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How to Apply Hair Color with a Brush or Bottle

Coloring your hair in the comfort and convenience of your own home can be a great way to save money while still achieving the look you want. However, when you purchase your typical hair coloring kit, you’re typically only provided with a tube of color, the developer, and a pair of gloves. You would infer, then, that the best way to apply the color is to simply use your gloved hands. However, you could make your at-home hair coloring a lot easier (and end up with better coverage results) by using a tint brush and bowl. Applying hair color with a brush is not the only option, you can also learn how to apply hair color with a bottle. 

How to Apply Hair Color with a Brush or Bottle

When to Use a Bottle Applicator

Of course, both brushes and bottle applicators come with their inherent advantages and disadvantages. For example, when you use the bottle applicator that comes with your hair coloring kit, you don’t need to worry about buying any additional supplies; after all, most women (outside of hair stylists) don’t have a tint brush lying around. So, when you’re in a pinch, using the bottle applicator that came with your kit may be the only choice.


Furthermore, with some hair coloring products taking on more of a foam consistency, it would simply not be practical to use any method other than the applicator bottle to apply the color.

How to Apply Hair Color with a Brush or Bottle

When to Use a Brush and Bowl

In just about in other situation, however, using a tint brush and mixing bowl designated for hair color is your best bet for even coverage and beautiful results. You see, when you’re working with just your hands and an applicator bottle, things can get very messy (especially when working with thin liquid color). There’s also not much precision or accuracy when it comes to using the bottle or spreading the color with your hands. As a result, you can easily end up with patches of hair that weren’t colored, or an overall streaky appearance. This is especially true in situations where you’re attempting a root touchup or color match.


When you use a brush and bowl, you can easily section the hair into quadrants and work to thoroughly and evenly apply the color to each section. Plus, mixing your color in a bowl gives you the option of adding toner to your color, if needed.

How to Apply Hair Color with a Brush or Bottle

Tips for Using a Brush


Feeling a little intimidated by the thought of using a brush to apply your color? It’s actually a lot easier than you think. Start by picking up a quality coloring kit that includes your tint bowl, brush, and gloves. You’ll always want to begin by dividing your hair into sections; doing so will help you achieve the best possible coverage. Within each section, work in even smaller sections. The specific size of each section you color will vary depending on your hair’s length and thickness. For most people, however, working in about one-inch sections is best. Gently apply the color from the roots to the ends of the hair, gently pressing the brush into the strands to ensure the hair’s cuticle is penetrated by the color.


Overall, using a brush is typically the best method for coloring your hair and achieving the best results. It may take a bit of practice to get the technique down, but once you’re comfortable with using a brush to color your hair, you’ll never want to go back to the bottle applicator!

Pro tip

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