Using Hair Dye Without Developer

Last Updated on March 3, 2021 by Janie Wilson

As a person who uses hair chemicals, you will be aware that some dyes take time to develop, such as hair dye that leaves a blue cast on your hair that disappears after thoroughly rinsing, hair dye that requires a longer, third wash for the intended color to appear on your hair whereas some hair dyes develop immediately. Despite this, you would have likely learned from experience during the experimentation phase and trial-and-error sessions that some hair dyes are meant to follow and some hair dyes aren’t and also that some hair dyes last longer than others and some hair dyes are more sensitive to water than others. You will also have noticed that the directions on the box or bottle of a dye that is given by manufacturers often vary in the emphasis that they give on certain aspects of following the directions, such as the necessity for applying the dyeing product in a certain amount of time, the necessity for applying that one kind of dye in a particular manner, or the necessity for performing the dyeing in washings that are also very specified.

Coloring Process

woman holding her hair in white wall paint room

So, when you follow those manufacturer’s directions that you think are accurate and apply certain kinds of dyes in the time that your dye manufacturer decided you should next lighten your hair a little or in the time your dye manufacturer decided you should re-color your hair without immediately washing it out, you will find that the dye that should have worked for you immediately did not work at all, or, you will find that your dyed hair is darker or lighter or wiser than you expected or you will find that your hair turned out different from what you expected.

At this point, you may read the directions again and make sure that you didn’t miss anything. You may realize that the directions have changed with the times and so you may then apply the dye in the amount of time your dye manufacturer decided is appropriate for your hair color now. You may even try a different variety of the same dye that you have used, thinking that maybe the dye you tried is now beyond its optimum shelf life and so you try the other. But, again, you may get the same result or maybe worse. You may think that you may have used too much dye or too little dye but when you use another amount of dye, you get the same result and so, you worry that you have damaged your hair permanently or permanently stained your hair. In this case, you go on trying other dyes and applying your dye in different ways to try to correct the permanent damage or the permanent stain that you have gotten on your hair. But, you aren’t getting any of the appropriate results.

Then, you may get desperate; you realize that your hair has been damaged; you realize that the dyeing you have been doing has caused your hair to take on a permanent or semi-permanent color. You now look into your mirror and see that your hair is not what you expected it to be- it is darker or lighter or a shade that you don’t want; you are aware that somewhere you have skipped a step and did not follow instructions properly. And, you think you are now in this quandary not because you are careless in following directions but because the dyeing that you have been doing has changed the color of your hair permanently.

Then, you remember that you have heard about permanent color and also semi-permanent color and you decide to try it on your hair. You go to the store; you buy an expensive, brand-name permanent color; you find that the directions do not match those that your dye manufacturer gave you except that you must dampen your hair first. You dampen your hair; you mix the dye and its developer; you apply it to your hair, just as you did any other time, save for the time specified in the instructions; and, your hair takes on the color that is written in the instructions. However, you realize that the color does not match what your hair should be. You may not even know what your hair should be, to begin with, or you simply do not like the color that your hair has become.

So, you again check the instructions and you see that there are different types of permanent color; there is one that is to be used on bleached hair, on hair that has been lightened with hair color remover, and there is another that is to be used on undyed hair with no overlap of the underlying color. You use the one that is written only for undyed hair and you read further that there is such a thing as semi-permanent hair color but there is no mention of the time you should allow for the dye to set and then for washing it out. There is also mention of dyeing your hair with on application of hair color- a process called “all-over” dyeing that is used to dye hair in the same way that you dye your hair with permanent hair color.

However, you wait for some time after you apply your dye but, you begin to believe that it will take too long to wait for all the dye to set in your hair and so you shampoo your hair. Again, your hair is not as it should be because you think that the hair color that you have just applied has been washed out. You think that the only thing left in your hair is possibly a light coating of color, like a rinse that has been applied to your hair so that you can leave the product on your hair for some time after you have applied it.

Color Boost

You remember from your experience that you have read about a hair dye that has been called a “color boost.” When you have applied your last dye or any dye in the past, you applied the hair color remover for your hair color after you have applied the last dye that you have chosen and you wanted the color boost. Thus, you didn’t color your hair with a color boost; you colored your hair because you wanted to dye your hair a different color than it was or had been. In this case, you decide to try a color boost; if you read the instructions correctly, you may realize that the instructions for the color boost on your hair color will give you the last step that you need to do- wait to shampoo your hair until the color boost has washed out of your hair.

woman wearing gray top holding gray spray bottle

However, if you do not read these instructions, and if you do not follow these instructions, you will not wait to shampoo your hair. Your hair has been color boosted, as it is called, to a light, ashy brown because that is the dye that you have chosen. You may like this color or you may not; you may think this is what your hair should look like; or, you may not even understand why your hair looks ashy when you see it in the mirror. Your hair may look like it has been bleached out but it may not look ashy because it is a light brown or a medium brown. You remember that you have seen such a thing as a color rinse sold in the store; you mean to use that color rinse on your hair and hope to achieve the color that you want but, again, you read the instructions carefully before you apply the color rinse to your hair and find that the color rinse will lighten your hair, not darken it, and it is not called a hair color but a hair color enhancer.

You do not like that you have read the instructions carefully or that these instructions have informed you about the results of the hair color enhancer in your hair. You do not like the color but you swear that it is the same color you used on your hair that caused this light, ashy brown color.

You do not know that you continue to dye your hair in the same way that you have dyed it in the past thinking that you will achieve the color you want only to realize that the color you want will never be the color that is written on the instructions or anywhere. However, you do not feel bad because you have not hurt yourself by doing something that is a serious violation of your hair and your hair color. But, you have done something and you have done it without thinking about the results of that action.

You have dyed your hair in the manner that you have always dyed your hair, without thinking about how or when to use the dye. Since the instructions say that you should not throw out your dye, like the name brand dye that is a permanent color, you should not throw it out instead of throwing it in the trash.

You should read the label, read what the ingredients in that bottle of hair dye are, and then read the instructions on how to apply the dye to your hair. Often, the instructions do not portray what you expect and so you think that there is no way in achieving the color that you want. However, if you want to have the color that is written on the instructions, you will have to dye your hair in this color.



Janie Wilson
Janie Wilson

Janie Wilson, a former fashion model and photographer, dedicated beauty expert and prolific writer on all topics related to fashion, beauty, hair and skin care. I started this website a few years ago when I felt that I have had enough of a hectic lifestyle and need to settle down. Presently, I live with my loving-and-caring husband in New York, but I travel around the world pretty often to derive inspiration for my fashion blog. Yes, let me admit that I am fairly obsessed with anything related to fashion and style. All things from fashion to grooming are things I study all the time whenever I get an opportunity, and my biggest joy in life is to help men and women look their best!