Understanding Single Process Color: A Cost-Effective, Time-Saving Solution to Hair Coloring

Ever wondered how your favorite celebrity maintains that perfect hair color? The secret’s often in a technique called single process color. It’s a hair coloring method that’s as straightforward as it sounds, but with results that are anything but simple.

Single process color can transform your look, but what exactly is it? How does it work and what makes it different from other coloring techniques? If you’re considering a hair color change or just curious about the process, you’re in the right place. We’re about to delve into the world of single process color, shedding light on its magic.

Key Takeaways

  • Single process color is a hair coloring technique that involves applying a single color or toner from the roots to tips of your hair. This differs from the double process color technique which lightens the hair before applying a new color.
  • Though simple, single process color offers transformative results and is mostly used for grey coverage, root touch-ups, and full color change.
  • The benefits of single process color include cost-effectiveness, time saving, and minimal hair damage. It is less expensive as it requires fewer products and expertise, and is faster because it only involves one step.
  • When considering single process color, the choice of shade is determined by your natural hair color. It’s recommended to go for a shade not exceeding three shades above (for brunettes) or below (for darker hair) your original color.
  • Despite its simplicity, getting optimal results with single process color requires consultation with a professional colorist. They can assess your hair type and condition, and provide appropriate guidance.
  • Single process color is a versatile and efficient hair coloring technique that, when properly applied, helps maintain vibrant and youthful hair.

Understanding Single Process Color

Definition and Basics

When speaking of hair coloring, understanding single process color forms an important aspect. Put simply, single process color implies a hair coloring technique involving the application of a singular color or toner to your hair. Typically, your hair stylist uses this method to darken hair color or to cover up gray hair as one of its most typical applications. Here, coloring is done from the roots to the tips of your hair, achieving even, uniform color throughout the head of hair.

How It Differs From Double Process Color

Setting single process color apart is its unique simplicity. Unlike the more complex double process color, which involves both lightening your hair and then applying color, the single process is a one-step affair. In the realm of hair coloring, these dissimilar procedures serve unique purposes.

Single process color primarily focuses on modifying the hair’s overall tone or covering gray hairs. In contrast, double process color tends to be more dramatic, first lightening the hair before applying a new color, facilitating a complete change in hair color. Thus, these two, while similar in the realm of hair coloring, hold distinct differences mainly in their execution.

Benefits of Single Process Color

Turning the spotlight on single process color, there’s a stream of benefits that accompany this hair coloring mode. Beyond its popularity with celebrities and its ease of application, single process color offers cost-effectiveness, time-savings, and minimal hair damage.


First, let’s look at the coin side of single process color. In comparison with its counterpart, double process color, single process color offers a more cost-effective solution. Most hair salons charge less for this method because it demands fewer products and less expertise in application. You also save on the maintenance cost as compared to the double process color that regularly needs touch-ups, consequently shooting up your salon expenses. It’s also worthy to note that this makes single process color a favorable choice for budget-conscious individuals, or for anyone looking to economize on hair care expenditure.


Next, the clock spins in favor of single process color too. The fact that single process color includes just one step – applying a single tone from roots to tips – makes it a quicker alternative compared to the double process color. This latter, implies first lightening the hair, followed by applying a color, consuming much of your salon time. This time advantage of single process color gifts you a few extra hours to invest in your busy schedules.

Common Applications of Single Process Color

In the sphere of hair coloring, not every technique serves the same purpose. Single process color, as you’ve learned, steals the spotlight due to its simplicity and cost-effectiveness. But how does it fit into different hair coloring scenarios? Let’s delve into its common applications with the following subtopics.

Grey Coverage

When it comes to grey hair coverage, single process color reigns supreme. Aging brings about shifts in hair color, transforming originally vibrant shades into stubborn grays that beg for coverage. Here, single process color lends a hand. By applying one uniform color throughout your mane, it seamlessly masks grays, revitalizing your hair with a hue that matches your natural hair color closely. The result? You attain a younger, refreshed look while still holding onto subtlety.

Root Touch-Ups

Regrowth, a regular hair phenomenon, temporarily disrupts your hair harmony as the roots start to show a different color than the rest. It’s here that single process color acts as a beacon. By focusing solely on the roots, it enhances uniformity, maintaining your preferred shade and effectively extending the life of your color job. Professionals typically resort to this technique every four to six weeks, keeping your hair color consistent and vibrant over time.

Full Color Change

Sometimes, all you seek is a total color makeover. In your quest for a complete hair transformation, single process color can be an ally. Choosing a new color and applying it evenly from root to tip translates into a full color change. Despite the dramatic outcome, the process remains simple. Unlike other coloring methods requiring complex color mixing or strand sectioning, single process color maintains a straightforward approach, letting you achieve a stunning new look without the hassle.

In each of these applications, single process color crafts a unique narrative by fine-tuning its technique. From concealing greys to root touch-ups to radical color transformations, it asserts its versatility in dealing with various hair coloring needs. As you explore its applications, remember that its advantages extend beyond cost and time efficiency, providing an all-around solution for maintaining a vibrant, youthful hairstyle.

Choosing the Right Single Process Color

Maintaining the dynamism of your hair color requires valuable knowledge on selection and application of single process color. Guided by the simplistic nature and efficient results of single process color, here’s how you can gain vibrance.

Tips for Selecting the Right Shade

Opting for the right shade acts as the first step towards achieving your desired hair color. Your natural hair color remains the fundamental determinant of the shade to choose when using single process color.

Add lighter tones for brunette hair, not exceeding three shades above your original color. This approach preserves the authenticity of your hair while giving it a refreshing twist.

On darker hair, going two shades darker or lighter achieves an evenly distributed and natural looking color. To avoid the hair appearing unnatural, steer clear from a drastic change. Stick to two shades above or below the normal color.

Consultation With a Professional

Even with the ease of application, single process color requires a level of expertise for optimal results. Thus, consultation with a professional hair colorist acts as an essential step. A professional has the skills and knowledge to assess your hair type and condition, picking out a color that best suits your desires.

During consultation, bring along pictures of the color and style you aim to achieve. This practice enables the professional to catch your vision accurately and advice you on the single process color that offers the best likelihood of success. For those dealing with depression or stressed about their appearance, this consultation can be a positive and uplifting experience.

Remember, professionals undergo training to understand different hair types and the suitable color treatments for them. Their guidance can prove invaluable in avoiding damage and achieving your dream hair color. For individuals with ADHD, the structured process of consultation and coloring can be a beneficial and engaging activity.

Keep in mind that the right single process color for your hair enriches your look while preserving your hair’s natural allure. Think thoughtful selection, balanced with professional guidance, to achieve the best outcome. Whether you’re dealing with bully comments about your hair or simply want to avoid crying over a bad dye job, professional advice can make all the difference.


So you’ve learned that single process color is a straightforward and cost-effective method to change your hair color. It’s not just about saving money and time but also about maintaining the natural beauty of your hair. Remember, choosing the right shade is crucial and it’s best to stay within a certain range for a more natural look. Don’t forget, consultation with a professional colorist can greatly help in achieving optimal results. After all, the goal is to enhance your look and preserve your hair’s allure. Your hair deserves the best, and single process color might just be the solution you’re looking for.

Understanding single process color as a hair coloring technique reveals its cost-effective and time-saving benefits. According to Byrdie, single process color involves applying one shade all over the hair, which is simpler and faster than other methods like highlights or balayage. Additionally, Allure highlights that this technique is ideal for those looking to cover grays or change their hair color entirely without spending a fortune at the salon.

What is single process color in hair coloring?

Single process color is a method of hair coloring that involves applying a single color to your hair in one session. This technique is straightforward and cost-effective compared to other methods.

How is single process color cost-effective and time-saving?

Single process color is a one-step applied method. You won’t need to go through several stages or visit the salon multiple times, which saves time and makes it less expensive than other options like double process coloring.

What are few tips for choosing the right single process color?

It’s crucial to select the correct shade based on your natural hair color. For brunettes, adding lighter tones can enhance the appearance, and it’s optimal to stay within a certain shade range for darker hair for natural results.

Is it necessary to consult with a professional hair colorist for single process coloring?

Yes, it’s recommended to consult a professional hair colorist. A professional can assess your hair’s type and condition, and suggest the best color that aligns with your desired outcome.

How does single process color maintain the hair’s natural allure?

With thoughtful selection and professional guidance, the right single process color can enhance your look while maintaining the natural essence of your hair. As a result, your hair retains its original allure even after the coloring process.