Can You Use Hair Dye on Eyebrows?

Using hair dye on your eyebrows can seem cost-effective since you won’t have to get a different pack from what you use on your hair. Unfortunately, it’s unsafe and prohibited.

Yes, you can use semi-permanent hair dye on your eyebrows as it’s much safer to use on your face. However, permanent hair dye is not recommended because it can predispose you to serious health risks including skin problems, allergies, asthma, among right disastrous effects.

Let’s take a look at dyes you can use on your eyebrows, plus possible benefits and risks associated with using hair dye.

Which Hair Dye for Eyebrows?

The safest options to use for your eyebrow tinting are either semi-permanent dyes or beard dye. Beard dye is the safest form of dye as it’s already formulated to be used on the face and therefore contains more tolerable ingredients with fewer toxins and less able to cause irritation and sensitivity.

However, this doesn’t mean you will not experience side effects from beard dye, but it’s the best choice. Beard dye will last for about four to six weeks before you need to get a new tint in.

Colored Eyebrow
Colored eyebrow

As for semi-permanent dye. You won’t have to use an oxidizer to activate the dye and therefore it doesn’t fall under the prohibited dyes. You simply mix the dye and apply. Here’s a step by step by on how to use semi-permanent hair dye on your eyebrows.

  1. Prepare the area around your eyes by applying an oily border around the eyebrow area. You can use Vaseline or any other occlusive. A gel consistency like a petroleum jelly is best so don’t use lotions that slip off.
  2. Clean your eyebrows to remove any dirt, residue, makeup, or grime.
  3. Put on your gloves and a towel around your shoulders.
  4. Mix your dye and paint it onto the eyebrow using a stenciled brow. You want it to appear perfect so you don’t stain the sides of your eyes nor get dye on any other area especially the eyes.
  5. Leave it on for about three minutes and then wipe it off.
  6. You can repeat the process as many times as you want until you get to your desired results. Alternatively, you can leave the dye in for a longer period.

Semi-permanent hair dye will wash off very quickly so you can expect gaps between eyebrow-tinting treatments to be in a month or less. Because no oxidizer nor developer is used, the effects can be more permanent, leaving you with more sessions.

What are the benefits? Hair Dye vs Tint for eyebrows

As mentioned above, choosing to use hair dye on your eyebrows can be a great way to save on money you would otherwise use to buy eyebrow tint. Other benefits include;

  • Longer timeline – you can maintain the dye for up to six weeks with proper care.
  • There is a wider range of shades to choose from rather than the browns and blacks available with eyebrow tints.
  • The dye is often more natural-looking.
  • They can offer a fuller coverage of grey hairs.

Permanent Hair Dye is Bad for Eyebrows

You can’t use permanent hair dye on your eyebrows because it can have adverse effects on your skin and other facial parts such as the eyes. Moreover, the FDA prohibits the use of oxidative dye; any dye that’s mixed with a developer, to be used on eyebrows and eyelashes.

Using permanent hair dye on your eyebrows is very dangerous because you’re exposing the very delicate skin around your eyes to toxins in the dye. While the toxins are also absorbed through the scalp, the thin skin around your eyes is more permeable.

Other side effects you may experience from using the hair dye include;

  • Blurred vision
  • Burned skin around the eyes
  • Loss of eyebrows

More about the risks are discussed in the next section.

Possible Hair Dye Side Effects

All hair dyes, whether permanent or semi-permanent, have their risks. First, they’re simply too aggressive on the skin around the eye. As you know the areas around the eyes have the thinnest skin layer so not only do they absorb the most toxins, they’re the most vulnerable to burns and scarring.

Another common side effect is hair dye allergy. Hair dyes and coloring products have many ingredients that can irritate the skin causing allergic reactions. Besides the ammonia and peroxide, the coloring agents can cause contact dermatitis which is extreme sensitivity to chemicals in the dye such as the prevalent ingredient called paraphenylenediamine (PPD).

PPD is a chemical that’s also found in temporary tattoo ink, printer ink, and gasoline. In boxed hair dye, PPD usually comes in its bottle, accompanied by an oxidizer. When both are mixed, PPD becomes partially oxidized. This is when it’s likely to cause allergic reactions in people who are sensitive to it.

You’ve probably had a hair dye allergy if you get blisters, swelling, a burning or stinging sensation on the skin around where you applied the dye, and itching.

Other side effects include;

  • Eye irritation and problems such as blurred vision and conjunctivitis. Blindness would be the extreme.
  • Loss of hair on the eyebrows due to overexposure to the dye.
  • Weak hair on the eyebrows with lack of luster.
  • Asthma – hair dye has persulfates which have been known to aggravate asthma attributed to the continuous inhalation of the chemicals. This could further lead to lung inflammation and coughing.

Use Hair Dye on Hair Only

Even with the benefits of semi-permanent hair color, it doesn’t negate the fact that the risks outweigh the benefits and that the best thing you can do is stick to eyebrow tint or beard dye. They’re safer, healthier, and will prompt you to care for your eyebrows more.

Nonetheless, if you choose to stick to dyes for your eyebrows, stick to the above method and practice safe methods to avoid those severe side effects such as blurred vision, respiratory issues, and allergic reactions.


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