As someone who has been dyeing her hair for years(in fact, I haven’t seen my natural hair color since I was 14 years old!), I thought it was time to share my dyeing experiences and give advice to Modern Filipinas who are trying it out for the first time. I’ve always dyed my own hair at home becauseit’s a lot cheaper than paying a salon artist to do it. However, I’ve also made plenty of errors and learned from my mistakes. So, here is my guide to dyeing your hair at home!
Picking out the color you want:
When choosing a color, you need to keep several things in mind:
1. Always choose a shade that is darker than your natural color. If you wish to dye your hair in a lighter color, I would recommend bleaching it first. While bleaching is damaging to your hair, it will recover just fine if you take good care of it afterwards. See, if you don’t bleach your hair and still attempt to go to a lighter color, chances are that the color won’t take. Trust me: my natural color is an ashy brown, and I’ve been dyeing it black for almost a year when I decided to finally try something new: bright, fire engine red. I made the mistake of not bleaching my hair first. The results? Well, my roots were fire engine red, but the rest of my hair was still as black as the night. Have you seen the movie Hook? You know the character Rufio? Yeah, picture that. That was me.
2. Remember that the result of your dye job will probably be a bit darker than it shows on the box. So, always buy one shade lighter than you think you want. I’ve had many disappointing attempts at dyeing my hair an auburn color, just to see it in dark brown afterwards. I then learned my lesson and started buying dye at least one or two shades brighter than my desired color.
3. Look at the type of dye your about to buy. Is it one mixture – a paste in a tube? Or does it come with two separate bottles – the color + the cream developer? Which kind you want to buy depends on your hair. If you have thick or long hair, always make sure you’re buying a cream dye. Paste is only ever good for short, thin hair, because it is very thick and doesn’t spread very much. If you try to use it on longer, thicker hair, then you will have a really hard time applying it evenly and will probably need 2-3 more tubes of the stuff. Cream dyes are runnier, spread better, and are much easier to work with.
The dyeing process:
Dyeing your hair can be a lot of work, especially if you have long hair, and it will take quite a bit of time, so be prepared for that. Make sure you have everything you need: the dye, a pair of latex or plastic gloves(I prefer latex because plastic sometimes pulls on your hair and hurts), plenty of space to work in with either countertops or a table to put your supplies on, rubbing alcohol(I’ll tell you why later), and some old towels that you don’t mind getting stained.
The best way to dye your hair is to do it in sections. Put most of your hair up in a clip and just let down a small section at a time to cover with dye. It’s easier to do it this way, and helps ensure you don’t miss any spots.
Make sure you’re wearing old clothes that you don’t mind getting stained, too. Dyeing is messy, no matter how careful you are, so don’t risk ruining your favorite outfit while doing it.
After applying the dye:
Now I’m going to tell you what the rubbing alcohol is for. When you’re sitting there, letting the dye soak in and do its job, and you suddenly notice dye stains on your skin, grab the alcohol. Pour it on a washcloth or towel that you’re okay with staining, and then use that to scrub the dye stains. It will magically take it away. Nail polish remover also does the trick.
You’ve usually got about 30 minutes, give or take, to wait before rinsing out the dye. Make sure you put your hair up in a clip, so that it doesn’t keep staining your neck and you don’t have to worry about it brushing against the back of the couch if you decide to sit and watch a little TV while waiting.
If you want the color to be more noticeable, go ahead and leave the dye in a few extra minutes before rinsing; it won’t hurt anything.
After the waiting time is over, go rinse! Rinse the dye out as well as you can, then apply a small amount of shampoo, massage thoroughly, and rinse it out. After that – and this is very important! – you will want to condition your hair. Many dyes come with a special after-dye conditioner, but if yours didn’t, just use regular conditioner. Dyeing is a very drying process and your hair will thank you for leaving the conditioner on a few minutes longer than usual.
After you are all done:
After you are all done dyeing and rinsing and your hair is dry, you’ll finally get to see the result of your hard work! Keep one thing in mind: the color will never look exactly like it showed on the box. So, try not to be too disappointed when your hair color isn’t exactly how you pictured it. It rarely will be.
Also remember that the color will fade, especially if it’s a light or bright color, and especially if it’s an unnatural color. Blue will fade to green; red will fade to orange or pink; auburn will eventually dull to mostly brown with a faint hint of red. Certain brands and shades will last longer than others, though, so do your research beforehand. Make sure the dye is permanent if you want it to last – permanent dyes will still fade, though, just not as fast and not as much.
Now that you are all done, it may take some getting used to your new hair color. There were many times where I didn’t like my results the first day, or the second, or the fifth; but usually by the end of the week it had grown on me and I learned to love it.
Just some of the many colours I’ve tried myself!
In the end, embrace whatever results you get, and don’t be afraid to try again and experiment with the entire spectrum of colors available!