Two cationic gemini surfactants and two generations of poly(amidoamine) (PAMAM) dendrimers (G = -0.5 and G = 0.5) were studied as retarders in acrylic dyeing with a cationic dye. Effects of retarder concentrations, dyeing time, and temperature were investigated by means of UV-Vis spectrophotometry. The results indicated that the dye adsorption decreased in the presence of the species and more uniform dyeing was achieved. The PAMAM dendrimers had lower retarding action than the cationic gemini surfactants which was attributed to their non-permanent and lower cationic charge density. Kinetics of the dyeing systems were also evaluated by four different empirical models. The modified Cegarra-Puente model fitted the dyeing kinetic data somewhat better than the other empirical kinetic models. Moreover, the activation energy of the dyeing systems was calculated and reported.