What Is Color Filler Hair Dye?

Filler hair dyes keep your color looking even.

Photo: Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images

If you regularly buy a box of hair color, mix it up and plop it on your head, pay close attention. The more you color your hair, the more damaged it becomes. Keep it up and you may start to notice that the application of your favorite hair dye just doesn’t produce the same result as it used to. This is where a filler hair dye comes in.

Who Needs It?

If you have porous hair, it is imperative that you use a color filler. Porous hair is damaged hair. So, if you are a slave to chemical processing and you notice that your hair is starting to look and feel dry and brittle, or if your hair feels a bit gummy when it’s wet, this means that instead of being silky smooth, your hair’s protective cuticle layer is lifting and full of gaps. Porous hair soaks up hair color unevenly, leaving the gapped areas overly saturated and darker than the rest of the hair. A color filler “fills” in these gaps, so color is more evenly distributed.

Different Hair, Different Color Filler

Filler hair dye comes in a variety of colors. Which one you choose depends on the look you are trying to achieve. For red tones and to neutralize ash or green tinges in your hair, a red filler is suitable. If cool tones are what you are looking for, or if you want to suppress a head full of red highlights, go for a blue filler. Yellow fillers work best for gals who are looking for golden, sun-kissed tones. If you are not sure what to choose or want to stick with basic and natural, opt for a neutral filler.


Applying a filler hair dye is similar to ordinary dye; the only difference is that your hair is damp when you apply the filler. Simply wash your hair as usual and towel dry. You don’t want your hair to be sopping wet or the filler will run down your face, so squeeze out as much water as you can. Coat your hair with the hair dye filler, comb it through and leave it be for 20 minutes. Blow your hair dry – do not rinse – and apply the hair dye right over the filler.

The Other Option

If you’re in a pinch and unable to get your hands on a filler, reach for a deep conditioner. Conditioner works like a neutral filler, smoothing the cuticle and promoting even coloring. Apply a quarter-sized amount of conditioner to the palm of your hand and smooth it over your hair. Comb the conditioner through your hair with a wide-toothed comb, hit your hair with the blow dryer and apply your favorite hair color, as usual.

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