Quality hair coloring ingredients can be expensive, so it’s natural to wonder if you can save hair dye after it’s been mixed with the developer. Perhaps you only need a touch-up for your roots, so it feels wasteful to throw away the hair dye once it’s mixed.
But can you actually save hair dye after it’s been mixed with developer and create a beautiful color again? Keep reading to find out.
- Do not save mixed hair dye and developer; you must throw it away.
- Mix hair dye and developer in smaller batches to avoid waste.
- Peroxide is the catalyst that makes the pigment work, while conditioner acts as a barrier that prevents color from working and dilutes it.
- Once hair dye is mixed, it begins to oxidize and will not work properly or give the desired results after fully oxidized.
- You can mix only direct dyes or true semi-deposit-only color with conditioner, which does not require mixing with any developers and works only on staining the hair.
Can I Save Hair Dye After It’s Mixed With Developer?
No, you should never save hair dye after it’s mixed with the developer.
Once the hair dye and developer are mixed, a chemical reaction starts that allows the dye to penetrate the hair shaft and deposit color. This reaction is time-sensitive, and the hair dye mixture will lose its effectiveness after a short period.
Generally, you should use the dye and developer mixture within 30 minutes to 1 hour of mixing (follow the instructions of the hair dye kit). Saving and using the mixture later can result in uneven color and won’t give you the desired shade.
It’s best to mix only the amount you need for your current application to avoid ending up wasting it. Store any unmixed hair dye and developer separately. Again following the manufacturer’s instructions will help you maintain the product’s effectiveness and quality for future use.
How long can you store hair dye after it’s been mixed with the developer?
- For best effectiveness, use within 30 minutes
- Generally, discard within 1-2 hours
- Effectiveness decreases over time
You must use the hair color that you mixed with developer within 30 minutes. Any longer, the combination will lose its effectiveness in coloring or lightening the hair.
For best results, mix the two just before the application.
Tips for Saving mixed hair dye and developer
- Mix only what you need
- Use airtight containers
- Store in a cool, dark place
- Avoid temperature fluctuations
- Label containers with dates
Best way to store mixed hair dye and developer
- Use airtight, opaque containers
- Keep in a cool, dark, and stable environment
- Label with mixing date and discard after a few hours
Risks of Using Expired Mixed Hair Dye and Developer
Trying to store mixed hair dye and developer brings with it two risks that should make you rethink using mixed hair color later.
Bad Color Job: After 30 minutes, hair color mixed with developer loses its effectiveness, so you won’t get the long-lasting permanent hair color you want.
Explosion: Hair color that’s mixed with a developer could explode when exposed to sunlight or heat.
What Can You Do with Leftover Mixed Dye?
Once the developer and hair dye is blended, the combination has no shelf life. The best thing to do with mixed hair dye is to throw it away. Or, you can read our article about what you can do with leftover hair dye.
How To Minimize Hair Dye Waste
Since saving mixed hair dye and developer isn’t a good idea, the other option is to mix only as much hair dye and developer as you need. Are you only touching up your roots?
If so, open the hair color kit and mix only as much hair color and developer as you need, and seal the leftovers in their separate bottles to use later.
While you can’t save hair dye after it’s been mixed with the developer, you can save money and prevent waste by mixing only as much hair color as you need!