Hair color is an important part of personal style and self-expression for many people. With so many shades and options available, it’s common to wonder if you can mix multiple dye colors together to create a custom color. While it is possible to mix hair dyes, there are some important factors to consider first.
Can you mix semi-permanent and permanent hair dye?
Semi-permanent and permanent hair dyes have different properties, so generally it is not recommended to mix them together. Here is a comparison of semi-permanent vs. permanent hair dye:
|Semi-Permanent Hair Dye||Permanent Hair Dye|
As you can see, permanent dye is longer-lasting but uses harsher chemicals. Semi-permanent dye fades faster but is gentler on hair. Mixing them together results in an unpredictable hybrid with properties of both, which can lead to uneven coloring and damage.
What happens when you mix hair dye colors?
When you mix together two or more shades of hair dye, a blending effect occurs. The pigments combine to create a new hybrid shade. For example:
- Mixing blue and yellow dye creates green
- Mixing violet and orange dye creates red
- Mixing blue and red dye creates purple
The resulting color is determined by the tone and intensity of the original shades. Light colors have less of a pigment load than darker shades. Mixing dyes with very different depths often leads to muddier, muted tones. It’s best to mix dyes of similar intensity.
Tips for mixing hair dye
If you want to experiment with mixing hair colors, here are some tips to get better results:
|Use semi-permanent dyes||Less damaging to hair than permanent dye|
|Mix colors with similar intensity||Creates a more predictable, vivid result|
|Limit to 2 shades||More than that can get muddy|
|Do a strand test||See how your hair reacts before doing whole head|
|Use a tinting brush||For highlighting/lowlighting mixed shades|
|Follow timing directions||Don’t leave on too long or color may go dull|
Using semi-permanent dyes and mixing no more than two colors is your best bet for getting a vibrant, blended shade. Always do a strand test first to confirm the results you want before applying to your whole head.
What colors can you mix to get…?
Some popular hair color combinations and how to achieve them by mixing dyes:
|Desired Color||Mix These Colors|
|Rose Gold||Orange + yellow + touch of violet|
|Silver||Blue + purple + touch of green|
|Teal||Blue + green|
|Pastel Pink||Small amount of pink + conditioner|
|Warm Brown||Yellow + red + brown|
|Ash Brown||Green + brown|
Be creative and use these combinations as a guide. Adjust the proportions to create lighter or darker versions of each shade.
Should you mix hair dye colors?
Whether mixing dyes is a good idea depends on these factors:
- Hair health – Mixing permanent dyes can damage hair. Stick to semi-permanent if concerned.
- Current color – Works best starting with light or medium blonde shades.
- Realistic expectations – Won’t replicate salon highlights/balayage.
- Openness to unpredictability – Results may vary from expectations.
- Willingness for maintenance – May require more frequent touch-ups as color fades.
If your hair is in good condition and you go in with reasonable expectations, mixing dyes can be a fun way to create custom colors at home.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does mixing hair dyes damage your hair?
Mixing permanent dyes can be more damaging because they penetrate the hair shaft more deeply. The combination of chemicals from multiple colors is harsher on hair. Semi-permanent mixed dyes will be gentler since they only coat the outer cuticle.
Can you mix brands of hair dye?
It’s best to stick to shades within the same brand, as formulas are designed to work together. Mixing dye from different brands runs a higher risk of uneven coloring, damage, or odd results.
What happens if you leave mixed colors on too long?
Leaving mixed dyes on your hair for longer than directed can lead to overly intense coloring with a metallic or dull finish. Follow the timing instructions carefully for the best result.
How long does mixed hair dye last?
The longevity will likely be closer to that of semi-permanent dye, around 4-8 washes. Permanent roots will still regrow in. Expect to need touch-ups or full coloring more frequently than with single-color dye.
It’s possible to mix hair dyes together to create fun, custom colors all your own. With some careful planning and preparation, mixing dyes can add cool dimensions and highlights to your look. Start slowly with two complementary semi-permanent shades, do a strand test, and be ready to experiment. Just keep your hair’s health and condition at the forefront as you explore the color-mixing possibilities.