Properly separating your hair helps you dye it evenly.

How to Separate Hair Into Panels When Coloring

by S.R. Becker

Dyeing your hair at home saves lots of money, but applying the dye evenly can be a challenge. When you can't see the back of your head, it can be difficult to successfully reach your roots. If you're lightening your hair or dramatically changing the color, you don't want undyed patches near your scalp. By sectioning your hair before you color it, you'll have better access to the spots that might otherwise escape your dye brush.

Part your dry hair down the middle with a wide-toothed comb. Comb out each side.

Run the comb from the middle of your part to the top of your ear. Twist this front section from root to tip and clip it on top of your head with a duckbill clip.

Repeat Step 2 on the other side of your head.

Comb across the back of your head, from halfway down the back of one ear to halfway down the back of the other, to section off the hair at the crown of your head. Twist this section and clip it on top of your head with a duckbill clip.

Begin dyeing your hair by brushing the dye onto the roots of the back horizontal part, then working down the length of that section. Take down the other three sections one at a time, starting with the upper back section. Do not apply the dye to the next section until you've completely coated the previous one.

Items you will need

  • Wide-toothed comb
  • Duckbill clips
  • Dye brush


  • Don't wash your hair for several days before dyeing, especially if you're using a peroxide-based dye. The natural oils from your scalp help protect your hair from the drying effects of the dye.
  • Dye your hair with a brush and bowl instead of a squeeze-tip applicator bottle. Painting on the dye helps ensure more complete coverage.

About the Author

S.R. Becker is a certified yoga teacher based in Queens, N.Y. She has a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing and has worked as a writer and editor for more than 15 years. Becker often writes for "Yoga in Astoria," a newsletter about studios throughout New York City.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/ Images