How Much Hair Dye Do I Need For Thick Hair?

close-up of a woman's hands dyeing thick hair using black brush

How much hair dye do I need for thick hair? If you have thick hair and are looking to dye it, then you might be wondering exactly how much dye you need. Gauging how much hair dye you need to dye your own hair can be difficult to determine, especially if you have thick hair.

We’re here to give you all the tips to help you figure out how much hair dye you need to dye your thick hair successfully. We will also walk you through how to dye your thick hair (step-by-step) so that you can achieve an amazing result. Let’s dive into this!

How Many Boxes Of Dye Do I Need For Thick Hair?

Dyeing your hair with box dye is a simple and cheap way to change your hair color at home, but it’s sometimes difficult to figure out exactly how much hair dye to use. Box dyes usually come with one container of dye and if you need more than that, then you’ll need to get more boxes of dye.

With that being said, most professionals recommend that you buy two boxes of hair dye if you have thick hair. If you have thick hair that’s also long then you may want to get three boxes just in case. You don’t want to run out of box hair dye halfway through dyeing your hair, so if you aren’t sure, then you should get an extra box.

It’s better to have too much than not enough hair dye. If you end up not using those extra boxes of hair dye then you can return them or you can save them for the next time you need to dye your hair. Having the extra hair dye on-hand also works great for touch-ups once your roots start growing out. 

How Many Oz Of Hair Dye Do I Need For Thick Hair?

Typically, when you buy boxed hair dye, there should be enough product to do a full head of hair, but this isn’t always the case if you have thick or long hair. Most boxed dyes have about 3 oz to 4 oz of product in them and this is usually a suitable amount for a full head of shoulder-length hair that’s of a fine to medium thickness.

If you have thick hair or long hair then you may need up to 8 oz of hair dye. This would mean that you’d need to buy two boxes of hair dye to cover your head. If you have some dye left over, then that’s okay because it’s best to have some leftover than not have enough for your hair. 

If you’re dyeing your hair using a bottle of dye then you should pay attention to the ounces listed on the bottle. Most of these bottle dyes also provide about 4 oz of hair dye. If you have thick or long hair, you will probably want to buy two bottles of dye.

Purchasing more hair dye than you anticipate using is always recommended. If you buy too little, you will be forced to go back to the store and purchase more, which can be a hassle. But if you have extra dye, you have some wiggle room, or extra for touch-ups. 

Does Hair Dye Work On Thick Hair?

Yes, hair dye is a universal product that works on every length and thickness of hair, but you may have to adjust how much dye you use. For example, thicker hair might seem more difficult to dye just because you need more of it which, of course, can lead to a longer dyeing process.

Luckily, if you’ve found that you’re having a hard time dyeing your thick hair, then we have some tips that could work for you. Using enough hair dye is key to making sure you can dye thick hair. Generally, you would want enough hair dye for the product to saturate the hair.

Using enough hair dye the first time around allows for a complete, even application of the product. Without enough hair dye, your final result can come out with patchy color and may not look as expected. It is best to err on the side of using more hair dye than you need, as it can be difficult to add more later.

Carrying on with this idea, thick hair might also be difficult to dye because of how challenging it is to completely distribute the color throughout your hair. A good way to combat uneven distribution is by using a fine-toothed comb to comb through your hair and spread the dye more evenly.

This technique will get every single strand covered with dye. Those with thick hair need to put in extra effort to fully coat all of their hair with dye because it is the most difficult thing to achieve when dyeing thick hair. If you don’t put in the extra effort, your hair may end up looking patchy or uneven.

How Long Does It Take To Dye Thick Hair?

It can take a bit longer to dye thick hair, but this can be combated. Typically, it takes longer to dye thick hair because you have to spend time working it into every section of your hair, plus you’ll be working with more dye which already makes the process longer.

Also, it’s important to remember that this doesn’t mean you’ll need to leave the hair dye in longer than the recommended time. For those with thick hair, leave hair dye on for the amount of time recommended on the packaging—whether it’s boxed or bottled.

Just because you’re dyeing thick hair doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll take longer for the color to set in, it just means that it might take longer to distribute the dye across all of your hair. A good way to combat the time sink of dyeing your thick hair is to have a friend help you.

A friend’s assistance can give you a new perspective on your hair and help you separate it into sections. Separating your hair into sections and dyeing it section by section will allow you to get your entire hair dyed evenly and more quickly.

If you apply the dye directly to your hair without splitting it into sections, most of it will sit on the topmost layer of your hair. This can make it hard for the dye to reach the underneath portion of your hair, in turn making the final color uneven. 

Another step you can take to speed up the process is to comb the dye into your hair using a fine-toothed comb. This will help to spread the dye evenly and ensure that all parts of your hair have been thoroughly coated. Likewise, using a hair dye brush can also help you to evenly distribute color onto your hair. 

How Do You Dye Thick Hair?

Knowing how to dye thick hair is important to achieving perfect hair color results. Thicker hair can be slightly more difficult to dye, but it’s not impossible. Achieving perfect color results may just require a bit more time and patience. Now, let’s get into the steps for dyeing your thick hair. 

Step 1

To start off, you always want to do a patch test. You can do a patch test on your wrist to make sure that you’re not allergic to the hair dye. You should perform a patch test roughly 48 hours before you plan to dye your hair, to allow enough time for a reaction to occur if one is going to occur.

Step 2

Next, split your hair into sections. Your hair length and thickness will determine how many sections will be needed and their overall width. Generally, you want to split your hair into at least four sections, but for those with hair that is either long, curly, or thick (or all of the above), six and eight sections will suffice. 

Step 3

Protecting the rest of your head is a step many people forget, but petroleum jelly is your key to no stains. Applying petroleum jelly around your forehead, ears, and behind your neck can ensure that if any hair dye gets on those areas, it will not stain or leave behind an annoying patch of color. 

Step 4

For our fourth step, put on gloves and mix up the hair dye. Box dyes and bottle dyes need to be mixed. If you’re using a box dye then follow the instructions listed, but if you’re using a bottle dye then mix it with equal parts of developer. Make sure to thoroughly mix the two together to ensure full dyeing power and evenness. 

Step 5

Start applying the hair dye. Start at the roots of your hair and work your way down. Start one section at a time fully coating the first section before moving on to the next. You can use either your hands (with gloves) or you can use a hair dye brush/comb to apply the product evenly. 

Step 6

Apply the color generously to cover your hair, going one section at a time. Start from your roots and work the color down to the tips of your hair being sure to coat the strands evenly. You shouldn’t see any dry sections because if you do, then this means there is no color deposited onto that section of your hair. 

Step 7

After initial application, run your hands throughout your hair to ensure the color is deposited throughout every strand. A fine-toothed comb will also be effective here. If there are areas that you feel may have been missed, re-apply directly to those sections and repeat the process.

For help, you can use two mirrors to view the backside and front side of your hair/head if you’re by yourself. If you have a friend available to help with dyeing, then they should be able to point out what parts of your hair are in need of more dye. At this stage, apply more dye if need be. 

Step 8

Leave the hair dye on for the recommended amount of time on the box or bottle. Remember that you do not need to keep the hair dye in for longer if you have thick, long, or curly hair.

You can cover your hair with a bag, cap, or some sort of hair wrap in order to help insulate the dye. Doing so will speed up the process and encourage the dye to develop. 

Step 9

Afterwards, remove your choice of hair covering from your hair and check the dye (if you did choose to insulate your hair). Look for color development and keep your eye out for any sections of hair that are underdeveloped.

Additionally, during this step, you should be ensuring that every part of your hair has been processed long enough. Remember that the color you see will not be the actual color of your hair after washing and drying, so if something looks off, don’t panic.

Step 10

Shampoo and condition your hair. You should rinse your hair out in the shower to make sure you get every ounce of the dye out of your hair. Shampoo will help to remove any excess product left and create a clean slate for your hair.

Also, conditioning is very important after dyeing your hair: be sure to leave the conditioner on for a few minutes so that it can have time to soak into your hair, thus rehydrating it. 

Step 11

While you will be able to see the outcome once your hair is washed, the best way to view your new color is when your hair is dry. You can use a hair dryer to dry your hair or just opt for air-drying if that works best for you. After drying your hair, go ahead and style it to see the full effect of your new hair color. 

Final Thoughts: How Much Hair Dye Do I Need For Thick Hair?

Dyeing thick hair should not be difficult, you just need to have patience. Follow the directions on the box and always do a patch test before applying any type of hair dye to your scalp. If you are unsure about how to properly dye your hair, it is always best to consult with a professional stylist.

Determining how much hair dye you will need depends on how much hair you have, but most of the time, two to three box dyes—up to 8 oz—of hair dye will work perfectly. A good rule of thumb is to always get more than you need because it’s best to have extra than not enough hair dye. 

Furthermore, specific techniques help to deposit the hair dye evenly throughout your hair without missing a spot: a common concern with thick-haired people. Sectioning your hair is key and taking your time to apply the hair dye will make all the difference.

Use a fine-toothed comb to evenly distribute the dye throughout your hair for best results. Moreover, getting a friend to help you out will eliminate some of the stress that comes with dyeing thick hair. This way, you will have fun during the process and also get it done in half the time.

Finally, if you have thick hair, be sure to use these tips for all your hair dyeing needs to ensure a bright, beautiful, even color payoff. We hope you will be able to get some spectacular results (and peace of mind) out of the helpful steps above.

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By Daphnie Bachmann

Daphnie Bachmann is an esthetician and beauty writer at Kintegra Research. She loves beauty and skincare. She always has her eyes open for the next new beauty or skincare product to test out and review. She's inspired by the beauty world and is always willing to share her beauty secrets!