coverage of Grays
  • Minimal Mess

Is Coloring Wet Hair Recommended?

Hair coloring techniques have evolved. Earlier, dyeing wet hair was not a recommended practice. 

But an increased knowledge of the anatomy of the hair and advancing hair coloring products and techniques have made it possible to dye hair under comprehensive hair conditions.

So, is it alright to dye your hair wet?

Yes, you can color wet hair.

a girl with wet hair

Anatomical Features of Hair Critical to Coloring

It is important to understand the key characteristics of hair that determine the success of hair coloring to understand the significance of coloring hair when it is wet.

The key anatomical features critical to getting coloring right include:

  • The Cortex and the Cuticle

These are the most important parts of every hair strand. The cortex, cuticle, and medulla are the three layers placed in a concentric arrangement in a strand.

The cuticle is the protective layer enveloping your hair strand. The inner layer – the cortex – is a key component of the hair as it forms 70% of the hair. The cortex imparts elasticity, texture, strength, and color to hair.

The function of the medulla is still unclear. Called the medullary canal in its full form, the medulla is only lightly pigmented. As a result, it mostly remains an invisible layer.

During coloring, the cuticle serves as an entry for the dye to enter the hair. The cortex contains melanin – a pigment responsible for your hair color. The artificial color has to reach the cortex and superimpose itself on melanin to give your hair the required color.

Once the embedding of the new color is done, the cuticle has to close so that the new color stays within.

a hair strand

To perform this process, stylists:

  • Lift the cuticle to facilitate entry into the cortex
  • Replace melanin with the new color in some places
  • Restore the cuticle to its original position
  • PH of Hair

The pH of hair also plays a crucial role in hair coloring. PH determines the balance between acids and alkalis. Achieving the right pH is crucial to prevent major damage to your hair structure during coloring. Using hair coloring products with the right pH is essential to create the desired color effect on your hair.

Products with a pH less than or equal to 7 are considered acidic. Acid-based products tend to smoothen the hair. Examples of such products include hair conditioners, demi-permanent colors, and developers.

Products with a pH greater than 7 are alkalic. They tend to enlarge hair. Alkalic constituents are common in permanent coloring products, demi-permanent colors, and lighteners.

Application of any product with a pH different from that of the hair tends to alter the texture, color, and other aspects of hair.  

How Does Wet Hair Help in Coloring?

Did you know 1% of hair constitutes water? Or that most hair coloring formulations are water-based?

a drop of water

It means that understanding the pH of your coloring products is critical to achieving your desired hair color. And that damp hair is better for coloring than dry hair.

Coloring your hair when it is wet is more effective than coloring strands when they are dry. Dry hair causes hair products to work harder to impart the required color than wet hair.

Coloring products have to work harder on dry hair to open the cuticle, enlarge the structure and embed the new color within the cortex. In some cases, dryness of the hair can cause the products to dry out before the process of coloring is complete. As a result, you may not receive the desired color.

When hair is wet, the dampness compensates for all the extra work. Wetness makes it easier for the products to open the cuticle, make it larger, and lift it. The new color enters your hair structure easily, with your hair wet.

Shampoo your hair before your hair coloring appointment for the best results. Shampooing with the right product enlarges cuticles and softens them. This change makes hair more receptive to the new color. When the cuticles are already swollen and large, molecules of the new color get faster entry, and they embed easily in the cortex.

a girl washing her hair

Given the hair coloring benefits of wetness, it is no wonder that most coloring products are water-based.

While damp hair is beneficial for coloring, ensure that your hair is not dripping wet. Dry your hair with a towel after shampooing to create a perfect base for coloring. 

Benefits of Coloring Wet Hair

There are multiple reasons why coloring your hair wet gives the best coloring results:

  • Faster Color Absorption

Shampooing your hair cleans strands from within. It removes dirt, debris, and product or oil build-up from follicles. This intense cleansing facilitates faster color absorption.

You may want to try the Activated Charcoal & Keratin Shampoo for a deeper cleanse. Activated charcoal is an intense cleanser. It draws dirt from deep within strands without hurting your hair, and also provides a deep cleanse for the scalp.

wow shampoo

Keratin works along with jojoba oil, sweet almond oil, and argan oil to nourish strands with protein and essential nutrients. Aloe vera extract provides excellent moisturization to hair.

This shampoo ensures that you get the most out of your coloring treatment. The application also ensures that your strands are fortified to withstand coloring treatments.

  • More Efficient Coloring

The new dye penetrates faster into the hair, where it can be absorbed more efficiently (thanks to a clean surface). As a result, the spread of color is deeper, making your coloring process more efficient.

  • Uniform Color Distribution

As wet hair allows easier penetration of the dye, color seeps into cuticles faster and spreads evenly across strands. You will not find any uncolored or mismatched patches making your coloring session a disaster. You’ll also be using less color as a result, which is cost-effective and healthier for your hair.

  • Better Coverage of Grays

If you are coloring to cover gray strands, then wet hair can get you better results. Your stylist will be able to cover more grays with lesser use of the product. Faster absorption and even spread enabled by wet hair enhance gray coverage.

gray hair
  • Minimal Mess

Whether you are coloring your hair at a stylist’s or doing it yourself, wet hair means minimal mess. If it is DIY, you can color it after shampooing. The application is just the way you would your shampoo. As you would be doing it after shampooing, you could do it in your bathtub without bowls, brushes, or spills!

With wet hair, you’ll be making it easy for your stylist (and yourself) on the coloring chair. You need not worry if your coloring treatment will work. Your stylist need not work harder to ensure that there are no awkward uncolored patches.

Aftercare after a coloring appointment is as important as preparing your hair before an appointment. Use color-safe shampoos and conditioners to restore not only color but also strength to your hair.

Explore a range of color-safe shampoos and conditioners by WOW Skin Science for the best coloring pre-care and aftercare of your hair. These products are formulated to impart a neutral effect, which keeps the pH balanced and your hair color safe.

Apply a generous amount of shampoo to the scalp. Run it along the strand, from top to tip.

Rinse hair with cold water. This process seals the cuticle, ensuring that your new color is safe.

Haircare products by WOW Skin Science are 100% natural using the efficacy of plant extracts and botanicals. They are sulfate-, paraben-, silicone-, and mineral oil-free. They are also 100% vegan and gluten-free.

Start and end your haircare routine with these products for perfect results.  

Hair coloring can be overwhelming. Avoid making the process more confusing with misinformation. You can color your hair wet. If you are still unsure, you can approach your stylist or even your dermatologist for expert guidance.

Keep your hair healthy with a proper haircare routine with the right products. Strong hair is a basic requirement for coloring treatments.

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Vanja Mitic

Vanja enjoys exploring news in the beauty world and incorporating everything she learned in her articles. She always chooses holistic, natural, and vegan products and strongly believes in the beauty and purity of nature.

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Author: Vanja Mitic

Latest posts:

Vanja Mitic

Vanja enjoys exploring news in the beauty world and incorporating everything she learned in her articles. She always chooses holistic, natural, and vegan products and strongly believes in the beauty and purity of nature.
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