How to dye hair two different colours

Updated July 20, 2017

Salon dye jobs can cost an arm and a leg, especially if you want something out of the ordinary like more than one colour. Similar results can be achieved at home at a fraction of the cost. It's always interesting to experiment with different effects, so for a basic two-color 'do, follow these simple steps.

Choose and purchase two colours of home hair dye. Hair colour can be found at the pharmacy or grocery shop.

Put on an old T-shirt and smear petroleum jelly around your hairline, behind your ears and at the back of your neck. Part your hair in a straight line where you want the colours to divide. Fasten with clips or ponytail holders the portion of your hair that is going to be dyed in the darker colour.

Mix the lighter colour according to the package directions and apply thoroughly to the unclipped section of hair. Leave on for the time indicated, then rinse until water runs clear, being careful to keep the undyed section as dry as possible. If the undyed section gets wet, wait until it is dry to continue. Conditioner will be applied when all of the hair is dyed, so wait on this step for now.

Fasten the dyed portion of hair back with clips or ponytail holders. Mix and apply the darker colour according to package directions. Wait the allotted amount of time for the dye to absorb, then rinse until water runs clear, being careful not to let the water saturate the hair you dyed first if possible.

Remove the hair fasteners and apply the conditioner that came with the hair dye. Leave conditioner on for allotted time (normally 2 minutes), then rinse.


Tie a plastic kerchief or shower cap around the portion of hair you are not dying in order to protect it from the dye you are working with. Dye with the lighter colour first in order to avoid having to dye over pieces that accidentally get touched by the darker colour.


Do not go more than three shades lighter than your natural colour, as this requires extensive bleaching and it is difficult to achieve the right colour in a home setting without seriously damaging your hair. Immediately wipe down any surfaces splashed with dye, as it will permanently stain sinks, tubs and clothing. Use old towels to blot your hair after rinsing.

Things You'll Need

  • Two boxes of hair dye in different colours
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Claw clips or ponytail holders
  • Old T-shirt and towels
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About the Author

Misha Safranski is a Michigan-based writer. Specializing in topics related to pregnancy and childbirth, she has been writing for various online publications since 2008. Safranski studied journalism and communications at Macomb Community College.