How To Fix Patchy Hair Dye

By: | Last Updated: February 11, 2022

Getting your hair to color exactly the way you want it is the dream. Then there are also those beautiful accidents — those hair color results that did not turn out as planned but are ten times better. 

However, everyone is not always lucky to get the perfect hair color each time. Especially in DIY (Do-It-Yourself) hair color sessions, mishaps can occur, resulting in a patchy mess. 

This does not mean you should refrain from future hair-related DIYs forever. While it is upsetting to get uneven hair color,  there are remedies for this kind of bad hair day. 

Preventing an uneven hair color will always be better than having to fix it later. You will not only do your wallet a favor. You will also be saved from the distress of having to deal with it. 

How to avoid patchy hair dye?

Before you start applying the products, you should prepare your canvas first — your hair and scalp should be ready for an intense hair color session.

The problem may not be the hair products themselves but where you are applying them. You should brush your hair thoroughly. By sorting through all the tangles first, you can prevent patchy colors at those matted sections.

To get an even color, the dye and developer should combine into a smooth and consistent cream. They should not appear watery. 

There is no universal formula for the mixture, so you should stick to the directions in the box for the recommended proportions for your desired color and your hair type.

To get good results, you should partition your hair into smaller sections first. Then, apply enough dye one subsection at a time. The dye should cover and saturate the hair strands. 

does red hair dye last – Curling Diva

Be sure to cover all the parts of your hair to prevent uneven color. You can get better results and coverage when you use a color brush when you apply the dye. 

You should do this for the rest of the hair. It is hard work right now, but consistency in the application goes a long way in achieving the perfect hair color.  

When possible, you can ask for help from your friend or family member you trust to help in the application. Having someone apply the dye for you helps achieve even and consistent coverage.

But after a couple of hours and tossing and gentle tugging, you may find that there are areas in your hair that are lighter than the rest. These spots and stripes do not make your hair look good. 

Even after watching a lot of Tiktok and Youtube tutorials on how to properly color your hair, your hair color may still come out uneven. Before you fix the mess, you have to know what you would be fixing: Not all problems are created equal.

What causes uneven hair color

When you do not mix the hair dye and developer thoroughly, the resulting hair color would be patchy.  

Developers should work hand-in-hand with the hair dye. The developer lets the color seep into each hair strand and brings out the color that you want.

Without the developer, the hair dye would not do anything to your hair. But without the dye, the developer only lightens your hair.

So when some parts of the hair will get only the dye, while others will get only the developer, you will have light and dark sections of your hair.

Even though your mixture has a good consistency, you can still get a patchy hair color when your base color is already uneven.

What causes uneven hair color

Base color is your hair’s pre-dye color. So, your hair will also lighten at different rates based on what the initial color was.  

The hair’s poor health is another potential cause of uneven hair color. If your hair is already damaged, it might have a hard time absorbing or retaining the dye. 

You could also face an “It’s not you, it’s me” scenario where your hair is perfect, your hair products are well-prepared, but you did not apply the dye correctly. This is more likely when you are doing the entire process yourself since you cannot see the back of your head.

Uneven application can stem from either not sectioning your hair properly or not applying similar amounts per section.

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How to fix uneven hair color

A visit to the hair salon is always the best first step. The hairstylists there have been trained to give your tresses the best care they deserve. It would not be the first time someone came running to them for rescue from a DIY disaster. 

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You can braid your hair, keep it in a bun, or tie it into a ponytail to hide the uneven color on your way to the salon. 

But if you can’t drop by a salon any time soon, don’t worry! 

Knowing the root of the issue, you can use the following methods to help even out your hair’s color. 

How do I fix patchy uneven bleached hair?

Whether you are bleaching your hair as part of the double process of hair color or you only want to lighten your hair, you wouldn’t want uneven bleached hair.

Hair color influences the bleaching process. In adding color to dark hair, Elle explained it is harder to bleach dark-colored hair than light-colored hair.

While you can still bleach dark-colored hair, you may require more than one round of bleaching. You may also get uneven colors when you have both dyed and natural hair as bleach will have to remove varying levels of hair color.

If there is no problem with the base color of your hair, you can still get uneven bleached hair when you do not mix the bleach and developer properly.

If the mixture is watery, it may not saturate the hair. If it is not consistent, it will not work as expected on some parts of your hair. It can also happen when you do not neatly section your hair resulting in uneven distribution of the product. 

Exposure to heat, such as the heat from your scalp, can produce a lighter hair color than the rest of your hair. This could cause your roots to have a different color from your ends.

Because your hair is still dry and fragile from the bleaching process, you should not attempt to fix the problem immediately.

One way to remedy it is to wait a few days before dyeing your hair with a dark shade of hair color. If you don’t like using hair dye, wait at least three weeks before using bleach again to fix your hair.

CHECK OUT: How To Dye Dark Hair Purple Without Bleach

Can you dye over patchy hair?

To fix hair color mistakes, you can apply the dye just on the spots that you missed. It’s best to visit a professional hair colorist to address the color issue.

Opt for a shade darker than the color you initially used to cover the lighter spots. You have to be careful when doing this because it might make the uneven color worse. 

How to fix hair color that is too dark

When after re-dyeing your hair, you find the result darker than what you would have wanted, you can still fix it. 

Without knowing the science of hair color, your instinct would tell you to wash the dark color away.

You’re right. L’Oréal recommends that you should wash your hair with a clarifying shampoo. Clarifying shampoos do not remove hair color instantly. But with repeated use, the color will fade. Pair your routine with a hair mask.

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After getting the color you want, avoid subjecting your hair to harsh treatments for now.

You can use hair masks and conditioners this time to pamper your locks after what they have been through.

How to fix hair color that is too light at roots

Whether you are applying or re-applying the hair dye, you should not start from the roots. This will create another problem where your hair roots will appear lighter than the color of the rest of your hair. You can apply a shade darker to cover these areas. 

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Your hairstylist is your hair’s best friend, so do not be shy to seek help. If fixing the uneven hair color becomes impossible, you can ask your local stylist for a flattering haircut that will also snip away the color issue. This fresh new look may even suit you a hundred times better than a new hair color.

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