How to Fix Patchy Hair Dye – 4 Easy Ways

Your hair color can come out patchy for any number of reasons, and you’re certainly not alone in experiencing this. But luckily, most hair disasters are fixable. In this article, we will look at how to fix a patchy hair dye job and what may have caused it.

How to Fix Patchy Hair Dye

There are a number of ways to fix patchy hair dye. If the base color was uneven, you will need to apply a darker shade to correct it. If the problem was that the dye wasn’t mixed properly, or wasn’t applied correctly, then you will need to do it again following the instructions carefully.

Types of Patchy Hair

Depending on lots of factors, the type of patchiness you experience will vary.

  • Bleached hair may have orange or yellow spots of brassiness
  • Lighter spots and darker spots
  • Uneven roots
  • Fading darker spots

4 Tips On How To Best Apply Hair Dye

How To Best Apply Hair Dye

First and foremost, rather than fixing the problem of patchy hair, it’s best to avoid it altogether.

And the best way to do this is to apply hair dye correctly the first time around.

Even Starting Point

Have an even, healthy canvas to begin with. Healthy hair takes dye better.

If you have had lots of chemical treatments and hair has become damaged, this may have affected the porosity of your hair.

Even this out by using a bonding agent to close the cuticles. This will help avoid dark spots and light spots.

Strand Test

Don’t be tempted to skip the strand test. This allows you to have a little preview of how your hair will take the color.

But more importantly, it manages the risk of having a negative reaction to any of the ingredients in the hair dye.

Mix Dye Correctly

Mixing the dye correctly hugely impacts how your color will turn out. Make sure you take time to carefully read the instructions that come with the dye. And most importantly: follow them!

Use developer of the correct volume and follow all the steps for mixing. Mix, mix, mix. The dye must be thoroughly mixed.

Failure to mix it well enough means developer will react more in some sections of hair and dye will react more in others.

Application Technique

Your application technique also hugely affects the end results. You need to properly section your hair.

Wherever you start first with the dye is going to be darker as the dye will have more time to process there.

When sectioning, part your hair down the middle.

Then for each of those parts, start at the top-most part of your head and part hair down past your ears, for four equal sections.

When applying the dye, start with a back section and pull smaller sections that are about a quarter of an inch.

Always try to work from the bottom up. This will help achieve a more natural look.

Take your small section at the very bottom and start to apply dye to the root, working it down to the ends. Continue to apply dye to small sections of the hair working your way up.

Then move to the next back quarter of sectioned hair, and lastly the two side quarters.

Ensure all sections are saturated with dye mixture and adhere to timings on the packaging.

Rinse out using lukewarm water and use a shampoo and conditioner which are color-safe.

What Causes Patchiness When Dyeing Hair?

There are lots of reasons hair dye can come out patchy. Being aware of the potential pitfalls can save you a lot of heartache in the long run.

Failing To Mix The Dye Correctly

If a dye hasn’t been correctly mixed, this can result in some areas of hair being exposed to more developer causing it to come out lighter.

Conversely, areas with more dye will come out darker. The result is patchiness.

Incorrect Application Of Dye

In order to achieve an even coverage, it is wise to have a plan and a good technique.

Not applying the dye as per the instructions on the packaging can lead to an unwanted outcome.

It can be difficult to apply dye to the back of the head, so it is a good idea to have someone on hand to help as part of your plan.

Be aware of when you started applying the dye as this will come out darkest.

Beginning With An Uneven Base

If you start with an uneven color, applying new color over this will not make it more even.

Bleaching hair at home can be a tricky process, so make sure you take time to educate yourself in order to minimize potential damage to your crowning glory.

Be aware, that you should never start with the roots when bleaching your hair because your scalp gives out heat.

This processes the bleach quicker and can lead to your roots being two levels lighter than the rest of your hair.

Damaged Hair

The end result of dyeing healthy hair and dyeing damaged hair can be dramatically different.

It is widely recommended to show your hair lots of love in the weeks leading up to the dyeing process.

Treat your hair to some deep conditioning treatments or hair masks.

For bleached hair, it is a good idea to use a bonding agent as this gives hair more porosity to help achieve a more even color.

How to Fix Patchy Hair – 4 Easy Ways

How to Fix Patchy Hair

Patchy hair? Don’t despair! We have lots of solutions to offer.

If you haven’t got what you need or can’t get to a salon straight away to fix a patchy hair calamity, disguising it is the short-term solution.

Style your hair into French or Dutch braids: this should hide the patchiness for a while and buy you some time.

How To Fix If You Failed To Mix The Dye Correctly

To fix this problem, you need to dye your hair again. But this time, make sure you mix the dye and developer together thoroughly.

You are aiming to achieve a creamy, smooth consistency that does not drip.

When you have this, apply it from the roots through to the ends. Leave to work for 40-50 minutes then rinse.

How To Fix If You Have Applied The Dye Incorrectly

Applying color to your hair should not be a slapdash procedure. There is a technique, and it should be adhered to.

If your hair is patchy because you have not applied the dye correctly, you need to dye it again. Use the same color you used the first time around.

To fix root color:

  1. Expose the roots by parting hair down the middle.
  2. Use a dye brush to apply the dye mixture to your roots.
  3. Leave to work for 40 minutes then rinse.

To fix body of hair color:

  1. Brush your hair the way you normally would.
  2. Apply the dye mix from the middle to the ends of your hair.
  3. Leave 1 ½ to 2 inches of hair clear of dye at your roots.
  4. Ensure all hair (apart from the root area) has dye on it.
  5. Leave to work for 30-40 minutes then rinse.

How To Fix If You Started With An Uneven Base Color

The color you start with before you apply the dye is important and can make or break a patchy outcome.

If your base is patchy, then in all likelihood, you will end up with a patchy dye job.

If an uneven base resulted in patchiness, then the solution is to dye your hair again. This time around, the dye should be darker than the previous one.

This will even out your color as the darker dye will cover up the patchy parts.

  1. Follow the instructions to prepare and mix the dye.
  2. Start the application at the roots and work it down to the ends.
  3. Make sure all of your hair is covered.
  4. Leave for 40 minutes then rinse.

How To Fix If You Have Applied Dye To Damaged Hair

If your hair has come out patchy due to being damaged, then you’ll have to give it some love before dyeing it using the same color again.

Overwrought dry hair yields patchy dye results so combat this by nourishing your hair with a deep conditioning treatment.

As well as this, you could try using a hair mask for extra hydration. After 2 weeks of taking care of your hair in this way, you can proceed with dying it again.

Of course, even after all this advice, you may still feel overwhelmed or ill-equipped to correct a patchy dye job.

If this is the case, get yourself to a salon and let the professionals sort it out.

A good colorist will be able to fix your patchy hair and help you get the color you’re actually trying to achieve.

Coloring After Care

When you have fixed any patchiness and you finally have the color you want, take care of it.

A good after-care routine means you can avoid any uneven color fading:

  • Use a color-preserving shampoo and conditioner
  • Every few washes, use a color-depositing shampoo or hair mask
  • Try to minimise how often you wash your hair to help preserve your desired hue
  • Try to use lukewarm water to avoid fading the color too quickly
  • When washing hair, lather gently and avoid towel drying hair too vigorously
  • Avoid over-exposure to heat and UV rays
  • Have damaged hair trimmed off regularly
  • Use occasional deep conditioning treatments to keep hair and scalp nourished and hydrated

So, if your dye job looks patchy, no need to panic. Try out our home solutions above or visit a salon. You deserve better than patchy hair!

Disclaimer: This site is not intended to provide professional or medical advice. All of the content on is for informational purposes only. All advice should be followed at your own discretion. Ingredients may change at any time so always check the product label before using. Check our full disclaimer policy here.