Can You Use Hair Dye on Your Eyebrows?

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Hair dye is for hair, but what about brows? How do you color your eyebrows?

Can you use hair dye on your eyebrows?

Yes, you can use some hair dyes on your eyebrows, although it depends on the type of hair dye you’re considering. It is safe to use semi-permanent hair dye on your eyebrows, but permanent dyes should not be used on the brows.

There are many alternatives available, including dedicated mascara-like eyebrow dyes that are very easy to use.

In this article, we look at:

  • What type of hair dye should you use on your eyebrows? 
  • Alternatives to hair dye on your brows
  • How to apply hair dye to eyebrows

Let’s begin!


Can You Use Hair Dye on Your Eyebrows?

It depends on the dye! Some dyes can be used, but others are dangerous to use around your eyes.

You can typically use semi-permanent hair dye on your brows, but you should be cautious with permanent hair dye near your eyes. Your skin is very sensitive there, and the dyes (and potentially bleach) could be harmful.

You can typically use semi-permanent hair dye on your brows, but you should be cautious with permanent hair dye near your eyes. Your skin is very sensitive there, and the dyes (and potentially bleach) could be harmful.

Of course, you should always review the instructions for your particular dye to make sure that they are safe for brows.

What Type of Hair Dye Should You Use On Your Eyebrows? 

There are two main types of hair dyes: permanent and semi-permanent. Semi-permanent dye’s gentle nature makes them a safe choice for men’s mustaches and beards, as well as other facial hair.

The safest options are semi-permanent dyes that do not contain unhealthy ingredients. 

Semi-Permanent Dyes

Semi-permanent dyes don’t require oxidizers to activate the shade. Since you’ll only be using the dye, it makes them a safer option. However, you should always read the ingredients list to ensure there are no other ingredients that might trigger an allergy or reaction.

These dyes often contain coloring products that may irritate the skin, triggering an allergic reaction. The condition is known as hair dye allergy.

So, how long does the semi-permanent hair dye last?

Semi-permanent dyes lack hydrogen peroxide. They do not use a developer. therefore, they are less harsh and do not last very long. Depending on the product you choose, the dye effect can last for four days to several weeks. 

Temporary dye options are great eyebrow tint alternatives, and here are some of their benefits: 

  • Semi-permanent hair dye lasts longer than eyebrow tint with proper care. 
  • These dye options offer a wide range of shades compared to eyebrow tints that only provide brown and black options. 
  • Temporary dyes are more natural looking and effectively cover gray hairs. 

Permanent Dyes

Permanent dyes consist of two ingredients, hair dye and hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide is a notorious skin and eye irritant that can cause serious harm to sensitive skin.

The eye region is one of the thinnest and most sensitive skins on your body, making it easy for hydrogen peroxide to penetrate.

There are many other risks of using permanent dye containing hydrogen peroxide, such as: 

  • The immediate side effects of using permanent hair dye are swelling, itchiness, peeling, and skin redness. 
  • The skin on the face tends to dry out and easily cracks. Therefore, these and other damage caused take longer to heal and can be severe. 
  • Hair dyes, including semi-permanent options, are known to aggravate asthma. This is a result of exposure to irritants. Continuous exposure can lead to coughing and lung inflammation. 
  • Unlike the scalp, the eyebrows have fewer oil glands, thus lacking enough protective barrier, increasing the risk of skin infections. 
  • It is important to understand there is a huge difference between the hair on your head and your eyebrows. The brows consist of finer hair and are more delicate. Therefore, there are high chances the peroxide breaks them, making them fall out. 
  • Another common side effect of hydrogen peroxide is eye irritations, which is why FDZ doesn’t approve hair dyes on eyebrows since excessive use can lead to blurred vision and blindness. 

What Alternatives Are There for Dying Your Eyebrows? 

All hair dyes, including semi-permanent, have risks since they aren’t ideal for sensitive facial skin. There are several options you can choose, if you don’t want to use your hair dye on your brows and risk something going wrong.

Here are some of our favorite solutions:

1. Eyebrow Dyes

Eyebrow Dye Before and After

There are countless dyes designed specifically for the eyebrows! Yes, you’ll have to find a color that will match what you’re looking for, but these products are much, much easier to use than trying to apply your hair dye to your brows.

They are all semi-permanent, and will be safe to use on your brows. They are waterproof and sweatproof, and will fade over time.

Choosing a dedicated eyebrow dye is by far the best choice for coloring your brows. But keep in mind that you won’t be able to get a lighter color with these dyes.

2. Henna Brow Dyes

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Many of us think of henna only for use to create those beautiful temporary tattoo-like patterns famous throughout Asia and the Middle East. But henna is actually a great natural hair dye, and will work on brows as well! See Brow Tint vs Henna for details.

You will be somewhat limited on colors, but with luck, you’ll find a color that will work.

3. Beard Dyes

Yes, you can use beard dye on your brows!

These dyes are specially made for the face and are safe to use. Another advantage is that they are easy to apply and do not cause adverse effects if used in excess. 

So, how do you choose the right beard dye for your eyebrows? 

You’ll likely have a limited selection of colors, but with luck, you’ll be able to find something you can use.

All beard dyes are ok for use, and you should select your preferred option. It is best to pick one that is darker than your hair color. If you have light-colored eyebrows, go for a one or two-times darker tone.

Note that during the first two days, the hair will be darker than normal since the color affects the skin under the hair. This color quickly fades, and the hair remains dark. 

The application process is the same as the semi-permanent dye; however, it requires fewer skin protection measures. Each application lasts for about four weeks, and you can easily re-dye. 

Are there other advantages of using beard dye over semi-permanent dyes on your eyebrows? 

  • Beard dyes are more effective since they act on beards and mustaches coarser than other facial hair. They can easily penetrate the eyebrow hairs without upsetting the sensitive skin, even if applied in excess. 
  • It might be challenging to lighten eyebrows using semi-permanent dye since some require the use of hydrogen peroxide. On the other hand, Beard dyes offer a range of color tone options, both dark and bright. 
  • Fastest application – Beard dyes are easy to put on and require a few tools to complete the job. 
  • They are also comfortable to wear, do not cause any itchiness or reactions to sensitive skin, and do not stain. 
  • Semi-permanent dye covers gray eyebrows but is less effective than the beard option. 

The only concern about the beard dyes is that they tend to be more translucent, and the opaque shades look unnatural on the face. 

4. Your Salon

One of the best places to go is your salon, and the stylist will properly handle your brows to get a well-blended result. Therefore, it is best to contact professionals who will help you choose and apply the dye correctly.

These experts have the knowledge and skills to blend a safe, good-looking dye that will naturally affect your eyebrows. 

How to Apply Hair Dye On Eyebrows

If you’re working with a semi-permanent hair dye and just want to keep it simple and use that dye on your brows, here’s a basic breakdown of what you’ll need to do.

Note that you should always read your instructions as to safety on facial hair, and make sure your dye is not a permanent dye.

Note that you should always read your instructions as to safety on facial hair, and make sure your dye is not a permanent dye.

1. Pick The Right Dye 

The only options you should consider are semi-permanent hair dyes. Also, don’t forget to check the ingredients list to confirm no irritants are present. 

Do a patch test to ensure the dye contains no chemicals that could irritate your skin. This test involves applying a small portion of the dye to the backside of your leg or hand. Let it stay for 10 minutes, wipe it off, and carefully examine the area. The dye is good for use if there are no irritations or negative effects. 

Choose your proffered color; however, a natural shade adds shape and looks. Another pro tip is to pick a shade color darker than your hair. Don’t forget to read the instruction manual to learn the dos and don’ts. 

2. Face Cleaning 

Use a mild face wash and warm water to clean your face. Removing the oil and dirt on the eyebrows is good for the dye to have a longer-lasting effect. Also, avoid scrubbing the face too hard. 

3. Outline The Eyebrows 

Dip a cotton swab into petroleum jelly or Vaseline and gently apply it to the skin around the eyebrows. The jelly protects the sensitive skin from the dye and the eyes from exposure to the dye particles. 

4. Prepare The Dye 

Follow the guidelines in the product manual to prepare the dye. Ensure that you have a thick paste that won’t spill over to the skin or clothes; some dyes can stain your clothes. 

5. Apply The Dye 

Most dye packages consist of a complete application kit. Start applying the dye using the kit. Ensure that you cover all areas from the hair roots to the tips. The best strategy is to start from the thicker parts and slowly progress to the thinner areas. 

6. Wait for The Dye to Take Effect 

Let the dye sit for not more than 5 minutes. However, some dyes contain less aggressive ingredients that you can leave for up to 15 minutes. 

7. Wash Off the Dye 

Use a cotton pad or washcloth to clean and rub off the dye; don’t forget to clean the petroleum jelly. After that, rinse the face with warm water. It is safer to have your eyes closed to ensure the dye doesn’t make contact during the removal process. 

It is possible to repeat the process if you wish to get a darker tone. However, this is not advisable since it might irritate sensitive skin. Ensure that you don’t repeat this more than three times. 


If you want to color your eyebrows, you have many options. Just don’t use permanent hair dye! You can use most semi-permanent hair dyes on brows, but check your specific dye for instructions.

And if you don’t want to risk it, stick to the commercial eyebrow dye packages, henna brow dyes, or even beard dyes.

For those without experience or knowledge of hair and eyebrow dyes, reach out to your stylist for advise. It is better to spend some money to get the perfect eyebrows than to do it wrong and lose it all. 

Good luck!

Written by Kayla Young

Kayla is the founder of LuxeLuminous. She has worked professionally in the tanning industry for years. She has been interested in esthetics since childhood, and has tried every hair, skin, and makeup product ever produced (more or less).