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How long do I leave Paul Mitchell XG color on?


Paul Mitchell XG Color is a professional hair color line that allows you to achieve vibrant, long-lasting color results. But knowing how long to leave the color on is crucial for getting the best results. In general, you should leave Paul Mitchell XG Color on for the full processing time recommended for the specific formula and shade you are using. However, depending on your hair type and condition, your colorist may advise leaving it on longer or shorter. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at how long you should leave Paul Mitchell XG Color on for maximum color deposition and retention.

Paul Mitchell XG Color Processing Times

Paul Mitchell recommends leaving XG Color on for a full 30 minutes when applying permanent, demi-permanent, or deposit-only shades. This 30 minute processing time allows the color pigments to fully penetrate and bond to the hair for bright, even color that lasts.

Here are the standard Paul Mitchell XG Color processing times:

Permanent color 30 minutes
Demi-permanent color 30 minutes
Deposit-only color 30 minutes
Toners 10-20 minutes

It’s crucial to leave permanent, demi-permanent, and deposit-only colors on for the full 30 minutes. Skipping out early can result in unsatisfactory color results. The color won’t have enough time to fully deposit and oxidize within the hair shaft.

However, for toners, a shorter 10-20 minute processing time is recommended. Toners are designed to subtly enhance or mute existing color, not make drastic changes. Leaving toners on too long can result in overly cool, ashy results.

When to Leave On Longer Than 30 Minutes

In some cases, leaving Paul Mitchell XG Color on longer than the standard 30 minutes may be recommended. Here are some scenarios where a longer processing time can benefit the color result:

– Covering resistant gray hairs – Gray hair is often resistant and harder to cover fully. Leaving permanent color on for 35-45 minutes allows more time for grays to absorb the color pigment.

-when using higher volumes of developer – With higher volumes like 30 or 40 volume peroxide, some colorists recommend processing for up to 45 minutes to allow thorough lightening and coloring of the hair.

– Compromised or damaged hair – Hair that is overly porous from damage may require a longer processing time to ensure the cuticles are saturated. An extra 5-10 minutes can help the color take better.

– Desired intensity on resistant hair – Naturally resistant hair types like coarse or curly hair may benefit from an extra 5-10 minutes to allow more color to deposit to combat resistance.

Always follow your colorist’s recommended timing based on your unique hair and the results you are trying to achieve. The general guideline is 30 minutes, but personalized timing adjustments can make a difference.

When to Remove Color Before 30 Minutes

On the other hand, there are circumstances where removing Paul Mitchell XG Color before the full 30 minute processing time is recommended:

– If scalp sensitivity or irritation occurs – Some people may experience tingling or burning on the scalp as the hair color processes. If this becomes uncomfortable, promptly rinse the color.

– Condition already looks darkened and saturated – For clients with very porous or light hair, the color may process quickly and look ready to rinse out earlier than 30 minutes.

– Using lower volumes of developer – With lower volumes like 10 or 20 volume peroxide, you generally achieve more subtle, natural-looking color results. These may not need the full 30 minutes to achieve the desired outcome.

– Toners on overly porous hair – If the toner is depositing quickly and looking overly cool, ash or muted, an early removal at 10-15 minutes prevents over-toning.

– Color services right before important events – Some colorists intentionally remove color 5-10 minutes early if the client has somewhere to be right after. This prevents any last minute timing issues.

Trust your colorist’s judgement in these situations – they know your hair and will make the call to remove color early if needed to prevent undesirable results like scalp burning or overly toned hair.

Tips for Keeping Track of Time

With permanent, demi-permanent and deposit-only colors, sticking to precise timing is truly important for ideal results. Here are some tips to ensure you leave the color on for the full recommended processing time:

– Set a timer – As soon as you apply the color, set a timer for the required development time. Smartphones and digital timers make this easy. The timer prevents distraction and ensures you don’t accidentally leave the color on too long.

– Check in with client regularly – Especially for longer processing times, check in with the client every 5-10 minutes during the process. Ask if the color feels normal or if any discomfort is occurring. This allows you to rinse early if any irritation develops.

– Record start & end times – Manually write down or make a note in your scheduling system of what time the color went on and what time it should be removed. Refer back to ensure perfect timing.

– No double booking – Don’t double book yourself during another client’s color processing time. Give yourself the full window to monitor timing.

– Ask an assistant to check – Have an available colleague periodically check in on the timing for you if you’re triple booked. But still check it yourself as well at critical junctures.

Closely following the timing guidelines for Paul Mitchell XG Color produces reliable, beautiful results your clients will love. With some colors, every minute makes a major difference!

What if I Leave it on Too Long?

You should always stick closely to the recommended processing time. But mistakes happen occasionally in busy salons. Here’s what to expect if Paul Mitchell XG Color is left on significantly past the advised timing:

– Skin or scalp irritation – An overly long processing time can increase chances of skin irritation, redness or burning near the hairline as the developer sits on the skin. Rinse immediately if this occurs.

– Brassy, orange tones – Leaving permanent color too long can cause overprocessing and oxidation, resulting in undesired warm, brassy tones.

– Dull, lifeless color – With semi-permanent color, over-processing can diminish vibrancy leading to dull results.

– Dry, damaged hair – Too much time with color and developer leads to dryness, fraying and other damage. It compromises hair’s moisture level and texture.

– Uneven results – Different areas may process faster than others leading to splotchy, uneven color.

– Color fades quicker – The extra processing time can fade certain pigments prematurely. This causes the color to look washed out and faded much sooner than normal.

While an extra few minutes over the recommended time generally won’t ruin the color, excessive processing time beyond this can result in clearly undesirable effects. Some may require an immediate fix like toner or glaze while others gradually reveal themselves as the color fades.

Bottom Line on Timing

Here’s the key takeaway on how long to leave Paul Mitchell XG Color:

For permanent, demi-permanent and deposit-only colors:

– Leave on for the full 30 minutes
– Check for scalp sensitivity regularly
– Rinse at first sign of irritation
– Keep an eye on porous hair that may process quicker

For toners:

– Time for 10-20 minutes
– Rinse early to avoid over-toning on porous hair

Trust your colorist’s expertise and recommended timing adjustments based on your hair. Stick closely to the timing guidelines with the help of timers. This ensures you safely get the maximum color result and retention your client is paying for!


Precise timing is crucial when applying Paul Mitchell XG Color services. Follow the standard 30 minute processing time for permanent, demi-permanent and deposit-only colors. Allow toners 10-20 minutes. However, your colorist may adjust these times based on your hair’s unique needs and desired results. Keep a close eye on the clock, set timers and check in regularly with your client. This ensures the color finishes processing at just the right moment for optimally vibrant, long-lasting color that satisfies your client!