How Long Is Hair Color Good After Mixing? (You Have 30 Minutes)

How long is hair color good after mixing

Dyeing your hair at home is a great way to save time and money. It can also be a great way to start experimenting because you now have the time and the resources to do just that.

The thing that you have to keep in mind though is the fact that dyeing your hair on your own, can be risky when you don’t know what you’re doing. That’s why it is smart to read up on what steps you need to take and what to do.

To know a little more about dyeing your hair, read these articles:
How much does it cost to color your hair?
How to measure hair color and developer?

It’s also handy to know what to do with any dye leftovers and that is why today’s article answers the question “how long is hair color good after mixing?”

So without further ado… Here we go!

how long is hair color good after mixing

Unfortunately, this is not as long as you might want or expect. Due to the oxidation process that happens in the formulas for permanent and semi-permanent hair dye. This process is needed to penetrate the hair shaft. The unfortunate thing is, is that it only lasts up to 30 minutes. After that half an hour the mixed hair dye that you just made isn’t effective anymore.

After that half an hour it is better to throw away the leftovers you have because the hair dye mix is just not effective anymore.

Why does the mixed hair dye only last half an hour? 

Now that you know that the mixed hair dye only lasts about 30 minutes, you might want to know why this is.

For the hair dye to work on your hair, there needs to be a chemical reaction with your hair. This happens when the aniline derivatives and alkalizing agent reacts with the developer or hydrogen peroxide. This causes the oxidation process.

This process is needed for the hair dye to enter the hair shaft. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be able to penetrate it. 

Simply said: The peroxide chemically reacts with the oxygen.

Never knew that your chemistry lessons were important when it comes to hair dye, huh?

The unfortunate thing, as we saw earlier, is that this mixture only “lives” for about half an hour. Whether you used it on your hair or not. Once you mix all the ingredients like the hair color and the developer, you have about half an hour to use it.

How to best take advantage of the half-hour you have to apply hair dye?

So, you have about half an hour before the mixture goes to waste and there’s no use for it anymore.

The best way for you to take advantage of this half an hour is to dye your hair! But the important part is that you stay focused and don’t become hasty. Being hasty will only lead to less results because you want to do the hair dye job as well as you could. 

If it so happens that half an hour is not enough for you to dye your hair, I would advise you to so as a professional. This is because normally 30 minutes should be enough to dye your hair and do a good job. If you need more time, it may be a smart move to let a professional handle your hair so that you know for sure that your hair is going to look great!

How to not waste the hair dye product that you have?

Let’s say you have shorter hair and you don’t use all the hair dye, developer, and the sorts. What to do then? The best thing you can do is to only take the right amount of product that is needed for getting the job done.

Using only what you need is the best way to save a lot of product and to avoid waste. It works two ways. You keep some product that you can use another time and you avoid waste which is good for the environment! 

You can keep the unmixed hair dye and developer. If you store them in their own container you can use them later. Store the unmixed product in their airtight containers and put them away at room temperature. When you do that, the products can last up to two months. If you haven’t used the product at all and is unopened, it can last up to 3 years depending on the expiration date.

As you see, dyeing your hair at home can be a great money saver :).

How to best use the half-hour you have to dye your hair?

Okay, this may sound weird at first, but as you think about it, it’s smart to develop a routine so that you can take full advantage of the half-hour you have to dye your hair. Below are some tips that you can use!

#1 – Section your hair first

The best thing you can do is to section your hair before you’re going about dyeing your hair. That means that you first section your hair, and then go about making your hair dye mixture.

If you would do this the other way around, the half-hour you have has already started when you start with sectioning your hair, and then you do not have time enough to dye your hair.

First, section your hair. Then apply the hair dye mixture.

#2 – Divide the dyeing process into two parts

Another interesting thing that you can do is divide the dyeing process into two parts.

First, you prepare half of the mixture and apply it to your hair. When that is done you start preparing the other half of the mixture and put that in your hair. This technique works great when you want to cover grey hair for example.

Covering grey hair like that works like this:

Prepare half of the mixture and apply it to your roots, grey hair, or the roots with grey hair. Let it sit while you start with the second half of the mixture and apply the second mixture to the middle and the end of your hair and let it sit.

A great way to keep yourself productive and make use of the half-hour you have!

#3 – Don’t use the kit

Many hair dye kits come with a tool so that you can apply the hair dye mixture. My advice to you is that you don’t use it. It is way faster to just apply the mixture with a hair dye brush or with your hands (please put on gloves!)

This way you take full advantage of the half-hour. Otherwise, time can become tight.

#4 – Use a plastic container

This last tip is a smart move when you want to take full advantage of the 30 minutes you have. Prepare the hair dye mixture in a bowl or container that is made of plastic. 

Using a metal or a glass bowl or container inhibits the peroxide’s effect which makes coloring your hair more difficult.


How long is hair color good after mixing? Hopefully by now you know that the answer to that question is 30 minutes. You have 30 minutes to dye your hair. Otherwise the mixture goes to waste and there’s nothing you can do with it. There are however some things that you can do (as you read in the tips section) to take full advantage of the 30 minutes you have.

Another thing that I find important is to only take what you need. If you can reduce the waste by only taking with you need, it’s a great thing for the environment. The other great thing about it, is the fact that you can put the unused products away in airtight containers and use it later on! This can be a huge money saver because you have to by the hair dye products fewer times. It’s a win-win situation for all of us :).


Hi, my name is Joy-Lee and I'm the owner of As you might've noticed, I'm a true beauty lover, and made it my passion, my work and my hobby. I love sharing my thoughts and feelings on a variety of beauty aspects and want to thank you for reading!

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