How to Dye Low Porosity Hair? [Step by Step Process & Precautions]

Dyeing your hair may have damaging effects if not done the right way. But if you have low porosity hair, the damage can be much more severe. Low porosity hair makes dyeing and conditioning a real challenge.

Such hair gives you a hard time absorbing products. It also repels water which results in longer hair washing sessions.

Are you planning to dye your low porosity hair? Then there are a lot of things you need to know before you head out to buy your favorite dye, such as how porosity affects your hair color if it’s okay to dye your low porosity hair, how to prepare your low porosity hair and so on.

Here is a detailed guide to know everything about dyeing low porosity hair.

Can you dye low porosity hair?

How color deposits on your hair is determined by the capacity of your hair to absorb and hold moisture. Low porosity hair is not very receptive to moisture or any foreign chemicals. In this case, it becomes really difficult to process your hair.

The chemicals of your hair dye find it difficult to penetrate the surface of your hair. As a result, you fail to see the desired effects after the entire dyeing process. The color deposition on your hair appears to be different than shown on the packaging of your hair color kit.

Yet, dyeing low porosity hair is possible. As your hair is not very receptive to foreign chemicals, it is required to leave the dye longer than it is required in other cases.

Exposing your hair to chemicals for such a long period of time may result in damage and hair breakage.

However, it is still possible to dye low porosity hair by taking some preventive measures and preparing your hair in the right way for the chemical treatment.

How does porosity affect hair color?

Hair porosity is the ability of your hair to absorb and retain moisture. How well your hair absorbs moisture depends on a lot of factors, such as – natural texture, styling, environmental exposure and color history.

When it comes to healthy hair, the cuticles are closed to protect the hair shafts. External factors like bleach, heat and saltwater weaken the hair strands and increase its porosity.

When your hair is weakened, the hair cuticles are frayed and lifted. This results in high porosity hair. High porosity hair is highly receptive to foreign chemicals. In this case, the dye penetrates the hair shafts way too quickly which also results in further damage and weakening of the hair.

On the other hand, the cuticles of low porosity hair are tightly packed. This makes it repel water, conditioners as well as dye to penetrate the hair shafts. As a result, it takes a longer processing time for the dye to work its magic on low porosity hair.

How to Dye  low porosity hair?

It takes longer to penetrate low porosity hair. Hence, you have to keep the dye longer if you want to achieve your desired results.

Preparation before you dye low porosity hair

Dyeing your low porosity hair needs some good preparation. Follow the steps mentioned below to give your dyeing process a good and healthy start.

1.  Clarify using a clarifying shampoo

There are high chances of product build-up in low porosity hair. Despite the popular belief of dyeing only dirty hair, you need to have a clear surface for perfect color deposition.  Wash your hair with a clarifying shampoo to remove all traces of product build-up.

We have got some good recommendations for clarifying shampoo that you can refer to:

2. Hydrate using a deep conditioner

Using a clarifying shampoo is important to give your dye a clean surface to stick to. But using such a shampoo also leaves your hair in a dry, brittle and fragile state.

Your hair needs a good dose of hydration before it undergoes a chemical process.  Don’t forget to hydrate it with a good quality deep conditioner. Let it sit in your hair strands for a minimum of 15-20 minutes before washing it off.

We have some good recommendations for conditional that you can refer to:

3. Avoid using any styling products.

Shampoo and condition your hair at least 1-2 days before your color appointment and refrain from using any styling products.

Ditch the popular belief of keeping your hair dirty before dyeing it. Instead, keep it clean and do not put anything in your hair once you have applied the deep conditioner.

Step by Step Process

One needs to be extra careful while dyeing low porosity hair. It’s vital to follow all the steps carefully to attain a nice color deposition without causing any damage to your tresses.

Let’s have a look at the step-by-step process to safely dye your low porosity hair.

1. Choose the right color

Looking forward to getting a lighter look? Then don’t go more than one shade away from your natural hair color.

Looking forward to getting permanent hair color? Then try to choose not more than two shades away from your natural hair color. 

Choose a developer that goes right with all shades and hair types. Always buy two boxes of your hair dye to ensure you don’t run out of it.

2. Gather requred tools for an easy application

Select the required tools for dyeing your hair and keep them in a place from where you find it easy to grab while dyeing your hair. It’s best to dye your hair in the bathroom if you are dyeing it at home as the area there can be easily cleaned.

Keep a comb and a good number of clips to part and section your hair. Make sure to take Vaseline or any other lubricant to avoid getting dye stains on your skin.

A pack of makeup remover wipes also helps to clean the mess if you stain your hairline, forehead, ears, or the nape of your neck.

Take out the old t-shirt that you won’t mind staining. Save your nails with a pair of gloves.

3. Test if you are allergic to the dye

It’s important to test if your skin is ready for the chemical process or not. Do a strand test to confirm if the dye is irritating your skin or is safe to use.

A strand test not only promises an irritation-free dyeing process but also gives you a clear idea about how the color looks on your hair. This way, you can be sure whether you are happy to rock the color on your hair or not.

To do the strand test, apply a small amount of dye over a small section of your hair. Taking the hair strands at the nape of your neck is a better option.

Check the dye kit or box and wait for the mentioned time required to complete a strand test. Once done, you are ready to dye your hair. If the dye irritates your skin during the strand test, stop the process then and there.

4. Prepare to protect your hairline from staining

Vaseline is one of the best options to create a barrier between your hairline and dye. You are also free to use any other lubricant for the same process.

Carefully apply it along your hairline, forehead, back of the neck and near the ears to save your skin from any unwanted dye stains.

Don’t worry if you still happen to stain your skin by any chance. Makeup remover wipes are always going to be your savior.

5. Divide your hair into sections

It’s always easier and mess-free to dye hair that is properly sectioned. Not to mention the time and effort it saves.

Start by making a single middle partition of your hair. Now, make two separate sections down the back and two separate sections ear to ear.

6. Apply your dye

Apply Dye on each section at a time. Apply the dye from the roots first and then take a comb to dye it through the rest of your hair strands.

Separate your hair into smaller sections once you reach the back of your head. Keep flipping the dyed hair strands forward. Those who have bleached hair should dye the bleached areas at the last.

After finishing up the dye application, check your dye box to see if there are any particular instructions for low porosity hair. Follow the instructions and wait for the mentioned time.

If the color kit lacks special instructions for low porosity hair, then leave the dye on your hair for a minimum of 30 and a maximum of 40 minutes.

7. Shampoo and condition

It’s time to wash away your dye cream with shampoo. Always remember to use a conditioner after shampooing your hair.

As your low porosity hair has just undergone a chemical treatment, it’s best to give it some extra love with deep conditioners or hydrating hair masks.

You can keep the deep conditioner or hair mask for as long as you want. Let the conditioner moisturize your hair for at least 30 minutes. You can also choose to leave the deep conditioner for an intense overnight hydrating treatment.

You are ready to enchant with your new hair now!

Precautions to be taken while coloring low porosity hair

  1. Do not mix two different dye products. This will result in extreme damage to your hair and scalp.
  1. Do not leave a single trace of dye on your hair once the mentioned duration is complete. Rinse your hair and scalp thoroughly to avoid over processing.
  1. Do not rush to dye your hair after relaxing, perming or straightening it. Wait for at least 14 days after these chemical treatments to dye your hair.
  1. Base color and natural texture plays a great role in the way the hair dye is going to look on you. Two people with two different hair types and base colors can apply the same dye and get different results. If possible, talk to your colorist to achieve your particular desired results.


Dyeing low porosity hair requires thorough maintenance. Here are some tips you can follow to maintain your dyed low porosity hair with perfection.

1. Use a shampoo meant for color-treated hair

It’s important to change your shampoo after dyeing your hair. Common shampoos have an intense cleansing formula that can strip the beautiful dye off your hair.

Using a shampoo meant specifically for color-treated hair saves you from wasting your efforts and expenses.

Such shampoos are sulfate-free and have a gentle formula. These shampoos will not only protect your hair but also provide nourishment to avoid any further damage.

2. Protect your mane from UV rays

You love the sun but spending time in the scorching heat can make your hair dry, fragile, and weak. Exposure to harmful UV rays can make your dyed low porosity hair more damaged and prone to breakage.

Hence, make it a point to cover your hair whenever you are spending more time under the sun. You can also use a UV protectant for better protection.

3. Minimize heat styling

Heat styling involves changing the structure of your hair using heat. This is obviously going to damage your hair structure and porosity.

It’s best to minimize or totally avoid heat styling. Your hair is already exposed to harsh dye chemicals. Don’t get fried with your hot irons.

4. Seal the moisture with leave-in treatments

Leave-in treatments seal the moisture and can help lock in the color. They also replace the necessary oils lost during dyeing and shampooing.

Use a leave-in treatment once a week to revive the shine and health of your stunning locks.

5. Do not dip your hair in pools or seawater

The salty seawater opens your cuticles and absorbs their moisture. While you cannot totally skip the seaside fun, it’s advised to resist dipping your hair in pools as much as possible.

Top 3 Hair Dyes Recommended for Low Porosity Hair

Low porosity hair asks for a specific type of dye that nourishes your hair while taking minimal time for the color deposition.

We have got some good recommendations for you to consider while choosing a dye for low porosity hair.

1. Crème of Nature Exotic Shine Color

Crème of Nature Exotic Shine Color is formulated to give a vibrant color payoff with long-lasting results.

It has a gentle formula to add shine to your texture without damaging it or causing any breakage.

The dye strengthens your hair with its micro-sphere technology.

It also keeps your locks’ nourishment in check with its double argan oil ultimate conditioning property.

Some hair types may still feel their hair be dry after the dyeing process. However, you can easily regain the lost hydration using a deep conditioner or a leave-in treatment. 

The product comes in multiple color tones and promises to cover up to 100% gray coverage with ease. You may need two boxes of this product if you are going from black to light.

2. Clairol Professional Texture and Tones Permanent Hair Color

Clairol Professional Texture and Tones Permanent Hair Color come formulated with a moisture-rich conditioning system to suit all hair types.

The kit comes with three products – rich hair color, activating color and an intense moisturizing conditioner.

The best thing about this hair dye is its conditioning elements.

It deeply nourishes with jojoba oil and five other botanical extracts which makes it the perfect fit for dyeing your low porosity hair.

The permanent hair color is ammonia-free and has a wide range of shades to choose from including multiple shades of brunette, blonde and red colors. The anti-fade formula ensures the color lasts long so you can rock your new hair with no worries.

3. REVLON Colorsilk Beautiful Color Permanent Hair Color

Get glossy and long-lasting color with Revlon Colorsilk Beautiful Color.

Enriched with Keratin and Silk Amino Acids, this dye transforms your hair with its rich color and leaves it shiny and silky than before.

Its non-drip formula makes for an easy application and a perfect option for a home hair dye kit.

It is available in a whopping 41 natural-looking shades so you get to choose anything between black, brown, blonde, red or platinum to refresh your look.

The product gives 100% grey coverage and provides a natural-looking tone. It also excludes ammonia in its ingredient list to save your low porosity hair from further damage. Its 3D Color Gel technology boosts your hair dimension and complements its texture.

Final Comments:

Who doesn’t love a splash of freshness and funky dye on their tresses? Having low porosity hair shouldn’t stop you from dyeing your favorite color on your locks.

Just follow the tips and tricks mentioned in the article to safely dye your hair. Now, you are ready to shine and flatter with your brand-new hair!