How To Use Color Equalizer Spray – Easy Guide

Have you ever wondered how to use color equalizer spray to make sure that your hair looks amazing when you finish dyeing it? Getting this right can give you excellent results and extend the life of your hair color. Read on for our easy guide!

How To Use Color Equalizer Spray

Color equalizer spray is intended to be used before you dye your hair, and it is generally sprayed onto the hair in advance. You should spray it evenly all over the porous parts of your hair and then apply the dye as normal.

Using Color Equalizer Spray

Many people aren’t sure how to use color equalizer sprays. 

They don’t know whether to use the spray before or after applying the dye, or whether they need to keep using it every time they wash their hair.

A color equalizer spray is intended to make the dye take to your hair better. It therefore needs to be used before you apply the dye. 

It will give you more even coloring and should make the dye last for longer. As such, you don’t need to redye it again for some time.

It’s generally very simple to use. Check the manufacturing instructions first for any variation, but you will almost always need to follow these steps:


  1. Wash your hair as normal and towel dry it or allow it to fully dry.
  2. Shake the product thoroughly before use.
  3. Spray it evenly across your hair, making sure you cover all areas.
  4. Comb the product through your hair so that it is evenly distributed and no parts are missed. Be thorough about this part because an even application is critical for success.
  5. Dye your hair as normal; there is no need to wash this spray out, as it is designed to be left in.

That’s all you need to do in order to apply the color equalizer spray.

Make sure that you keep it away from your eyes and face. If you do get it in your eyes, rinse them thoroughly and seek medical advice.

What Are The Advantages Of Color Equalizer Spray?

Most people use color equalizer sprays to ensure that dye takes evenly to their hair and lasts better, but there are a lot of other advantages too. 

Overall, these sprays tend to be popular because:

  • They ensure that the color is harmonized throughout your hair, and you don’t get some areas of intense color and some areas where the color is faint. If you have problems with dye not adhering properly, color equalizer spray will help immensely and give you far more control over how your hair looks.
  • They reduce your hair’s porosity.
  • They improve the glossiness of your hair, making it look shiny, healthy, and beautiful.
  • They contain proteins that will hydrate your hair, reducing frizziness. Since the dyeing process can involve harsh, drying chemicals, this is a great thing.
  • They will lend your hair more body, giving it bounce and volume.
  • They re-bond the keratin chains and restore the cuticles of your hair, helping to stabilize it and make it look nicer.
  • They reduce the damage caused by sun radiation and they help your hair renew its cells, keeping it strong and healthy.
  • You don’t have to rinse them out, and the application process is simple.

As you can see, there are a lot of reasons that you might choose to use a color equalizer spray. 

As well as keeping the dye even, the spray should improve how your hair looks and feels, and help it to heal if it has been damaged by the dyeing process.

What Problems Does A Color Equalizer Spray Fix?

What Problems Does A Color Equalizer Spray Fix

This kind of spray fixes two problems: uneven porosity and excessive porosity. Both of these will cause issues with your hair dye, so let’s explore them in more detail, starting with uneven porosity.

Uneven Porosity

Your hair porosity determines how much of the dye it absorbs. 

It is what allows the colors to penetrate your hair, getting inside the strands, where they can be trapped and will stay for some time (although they will gradually fade).

It’s therefore important that your hair is somewhat porous, but you want that porosity to be as even as possible.

When the dye hits your hair, you want it to be absorbed into the hair to the same level all over. 

Unfortunately, many people find that their hair is more porous in some parts than others, perhaps due to treatments, or maybe just naturally.

This means that those parts will absorb more of the dye, and the color will turn out stronger in those areas. It will be weak and less vibrant in areas where the porosity is low. 

This obviously is not ideal for a color job where you want your dye to look as even as possible, which is where the equalizer spray comes in.

By making the porosity as even as possible throughout your hair, this spray will ensure that the dye adheres in equal amounts throughout, and this maximizes the effect of the color. 

It also stops you from getting excess color in any areas, which might look garish or unpleasant. In short, it makes your dye job look professional.

You might be surprised by just how much difference it makes if your hair porosity is not even. Try this next time you are dyeing your hair and see what happens!

Excessive Porosity

Given that you want the dye to enter your hair so it can cling there, you might think that high porosity would be a good thing. 

After all, the dye needs to penetrate the hair strands in order to cling. It is true that more dye can enter the hair if the porosity is high – but it can also leave it much more easily.

The more easily the dye can enter your hair, the more easily water can also enter it. 

Water will wash the dye out. If your hair porosity is too high, you are very likely to find that the dye washes out fast, and the color fades within weeks.

There is nothing to keep the color in the hairs because the pores are large enough that water can easily penetrate and wash it out.

Your hair simply cannot trap it effectively.

If your hair porosity is high, you might get a strong color to begin with. However, it will very quickly fade as soon as you start washing it, especially if you use harsh shampoos that further increase the porosity.

High porosity is, therefore, a big problem for people. It results in dye jobs that don’t last well at all. 

Fortunately, it is also something that a color equalizer spray can help to address because these sprays balance the porosity.

This will let your hair better trap and retain the color.

How Does Color Equalizer Spray Work?

Color equalizer sprays are generally based on protein fillers. They contain hydrolyzed proteins, and these cling to the shafts of hair. 

The sprays fill in the gaps, decreasing and balancing the porosity and making sure that the color can be trapped in the strands. 

They can therefore increase the longevity of a dye job, as well as make it look better overall.

Even if you aren’t dyeing your hair, high porosity is not considered a good thing. Highly porous hair tends to be dryer, at greater risk of breaking, and generally weaker.

Why Is Your Hair Porosity Uneven?

Why Is Your Hair Porosity Uneven

You might be wondering what makes your hair uneven in the first place, and the answer is that this usually happens as a result of multiple bleaches and dye jobs. 

The more you color your hair, the more you are likely to run into porosity issues.

The issue is that when you add bleach and other chemicals to your hair, you open up the pores and increase their size. 

This is damaging and the more you do it, the worse it will get.

That means that future dye jobs will be progressively less satisfying because your hair will start to look more and more patchy as the dye adheres less and less evenly.

Even if you haven’t dyed or bleached your hair recently, it might be highly porous. Some people have naturally porous hair, but other things can also have an impact. 

These include treatments such as:

  • Blow-drying
  • Styling
  • Straightening
  • Curling 

Anything that involves frequently applying heat to your hair will increase the porosity. 

It may also damage the cuticles and make your hair look dry.

While low porosity can also be bad because it prevents your hair from absorbing moisture readily, high porosity is certainly something that is best avoided.

As well as using products like color equalizer sprays, you may find it helps to reduce how frequently you heat up your hair, as this will keep it in better condition and help to keep the pores closed.


A color equalizer spray is a great thing to use before a dye job, especially if you have bleached your hair and you frequently use heat on it – because this will open up the pores and make it hard to get an even color. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Do color equalizer sprays also serve as conditioners?

Some color equalizers work as conditioners, such as Kenra. This will help to remove tangles from your hair and puts moisture back into it.

Is it bad to rinse color equalizer spray out before dyeing the hair?

Yes. Color equalizer spray needs to stay in your hair in order to be effective; if you wash it out, it won’t keep the porosity even, and the dye is more likely to be patchy.

Are color equalizer sprays neutral in color themselves, or will they tint my hair?

Many color equalizer sprays are neutral and won’t change the hue of your hair at all. You can buy ones that will adjust the toning before you dye your hair, but most people opt for the clear sprays and depend on the dye to change their hair color.

I’ve never treated my hair before, so why is my porosity high?

Porosity can sometimes be hereditary, so you may have inherited it. You can still use products that will decrease the porosity, and this should help your hair to retain dye better.


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.

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Dee Poulsen

Dee has been following the Curly Girl Method for over four years and is our in-house Curly Girl expert. She has a keen interest in natural haircare and has tried and tested her share of CGM products. She has a photographic memory of most sulfate and silicone-free hair products available on the high street and she's always happy to recommend you her favorites.