I have been dying hair personally, and fearlessly, for a few years now, most of my education came from practice and plenty of YouTube videos from experienced and inexperienced hairdressers. As they say, it’s best to learn from those who have the experience, right? I have a good friend who is a cosmetologist back home and if she reads this, I’m sure she ‘ll be shaking her head and giggling at my lack of experience. In my defense, I never had any disaster stories and this article is for the people who aren’t hairdressers and have no experience dying hair. After going red, auburn, dark brown, light brown, orange, and the ugliest shade of blonde, there’s a couple things I have learned that could benefit you later on:
I chose to do highlights about a year ago after failing to go blonde. I picked up a L’Oréal Paris Frost and Design kit, my personal recommendation for highlighting and balayage styles. It comes with a cap and a special tool that allows you to thread your hair through the holes in the cap. This way you can paint on the chemical to your selected strands and leave the rest of your hair unaffected. During this process, depending on your hair color, it is best to start by allowing the formula to sit for 25 minutes and then checking on it every 5 minutes after. The chemical is essentially bleaching your hair, and you will want to make sure you get it to your desired shade of blonde. However, there is a limit to how long you can leave it without permanently damaging your hair; look for this in the instructions before applying the product.
Dying hair, while cheaper, definitely has its own precautions to take into consideration. A chemical burn is no joke, in fact, it really hurts. If the dye doesn’t stain your hands, the chemical itself will burn your skin, causing it to become dry, itchy, and red. It can be worse in some cases if you are sensitive to chemicals.
3. Stay away from your scalp
Speaking of a chemical burn, this isn’t restricted to your hands; when dying hair your neck and scalp can become easily irritated from the dye as well. It is best to look in the mirror and get as close to your roots without actually touching the skin of your scalp. This can not only leave the color of the dye on your scalp for several days after but can cause our scalp to become dry and irritated as well.
4. Stay within three shades of your natural color
This tip is best for those who are new to dying hair. Staying within three shades of your natural hair color will make the transition back to your original color much simpler than if you were naturally bleach blonde going to a jet black shade. Use the swatches on the side of the box that shows you the before and after images to see how drastic the change will be for your hair color.
5. Choosing between two colors
When choosing between two colors, it is best to pick the color that is lighter. Going lighter is beneficial for a couple reasons. When dying hair darker, the color could appear lighter on the box than it will once you actually apply it to your hair. Plus, you can always go back and choose to do the next shade up a month later if you choose o go darker. It is much easier to go darker than it is to go lighter. When dying hair blonde, the advice is slightly different. The color appears darker on the box and the blonde is often browner than it first appears. Going a shade lighter for blonde will likely give you your desired results.
6. Going blonde
Choosing to go blonde is a hard feat to do on your own. The one time I attempted this, I stripped my hair (a slightly gentler version of bleaching), and then toned it in an effort to avoid the bleaching process. This did not work, in fact, my hair was blonde, brown, red, and auburn all at once. This doesn’t count as a disaster because at least I didn’t burn any hair off, right? It was tragic, though, and I quickly dyed it brown and moved on. However, I did learn the proper way to do this–though I was unwilling to try again. Bleaching is really the most effective way to go blonde, using salon-worthy products. I typically get these products at stores such as Sally Hansen. Once you have bleached your hair and achieved the desired lightness, use a purple toner to get rid of the orange hue. After this, care for it by using purple shampoo to keep the color blonde rather than allowing it to resort back to its natural orange hue.
7. Jet black hair
The closest I have gotten to black was a deep shade of ash brown. I have never committed to black because, unless you are a natural brunette, the color can be incredibly hard to come back from. My best advice when it comes to this is either be incredibly sure of your decision or only use it if you are within three shades of it.
8. Stripping and bleaching
As mentioned above, there is a big difference between stripping and dying your hair. While neither stripping or dying are exactly great for your hair, bleaching is slightly more damaging–and more effective. Stripping is comparable to dying your hair, except that it works to remove the immediate hair dye you have, including some of your natural colors. The end result is similar to an auburn, orange color. Bleaching is better for going from dark shades, like ash brown, to blonde. Though it often leaves a little orange in your hair until toned.
I’ve been talking about toners, although, I haven’t exactly defined it for you. A toner is used to correct the color of your hair after dying or bleaching. This is how hairdressers personalize various shades of blondes, from honey blonde to platinum. If your hair was left alone after bleaching, it would be left looking dull and orange-tinted.
It’s important to pay close attention to the time it says to leave in the dye in the instructions, and frequently check the process for yourself. If the box says 25 minutes, leaving it on longer could mean damaging your hair or causing the color to lighten or darken your hair too much. In a few cases, the dye will take longer to react, meaning you may have to leave it on long before you see its results. If this is the case, then you should continually check the color and condition of your hair every 5 minutes. Throughout the process of dying your hair, you will want to pay attention to the instructions and be careful to avoid causing more damage to your hair and skin.