I, like many women, can vividly remember the first time I dyed my hair by myself. I was 15 years old and decided that it would be a good idea to turn my light brown tresses to a bright shade of firetruck red. My mother, never one to stifle my creativity, simply rolled her eyes and told me to find some fashionable hats to wear.
Since then, my hair has been a constant work in progress. I’ve gone black, brown, blonde, and some other strange, in-between shades. And I’ve done it all on my own. So I’ve gathered up a list of tips to share with anyone who is thinking about dying their hair at home. Remember: it’s just hair, it will grow out.
Know Your Options
There is a multitude of different dye products on the market, and each is different from the next. Dyes range in longevity from short-term to long-lasting. Dyes can be temporary, semi-permanent, demi-permanent, or permanent.
Temporary hair color is mostly used for special occasions and can be removed with a single shampoo. Semi-permanent will last through 4-5 shampoos and is safer for damaged hair. Demi-permanent color washes out between 20 and 28 washes. They don’t contain ammonia and have a low concentration of hydrogen peroxide, so they cannot lighten hair.
Permanent hair color will fade, but won’t wash out. This works best for healthy hair and greying hair.
Choose Your Color Wisely
There are many free apps that you can use to try out different hairstyles, using a photo of yourself. Play around with colors before you make your decision. If you have damaged hair, don’t go lighter because it can make your hair look even more damaged. If you’re having issues with grey hair, be sure to purchase a dye that’s specifically made for grey hair.
If you want a dramatic change, like going from blonde to black or vice versa, it would be best to visit a hairdresser. If you try this at home, you might end up paying your hairdresser a visit to fix your mistakes. Save yourself the time and money and consult a professional beforehand.
Dying your hair at home is going to be a messy process, regardless of how much experience you have. Be sure to deep-condition your hair at least a day before you plan to dye it. Have all of your tools on-hand and prepare your bathroom (or wherever you decide to do your dye job) so that nothing gets affected by flying dye.
Have a comb on hand (most box dyes don’t include one) so that you can evenly distribute the color throughout your hair.
Practice the “Divide and Conquer” Approach
Section your hair into quadrants. Focus on one at a time and apply the dye from front to back. As you finish each quadrant, pile it on top of your head. If you have questions about this technique, look up some hair color tutorials before you begin.
Be extra careful when applying the dye to the hair around your face. In order to prevent any staining on your skin, apply Vaseline on the skin around your hairline. This is especially helpful if you are also dying your eyebrows.
If your color turned out deeper and darker than you desired, create a paste with half shampoo and half powder bleach (from a highlighting kit, preferably.) Comb it through your hair with a wide-tooth comb and when you start seeing some fading, rinse it out.