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How to Prevent Semi-Permanent Hair Dye from Bleeding

Semi-permanent hair color is a fun and inexpensive way to switch up your vibe by experimenting with different looks. When you leave the salon with a brand-new hair color, you feel like a hundred bucks.

However, things can quickly turn into hair color disaster if the hair dye starts to bleed. If you’re in the same situation, you probably wonder how to keep semi-permanent hair dye from bleeding. You can keep your new hair color as vibrant and sharp as when you left the salon.

Please keep reading to know how you can prevent the semi-permanent hair dye from bleeding.

Why Does Semi-Permanent Hair Dye Bleed?

The most common reason that semi-permanent hair dye bleeds is that the molecules used in the hair dye are larger than your hair cells. As a result, the hair dye tends to sit on top of your hair instead of absorbing.

why semi permanent hair dye bleed

If the hair dye is not absorbed fully, it may dissolve into the water and start bleeding when it comes in contact with water. This problem is quite common among lower-quality hair dyes.

Hair color: The color of the hair dye you select can also lead to bleeding. The more vibrant or bright the color, the more likely it is to bleed because the dye does not absorb or penetrate your hair or muted colors.

Temperature changes: Another reason why semi-permanent hair dye can bleed is because of temperature changes. When you expose your hair to colder temperatures, the cells in your hair follicles contract. 

When the cells contract, this action can squeeze out the dye, causing it to bleed. Hair that is recently dyed is particularly vulnerable to bleeding due to temperature change.

The temperature of the water when you wash your hair can also contribute to its bleeding. The cuticles will open up and release the dye if the water is too warm.

Unprepared Hair: Your hair can also bleed if you do not adequately prepare it before dying. If your hair is not dry, the dye may not be able to adhere to your wet hair, and it will be more likely to slip and bleed.

Disturbing hair too quickly after dying: One of the most commonly overlooked reasons for hair dye bleeding is that you disturb it too quickly. After your hair is dyed, let it rest so the dye can set. If you immediately start running your hands through your hair, this can prevent the pigments from setting.

Using a hair straightener or other heat source to style your hair may loosen the pigments and cause the dye to bleed.

As a result of these common problems, it’s vital to ensure the hair dye is absorbed into your hair and prevent the dye from bleeding.

How Can You Prevent Semi-permanent Hair Dye from Bleeding? 

Now that you know why it happens, you can learn how to stop semi-permanent hair dye bleeding. Here are some tips to help you keep your hair dye looking as beautiful as when you left the salon.

1. Choose a High-quality Hair Dye

semi permanent hair dye

When selecting a semi-permanent hair dye, choose the one designed for long-term use. Choosing high-quality dye will ensure that the molecules in the hair dye are small enough to be absorbed into your hair rather than sitting on top of your strands.

2. Choose the Right Color

As mentioned earlier, the more vivid or bright the color, the more likely it’s to bleed. It’s best to choose a muted or subtle shade for long-term results.

3. Apply on Dry Hair

semi permanent hair dye applying

It’s best to use semi-permanent dye on wet hair. That way the dye will absorb better and most likely won’t bleed.

3. Wait to Wash Your Hair

After dyeing, wait at least two or three days before washing your hair with shampoo or conditioner. Waiting will give the semi-permanent dye enough time to set. It would be best if you also used a leave-in conditioner after the first time you wash your hair.

Also, use cold water for washing to prevent the pigments from bleeding. It will also help retain natural oils on the scalp and avoid grease and dirt accumulation.

4. Avoid Heat When Styling Your Hair

Avoid using hot tools to style your hair. Curling wands or flat irons may heat the pigments and cause them to bleed.

5. Use a Color-safe Shampoo and Conditioner

Color-safe shampoos and conditioners use gentler ingredients that seal the cuticles, preserve dye, and won’t clear out color deposits. With a semi-permanent dye job, you need to stay far away from hair products containing ingredients like harsh alcohols, polysorbates, or sodium chloride.

Instead, seek out products with hydrating plant-derived oils, natural strengthening proteins, reparative compounds, and amino acids. 

6. Use a Color Sealant

A color sealer is an essential part of the post-dying process. Unfortunately, many people and salons skip this step to save money. Color-sealing products coat an extra barrier over the hair cuticles to keep them closed, and some offer protection against other threats to color, like heat.

Another pro to using color-sealing conditioners is that they repair some of the damage from the dyeing process as well as preserve color.

7. Use an Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse

For a do-it-yourself option, apple cider vinegar rinses can be a powerful defense against color bleeding. After shampooing your newly dyed hair, rinse your hair with an apple cider vinegar solution. Due to its acidity, the vinegar will help your hair’s cuticles contract and seal in color.

It’s important to dilute the vinegar before using it because it’s potent. You should also only use this approach once or twice a week. Otherwise, you run the risk of irritating your scalp.

By following these tips, you can ensure that your semi-permanent hair color will stay vibrant and beautiful for longer. Proper care prevents semi-permanent hair dye from bleeding and allows you to enjoy beautiful, colored hair for months.

How to Prevent Your Skin Staining from Semi-permanent Dye

prevent skin staining from semi permanent dye

The dyeing process can be a huge mess. Here are some suggestions for protecting your skin from suffering dye stains. 

Cover Exposed Areas

Wear an old shirt and wrap an old towel around your shoulders to keep stray dye drips from landing on your chest or neck. A long-sleeved shirt will protect your arms from dye stains, too. Secure the towel with a clip to keep it in place throughout the process. 

Wear plastic gloves to protect your hands, fingers, and nails. Most semi-permanent dyes come with gloves in the dyeing kit for application. It is also helpful to keep another set of gloves for the first few rinses after dyeing. 

Dye Unwashed Locks

Semi-permanent coloring will more easily adhere to hair that has natural oils present than to slick, freshly clean hair. Dyeing clean hair aid in color bleeding

Plus, a slight buildup of natural oils on the hair and scalp can help protect against irritation from the dye chemicals. 

Create a Hairline Barrier

You can use a thick lotion, cream, or jelly to form an inch-wide barrier around your entire hairline. You can also apply the guard to the tops and backs of your ears for maximum skin protection. Just be sure not to get the thick layer into your hair if it interferes with the dye. 

Some people bulk up the barrier by sticking cotton to the substance to catch additional dye drips.

Be Ready for Problems

If you do end up with bleeding from your hair dye onto your skin, you can use rubbing alcohol to get it off quickly.

Keep a cotton ball soaked in rubbing alcohol close at hand for a quick clean-up of accidental dripping. Rinse the area with water afterward to avoid irritation. 


Why Semi-permanent Hair Dye Bleeds:

  • Semi-permanent hair dye bleeds because its molecules are larger than hair cells, leading to poor absorption.
  • Lower-quality dyes, vibrant colors, and temperature changes can also contribute to bleeding.
  • Unprepared or wet hair and immediate disturbances post-dyeing can make the dye bleed more.

Tips to Prevent Bleeding:

  1. Choose high-quality dye for better absorption.
  2. Opt for muted or subtle colors.
  3. Apply dye to dry hair.
  4. Wait 2-3 days before washing hair; use cold water.
  5. Avoid heat-styling tools immediately after dyeing your hair.
  6. Use color-safe shampoo and conditioner.
  7. Use a color sealant post-dyeing.
  8. Optionally, use an apple cider vinegar rinse to seal cuticles.

Tips to Prevent Staining Your Skin:

  • Cover exposed areas, wear gloves.
  • Dye unwashed hair to aid in color adhesion.
  • Create a hairline barrier with lotion.
  • Be ready with rubbing alcohol for quick clean-up of dye on skin.

Also, use a color-safe shampoo and conditioner, and apply a barrier cream before dyeing. Finally, use cold water to keep the dye in place when washing your hair. With these tips, you can prevent semi-permanent hair dye from bleeding and enjoy beautiful colored hair for months!