Can You Mix Two Colors of Hair Dye? 8 Tips To Mix Hair Dyes Properly

Have you ever browsed the hair color swatches just to be left confused about which shade to go for? Perhaps a certain color is ok, but it is a bit too light or too dark to your liking. 

Can you mix two different hair dye colors to make it look closer to your taste? Are hair dyes formulated to be mixed up to allow you to customize colors at your will? Here is your answer!

Can You Mix Two Different Hair Dye Colors?

Yes, you can. It is quite common for colorists to bring out a stunning and unique shade for their clients by mixing two or more hair colors. 

However, picking out two colors randomly and mixing will leave you with a disappointing result or even a disaster. There are a few things to keep in mind while you’re doing this at home for the best result, such as sticking to certain color rules, using the same brand and texture, etc.

Mix Hair Colors To Create A New Shade That You’re After
Mix Hair Colors To Create A New Shade That You’re After

Why Should You Mix Two Hair Colors? 

The ultimate motive for many people to mix hair dyes is to get a new color that cannot be found in the color chart. This way, they can develop a shade that is better suited to their skin tone and personality and is unique to themselves. 

If done right, the new-created color can come with the lightness/darkness, vibrancy, and hue that you’re after. For example, if you’re searching for something in-between the 3 dark brown and 5 light brown, mixing dyes can be the answer.

This sounds exciting but requires a lot of errors and trials in the process. So take a look at our tips to avoid costly mistakes later (hair color correction is not cheap, after all!)

Shampoos Hub
Shampoos Hub

How To Mix Two Hair Colors And Dye?

What You’ll Need

  • Chosen hair colors
  • Developer
  • A plastic bowl
  • Plastic hair clips
  • Gloves (usually included in dye box)
  • Hand or face cream (optional)

Instruction

Mix The Colors

Before getting started, put on a pair of gloves to protect your skin from chemicals and staining. 

Squeeze each hair dye in the desired ratio (¾ and ¼ or ½ and ½ ) in the plastic bowl.

Mix them well with a tint mixing brush until you achieve a smooth consistency. 

Add Your Primary and Secondary Color
Add Your Primary and Secondary Color

Tips: Never use metallic tools for mixing since they can oxidize your dye and deviate from the final result. 

Add Developer

Pour in the developer with the correct ratio. Whisk the mixture vigorously to form a creamy and thick paste. It’s best to use the resulting mixture immediately.  

Mix The Developer And Dye Well
Mix The Developer And Dye Well

Prep Your Hair 

Section your hair into small parts. Do it neatly and evenly to ensure a smooth application. 

First, part your hair down right in the middle. Normally, you will need to divide your head into 4 small sections: two in front to the left and right, two in the back to the left and right. 

Tie up all of them with clips.

Prep The Hair
Prep The Hair

Tips

  • Most hair dyes work best on dry and unwashed hair. Not only does the color hold onto dirty strands better, but the natural oils also protect your scalp from getting burned by the hair colors. Therefore, it is advised to skip washing your hair on the day of dyeing. 
  • Applying hand or face cream around the hairline to prevent the color from staining your forehead. 

Apply The Color

Unclip one section, and take ¼ inch of a small section from it to apply the color. You will need to start from the roots to the ends (around a half-inch away from the scalp). 

Once completing one section, secure them again with the clip, and go on to another. 

Apply The Color
Apply The Color

Respect The Processing Time

Set a timer for the processing time. Refer to the instructions for the timing, which might be between 15 to 30 minutes. Then, comb through your strands to distribute the color evenly.

Wash The Dye Out

Rinse your hair with a shampoo specifically formulated for color-treated hair. Scrub the dye off the scalp until you see the water is clear. 

Next, shampoo your strands once again before applying a color-treated conditioner.

Wash The Dye Off
Wash The Dye Off

8 Tips On Mixing Two Different Hair Dye Colors 

The mixture works best if the two dyes need the same amount of time for developing. So, make sure you check the instructions first about this factor. 

Choose Your Colors

First, you should settle yourself on the duo you want to mix:

Primary Color

This is the base color that decides the tone of your hair. For instance, if you set your eye on light brown tone 5 but still feel a bit lacking, use that shade as your primary color. We’ll “fix” things up with the secondary color.

Secondary Color

This color points towards the direction you want your hair color to go. Go darker or lighter by choosing the according to tone. You can introduce more warmth to the final tone by mixing warm shades like golden or chocolate. Or make it cooler by adding ash or beige hair color. 

Hair Dye Color Chart Numbers
Hair Dye Color Chart Numbers

Color Rules To Remember

  • Never Mix Warm And Cool Shades: If your primary color is cool, your secondary color should also be cool and vice versa. Do not mess things up by pouring warm and cool colors in the same bowl because they will counteract each other. 
  • Instead, Mix A Natural Shade With Either A Warm Or Cool Color: You can choose a natural color and add either cool or warm color for a slight cool or warm reflection. Oftentimes, the natural color is the primary or base color for most people.

Decide The Ratio Of Two Colors

  • Use ¾ of the primary color with ¼ of the secondary shade if you want the former to dominate.
  • Use ½ of the primary color with ½ of the secondary color for a more even distribution of shades. 

While mixing your chosen colors, we do not recommend guessing the proportions. Instead, you should use a plastic, glass container, or anything measuring millimeters to calculate the right amount of each color and the developer. 

Alternatively, you can use a digital scale to ensure it will be exact in your color formulation. Doing so will guarantee you come closest to the desired look. 

Respect Dye-To-Developer Ratio

The recommended mixing proportion of dye-developer might be 1-to-1, 1-to-1.5, or 1-to-2.0 for extra color lifting. Regarding this ratio, it’s best to follow the instructions to the letter; you don’t want the application to become more difficult if the ratio is not right. 

If there’s not less amount of the developer than required, the mix becomes thicker and harder to apply. The final tone will turn out darker than expected. 

On the other hand, add too much developer, and you’ll wind up with a looser, runnier mixture and a lighter final tone. So it’s important to get it right by measuring your colors and developer in millimeters, as mentioned above.

Mix Hair Dyes Of The Same Texture

There are different textures of hair dyes you can use, including gel, cream, and liquid forms. But the rule is the two hair dyes can only be mixed if they have the same texture. Otherwise, you will end up with a strange mixture and an unpredictable application.

We recommend starting with creamy hair dyes since they’re easier to apply and readily available in different shades if you’re new to mixing hair colors. 

Use The Same Type And The Same Brand

Never mix hair color shades of different types (permanent, semi-permanent, demi-permanent), or the result will be greatly disappointing. 

In the same vein, hair dyes should not be mixed if they come from different brands. They are formulated with different pigments, so combining them can result in altered pigments. The result might not be what you want to achieve. 

As hair dyes of different brands are formulated differently, they will likely cause adverse chemical reactions when combined. This can make your hair more fragile and more prone to breakage. 

If you have two hair dyes made by different brands at hand and wish to mix them, it’s best to talk to professional colorists before committing. They can help you check if these two products are safe to be mixed together.

Use Hair Colors Made By The Same Brand
Use Hair Colors Made By The Same Brand

Use Non-Metallic Tools For The Mixing Job

Metal can oxidize the hair color, which might behave unpredictably, resulting in a different shade. Therefore, you should use a plastic, porcelain, or glass bowl to mix your dyes. It’s best to use plastic combs, clips to guarantee the best dyeing results.

Ash And Warm Colors Do Not Mix Well

We do not recommend a combination of ash and warm colors (copper, mahogany, red, chocolate, gold, etc.). It is because cool ash tones make the final color appear muddy by dampening the shine of the warm shade. 

Conclusion 

Can you mix two different hair dye colors? The answer is a big Yes as long as you follow our rules. Colorimetry offers a world of possibilities regarding the shade you want to create. With proper mixing, you can have a shade that flatters your skin tones and speaks for your personality. Good luck!

Edna Feber

I’m Edna. I'm here to guide you about hair products and maintenance tips. You'll fine here product reviews regarding hair tools, hair color, hair care and more along with tips to keep your hair healthy!

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