I have no idea why, but there are a TON of women out there who think I’m totally nuts to dye my hair at home. They don’t dare to do it themselves because they think it’ll either a) make a huge mess b) be a huge letdown or c) not turn out as it should. What they don’t know is that with a little practice and some preparation, it is truly one of the easiest things in the world.
To take the worry out of the process, I figured I would post a quick and simple tutorial on how to dye your hair at home. This is the way I’ve been doing it since I was 9 years old, and I have never had to pay for salon fixes.
I decided to do this just because I wanted to go red again, which I haven’t been for ages. But it’s so much fun to pick a vibrant shade for your hair and I wanted to do it big!
So the first step is to choose your color. If you’re not very brave or are in a job or situation where wild colors are out, then try and go for something one or two shades lighter or darker than your natural color. Feel free to read online reviews of different brands to see which you think will work best. Take into account the type of hair you have, the length and the condition. Long or thick hair may need more than one box of dye to get even coverage. Very dry or damaged hair will take color and soak it up so may be more bright and vibrant than you hoped.
Most dye will be applied to dry hair, but some goes on damp hair. Whichever it is, you’ll know by reading the instructions. And whatever it says, apply it to hair that hasn’t been washed for at least 24 hours for the best results.
For me, I chose the color which was cheapest at the drug store. I always go for a permanent color, as the ones that wash out don’t do the job for my hair. I bought three boxes and wound up using two. Since having babies my hair isn’t quite as thick as it used to be.
Moving on. I always take a “before” photo so that I can compare the results. Here is mine:
Now, every dye has different instructions, and I can’t stress enough how important it is to read and follow them. One of the things that is highly recommended is to do a patch test. This involves cutting a tiny bit of your hair and mixing a tiny bit of the dye so that you can test it out. Also bear in mind that you can become allergic to dye from one application to the next, so testing it on a bit of your skin is always a good idea. All that said, I NEVER do it. I hope I don’t regret it one day!
Anyway, back to the instructions. Generally you will have a couple of bottles in the pack. Your instructions will tell you which is which, and you’ll need to pour one into the other and then shake it up!
Make sure you wear the plastic/vinyl/rubber gloves they provide. And try to mop up any spills right away before it stains!
Next, separate your hair into sections. I only own one hair clip, so I simply clip up most of my hair except for the bottom. I can then systematically dye bits at a time to ensure even coverage. This is IMPORTANT.
You can see my root growth very well in this photo. It’s been a long while since I’ve dyed it!
One thing to bear in mind is that your roots will probably take the color better than the rest of your head. So be careful!
Once you’re ready to go, I would advise you to use either lotion or petroleum jelly around your hairline, ears, etc so that any dye that drips doesn’t stain your skin. Most of the time it comes off in the shower, but there have been times I’ve had to go to work with dark patches on my forehead, and it is super embarrassing. So make sure you guard against it.
Now, it is ALWAYS best to get some help with the dye, as you just aren’t set up to see the back of your head. So having another set of eyes comes in really handy. But I never have help and it’s usually okay. But in this case, I went ahead and had my darling hubs help me out.
A word of warning – men aren’t very good at this. Get a girlfriend. 😉
Once you’ve gone through and made sure your hair is completely covered, use whatever is left in the bottle and properly saturate your hair. Use it all! No need to go to waste! Get it soaked! It shouldn’t be dripping, but it should definitely be very wet! Pile the hair on top of your head and wait the allotted time.
Once the appropriate amount of time has passed, then jump in the shower (don’t try bathing, please – you won’t like the results!). Get a bit of water on your hair and then work it into a lather (as if you’re shampooing). Once you’ve got your whole head feeling thick and foamy, jump back under the showerhead and rinse rinse rinse!
Seriously, keep rinsing. Make sure you rub it out of your scalp, from around your hairline, in your ears, your neck, etc. I can’t stress enough – this stuff STAINS!
Again, you will have to check the instructions for your particular brand, but most come with some form of conditioner which you will need to use once you’ve finished rinsing. Some (but not many!) ask you to shampoo before conditioning. Some even give you the shampoo. But all of them should have conditioner which you usually will leave on for around two minutes.
Rinse it again (you’ll probably find more dye!) and do your best to make sure it’s totally clear.
Finally, you can get out and style your hair as normal.
It really is very simple to do yourself without a lot of fuss or mess. But if you really are too scared to try it on yourself, get some practice by talking your best friend or sister into letting you dye THEIR hair. I certainly worked out a few kinks in the home highlighting process by turning my sister’s hair orange!
I hope you enjoyed this easy tutorial. Even if it was just an excuse to show off my funky new red hair!