Hair dye has been around for centuries, with early evidence of its use dating back to ancient Egypt. The process of hair dyeing is relatively simple: it uses a chemical called ammonia to open up the hair shaft, then deposits color into the shaft. Despite its simplicity, hair dyeing is a complex process that can result in some serious problems if not done properly.

In this blog post, we’ll take a look at how hair dye works, what can go wrong, and how to avoid some common mistakes.

How Hair Dye Works Hair dye is a great way to change up your look, but have you ever wondered how it actually works? Here’s a quick rundown on how hair dye works its magic.

The first step is to open up the hair cuticle, which is the outermost layer of the hair shaft. This can be done with chemicals or heat. Once the cuticle is open, the dye can penetrate the cortex, or middle layer, of the hair.

The cortex is where the hair’s natural color is produced. The dye works by depositing color molecules onto the cortex. The color molecules will then bond with the keratin in the hair, which helps to lock in the color.

Once the color is locked in, the cuticle will close back up and the color will be sealed in. The hair dye will then start to fade over time as the color molecules are slowly released from the hair. So, that’s how hair dye works!

Now you know the science behind those beautiful color changes.

How Does Hair Dye Work?

What Does Hair Dye Actually Do to Your Hair?

Hair dye is a chemical treatment that alters the color of your hair. The most common type of hair dye is semi-permanent, which means it will gradually fade over time. Permanent hair dye, on the other hand, is designed to last until your hair grows out or you re-dye it.

When you dye your hair, the hair dye molecules actually penetrate the hair shaft and change the color of the pigment cells inside. The new color may be completely different from your natural color, or it may simply be a few shades lighter or darker. In either case, the new color is not permanent and will eventually fade.

That being said, hair dye can cause some damage to your hair, especially if it’s not applied properly. The chemicals in hair dye can strip away the natural oils that protect your hair, leaving it dry and brittle. If you dye your hair frequently, you may also notice that it becomes thinner and weaker over time.

To avoid damaging your hair, be sure to follow the instructions on the hair dye package carefully. And if you’re not sure how to apply it, ask a professional stylist for help.

What is the Science behind Hair Dye?

Hair dye is a product that many people use to change the color of their hair. There are many different types and brands of hair dye, and the science behind each one is different. The main ingredient in hair dye is a substance called para-dye.

This substance is what gives hair dye its color. When para-dye is combined with other chemicals, it can create different colors. The first step in dying your hair is to apply the hair dye to your hair.

The hair dye will then penetrate the hair shaft and bind to the melanin in your hair. The amount of time that the hair dye stays in your hair will determine the final color of your hair. Hair dye can cause some side effects, such as allergic reactions, skin irritation, and hair loss.

If you experience any of these side effects, you should stop using hair dye and see a doctor.

How Does Hair Dye Get into Hair?

When you dye your hair, the hair color molecules actually penetrate the hair shaft and interact with the protein in your hair. The new color essentially replaces your hair’s natural pigment. The hair shaft is made up of three layers: the medulla, the cortex, and the cuticle.

The medulla is the innermost layer and is mostly made up of air. The cortex is the middle layer and contains the pigment that gives your hair its color. The cuticle is the outermost layer and is made up of overlapping cells that protect the cortex.

To dye your hair, the color molecules need to penetrate the cuticle and get to the cortex. The cuticle is made up of tough cells that are held together by disulfide bonds. When you apply hair dye, the chemicals in the dye break these bonds and allow the color molecules to penetrate the cuticle and reach the cortex.

Once the color molecules reach the cortex, they bind to the protein in your hair. The type of protein that your hair is made of determines the color of your hair. For example, people with dark hair have more eumelanin, which is a dark brown or black pigment, while people with light hair have more pheomelanin, which is a reddish-yellow pigment.

The color of your hair will depend on the type of hair dye you use. Permanent hair dye contains chemicals that actually change the structure of the cortex, while semi-permanent and temporary hair dyes only deposit color on the surface of the hair shaft.

How Does Permanent Hair Color Work?

Permanent hair color works by actually penetrating the cortex of your hair and depositing color within it. This is in contrast to semi-permanent and demi-permanent hair color, which simply sit on top of the hair shaft. The level of penetration is determined by the strength of the hair color formula.

A typical permanent hair color formula contains between 3 and 6 percent hydrogen peroxide, which helps open up the cuticle so that the color can penetrate. Once the color has penetrated the cortex, it then needs to be sealed in. This is done with a process called oxidation, which is when the hair color reacts with the oxygen in the air to create a bond.

The final step is to rinse out the hair color and apply a conditioner. This helps to hydrate the hair and lock in the color.

How Hair Dye Works


How Hair Dye Works Chemistry

Hair dye is one of the most common cosmetic products in the world. The chemistry of hair dye is based on the interaction of two main ingredients: the dye (also called the colorant) and the developer (also called the oxidizing agent). The colorant is usually an organic compound, while the developer is usually an inorganic compound.

The colorant contains one or more chromophores, which are molecules that absorb light of a specific wavelength. The chromophores in hair dye absorb light in the ultraviolet and visible regions of the electromagnetic spectrum. The developer contains one or more oxidizing agents, which react with the colorant to produce the desired color.

The most common type of hair dye is semi-permanent, which means that it does not contain a developer. Semi-permanent hair dye typically lasts for about 6-8 weeks. Permanent hair dye, on the other hand, contains a developer and can last for several months.

The first step in dyeing hair is to mix the colorant and developer together. The mixture is then applied to the hair and left to process for a period of time. The amount of time required depends on the type of hair dye being used.

After the processing time is up, the hair dye is rinsed out of the hair. The hair may then be shampooed and conditioned as usual. Hair dye is a complex chemical process, but understanding the basics of how it works can help you choose the right product for your hair.

How Does Hair Dye Damage Hair

When you dye your hair, you are essentially putting a foreign substance on your strands. This can cause a number of problems, including dryness, breakage, and even scalp irritation. The main ingredient in hair dye is ammonia.

Ammonia is a harsh chemical that can strip away the natural oils in your hair, leaving it dry and brittle. It can also cause the hair shaft to swell, making it more susceptible to breakage. In addition, hair dyes often contain other harsh chemicals, such as peroxide, which can further damage your hair.

Peroxide can bleach your hair, making it more susceptible to sun damage and other environmental factors. So, how can you protect your hair when dyeing it? First, make sure to use a quality hair dye that contains as few harsh chemicals as possible.

Secondly, always use a conditioner after dyeing your hair to help replenish lost moisture. Finally, be sure to give your hair a break from time to time to allow it to recover from the damage of hair dyeing.

How Does Temporary Hair Dye Work

When you dye your hair, the color molecules in the hair dye attach themselves to the natural pigment in your hair. This is what gives your hair its new color. But, as you probably know, hair color doesn’t last forever.

The color will eventually fade as your hair grows and is exposed to the elements. So, how does temporary hair dye work? Temporary hair dye works by coating the outside of the hair shaft with color molecules.

Unlike permanent hair dye, which penetrates the hair shaft and actually changes the color of your hair, temporary hair dye simply sits on top of the hair shaft. This is why temporary hair dye washes out much easier than permanent hair dye – the color molecules are not attached to the hair, so they can be easily rinsed away. If you’re looking for a way to add some temporary color to your hair, then temporary hair dye is a great option.

Just keep in mind that the color will not last as long as permanent hair dye, so you may need to reapply it more often.

Permanent Hair Dye

Permanent hair dye is a type of hair color that is applied to the hair and lasts for a long period of time. It is typically used to cover up gray hair or to change the color of the hair. Permanent hair dye is available in a variety of colors, including natural colors and artificial colors.

What is Direct Dye for Hair

If you’re looking to add a little color to your hair, direct dyes are a great option. Unlike other hair color products that rely on ammonia or bleach to change your hair color, direct dyes work by depositing color directly onto the hair shaft. This means that they are much gentler on your hair and won’t cause as much damage.

Direct dyes come in a wide range of colors, so you can definitely find one that will suit your needs. They can be used to add highlights, lowlights, or even all-over color. And because they don’t rely on chemicals to change your hair color, they are a great option for those with sensitive skin or scalp.

If you’re interested in trying a direct dye, be sure to talk to your stylist about which color would be best for you. And be sure to follow the instructions on the package carefully to avoid any unwanted surprises!

How Does Hair Color Work Genetics

Your hair color is determined by the amount and type of pigment cells (melanocytes) in the outer layer of your skin (epidermis). Hair color is determined by the genes you inherit from your parents. If one parent has dark hair and the other has light hair, your hair color may fall somewhere in between the two.

There are two types of melanocytes: eumelanin and pheomelanin. Eumelanin produces brown and black pigment, while pheomelanin produces red and yellow pigment. The ratio of eumelanin to pheomelanin in your skin determines the color of your hair.

If you have more eumelanin than pheomelanin, you will have dark hair. If you have more pheomelanin than eumelanin, you will have red hair. If you have an equal amount of both pigments, you will have blond hair.

Hair color can also be affected by other factors, such as aging, hormones, and certain medications. For example, your hair may become lighter as you age due to the loss of pigment cells. Pregnancy can also cause your hair to temporarily change color.

How Does Natural Hair Color Work

Your hair color is determined by the amount of melanin in your hair. Melanin is a pigment that gives hair, skin, and eyes their color. The more melanin you have, the darker your hair color will be.

People with naturally dark hair have more melanin than people with naturally light hair. The color of your hair can also be affected by other factors, such as the environment, your diet, and your health. For example, if you spend a lot of time in the sun, your hair may become lighter.

Size of Hair Color Molecules

When it comes to hair color, there are two main types of molecules: large and small. Large molecules are what give hair its color, while small molecules are responsible for its shine. The size of the molecule is what determines how well the hair color will adhere to the hair shaft and how long it will last.

Large molecules are better at penetrating the hair shaft and depositing color, but they can also be more difficult to remove. Small molecules, on the other hand, don’t penetrate the hair shaft as well but are easier to remove. So, when choosing a hair color, it’s important to consider the size of the molecules.

If you want a color that will last longer, go for a large molecule. If you want a color that’s easier to remove, go for a small molecule.


Hair dye is a product that many people use to change the color of their hair. The dye works by penetrating the hair shaft and depositing color into the cortex. The color will then gradually fade as the hair grows out.

About the Author

I am Alyssa, a hair color stylist who has been in the industry for over 20 years. I have done hair colors on every type of person imaginable, from all different ages to all different ethnicities. My goal is to make you look good, feel good and be happy with your hair. I can color any type of hair-including current trends like ombre or balayage, cover grey hairs or even take it back in time with an old school black and white rinse.

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