It may be tempting to dye your eyebrows if you’re not happy with how they look, but can you use hair dye on your eyebrows?
You should never use permanent hair dye on your eyebrows. It is far too strong to be used safely in this sensitive area. In principle, you can use semi-permanent hair dye on your eyebrows but even this is very risky. It’s better to use proper eyebrow dye, beard/mustache dye, or makeup.
Why Should I Color My Eyebrows?
There are several reasons for coloring your eyebrows.
The three main reasons are:
For more definition
Dying your eyebrows a darker color helps to make them look thicker and fuller.
It can also help to create a new eyebrow shape. Dying your eyebrows a color that is clearly not natural can make a bold statement.
For a more natural look
If you’ve dyed your hair, then you can enhance the effect by dyeing your eyebrows.
In this situation, you want your eyebrow color to complement your hair color. It doesn’t have to match your hair exactly although it can if you prefer.
To cover gray hairs
Your eyebrow hairs can go gray in the same way as the hair on your head.
If it does, then it’s entirely up to you whether or not you embrace the natural look.
If it isn’t for you, at least not right now, then eyebrow dye can be an effective solution.
Can You Use Hair Dye On Eyebrows?
You can use semi-permanent hair dye on your eyebrows. If you do, you need to apply it very carefully. It can be useful to look for root-touchup kits.
These are designed to dye small areas. Proper eyebrow dyes, beard/mustache dyes, and makeup are all much safer options.
Never use permanent hair dye on your eyebrows.
How To Dye Eyebrows With Hair Dye
If you are going to dye your eyebrows with hair dye, or indeed any other dye, it’s important to follow the right process.
Here is a guide to help:
1. Start with a patch test
All dye products should have information on how to do a patch test.
- Put a dab of the hair dye on your wrist/forearm or the back of your neck.
- Leave it for 10 minutes and then wash it off.
- Wait for 48 hours to see if there is any reaction.
At a minimum, do this the first time you use a product. Ideally, do it every time you use a product.
2. Make sure you have an irrigation solution handy
If you do end up with hair dye in your eyes, you need to get it out quickly. Have at least two bottles of irrigation solution ready.
Ideally, you want at least four so you have at least two for each eye.
You probably won’t need them but if you do you’ll be glad you had them.
3. Clean your face thoroughly
It’s best to double-cleanse and then exfoliate as well.
This may sound excessive but the better the dye holds, the longer it will last. It’s particularly important to remove as much oil as you can.
Oil will interfere with any dye you use.
4. Outline your eyebrows
If you’re planning to use dye to reshape your eyebrows, you might want to outline your brows with eye/lip liner.
This will give you a clear guide as you’re applying the dye. If you do, put a coat of barrier cream around your outline. Otherwise, just use a barrier cream on its own.
You can use any product as long as it’s oil-based. Many people use petroleum jelly. If, however, you want a more natural product then try cocoa butter or shea butter. These will also condition your skin and is also great for eyelashes.
5. Prepare the dye
Follow the instructions on the packet.
6. Apply the dye
Check if the tint kit includes an applicator.
If it doesn’t, you can use a cotton swab, a spoolie, or a short-angle brush. You want to get the dye right down into the roots of the hair.
At the same time, you want to minimize the amount of dye that gets onto your skin.
You can dye both eyebrows at once or do them one at a time. If you do them both at once, remember which one you did first. That’s the one that will be ready first.
7. Wait for the dye to develop
The time given on the packet is a maximum limit. If you’re new to a dye, it’s generally best to apply it for 3-5 minutes, then wash it off.
If necessary, you can then use another round of dye. It’s a good idea to use a timer to keep track of how long the dye has been on.
8. Wash off the dye
Wash off the dye gently but thoroughly. Using a cotton pad and good micellar water is often your best option here.
This will be kind to your skin but still, remove any traces of dye.
9. Shape your eyebrows
If your eyebrows need to be trimmed, plucked, threaded or waxed then do it after you have dyed them.
Doing it beforehand can make your skin both more sensitive and more prone to infection.
10. Condition your eyebrows
Castor oil is great for conditioning eyebrows. Applying a coat of it every night will help to make your dye last and your natural eyebrows look even better.
Risks of using Hair Dye on Eyebrows
Any product you use on your skin or hair can provoke a reaction. This is why you should always do a patch test even if you’ve used a product before.
You need to be extremely careful if you’re going to use semi-permanent hair dye on your eyebrows.
This may be too strong for your particular skin. It may also provoke a serious reaction if it gets onto your eye itself.
Never use permanent hair dye on your eyebrows. There is a very high chance that it will trigger a reaction.
This could be anything from blisters to burns that will literally singe your eyebrows right off.
If permanent hair dye gets onto your eye itself, you could end up going blind.
Other Ways To Dye Eyebrows Darker
There are a few other ways to dye your eyebrows darker and all of these can be applied in the same way as semi-permanent hair dye:
If you want the richest, fullest, most dramatic look for your eyebrows, then henna dyes are the way to go.
Regular eyebrow dye
For many people, regular eyebrow dye is the most practical option for coloring eyebrows.
Beard/mustache dyes are essentially the same as eyebrow dyes.
Looking at them can give you more options. Also, sometimes they can work out more economical than eyebrow dyes.
Other Ways To Dye Eyebrows Lighter
If you want to dye your eyebrows lighter, you can also use semi-permanent hair dye, eyebrow dye, and/or beard dye.
Other options include peroxide and a mixture of equal parts strongly-brewed chamomile tea and part lemon juice.
You can also add honey. It helps to lighten the hair and also conditions it.
What Color Should I Dye My Eyebrows?
If you are going for a natural look, then you want to keep within one or two shades of your hair color.
If you have natural or dyed red tones in your hair, then it’s a good idea to have warm tones in your eyebrow color.
You don’t necessarily have to go for red itself. With that said, having some red tints can make a more cohesive look.
You can test a color before you commit by putting it on a paper towel and leaving it for a few minutes.
Then hold the towel up to your real eyebrows. This will give you a good idea of how the color will look on your particular face.
How To Prep Eyebrows For Tinting
The most important step in preparing your eyebrows for tinting is to do a patch test.
You need to start this 48 hours before you apply the dye. If you experience any reaction at all, then find another product.
You should never take any risks at all in the sensitive eye area.
The second most important step in preparing your eyebrows for tinting is to clean your face.
You need to remove any trace of dirt (or makeup) and remove as much excess oil as you can.
The cleaner your face is, the better the dye will hold.
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