Unlocking the Secrets: How long does hair dye last

How long does hair dye last? The answer is about 6-8 weeks depending on maintenance. However, occasional fading can occur within a few weeks in some cases.

Wondering “How long does hair dye last” with or without touch-ups? Join us in this article as Jen Hair provides a comprehensive guide to help you make the most of your dye job, including tips for extending its longevity. 

What is the expiration date of hair dye products?

Hair dye products usually do not display explicit expiration dates on their packaging, which can leave many consumers pondering whether it’s safe to use that forgotten old box of hair dye tucked away in the bathroom cabinet.

Manufacturers clarify that unopened hair dye doesn’t come with an official expiration date. Yet, they do caution that hair dye has a recommended shelf life of approximately 3 years. Beyond this time frame, the effectiveness of the hair dye may diminish.

While there is no solid proof that using old hair dye is hazardous, it’s important to note that aged hair dye, particularly those containing chemicals, could potentially lead to undesirable outcomes for your hair and scalp.

The light color can fade away after each wash (Source: oVertone)
The light color can fade away after each wash (Source: oVertone)

How long does hair dye last after mixing?

When it comes to mixed hair dye, time is of the essence. The moment you blend those vibrant colors, the clock starts ticking. Mixed hair dye should be used within the first hour of preparation. Unlike the unopened hair dye, there’s no waiting around with mixed dye – it has no shelf life, no time for procrastination. 

Once the dye components are combined, you need to apply it to your hair right away; there’s no storing it for future use. So, if you’ve mixed a fabulous shade, make sure you’re ready to dive into your hair dye adventure right then and there!

How long does hair dye last without bleach?

Generally, semi-permanent and demi-permanent hair dyes, which don’t contain bleach, last for a shorter duration compared to permanent dyes.

  • Semi-Permanent Hair Dye: These dyes last for about 4 to 12 washes, depending on the brand and the specific product. They gradually fade with each shampoo.
  • Demi-Permanent Hair Dye: These dyes last longer than semi-permanent ones, typically about 12 to 24 washes. They gradually fade as well.
  • Temporary Hair Dye: Temporary dyes are designed for very short-term color changes, such as for special events. They usually last for just 1 to 2 washes.

Keep in mind that the color may fade more quickly if you frequently wash your hair or use harsh shampoos. To prolong the life of your hair color, use color-safe and sulfate-free shampoos, wash your hair in cool water, and avoid excessive sun exposure, which can cause fading. Additionally, proper hair care and maintenance can help extend the life of your hair color.

Hair dye can last for short duration (Source: Hairfinder)
Hair dye can last for short duration (Source: Hairfinder)

How long does hair dye last on the body?

Hair dye, when applied to the body, typically doesn’t last as long as it does on the hair. Keep in mind that everyone’s skin and hair are different, so individual experiences may vary. 

How long does hair dye last on skin?

Hair dye products last for a short duration, usually just a few days to a couple of weeks. To help remove hair dye from the skin, you can use gentle makeup removers, oils, or products specifically designed for dye stain removal. Avoid scrubbing or using harsh chemicals on the skin, as this can cause irritation or damage.

How long does hair dye last on eyebrows?

To make hair dye last longer on your eyebrows, avoid scrubbing the area when washing your face, and use gentle, color-safe makeup removers when cleansing the eye area. Additionally, applying a clear eyebrow sealer or eyebrow gel can help protect and extend the life of the color.

The natural growth and shedding cycle of eyebrow hair will gradually remove the dye. You can also use makeup remover or specific products designed for hair dye stain removal to help eliminate any residual color.

Should You Use Expired Hair Dye?

Absolutely not. Expired hair dye may not pose significant harm to your hair or scalp, but it’s not recommended for various reasons. While it likely won’t damage your hair follicles or hair shaft, there are potential downsides to using old hair dye.

Here’s why you should avoid it:


The most common issue with expired hair dye is that it may not work as expected. It might not achieve the color you desire, or it may produce uneven results. In some cases, your hair might end up darker than you anticipated.

Greenish Discoloration

While there’s no scientific evidence to support the claim that old hair dye turns hair green, individuals with light blonde, white, or gray hair might experience a greenish tinge. This can happen due to oxidation of metals, such as copper, used in hair dye.

Allergic Reactions and Burns

Hair dye, especially permanent dye, can undergo chemical changes over time. This can potentially increase the risk of health issues like burns and allergic reactions. Some chemicals in hair dye known to cause allergies include paraphenylenediamine (PPD), resorcinol, ammonia, and hydrogen peroxide. The aging process may intensify the impact of these chemicals.

Allergy Symptoms

Allergic reactions to hair dye can manifest within 72 hours of application and may include symptoms such as burning, redness, hives, sores, itching, facial swelling, difficulty breathing, or even anaphylaxis.

If you’re sensitive to hair dye chemicals or have known allergies to any of its components, it’s best to avoid using expired hair dye. 

Instead, opt for fresh, unexpired products to minimize the risk of adverse reactions or unsatisfactory results. Your health and hair’s condition are more important than attempting to salvage old hair dye.

You shouldn’t use expired hair dye (Source: Cosmo) 
You shouldn’t use expired hair dye (Source: Cosmo)

What are the factors responsible for hair dye fading?

Several common factors can contribute to the fading of hair dye. To maintain a vibrant and long-lasting hair color, it’s essential to safeguard your hair from these fading culprits and adhere to a suitable hair care regimen tailored for color-treated hair. Here are some tips to help prolong the life of your hair color:

  • Use Color-Safe Products: Opt for shampoos, conditioners, and styling products specially formulated for color-treated hair. These products are designed to be gentler on your hair and assist in preserving the color.
  • Wash with Cool Water: Avoid hot water when washing your hair, as it can open the hair cuticles and lead to color fading. Opt for cooler water to help seal the cuticles and keep the color intact.
  • Shampoo Less Frequently: Reduce the frequency of hair washing. Consider using dry shampoo between washes to maintain fresh-looking hair. Choose sulfate-free shampoos, which are milder and less likely to strip the color.
  • UV Protection: Shield your hair from the sun’s UV rays by wearing a hat or using hair products with built-in UV protection. 
  • Chlorine Precautions: Before taking a dip in a pool, wet your hair and apply a leave-in conditioner to create a protective barrier against chlorine. Rinse your hair thoroughly after swimming to prevent color damage.
  • Avoid Hard Water: If you have hard water, consider using a water softener to minimize the mineral buildup that can lead to color fading.
  • Deep Conditioning: Regularly use a deep conditioner or hair mask to keep your hair healthy and prevent color from looking dull.
  • Cold Rinse: After conditioning, give your hair a final rinse with cold water. This can help seal the hair cuticle and lock in the color.
  • Limit Heat Styling: Heat styling tools can weaken the hair shaft and cause color to fade. Minimize the use of flat irons, curling irons, and blow dryers, or use them on a cooler setting.
  • Color-Protecting Products: Invest in color-protecting serums or sprays that help lock in the color and provide an extra layer of protection.
  • Regular Touch-Ups: If you have root regrowth, schedule regular touch-up appointments with your colorist to maintain the vibrancy of your hair color.
  • Less Exposure to Pollution: Air pollution can contribute to color fading. Protect your hair by wearing a hat or scarf when in areas with high pollution.
  • Quality Hair Dye: Opt for high-quality hair dye products. Professional-grade dyes tend to last longer and provide better color retention.

You should consult with your hairstylist or colorist for personalized tips and advice on maintaining your specific hair color. By following these tips, you can extend the life of your hair color and keep it looking vibrant and fresh for a longer period.


By delving into the contents of this article, you will gain a deeper understanding of the factors that determine how long hair dye lasts, both on your hair itself and in other areas you might not anticipate if you’re not meticulous during the application process.