Hairprint Application Tips

March 30, 2016 (updated January 1, 2022) — Written by

the hairprint product unboxed on a table

I just wanted to take a minute to share what was successful for me when applying Hairprint color. Everyone’s experience will be unique however I thought this would be helpful to some.

So there are are four steps.  The first two times I used Hairprint I got spotty coverage and the last time I got pretty close to 100% coverage. So I want to run through what we did differently.

The first step is a prewash. This is CRUTIAL and arguably the most important step. This strips and waxy buildup from natural oils, dirt or products that can prohibit color from entering the cuticle.

I pre-washed twice for a total of 20 minutes. Sounds crazy but it worked. So take the first prewash (or split your one wash into two).  Work that through your head, scalp and roots for about 5 minutes and rinse. Then repeat and work into a lather massaging scalp and roots for and additional 15 minutes. Be gentle or else you will get a sore head.

For the last 5 minutes take some baking soda (a couple tablespoons or so) and massage that in and along your hairline. This raises the pH to 9 where toxic dyes are at 10.5 (150 times greater) and helps the hair accept the color.

(I didn’t do this but you can add a barrier like conditioner or shea butter to ends of your hair prevent over darkening.)


Now the #1 and #2 are actually the same product. They are a powder and liquid that you mix together and then apply. The minute the product is mixed the color protein starts to bind together forming a chain. This reaction is complete within six minutes. The key is you want this reaction happening INSIDE your cuticle. When this happens the protein is bigger than it was when it entered your cuticle and now it can not get out. Kind of like one of those butterfly anchors you use in the wall to hang a shelf or mount a TV – goes in strait and then flares out? Same idea. If this reaction happens in the bowl it is then too big to enter your hair and you will not see results. So use a timer. Don’t freak out though, six minutes is actually a good amount of time to get the product on.

I used two boxes so I actually got 12 minutes of active applying time which really helped. If you go this route – start at one ear and apply with brush until you get to your other ear. Leave in and mix the second #1 liquid and powder.  Now, start with the opposite ear and come back to where you started and then with the leftovers do the back. After you have applied the product to the head set a timer for an additional 10 minutes then rinse.

Repeat this process with the #2 product.

Last apply #3 the same way. After it’s on, set a timer for 10 minutes and rinse. 

Then shampoo and condition with cool water as a final step.

This gave me maybe 97%-99% coverage so the salon sent me home with an additional #1 and #3 which I applied in the hotel room and boosted me up pretty close to 100%. It’s a deep rich full coverage. I can not believe how beautiful it looks.

Next time I anticipate not needing to do that last step again.

One interesting thing to note is after all is said and done there is something about the oxidation process that continues to transform the hair. People who have had a few resistant grays have woken up the next morning to full coverage. I talked to the scientists about this and they know it happens but they can’t explain it. Just a heads up that the next day may look better than initial results.

By Lisa Fennessy

Lisa is the founder of The New Knew. Passionate about clean beauty, organic eats and nontoxic lifestyle, Lisa writes to create awareness. Conscious consumerism and informed decisions will impact the marketplace, our health and THE WORLD!


  1. Reply

    Brenda Speer

    Thank you so much for posting these helpful tips!!!! I just ordered my first 2 boxes of Brown Hairprint and with my personality I tend to overthink things to the point of putting it off…. And I don’t want to be scared to try this product and your article really “comforted” me!!!
    Thanks, Brenda
    P.S. I will let you know how it goes!

    1. Reply

      Lisa Fennessy

      Awesome! I am doing my own application again this week and I know what you mean! Let me know how it goes!

  2. Reply

    Livin Out Loud

    This is a miracle, but I don’t know if I can do this, it sounds so involved and difficult. With the mess it makes, I don’t think my hairdresser would do this. I’d have to find someone (or her?) to come to my home–costly and messy and chancy. I’m so sad about that. Another good review says it stains and the bathroom looks like a crime scene!! That part was left out here )). Good luck to all the ladies who can do this. I hope more Hsirprint salons open up in SoCal!! Keeping my fingers crossed )). The salon is in the Bay Area, if you all are interested..✌????️????

    1. Reply

      Lisa Fennessy

      It is messy but worth a try! And yes, in my initial full review that I added the crime scene detail. Subsequent posts are follow-ups to how it is going on this almost year-long journey. I have to say it has gotten less messy with practice. Thanks so much for reading! I would love to see this product in salons too!

  3. Reply


    So,actually ,how often one needs to apply it ?

    1. Reply

      Lisa Fennessy

      Hi! Depends on the growth rate of your hair. I try to do mine every 4 weeks but others may wait longer or shorter depending on how fast their hair grows. Hope that helps!

  4. Reply


    What color did you choose to color your hair with? Your hair color is beautiful.

    1. Reply

      Lisa Fennessy

      Dark and thank you so much!

  5. Reply


    Thanks so much for your helpful tips about prewash process. I have used Hairprint 3 or 4 times before and have been discouraged because many of my grays were not covered. This last time, with your prewashing tips, I feel like I have had my hair colored in a salon! It makes the work and mess worthwhile!
    Can’t thank you enough!!

    1. Reply

      Lisa Fennessy

      YES GIRL!!!! So happy you are finding success! It is a pain but in the end it is sweet victory when you can get it to work for you! Rock on with your grays gone! xo

  6. Reply

    terry ellen cross

    Oh my gosh it’s time for my 5 week color appointment, the greys are peeking through at my scalp and temples sigh… If Hairprint could free me from what I know are super unhealthy chemicals and make my hair look amazing it would be worth whatever hassle to apply! Question, was your hair color treated before your first Hairprint application? You said you didn’t use the protective butter to cover the dyed parts so I wondered?

    1. Reply

      Lisa Fennessy

      Hey Terry! Right! My hair is one color so I was treating it with a single-process conventional dye before switching to Hairprint. Because I used “dark” Hairprint and my hair is already colored dark brown I didn’t do any protective coatings like using shea butter. The color blended nicely for me. Does that answer your question?

      1. Erica Bizaoui

        Hi! This is great info. I’m getting ready to order Hairprint for the first time. My hair is also previously dyed dark brown. Did you only apply the Hairprint to the roots or all over? Thanks!

      2. Lisa Fennessy

        Well I try for only on my roots but I always get some overlap and it works out find. No weird lines or anything – GOOD LUCK! My best tip is to prewash for 20 minutes!

  7. Reply


    Hello:) I am going to have my salon apply this, and need to be armed with exactly what to tell her to do, can u please tell me a detailed step by step process to give the stylist? I am really nervous as I’ve read mixed reviews…Especially to cover all the greys, and not get previously dyed hair length too dark, or green, or hair falling out, as I have read some experience???? I have very long previously dyed chestnut hair with Carmel highlighting, greys roots are about an inch growth. I bought the brown to apply. Thanks for your help in going toxic free!

    1. Reply

      Lisa Fennessy

      Hi April! My post called Application Tips is the best step by step I have written out. This is exactly what I do and it works for me! I don’t use any Shea or butters because I am single process. The light is very light. If you search Youtube for “John Warner” he uses the light and you can see how light it is. And here you can see how dark the dark is on me. What I can say about this product is it’s limited but it works and it works well for some people. Let us know how it goes!

  8. Reply


    I just finished the process for the first time and yes, we (with a friend helping) destroyed a few towels. But there was no itching and no smelly chemicals and the color truly came out to be the one I had as a girl. (I’m 73)
    Great coverage of gray and silky shiny hair. Wow. I have had so much trouble with hair color, swollen lymph nodes and welts on my scalp over the years. If this isn’t just the first blush of love and turns out to las,t I will shout it to the rooftops. Thank you Hairprint. I am about to reorder!!

    1. Reply

      Lisa Fennessy

      This is such an amazing testament! I am so happy it is working for you! Save those towels for next time so you don’t ruin any others! I found that it wears like a conventional dye with maybe a slight lightening as the weeks pass by – which by the way, I think is a benefit in some ways because it makes grow-out appear more natural instead of having such a thick defined grow-out line. Regrowth tends to be more blended. Let us know how it goes!!!

  9. Reply


    I have always only colored the roots(gray, of course). Can I do this with hairprint. I then add my own highlights.

    1. Reply

      Lisa Fennessy

      I don’t know how applying highlights over Hairprint would work – I’ve never tried it! : )

  10. Reply

    Carol Ng

    Hi,can I used the brown if my hair colour is dark because I want a lighter results.

    1. Reply

      Lisa Fennessy

      Hi Carol! I’m not sure – I suggest you contact Hairprint’s customer service for a color match. In my experience the dark is really dark. I’m not sure how the light is – I’ve never used it. Thanks for your comment!

  11. Reply


    Do you rinse between application #1 and #2? The Hairprint application video doesn’t say to rinse before application #2.

    1. Reply

      Lisa Fennessy

      Hairprint says you don’t have to rinse betweeen #1 and #2 but I do. It’s just what works for me!

  12. Reply

    Susan Gwinn

    I will use this no matter how messy as who wants to put toxics other hair coloring has. Once on your scalp in your entire body in minutes. I have found by equally dividing the dry packets into 3 plastic food containers I can mix 1/3 of liquid with it and wait until I have first applied to mix 2nd and apply and then third. That way you can be assured processing on hair not in bowl. Sometimes for small touch ups I only use one of the first packets by dividing it but applying twice as instructed. The messiness for me was being created by feeling the need to use apply all the product even when not needed. Don’t use if don’t need it just adds to mess. Either Dave remainder unmixed or throw it away don’t just put on hair because have it. I have been able to cut time down by dividing packets ensuring processing going on in hair and not waiting after it turns black more than a few minutes and moving on to next processing. My hair looks great. It is thick and medium but only treat grey areas.

    1. Reply

      Lisa Fennessy

      Awesome! Thanks so much for sharing your experience! Seems like this strategy is working for you!!!

  13. Reply

    Jane Evans

    Jut read this post. Thank you. How much time can pass between the two pre treatment shampoo processes with the baking powder at the end and when you start applying the product. The reason I am asking is that I would like to do this at home and then go to my salon for my stylist to apply the product and do the coloring process. I would be about an hour later. Also, am I understanding that this coloring process is done to damp hair? Also, when you say they sent you back with a #1 and #3, these are the leftover steps from the 2 boxes of product right? I am ordering the product to bring with me to the salon.

    1. Reply

      Lisa Fennessy

      Good question. So I applied right away. If you wait and apply an hour later – let us know how it goes! Also I ordered 1.5 boxes so I got extra product. GOOD LUCK!

  14. Reply


    Baking soda prewash is key! Thanks so much for detailing your process. I have used Hair Print in the past without much success. Gave it one more try and WOO HOO!!!! Only used one treatment but split my prewash into two different applications, as you suggested, using the baking soda at the end of the second prewash application. It is a bit messy but henna is messy too….and stinky! Love the results!

    1. Reply

      Lisa Fennessy

      PREWAS IS KEY! Exactly! It’s all about opening up access to the hair cuticle – the prewash does this. A 15 min wash plus a 5 min baking soda application around the hairline is a GAME CHANGER! So glad you gave it one last shot!

  15. Reply


    Hi All! Glad to read all the comments. I tried Hairprint yesterday after returning from Europe to find the box at my doorstep. I was a little too enthusiastic and forgot (tired and rushing) to reread the transitioning instructions. My highlighted brown hair turned BLACK AND BRITTLE. It’s my fault as they warn you to protect chemically treated hair. So for the last 24 hours I have soaked my hair in a mix of organic coconut oil and shea butter. The Hairprint advice person Remi emailed me some tips and recommended adding lemon juice and exposing my hair to sun, as well as other remedies. It will lighten up with subsequent washings- and I will do the lemon lightening when I assess my hair’s brittleness after rinsing out the oils–but be careful the first time. I think that Hairprint is a very important cosmetic breakthrough. Hair dye is toxic. So I’m not giving up. Next time I shall coat the “old” hair as recommended. It’s also a way to deep condition.

    1. Reply

      Lisa Fennessy

      Thanks so much for sharing your experience – I’m sure it will help someone down the line! xo

  16. Reply


    I am extremely allergic to hair dye, found a product that worked for years and then irritated me. I was laughing so hard at all the towels, steps and process. My hair is darker brown than I am used to, but zero irritation and the greasy covered well. I found it hard to just put it on roots, hair was tough to move around after the first shampoo and baking soda treatment. Great shine, and grey covered well. I am curious if I should use light brown next time…My hair is brown, medium so I used BROWN. I watched so many videos, read so many tips, followed so many steps. All to not have grey….and I am thrilled.

    1. Reply


      Hi Maureen! So glad you found these tips helpful! I know, it’s a process for sure but worth it for some people if you can master it! In terms of figuring out the right color for you, I would suggest Googling a video of Hairprint’s founder John Warner – he uses light brown – that will give you an idea of what light brown looks like applied…hope this helps! xo, Lisa

  17. Reply


    hi, thanks for the tips! i’ve been using hairprint for around 5 years with mixed results, i have mostly grey around my temples and hairline but as i’m allergic to hairdye, hairprint is my only option so i’ve been persisting 🙂 i use the chelating shampoo which helps with preparation and have tried hairprints shampoo and conditioner but find them very drying (& expensive). I have low porosity hair so dryness is an issue. A few downsides is that i loose a LOT of hair in the 3 step process so i now have thinning to add into the mix 🙁 and whilst coverage is good, the colour only last for 2 weeks and then lightens considerably, a very light golden brown before going grey 2 weeks later. to maintain all over colour i’d need to do every 2 weeks but find i’d loose too much hair (& it is quite a process timewise). I was interested in your cool water tip so will try that. have you found any natural shampoos & conditioners that work with hairprint? thanks for sharing! regards Rebecca

    1. Reply

      Lisa Fennessy

      Hi Rebecca! I would recommend EVOLVh as a shampoo that could work with Hairprint (although I never tried them in tandem). Really you just need a shampoo that will strip as much debris, dirt, grime and oil off the hair to create a clean slate for the Hairprint to work. EVOLVh cleans really well. Here is my review w a code to save too. Hope this helps! xo, Lisa

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