How to dye your hair

April 27, 2010
Body and Soul, Fashion and makeup, My Advice, Teaches of Ruby

I have had pink in my hair since I was 14 years old. My mum was scared I was going to dye my whole head blue because it had been a fleeting fancy of mine, so she got me pink streaks done at the front of my hair professionally. I never would have dyed my whole head blue as I was a total wuss as a kid and never defied my mum, so I won out big time! The same thing happened when she got my nose pierced or my 16th birthday as she was scared I was going to get my eyebrow done. Imagine a blue-haired teen with a eyebrow ring – ugh, so not me. Glad mum had her doubts about my wussiness and let me get these two things done tastefully.

Anyway, because of this I like to think myself quite knowledgeable about dying hair in non-natural, vibrant colours. Even before I got the pink streaks for the first time, I used to use this stuff called Magic Silver Rose which made my hair a vivid pinky-purple colour (it was a toner old ladies used as a rinse, bit like the ol’ blue rinse, but when used concentrated it was BRIGHT as fuck). As such I am a total pink-hair-snob and shudder when I see people walking around with bad dye jobs. Doesn’t matter what colour, badly done and poorly maintained colour looks nasty, though I am especially passionate when it comes to PINK.

That is why I thought I’d share my tips on dying hair vivid colours like pink so that if you’re thinking about getting your hair did BRIGHT then you won’t make the same fatal mistakes so many others have made! My advice needs to be triplicated for those who has all of their hair dyed a bold colour (or colours) as I can get away with a lot more as I have my pink strategically placed so regrowth takes quite a while to show.

  • Get it done properly. Either go to a hairdresser to get your hair light enough for bright colours to show or at least make sure the person helping you out knows what they’re doing. I let some friends who had NO idea what they were doing bleach my hair once which almost killed it. Luckily this was the under-part of my hair so the damage was hard to see. Having someone stuff up when they’re doing your whole head will only result in tears!
  • Pick your dyes carefully! The dyes you buy at the grocery store are OK for natural colours but if you’re going got a bright red or a plummy sort of colour, you might want to look elsewhere. These dyes are designed to go over your natural hair colour and will look nasty if done over bleached blonde hair. I must admit though, store-bought black is permanent as hell and extremely good value. For unnatural, bright colours pick the brand based on how bright and permanent you want the colour to be. In Australia we really only have Fudge Paintbox which is super bright but not at all permanent (therefore ideal if you plan to change the colour regularly). The most permanent of all bright dyes I’ve found as Special Effects, which is hard to come by in Australia, though very common in the USA. SFX is therefore the best value, as a bottle of the stuff lasts ages as you don’t need to retouch the colour nearly as often as Fudge. In between Fudge and SFX are brands like Manic Panic and LaRiche Directions. Directions is a little bit more permanent than Fudge but comes in big tubs that last ages so it’s really good value. Manic Panic comes in the same sort o tubs and is even more long-lasting than Fudge and Directions so also great value. It’s an American brand though can be found in Australia easily enough (likewise with Directions, though it’s from the UK).
  • DO YOUR REGROWTH! There’s nothing worse than seeing someone with a bright coloured hair with a big, nasty strip of dark regrowth ruining it. On that note KEEP YOUR COLOUR BRIGHT! You want to rock the bright coloured hair? Then keep it looking good but getting rid off regrowth and keeping the colour even and the colour you want it to be. Nothing I hate more than seeing girls with half-faded pink hair with an inch of regrowth. Not got the time to maintain the colour? THEN DON’T HAVE IT! I know some people have their days/weeks where they let their hair fade out and look crap (god knows I have) but I tend to only ever see people during this stage, and rarely see them with the colour looking awesome. It ain’t hard so don’t slack off!
  • Pick a colour that goes with the colours you wear. I cringe when I see people with pink hair wearing red (and vice versa). If you’re going to dye your hair a certain colour then make sure it’s not going to clash with half your wardrobe.
  • Care for your hair! Now you have bright colored hair, you need to treat it better than how you’d treat your natural hair colour. Using shampoos that are made specifically or coloured hair are a good start. Avoiding going under the water in the pool or at the beach is another big one as chlorine and salt water can strip colour out. Washing your hair less may have to be another option because you’ll find your colour feeds really quickly if you wash it everyday vs every other day. And most importantly, particularly or those who’ve had to bleach their hair to get the bright colour, treat your hair to a special conditioning treatment after bleaching. I’m lucky because I have pink and black hair because the conditioner I get with the store-bought black dye is AMAZING.

I actually remembered to take a few photos while my mum did my hair last weekend. Yep, my mum. She is a pro at dying my hair which means I know it gets done well AND it’s free (I dye hair in return). It usually takes the better part of a full day to complete but she does a top-notch job each time so well worth it. Click the pics or full-sized images and descriptions.

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

Step 4a

Step 4b
If you have any questions, please feel free to ask! I’m always happy to help out with tips for keeping bright, unnatural hair colours looking good! Another great reference guide is this one by Gala Darling. Just remember though, everyone is different and practice makes perfect. What may work or me might not work for you so experiment and keep trying til you get it right!

ruby_sig

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  • pixienamedkatie

    ^_^ your hair is so awesome Cara. Hopefully people will read this and stop letting their regrowth get nasty, because that’s one of my pet hates for sure. (And also why I stick to no-fuss plain black).

  • I miss my pink hair, but you are very right the SFX pink is by far the best and it fades to a really nice shade of pink, not a feral sunset orange like some of the others. i also found a good way to keep it in (if you have a colour on black not blonde) is to mix a bit of the colour up with some conditioner or treatment and leave it on for half an hour once every couple of weeks.

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  • You are SO pretty without makeup on!

    damn you!