How to Dilute Hair Dye with Shampoo & Conditioner – 3 Ways to Try

How to Dilute Hair Dye with Shampoo & Conditioner - 3 Ways to Try
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Do you intend to dilute your hair dye? Maybe you’ve been looking for a specific shade of your preferred hair color but haven’t been able to find it because it’s either unavailable, discontinued, or doesn’t exist.

If you want to make your hair dye more concentrated, you can either use half developer and half dye and then add conditioner to make up the difference in volume.

Whatever the reason, the information in this article will assist you in figuring out how to dilute hair dye and what supplies you’ll need.

Types of Hair Dye

How to Dilute Hair Dye with Shampoo & Conditioner - 3 Ways to Try

Understanding the different types of dyes and how they respond to dilution is necessary before we look at the specifics of how to dilute hair dye.

Temporary dye, semi-permanent dye, demi-permanent dye, and permanent dye are the four fundamental categories of hair dye.

  • Temporary hair dyes coat your hair and wash out the following time you shampoo it.
  • Semi-permanent hair dyes are a non-damaging, short-term way to color your hair. There is no premixing required before using semi-permanent hair dye on your hair because it doesn’t contain ammonia, bleach, or hydrogen peroxide. The average lifespan of semi-permanent hair dyes is eight hair washes. Instead of altering the color of your hair, they simply deposit the new shade onto the strands.
  • Demi-permanent hair dyes are similar to semi-permanent dyes but last up to approximately 28 washes. They don’t contain ammonia, but they do have a little developer in them. Semi-permanent hair dyes don’t alter the natural color of your hair. It is comparable to semi-permanent hair dye, except that it lasts longer.
  • Permanent hair dyes contain chemicals that remove your natural color from your strands before depositing the new pigments of your preferred hair color. The process causes the hair more stress. Because permanent hair color is designed to last and withstand numerous washings, the chemicals it contains are more potent and must stay on the hair for a longer period of time to process. Permanent hair dyes require mixing the hair dye and developer before applying it to the hair strands, which results in a two-step coloring process.

Understanding the various categories of hair dyes will make it simpler to comprehend what happens when the dyes are diluted.

For this article, we will look at diluting permanent, semi-permanent, and demi-permanent hair dyes. Temporary hair dyes are typically aerosols, chalks, or pastes and really do not accommodate dilution.

Read More: How Long Does Hair Dye Last – When It Fade Completely?

Can You Dilute Hair Dye?

Shampoo, conditioner, diluters, water, hair oils, and various mixtures (or combinations) of the aforementioned substances can all be used to dilute hair dyes.

However, it’s important that most hair dyes are not manufactured to allow for dilution. They are designed to function in a specific manner.

Adding additional ingredients can interfere with or change how well a product works and the results you get from dying your hair because they contain chemicals.

This is not to say that you can’t dilute your hair dye; it just means that it won’t last as long and that the product’s behavior might change.

When you dilute the hair dye, you are essentially switching up the composition, so you should anticipate some slight differences in behavior.

The color won’t be the same as it would have been if the dye hadn’t been diluted because dilution also changes the color’s intensity. If you truly want to accomplish this, fantastic.

It’s crucial to realize that your final hair color might not be what you had in mind if you were using dilution because your hair is long and you actually needed two boxes of dye rather than one.

Two-part dyes, or those that need to be mixed with a developer before application, are not intended to be diluted in any way, and the results will vary from brand to brand.

The techniques listed below frequently produce positive results with tube-based semi-permanent hair dyes, also known as fashion dyes. These are dyes that are applied to your hair straight from the tube.

Let’s examine the process for dilution of hair dyes.

How to Dilute Hair Dye With Shampoo

This works best with white shampoo, so make sure you have some on hand. Avoid shampoos that are colored because this can have a variety of bizarre and unforeseen effects.

To create what is illogically referred to as a toning shampoo, dilute your hair dye with shampoo., However, generally speaking, the majority of commercial toning shampoos contain a purple or violet hair color.

Regardless, how much shampoo and hair dye you need to mix depends entirely on the color you want to achieve and whether you plan to use the mixture once or repeatedly.

To make your hair color last longer, use toning shampoos. So you’re applying this to brighten your hair and make sure the color is vibrant. This is not for starting from scratch with hair dye.

You can make your own toning shampoo at home using this technique for diluting a hair dye, which is a less expensive option than purchasing a toning shampoo at your local beauty supply store.

Additionally, the selection of toning shampoos is limited; there are shampoos for purple hair, blonde hair, red hair, and brunettes, but none are tailored to a particular shade.

Making your own toning shampoo at home gives you the assurance that it will look fantastic on your specific shade because it is actually made from that shade.

Here’s What You’ll Need:

  • A tube of dye that matches your hair color
  • Regular shampoo – white only
  • an empty bowl or bottle. An old shampoo or conditioner bottle works well in this case
  • Gloves (optional)


  • Pour shampoo into the empty bottle until you have about half a bottle
  • Add half a tube of your hair dye
  • Shake well until the dye is completely mixed in with the shampoo

As previously mentioned, this procedure will prolong the life of your hair color. Depending on the color of your hair and how frequently you dye it, you can use it once or twice a week, or whenever necessary.

Even though using a toning shampoo on a daily basis is not advised, you can use it every time you shampoo if you only use a shampoo once or twice a week.

How to Dilute Hair Dye With Conditioner

A color rinse is produced by diluting hair dye with conditioner. Again, you need a white conditioner for it to work well.

There are also color rinses that can be purchased commercially, which is a fantastic way to save money and create a color rinse that is ideal for your hair dye. Your color will be more vibrant and shiny after a color rinse.

Here’s What You’ll Need:

  • A tube of your hair dye
  • Your favorite conditioner
  • A plastic bowl
  • A plastic spoon for mixing
  • Gloves (optional)


  • Fill a plastic container with your standard conditioner. Add enough conditioner to cover all your hair
  • Add half a tube of your hair dye
  • Mix well with a plastic spoon until the color is uniform
  • Apply to the length of your hair, ensuring that all your strands are covered
  • Let it sit for 20 minutes
  • Rinse and proceed to style your hair as usual

How to Dilute Dye ​for Pastel Colors

A great way to perform a color rinse to restore your existing color is to dilute hair dye with conditioner. To achieve pastel shades, it is also a fantastic way to soften intense colors.

The key here is in the amount of hair dye you add to the conditioner. The steps below will create a color-conditioner paste that you can customize to the shade of color you have in mind.

Although it isn’t an exact science because you must judge the color as you mix based on the desired shade, you can always adjust by adding more dye or conditioner until you find the right shade.


  • Add three cups of conditioner into a plastic bowl
  • Add a teaspoon of your hair dye and thoroughly mix with a plastic spoon
  • Assess the color and add more conditioner or color until desired shade is achieved
  • Once your desired pastel shade is achieved, apply it to your hair and follow the usual air drying process
How to Dilute Hair Dye with Shampoo & Conditioner - 3 Ways to Try

How to Mix Hair Dye With Developer and Conditioner

When using a box hair dye kit, the color and developer must be mixed before use.

If you want more product, you can dilute your hair dye by combining the developer and dye with conditioner, or you can use half developer and half dye and add conditioner to make up the difference. Your color won’t be as intense in either scenario as it would have been without the conditioner.

What You Will Need:

  • Hair dye
  • Developer
  • Favorite conditioner
  • Plastic container bowl or applicator bottle
  • Plastic spoon (if using a bowl for mixing)
  • Gloves (optional)


Full kit

  • Add the developer to your hair dye according to the manufacturer’s instructions and mix well
  • As required, add your preferred conditioner to the mixture. In this case, the conditioner is being used to make up the missing product, so add as necessary.
  • Apply the mixture to your hair for processing as usual

Half Kit

In the event that you will not be using all the dye and developer, you will need a separate container for mixing. Your developer and hair dye mixture must be used immediately after being combined. Therefore, you cannot combine them if you want to save some of the product for use later.

  • In a separate container, add half your dye, then add half your developer
  • Add your favorite conditioner to bring the volume of mixture to the equivalent of a full kit
  • Apply to your hair for processing as usual

Can You Dilute Hair Dye With Water?

If you want to make your hair dye less vibrant or more of a pastel shade, never dilute it with water. While adding water to your dye will increase the amount of mixture and lessen the vibrancy of the color in your hair, the color will remain the same.

Water can affect the performance and cause your results to be uneven and patchy if you’re trying to dilute permanent hair dye that contains peroxide.

It is best to avoid adding any water to the product or to add as little water as possible if the instructions for applying a hair dye state that you should apply it to dry hair.

You don’t want to add water to the point where it becomes a runny mess because your dye needs to be thick enough to adhere to your strands.

Diluting Hair Dye With Oil

Mixing your hair dye with oil can be a hit or mix proposition. Yes, some brands include a vial of oil in their kits, but these are designed to work with the hair dye and not against it.

If you intend to add oil to your dye, make sure it is a pure natural oil (i.e., pure olive oil or pure coconut oil) and not a blend of silicones and other chemicals that may interact with the hair dye negatively.

Recall that for the best results, hair dye needs to have a specific consistency.

Only a small amount of oil should be used, and it should be thoroughly mixed to ensure even distribution. Applying oil to your hair before dying it could affect absorption and result in patchy color, so avoid doing it.

Hydrogen Peroxide

One of the two components in the permanent hair dye system is hydrogen peroxide, bleach, or developer. Semi-permanent colors shouldn’t have it added because it might deteriorate the dye.

However, before using a semi-permanent or demi-permanent hair dye, you can bleach your hair with hydrogen peroxide. Your color will last longer as a result of doing this.

Because using hydrogen peroxide is harsh on your hair, be ready for it to be dryer and possibly a little frizzier than usual.

How to Dilute Hair Dye with Shampoo & Conditioner - 3 Ways to Try


Utilize a bowl with a measuring cup to diluted hair dye. Add the dye powder to the container after adding shampoo, hair oil, or hydrogen peroxide.

Stir until the powder is dissolved and all ingredients are well mixed. You can be sure that you will have a way to conveniently and safely dilute your hair dye with these methods, and you can be sure that the results will last for a long time.

Frequently Asked Questions

The most frequently asked questions about dilution of hair dye are listed below.

Can You Add Conditioner to Hair Dye to Make It Lighter?

Yes, a small amount of conditioner can be added to help mellow out the dye’s intensity. But you should only add a small amount, as adding more could make the color run or fade more quickly.

What Happens If You Mix Hair Dye With Shampoo?

The mixture might turn runny or the color might come out duller than you intended if you add shampoo to your dye. It is best to avoid combining these two goods. Additionally, you need to be aware that some shampoos contain components that can remove color from your hair, so carefully read the label before combining them.

How Do You Make Hair Dye Less Vibrant?

To tone down bright colors, try using a semi-permanent dye instead of permanent dye or apply a toner after coloring your hair. Choose a blonde ash shade rather than a platinum blonde shade if you want results that look natural. Your hair will have more depth and still look young and vibrant thanks to it!

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