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Using Leftover Hair Dye

Once the color and activator are mixed they must be used quickly. If you don't need all of the product at one time, as you are touching up or have short hair, you may be able to retain some of each product for later use. This is a guide about using leftover hair dye.
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0 found this helpful
January 19, 2017 Flag

I have kept unmixed leftover hair dye in a small container for four weeks and everything went well. This time, I accidently left it out on my dresser and the light was on. The top portion of the dye turned dark on the top.
My question: is it still good to use?

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January 19, 20170 found this helpful

The original container for these dyes is usually a dark material. If your container was dark, you can keep it. If it was clear, I would discard it. The fact that the top portion of the dye turned color is an indication of light exposure.

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January 19, 20170 found this helpful

You could remove the top portion that turned dark and see if the rest of it is good.

The best way to tell, of course, would be to test it on something that you didn't care about - I suppose if you didn't mind cutting off an inch or so off your hair, you could test it

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January 19, 20170 found this helpful

I am sorry but I just do not understand why you would want to take a chance on damaging your hair over this amount of money.

If there is even the slightest chance that it would not "react" the way it was designed then it would be best to discard it.

Please - Try reading all of the cry's for help where people have made mistakes with even "safe" hair dye before you decide to use this mixture.

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January 19, 20170 found this helpful

I just looked at the directions on a box of mine. It clearly states to discard any remaining. My husband worked for a chemical company for over 30 years. He read the ingredients and said it is dangerous to keep around after it is mixed and it changes chemically after long exposures to air. Dump it out.

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January 21, 20170 found this helpful

You can save dye that has not been mixed with developer. I mix two different colors, so I always have some leftover. Once you mix with the developer, it must be thrown away. The way I read the question, the unmixed dye changed color, so that's why I advised her to throw it away. Hair dye has a shelf life of about a year. I got this information from the hairdresser who cuts my hair. She was kind enough to help me out with dying tips so I can do that at home.

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January 21, 20170 found this helpful

If only just the very top portion has darkened, say a tenth of the amount in the bottle, the color should still have most of its potency, and should give the same results. The darkening is caused by oxidation. The top layer of color is exposed to the air in the bottle.

Use of this leftover color is safe (providing it hasn't been in contact with any developer), and again, should give the same results. In the salons where custom colors are mixed, there are thousands of half full bottles of color returned to the shelf every day. These may be used a month later on the same customer with the same results.

While this is common practice. It has its limits. A good colorist keeps strict account of his/her color inventory, knowing which leftover colors will produce results identical to the original, and which ones should be discarded.

If you keep your leftover color in a cool, dark place and tightly capped, it should be OK a month later. I would not advise keeping it longer. You should know that the lighter the shade of color, the quicker it will deteriorate. Also, if the color comes in a plastic bottle, you can squeeze a good amount of the air from the bottle before returning the cap. This will help prolong the shelf life.

At color shows, I have seen professional colorists from Roux and Clairol set aside a half full bottle of color for use some time later. When they opened the bottle, they stuck the inner seal to the outside of the bottle. Before resealing the bottle, they replaced the inner seal. They said this would help keep the potency of the color while on the shelf.

I agree with Judy. I would not attempt to keep color in a clear plastic bottle. Both light and air degrade leftover color on the shelf.

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January 22, 20170 found this helpful

I'm sure when Judy's hairdresser told her color had a year shelf life, she was talking about unopened color, though some of the darkest colors, after opening, will probably keep well (under ideal conditions) for 6 months.

As for the shelf life of unopened color...I have a near full tank of Roux fanci-tone #11 blue jet. The unused contents of the tank have never come in contact with air, so they qualify as 'unopened'. I recently dispensed a few drops to test. The color had all the potency it had when it was purchased. It was purchased 50 years, ago.

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January 22, 20170 found this helpful

I would not use the dye. The directions clearly indicate to throw away any unused portion. These are chemicals and te chemical reactions take place may very well be dangerous.

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January 27, 20170 found this helpful

A strand test is always best, but she doesn't need to cut the hair.

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February 2, 20170 found this helpful

The directions are talking about throwing away unused portions that are mixed with developer, not unused dye that has not been mixed with developer.

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0 found this helpful
April 2, 2015 Flag

Can I keep hair coloring if I only use part of the bottles that you mix together. I have short hair and don't use all of the product. And I was wondering if I don't mix all the product, can I use it later? And if so how long can I keep it?

By Esther

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April 3, 20150 found this helpful

I have done it by not mixing it all and saving and it was fine.

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April 3, 20151 found this helpful

The product that I use says that you can do that, as long as you don't mix the products together. Once you mix them, you have to use them up or toss them. Read the package insert, and it will likely give you details.

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May 4, 20150 found this helpful

My hair is short, I do not use all my colour mix at one time, I keep half back that is not mixed. I also do this with my permanents, enjoy saving a little money.

Anne

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May 4, 20152 found this helpful

Yes, you can keep unused permanent hair color as long as it has not been mixed with a developer, such as peroxide. How long you can keep it and get satisfactory results, varies. Darker colours tend to keep longer than lighter colours. Both leftover color and developer should be tightly sealed and kept in a cool dark place. A refrigerator is best.

To insure a good colour 'take' and a good colour match to the already coloured hair, I would suggest you use the leftover colour within four to six weeks.

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September 9, 20160 found this helpful

How long can i keep my hair dye as long as i dont mix it all up for???

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0 found this helpful
July 12, 2012

I color my hair and have a lot of solution left over, as I have short hair. Is there anyway I can use this bottle again when I need to dye my hair again? Thank you.

By flower51

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July 13, 20120 found this helpful

I have short hair as well. I just mix 1/2 the solutions and use either another bottle or a glass cup and a hair color brush. Works great for me and I always get 2 applications per box. Just be sure to measure right.

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July 14, 20120 found this helpful

Sure, you'll be fine.

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July 14, 20120 found this helpful

Hi Flower

I too have short hair and I have used 1/2 the solutions to color my hair for years. I am not "dying" my hair but "bleaching" it as I use blonde shades. The creme developer and the permanent hair color in the kit are both 2 oz.'s so I measure out 1 oz. (2 Tablespoons - use plastic , not metal measuring spoon) of each and mix together and get 2 uses out of each kit. As I have done this several years I kept prior application bottle to mix and apply my "saving" mixture. Happy Good Hair Days!

stormy10000 in Ca.

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July 14, 20120 found this helpful

You must do this the way the other posters have suggested. You can not save the solution after it is mixed together.

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July 7, 20160 found this helpful

what do i do with left over dye in tube were do i throw it away

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August 2, 20160 found this helpful

I was wondering the same thing. My hair dye I bought over the counter says it may bursts. I have a quarter of it left and I was wondering, do I just through it in the trash? What if it bursts in my bathroom trash can? What a mess that would be. Just so I know for next time. I read ALL the instructions and never came across exactly what to do with any left overs. Thanks in advance!

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