Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

Beauty Discovered

Makeup & Beauty Tips on How to Dye Your Hair at Home

Share your best tips and tricks for dying your own hair at home!  Feel free to share your experiences, how you mastered techniques, or what you struggle with.

Temptalia’s Tips

  1. Wear ratty clothes, make sure to cover your working space with newspaper/drop cloth to avoid staining anything in the area.
  2. Make sure to invest in shampoos/conditioners that are safe for colored hair so you help to reinforce your color.
  3. Consider using semi-permanent dye the first few times!

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24 thoughts on “How to Dye Your Hair At Home – Tips & Tricks

  1. Emma

    Not exactly the same thing but kinda related…

    My hair turns brassy really badly and store bought toning (purple) shampoos/conditioners don’t seem to do anything. Instead, I buy Directions violet hair dye and mix it with conditioner to make my own, slightly stronger version. I’ve done this with an auburn-toned one too, when I wanted strawberry blonde hair. If you just want a tint of colour, it gives you quite a lot of control as you can start off with a weak mixture and then build it up till you get the colour you want!

    • This is a really good point because colourists at a hair studio have a whole arsenal of toners to solve a myriad of colouring issues; too brassy, too ashy, etc.. and this is what your typical home dye job is missing.

  2. I always use henna, and while it is impossible to keep things 100% clean I have learned a few things to make the whole process a bit cleaner and quicker! I actually wrote a tutorial about it.

  3. – Never skip the patch test.

    – Always have some color remover handy.

    – Understand that the result may be different from the picture on the box, depending on your hair color and condition.

    – If your hair is very light, you’d need to “fill” your hair with red/orange dye before going dark, or it would end up gray/green.

    – If you just need to refresh faded hair dye, you can probably use lower concentration of peroxide. (If using box dye, substitute part of the activator with water — Do this with caution as it could cause the dye to drip)

    – If you just want to lighten your hair a couple shades, skip the bleach and go for blonde hair dye in the correct undertone.

    – Remember to match your brows to your hair.

    – If you go for crazy/unnatural colors especially, you can mix the vegetable dye with your conditioner and use it to refresh the color every couple of weeks.

    – If you want to remove brassiness, purple shampoo helps. But don’t go overboard if you don’t want to end up with gray hair.

    – Use a foaming bottle to dispense the dye, it helps get the dye more even. (Doesn’t work well with creamy hair dye, but excellent for runny dyes)

    – Use a wide-toothed comb to VERY GENTLY comb through your hair with the dye on to distribute the color more evenly. Start near the ends and gradually work your way to the roots. It may help to do this in small sections, too, to prevent breakage.

    Did I miss anything? :)

  4. I’ve dyed my hair myself for many years and I find it easiest to buy a dye brush at Sally Beauty (or another beauty supply store) to brush the dye onto my roots. Then I use the bottle to apply the dye to my ends. I also line the floor and bathroom counter with garbage bags so it’s easier to clean and nothing gets ruined. Also – if you get dye on your skin, Lysol wipes take it right off.

  5. Moria

    For those of us with unnaturally colored hair (Mine is mostly sky blue with a rainbow underlayer)..

    1. Don’t wash your hair every day. I only wash my hair 1-3 times a week. I do go through a butt-ton of dry shampoo, though. I have very fine hair- your needs for dry shampoo may be less!

    2. When you do wash your hair, wash in the coldest water you can stand. I wash my hair in cold water, then braid or ponytail it and have a hot shower for the rest of me. This doesn’t open the hair cuticle as much, and therefore lessens color loss.

    3. I cannot say how good it is to SKIP SHAMPOO entirely. I only wash my hair with silicone-free conditioner, and it does wonders. Most people don’t have hair that needs serious stripping, which 99% of the shampoos on the market do. Avoiding sulfates is a distant second, though.

    4. Adding a dollop of the semi-permanent color you use into your conditioner deposits a little every time you wash it.

    • Moria

      Oh, and also, in general:

      When redyeing, only dye what needs to be dyed. Redyeing what’s already dyed can result in fried/funky-colored hair. (The unintentional ombre effect can be fetching, though.)

      Heat speeds up processing! If you’re doing bleach or permanent dye, wait until you have about half to a quarter of the time to do your roots.

  6. Shea

    I’ve been dip-dying the ends of my hair for over a year. For unnatural colors, (mine is about 3 shades of blue now) the longer you leave it on, the better. I dye mine at night and don’t rinse it out until I have to be somewhere the next day. This is alright since most brands are very conditioning, like Manic Panic which is what I use.

  7. If you have tattoos and are going for boxed dye kits (Feria or the like), you may want to avoid dyes that have the ingredient PPD (aka paraphenylenediamine) in them. It’s found in darker hair dyes (dark browns and blacks), and can cause allergic reactions. People with tattoos are more susceptible to be allergic to it because it is found in some black tattoo inks, and when your body is healing from a tattoo it tries to fight this chemical. Obviously it’s not going to win, so when you introduce this chemical to your body again (this time through your scalp) your body will recognize it and fight it again.

    I personally developed a mild allergy to PPD, and since i’m a dark blonde who prefers very dark hair, I just found a better dye! I’m currently a fan of the Garnier Olia line of dyes that came out. No reactions thus far, and the dye doesn’t stain my skin forever like some kits have.

    Also, I echo the sulfate-free shampoos to keep your color looking good. For cruelty-free options, Trader Joe’s has a dirt-cheap sulfate-free shampoo & conditioner, and i believe all of the Organix shampoos and conditioners are sulfate-free (but don’t quote me). If you’re ok with animal testing, L’oreal has a sulfate free line (CVS had their own vegan version of this which was awesome, but i think it has been discontinued).

    Hope this helps!

  8. Sabriel

    If you have long or thick hair, buy extra dye. Get at least two boxes. The last thing you want is to run out of dye and only be halfway finished.

    I did that to my friend once, by accident, when I was helping her dye her hair for Halloween. She had hair down to her hips and it was burgundy… up to about her ears. She just about strangled me! It looked pretty bad until she got more and finished the job (without asking for my help.)

    I might have been able to get all of her hair if I had better rationed the dye, but I didn’t know what I was doing. My point is, if you’re a novice and you have a lot of hair, go ahead and buy more dye than you expect to need. Also, when you ask a friend for help, don’t ask me. 😉

  9. Tuss

    I’ve had bright red hair for years, so here it comes:

    * Get Revlon Nutri Color Cream, it’s a treatment/conditioner with color in it, to freshen up your hair color. Comes in bright red, blonde shades, red shades, brown shades and in a lavender shade to remove yellow tones in blonde hair.

    * Get a shampoo without sulfates, or a shampoo for colored hair. Sulfates are very stripping.

    * If you dye your hair in extreme colors (blue, green, pink etc) let the dye sit as long as possible – I mean several hours, maybe even overnight. There will be no harm. I don’t know about “regular” dyes and colors, maybe they are stronger and shouldn’t stay so long in the hair.

    * The BEST hair dye for extreme colors is Special Effects. Considered to be the longest lasting of all.

    * Mix hair dye with conditioner sometimes, to freshen up.

    * WEAR GLOVES, lol!

    * Rub vaseline or any fat cream around your hair line (forehead, neck etc), it will prevent the dye from staining your skin there.

    * To remove the dye that stained your skin, rub (cigarette) ashes on it, or scrub with a scrubbing glove/brush and conditioner.

    • Brittany

      TUSS- I was wondering if you could tell me where you buy the revlon nutri color cream?

      • Tuss

        I buy it at different stores and online shops in Sweden, but if you google it you will probably find it for a low price in your country :)

  10. Always protect your skin with vaseline or similar. I had a bad experience with having my hair colored in a salon as the girl didn’t protect my skin at all. I ended up with dark stained skin and blisters at the base of my neck! I am really careful dying my hair at home and never have skin problems.

  11. Yasmin

    If you wanna do highlights in your hair, then you can buy these plastic hair masks from ebay with cross marks already printed on them to help achieve even highlights, stick them on your head, it comes with a small hook for piercing the plastic and pulling through, then apply the dye on the hair that you pulled through, the rest of your hair will be protected. You can use cling flim instead if you cant find the plastic hair masks and a rat tail comb for the hook.

    Never rely on the pictures on store bought dyes, unless your hair colour is lighter than what you want to dye it. They hardly ever work.

    If you want to dye your hair a lighter colour, go to a beauty supply store or ask your salon what they would use instead.

    Prior to dye-ing your hair, make sure you buy all the products you need to help keep your colour as vibrant as possible, i.e shampoos & conditioners specifically targetted for coloured hair.

    Buy more than one pack for short to medium hair and more than two for long hair and start from the left hand side of your head, making long thin sections (like cornrows) and apply a generous amount of hair dye and then pin up. I prefer using a cheap foundation brush to apply colour as the dye-ing brushes are far too stiff.

  12. PrimulaBlue

    My tips:

    – Wear an old spaghetti-strapped nighty. Make sure it’s big enough that you can take it off just by dropping the straps, rather than over your head.

    – Slather anything you don’t want covered in dye with heavy handcream: your face, neck (everywhere), shoulders. Wait 5 minutes for it to dry before dyeing.

  13. Ashley

    For those with rainbow/unicorn hair:
    – DO NOT DOUBLE PROCESS. it will damage your hair without eliminating any of the brassiness. It’s best, if necessary, to make peace with it for a month or use bleach washes. One part bleach, one part developer, and three parts shampoo without sulfates all over once a week will eventually take the color down enough to redye.
    – Ask a friend for help unless you’re really good at it. Doing the back of your head yourself isn’t easy.
    – If your hair feels like spaghetti, that is not good. Weak and damaged hair can benefit from a protein filler, which helps color stick to resistant hair and not slide off. The stringier your hair becomes, the better it is to have it cut.
    -Coconut oil. This might be a bit much if you have just dyed hair, but if you let it sit in your hair for as long as you can stand it before bleaching it, it prevents damage and makes the hair easy to work with afterwards. I also recommend it for the first couple washes after coloring and bleaching.
    – Pink based colors in the Special Effects line never really come out. I promise. My hair is coral and has been for five months with minimal color shift. Some purples are like this, and Blue Mayhem is as well as their actual pink colors. It’s a commitment, so if this sounds awful, I recommend a green/blue, orange, or a Manic Panic version of the color.

  14. monica

    My tip is for anyone who dyes their hair all over! Your scalp provides natural heat which can make your dye more potent. But you only have natural heat near the scalp, and nape of your neck too, so if you don’t control it, your hair will have a reverse ombre effect. It will be lighter at the roots and darker at the ends.

    If you are coloring only your roots, this can be tricky since you will want to judge how long your roots need to be colored before while taking into account the heat of your scalp.

    My tip: put the dye on the roots first if you’re doing a touchup. Leave it on for longer or use a higher developed. So if you want to go 3 shades lighter, use 30. And then for the rest of your hair, apply it after 15 minutes to the roots and use a developer of either 10 or 20. You also want to put your hair up with a showercap and apply all over heat.

    Please take precautions. This is how I do it and I have colored my hair by myself since I was in 8th grade. That was over a decade ago! I figured out what to do through trial and error.


    Use Vaseline to protect your skin from the dye (I don’t personally do this; I’ve dyed my hair enough to not get it on my skin)

    Heat does help color and bleach process faster, but if you’re bleaching it, it’s gonna fry your hair.

    Wash your hair in the coldest water you can stand, and then put it up so you can take the rest of your shower in warm water. =P

    For unnatural colors: Try not to use straighteners, curling irons, or a hairdryer on it. Otherwise it strips the color faster.

    I’ve been dyeing my own hair since I was 13. Currently 17 with black hair, blonde tips, and bright fuchsia bands. =P

  16. Kat

    I’ve been dyeing my own hair for 10 years so I’m pretty much a pro at keeping the area clean. I just drape a towel over my shoulders and fasten it in front with a clip. Garnier has a very user-friendly system :).

  17. D.

    If your hair turns out darker than how you wanted/if you have (naturally!) dark hair that didn’t take dye well, get a spray bottle and some developer (I used 30 volume). Pour some developer in there and add a little bit of water and conditioner, and spray that on. Leave it on until it dries and then spray it again. If it’s not as light as you would like, try again in a couple of days. Repeat until you get your desired shade. This worked for lightening my hair enough so that the dye I’d used showed up quite well, and it’s not too damaging if you add conditioner to the bottle and give your hair a little bit of a break in between using the peroxide mix.

  18. I mainly dye my hair to cover up the gray hair that I have and is growing. So far, I have been doing all the tips mentioned, like properly covering the work area, using vaseline on the hair line, wearing gloves, shampoos for colored hair. I prefer to use ammonia-free hair color (although it doesn’t last long) as I’m afraid ammonia may not be healthy for the skin.