How to Section Hair for Dying: A Step by Step Guide for Stunning Results (2023)

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how to section hair for dying

The First Step in Sectioning Hair for Dying

Before you can begin sectioning your hair for dyeing, it is important to start with clean, dry hair. This will ensure that the dye is evenly distributed and adheres to the hair strands properly. If your hair is wet or dirty, the dye may not take as well and could result in patchy or uneven color.

To prepare your hair for sectioning, start by combing through it to remove any tangles or knots. This will make it easier to part and separate the sections later on. You can use a wide-toothed comb or a detangling brush for this step.

Tools needed:

  • Wide-toothed comb or detangling brush
  • Hair clips or elastics
  • Rat tail comb (optional)


  • If you have particularly thick or long hair, you may find it helpful to divide your hair into smaller sections before beginning the dyeing process. This will make it easier to work with and ensure that each section is thoroughly coated with dye.
  • If you are unsure about how many sections to create, start with fewer sections and add more if needed. It is better to have too few sections than too many, as this can make the process more time-consuming.

2. Determining the Number of Sections Needed for Dyeing Hair

Factors to Consider

Determining the number of sections needed for dyeing hair depends on various factors such as hair length, thickness, and desired end result. For shorter haircuts, fewer sections may be required compared to longer hairstyles. Additionally, individuals with thicker hair may need more sections to ensure even coverage. It is also important to consider the type of dye being used and its application method. Some dyes require smaller, more precise sections while others can be applied more freely.

Tips for Determining Section Numbers

1. Assess your hair length: If you have short hair that falls above your shoulders, you may only need two or three sections. For medium-length hair, four to six sections should suffice. Longer hair may require six or more sections.
2. Evaluate your hair thickness: Thicker hair typically requires more sections to ensure thorough coverage. If you have thin or fine hair, you may be able to get away with fewer sections.
3. Consider your desired end result: If you want a bold and vibrant color, it is important to create smaller sections for better saturation and intensity. On the other hand, if you prefer a more subtle look, larger sections may be suitable.

By taking these factors into account, you can determine the appropriate number of sections needed for dyeing your hair effectively.

3. Common Tools Used to Section Hair Before Dying

Essential Tools

Before diving into the process of dyeing your hair, it is crucial to gather the necessary tools for sectioning your locks properly. These tools will not only help in achieving an even application but also make the process easier and more efficient.

List of Commonly Used Tools

1. Rat tail comb: This comb features a long, thin handle that is perfect for creating precise partings and sections. The pointed end can be used to separate hair strands easily.
2. Sectioning clips: These clips are designed to hold hair sections securely in place while you work on other areas. They come in various sizes and styles, such as alligator clips or butterfly clips, allowing you to choose the most suitable option for your hair type and length.
3. Hair elastics or ties: These are useful for tying off sections of hair that have been dyed or need to be kept separate during the dyeing process.
4. Hairpins or bobby pins: These small pins can be used to secure stray hairs or hold sections in place while applying the dye.
5. Hair grips or clamps: These tools can help keep larger sections of hair out of the way when working on smaller sections.

Having these common tools readily available will ensure that you can section your hair effectively before dyeing, resulting in a more professional-looking and evenly colored outcome.

4. Technique for Parting the Hair into Sections

Tools and Preparation

To effectively part the hair into sections, you will need a fine-toothed comb, hair clips or ties, and a mirror. Before starting, ensure that your hair is clean and dry. It is also helpful to have a well-lit area to work in.

Step-by-Step Process

1. Begin by standing in front of the mirror and holding the comb in your dominant hand.
2. Using the comb, create a straight part down the center of your head from the forehead to the nape of your neck.
3. Take one side of the parted hair and clip or tie it out of the way.
4. With the remaining section, use the comb to create another part parallel to the first one, about an inch away.
5. Continue creating parallel parts until you reach the ear on that side.
6. Repeat steps 3-5 on the other side of your head.
7. Once all sections are clipped or tied off, ensure they are secure and evenly distributed.

By following this technique, you can easily divide your hair into manageable sections for dye application.

5. Necessity of Clipping or Tying Off Each Section Before Applying Dye

When applying dye to your hair, it is crucial to clip or tie off each section before starting. This step helps prevent color bleeding and ensures even distribution of dye throughout your hair.

Preventing Color Bleeding

Clipping or tying off each section creates boundaries between them, preventing any accidental mixing of dyes or color bleeding from one section to another. This is especially important when using different shades or colors in different sections.

Even Distribution of Dye

By separating your hair into sections, you can apply the dye more precisely and evenly. This allows for better saturation and ensures that each section receives an adequate amount of color. Without sectioning, it can be challenging to achieve consistent results.

To avoid any mishaps or uneven coloring, always take the time to clip or tie off each section before applying dye.

6. Guidelines for Sectioning Long Hair versus Short Hair

Sectioning Long Hair

When dealing with long hair, it is essential to create smaller sections to ensure thorough coverage and even distribution of dye. Divide your hair into smaller subsections, about 1-2 inches wide, depending on the thickness of your hair. This will allow you to work more efficiently and achieve consistent results.

Sectioning Short Hair

For short hair, larger sections can be created since there is less hair to cover. Divide your hair into sections that are approximately 2-3 inches wide. However, if you have very short or fine hair, you may need to create smaller sections for better control during the dye application process.

Remember that these guidelines are not set in stone and can vary based on personal preference and the desired outcome. Adjust the size of the sections according to your specific needs.

7. Ensuring Even Distribution of Dye with Multiple Sections

To ensure an even distribution of dye when working with multiple sections, follow these tips:

1. Start by applying a small amount of dye to each section at a time.
2. Use a brush or comb specifically designed for applying dye to help spread it evenly.
3. Work from roots to ends, ensuring that every strand is coated with dye.
4. Comb through each section after applying the dye to further distribute it.
5. Take your time and pay attention to detail while working through each section.

By following these steps, you can achieve a consistent and uniform color throughout your hair.

8. Tips for Preventing Color Bleeding Between Sections During Dyeing Process

To prevent color bleeding between sections during the dyeing process, consider the following tips:

1. Ensure that each section is securely clipped or tied off to create clear boundaries.
2. Apply dye to one section at a time, avoiding overlapping onto adjacent sections.
3. Use a brush or comb to carefully apply and spread the dye without smudging it onto other sections.
4. Wipe off any excess dye from the brush or comb before moving on to the next section.
5. Take extra care when rinsing out the dye, making sure not to let it run into other sections.

By being mindful of these tips, you can minimize color bleeding and achieve clean, distinct sections with vibrant results.

9. Considerations for Width and Thickness of Each Section

When determining the width and thickness of each section for dye application, consider the following factors:

1. Hair Texture: Fine hair may require smaller sections to ensure thorough coverage, while thicker hair can handle larger sections.
2. Desired Outcome: If you want a more blended look, opt for wider sections. For more defined highlights or lowlights, choose narrower sections.
3. Time Constraints: Smaller sections take longer to apply dye to, so consider your available time when deciding on their size.

Ultimately, it’s essential to find a balance that works for your specific hair type and desired result.

10. Handling Sections During Processing Time After Completing Dye Application

After applying the dye and completing the application process, it is crucial to handle each section properly during the processing time.

Avoiding Color Transfer

To prevent color transfer between sections:
– Keep each section separate by clipping or tying them off individually.
– Avoid touching or manipulating the sections unnecessarily.

Ensuring Even Processing

To ensure even processing of the dye:
– Check that each section is evenly coated with dye before leaving it to process.
– If necessary, gently comb through each section to distribute the dye further.
– Follow the recommended processing time specified by the dye manufacturer.

By handling each section carefully and following these guidelines, you can achieve optimal results during the processing time.

In conclusion, sectioning the hair is a crucial step when dying it, as it ensures even color distribution and prevents any missed spots. By following the appropriate techniques and using the right tools, anyone can achieve professional-looking results at home.

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