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How To Fix Patchy Hair Dye

by Gabbi

Hair coloring may be a regular service offered at your local salon, but it’s a complicated art form that hairdressers take years to master. So while coloring your hair may seem fun and easy to do at home, it can get incredibly complex very quickly.

Most of us have heard a hair color horror story at one point or another. Even though your hair will grow back eventually, it can take time to fix it. In addition, color corrections at a hair salon can cost up to hundreds of dollars. 

These hefty prices at the salon are why most people turn to box dye at home. However, that can cause even more trouble if you’re not experienced with color. Hair dye can quickly damage your ends, and it can even leave you with patchy results. 

How do you fix patchy hair dye? Patchy hair dye can be fixed with different methods like using a filler color or adding a shade darker than what you originally wanted. You could also try using a toner or a color-depositing shampoo to minimize the damage.

Nobody wants uneven hair dye. But, if you bleach your hair at home or usually dye it a simple color and notice faded or uneven hair dye, chances are something wasn’t executed correctly. Thankfully, patchy, inconsistent, and faded hair dye can be fixed.

How To Fix Patchy Hair Dye At Home 

Patchy hair color can refer to uneven bleached hair with brassy tones or brunettes with light and dark shades all around the head. Tending to uneven color isn’t easy, but it’s not impossible either. 

Before you try to save your hair, it’s crucial to take a step back and assess your hair. How did your hair get patchy? Do you color and bleach your strands often? Are you aware of your hair’s health? 

Conducting a full hair assessment will help you understand the current state of your hair and how you should move forward. It’s crucial to know why your color is patchy before slapping on another hair color. 

Why Your Hair Is Patchy

There are a few reasons why your hair could be patchy. It could be something as simple as having damaged hair or not mixing your color correctly, for starters. 

But what other factors could be contributing to your uneven hair color?

1. You Already Had Patchy Color

If you frequently color or bleach your hair at home or by yourself, chances are your hair dye was already patchy from the previous applications. As a result, it can be challenging to apply hair color by yourself evenly without missing any strands.

If there are continuous patchy applications each time you go for a new hair color, it will result in an unflattering look. Likewise, switching brands, colors, and application methods can also explain your previous patchy dye jobs.

2. Improper Application 

Hair color isn’t meant to be slapped on the head with your hands because that will definitely offer some inconsistent results. Your application method is crucial to achieving crisp, clean, and even hair color at home. 

One way to ensure you get a more precise color application is to section your hair into manageable parts. Working in small sections will ensure your color is applied evenly and that no hairs will be left colorless. 

Another crucial element for perfecting your hair dye is applying it with a brush and gloves. Your fingers won’t provide an even and smooth application. So, a brush will ensure each strand is saturated with hair color.

Gloves are a must-have when applying color to avoid staining your hands, clothes, face, and anything else. Cleaning up will be a breeze, and it can also help distribute the hair color evenly.

3. Damaged Hair

Hair color or bleach isn’t the only thing that can damage your hair. Excessive heat styling, exposure to various chemicals, and more can all result in damaged hair. If your hair is damaged, it can be much more challenging to achieve even color. 

According to All About The Gloss, “if the dye cannot work properly because your hair is damaged or too dry or if only some of your cuticles are open, then the result is bound to be patchy and uneven.” 

The cuticles allow the hair color to access the cortex, which is responsible for your hair color. If your cuticles are damaged, they become more expansive and are less likely to hold onto any hair color you put on top of them.

If your hair is damaged with patchy hair color, it’s recommended to nurse it back to health before putting any more color on top. Haircuts, deep conditioning masks, or protein treatments can all prepare damaged hair for another color service.

4. Wrong Color Formula 

It’s time to ditch the box dyes from the drugstore. Yes, they are fun, easy, cheap, and convenient, but they cause the most damage to your hair. In addition, box dye is every hairdresser’s worst nightmare to remove from a clients’ head. 

Switch to a professional hair color formula from a beauty supply store to see the best results. Another common mistake many people make when coloring their hair at home is not mixing their ingredients thoroughly.

Think about it, when you bake a cake, would you only mix the components two times and put them in the oven? Show your hair color formula some love, and make sure you evenly combine your color and developer to get the most consistent results. 

Take your time to measure the correct amounts of color and developer in your hair color bowl. Then, use a hair coloring brush to mix it until you reach an even and smooth consistency.

How To Fix Patchy Color 

Now that we have correctly assessed why hair color is patchy, it will be easier to fix at home. 

1. Always Perform A Test Strand 

Before you go through another hair transformation, conduct a test strand. A test strand involves placing your desired color on a small section of hair to see how it will react. If you like the results, continue with the color. If not, re-evaluate your hair plan.

2. Add A Filler

A hair color filler is an extra layer of color to help conceal your patchiness and prep for your desired color. 

My Hairdresser states, “it’s a color you use in between your current color and the color you want. Its job is to build your hair color pigment back into your hair that gets taken out from previous bleach or color.” 

3. Use A Toner 

If you are blonde and brassy or orange and yellow tones are your worst nightmare, it’s time to invest in a toner. A purple toner will counteract all those yellow undertones plaguing your blond strands. 

In addition, frequent use should easily remove patchy orange spots. 

4. Go One Shade Darker

Let’s say your hair is ready to undergo another color service. If you are prone to patchiness, it may be wise to go one shade darker than your preferred hair color. This will ensure your color doesn’t fade away too quickly and help even out your strands.

5. Follow The Directions

It’s always recommended to follow the instructions based on the brand of hair dye. Following the manufacturer’s directions will minimize the amount of risk, especially if you are coloring at home.

In addition, conduct a patch test with your color to ensure there won’t be any surprise allergic reactions. This is an additional step to keep you, your hair, and your skin safe. 

6. Use a Color Depositing Shampoo 

A color-depositing shampoo will be your best friend and secret weapon to maintaining your color. 

This is a must-have for anyone dealing with patchy hair because, with each wash, the shampoo will add color to your strands and prevent premature fading. You will be able to prolong your hair color by a few extra weeks and keep your color even.

7. Go To The Salon 

Whether you feel uncomfortable with doing your hair at home or the hair is damaged past the point of return, it may be time to see a professional. Of course, not everyone will want to shell out the big bucks, but restoring your hair’s health can be worth it.

A professional and licensed hairstylist will be able to assess your needs and provide the proper care. In addition, they can guide you to a new at-home care routine that will keep your strands healthy in-between visits.

Final Thoughts

So, if you’re struggling with patchy hair, just know that it’s something fixable. Determining the state of your hair will help you figure out how to salvage your uneven and faded strands. 

First, figure out why your hair is patchy in the first place. You may find that it’s a quick fix or that your hair needs professional help. Damaged hair won’t take to color very well. You might even find out you’re using the wrong color formula.

Thankfully, there are various ways to fix patchy hair at home; you can go darker, add a filler or toner, and even use a color depositing shampoo. And remember, when in doubt, visit a trusted hairstylist! 

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