What To Do If Your Hair Dyed Unevenly? 6 Fast Fixes.

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Patchy hair dyeing got you down? Want to know what to do if your hair dyed unevenly?

We feel your pain. It’s hard enough to get the perfect hair color without worrying about uneven patches. But don’t worry, we’re here to help.

With our easy guide, you can fix hair dye mishaps in no time at all and have beautiful, even hair once again. So what are you waiting for? Read on!

Follow our simple steps to get back to your fabulous self in no time!

6 ways to fix patchy hair dye.

1. Use a color refreshing mask to even out the color.

2. Try using a gloss or glaze to add shine and depth to your hair.

3. Use a semi-permanent hair dye to lessen the chances of patchiness.

4. Add highlights to disguise any patchiness.

5. Dye your whole head of hair again for the most even results.

6. Use a hair color remover if your hair is severely patchy.

What is patchy hair color?

Patchy hair color is an uneven distribution of hair dye in your hair. This can result in light and dark patches throughout your lovely locks.

You’ll notice it most when your hair is wet because the dye will be darker in some areas and lighter in others.

Or you may have uneven, hair color banding which is when your hair dye overlaps and creates unsightly stripey bands of un-matching hair color!

It’s especially common when you’re using a box dye kit because the hair dye and developer don’t always mix properly.

But there can be a few other reasons too.

Patchy hair dye before and after.

Why did my hair color come out uneven?

There are a few reasons why your hair color might have come out uneven. Here are the most common ones:

1. The hair dye and developer didn’t mix properly – if you’re using an at-home hair dye, it’s easy to not get the formula spot on. You might leave some in the tube or bottle that should be on your head!

2. You didn’t use enough hair dye – this is especially common if you’re using a box dye kit. The instructions usually tell you how much to use, but people often forget and end up with patchy hair color.

3. You didn’t use enough developer – developer helps the hair dye to penetrate the hair shaft, so if you don’t use enough, the dye won’t be able to get everywhere it needs to go.

4. You applied the dye too thickly – if you slop on the dye, it’ll sit on top of your hair rather than penetrating into the strands. This will result in patchy hair color.

5. You didn’t leave the dye on long enough – this is another common mistake when dying your own hair at home. If you don’t leave the dye on for long enough, it won’t have time to work its magic and you’ll be left with patchy hair color.

6. Your hair wasn’t clean enough – hair dye won’t stick to dirt, so make sure your hair is squeaky clean before you start dyeing it by using a good clarifying shampoo to remove all build up.

So now you know the reasons why your hair color might have come out uneven, what can you do about it?

How do you fix uneven hair color?

The good news is, there are a few things you can do to fix patchy hair color.

The best way to fix it will depend on how bad the patchiness is and what caused it in the first place.

1. If your hair is only slightly patchy:

Use a color refreshing mask – these usually deposit color onto the hair shaft, which can help to even out patchy hair color.

Try using a toning gloss or glaze – these can help to add shine and depth to your hair, which can make patchiness less noticeable.

2. If your hair is fairly patchy:

Use a semi-permanent hair dye like Arctic Fox or Manic Panic – this won’t penetrate the hair shaft as deeply as permanent hair dye, so it’s less likely to result in an uneven distribution of color. Plus, it’ll be much easier to get rid of if you don’t like the result.

Try adding some highlights – adding highlights will help to disguise any patchiness and make your hair look more even overall.

3. If your hair is severely patchy:

You might need to dye your whole head of hair again – this is obviously the most time consuming option, but it’ll give you the most even results.

Consider using a hair color remover – these are designed to strip all traces of hair dye, so they can be helpful if your hair is very discolored.

Bleaching your hair – or a bleach wash is the best way to remove all traces of pigment from your hair. But use with caution! This can end up making your hair color patchy too!

Whichever option you choose, always make sure you read the instructions carefully and follow them to the letter. And if in doubt, always ask a professional for advice!

How do you cover up patchy hair dye?

When in doubt, ask the professionals!

Here’s a great video tutorial about color correction that walks you through how to correct uneven hair dye step-by-step.

YouTube video

How do you fix uneven bleached hair?

If you’ve bleached your hair and it’s come out patchy, the best thing to do is re-bleach your hair. This will ensure that the color is even all over and you won’t have any unsightly patches.

Be careful not to bleach your hair too many times, as this can cause damage and make your hair more likely to break.

Always use a good quality hair bleach and follow the instructions to the letter.

If you’re not sure how to bleach your own hair, ask a professional for advice!

How can I avoid patchy hair color?

1. Try using more hair dye next time – if you think you didn’t use enough the first time, make sure you use more the next time. This is especially important if you’re using a box dye kit. Foam hair dyes like Bubble hair dye are great for all over coverage.

2. Add more developer – if you didn’t use enough developer the first time, add more to the mix to help the dye penetrate your hair shaft.

3. Use a different application method – if you applied the dye too thickly last time, try using a different method such as foiling or balayage to avoid this problem.

4. Leave the dye on for longer – if you didn’t leave the dye on long enough last time, make sure you leave it on for the recommended amount of time next time around.

5. Make sure your hair is clean – before you start dying your hair, make sure it’s free of dirt and build up by using a clarifying shampoo.

6. Talk to a professional – if you’re still having trouble getting even coverage, it might be best to consult with a professional hairstylist. They’ll be able to help you figure out what’s best for you.

Parting words.

Patchy hair dye can be a real pain, but it isn’t the end of the world.

By using one of the methods mentioned in this article, you should be able to fix the problem and have evenly colored hair once again.

If all else fails, consult with a professional hairstylist to help figure out what’s wrong and how to fix it!

Good luck!


  • Nicola Freeman, Creative Director & Content Lead

    With over two decades of passionate hair dyeing experience, I've experimented with nearly every shade imaginable. My journey began long before blogging; as an award-winning copywriter in London and New York, I shaped narratives for iconic brands. However, when friends sought advice during lockdown for at-home hair dyeing, I realized my true calling. Beyond being your hair color expert, I'm a mom of two girls, wife to artist Tony, and an avid soccer player!

  • Enza Piazza, Hair Stylist & Color Consultant

    I’m Enza Piazza, your go-to hair stylist and color consultant with over 23 years of professional salon experience bringing vibrancy and life to hair of all hues. My Italian roots from sunny Sicily infuse passion into every snip and color, a passion that’s been recognized with top honor awards including bridal and party hair at the National Hairdressers Federation’s Championships. After training in Surrey, UK’s most prestigious salons including Head Master Academy, I embraced the entrepreneurial spirit and set up Enza Hair Styling, offering tailored hair care for 13 years, and treating each client like family. Away from the salon, I cherish moments as a proud Nonna to grandson Joseph and as a playful companion to my Jack Russell, Bo.