Weird colored hair is great, and due to gaining popularity it’s becoming a more accepted commodity. Because colored hair is more accepted, it’s a lot easier to come by (and pull off), but getting to beautiful rainbow hair at home can be a torturous journey full of arm pain and chemical fumes.
Whether you’re opting for something light and bright or dark and daring, you’re sure to make an impact!
Of course, you could go to a stylist to get that rainbow hair you've always dreamed of but that can be expensive, especially when it comes to care and maintenance of your new color. A much more wallet-friendly option is to dye your hair at home. Sure, it may take longer, but in some cases (my own case included) it costs at least $100 less than at a salon, without even including tips.
I personally would rather devote an entire half a day to dying my hair at home than going to a salon and paying a ton of money. Sure, it takes a lot of effort - but I’m not someone who can afford to go back and get my color touched up every month with salon pricing. It’s better for me to just do the whole process at home, and lets me keep my color looking fresh without breaking the bank.
Dying Your Hair at Home: Is it Worth it?
Although it is definitely the cheaper option, I have to say that at-home hair dye comes with its own trials, no matter if you've got long locks or an edgy, short haircut. It takes a lot of work, time, effort, and supplies - none of which can be skimped on. You may think you don’t need a mixing bowl or extra gloves, but trust me, you do.
You also may think you won’t need a whole day to get through this process, but you probably will. It will take a long time (if you're a complete beginner). But when you think about the time it takes to get to the salon, sit for your appointment and then travel home - you're probably going to be no better off. And, of course, there is the fact that you'll be saving a ton of cash! But above all, when you get to play around and style your bright new hair, you’ll realize the process was worth it.
What Supplies Do I Need to Dye My Hair At Home?
You are one hundred percent going to need all of the supplies that you'd probably encounter if you went to the salon - as well as some cool accessories for your finished do! You can’t get away with some random bowl, one set of gloves, or just your hands instead of a brush. If you want a good, even distribution of color, you will need a brush and a comb that you only use while dying your hair.
You will also need a few pairs of plastic gloves, and at least one bowl to hold and mix dye and bleach together. You will also need to put down a million towels and pretty much prep your room like Dexter does for murder. Cover the walls, the toilet, the doorknobs, the light switch, and whatever else you can think of - because hair dye somehow magically gets everywhere and you don't want to ruin your cool bathroom decor! You will need to be organized and prepared with your station and product.
How Much Dye Should I Use on My Hair?
The amount of colored hair dye you need to color your hair at home really depends on the length and thickness of your hair. I personally have very long thick hair that, depending on brand, can take up to eight tubes of hair dye. I didn’t realize this the first time I colored my hair, so I didn’t buy enough bleach or color, so I ended up running back to the store with the top half of my head bleached and the bottom half my natural brown!
But, I learned from my rooky mistakes and now I always err on the side of caution and buy more than enough, which is what I recommend you do. Remember you can always use the extra color for overall touch up and bleach for your roots. If your hair grows quickly, you’ll have roots in a few weeks anyway, but the good thing about rainbow hair is that your roots don’t matter as much! No one thinks bright pink is your natural hair color anyway!
How Long Should I allow for The Dye to Take?
On top of a lot of product, you’re going to need a lot of time to dye your hair at home - especially if your hair is dark as well as thick. If you aren’t bleaching your dark hair, you are going to have to let your dye sit for a very long time, and you can’t really go out while that’s happening, so you’re home-bound.
When it comes to actually dying your hair at home, the process can vary from person to person. If you bleach your hair first, follow the instructions on the packet - and don't freak out if your hair looks patchy and orange! This is normal, and you're going to be covering it with color anyway. Use a conditioner on your hair to prevent it from drying out, and then allow it to air-dry before you add the color. Like I said, this process takes time - and patience is key.
Once you get through applying the dye you’ll be granted about an hour (depending on if your bleached or not) to just chill and let the color soak in. This is when you slap on some garbage bags, put a blow dryer to your hair (heat will help the color become vibrant), and watch some trashy T.V. It will also probably be one of the first times where your arms can rest and you realize how tired you actually are. Once the color has set you will hop in the shower and rinse it out to the best of your ability.
When it comes to rinsing, your water won’t “rinse clear” like the package says either; those instructions are liars! You’ll be in the shower for about an hour depending on your level of patience, and then you get bored and your back starts hurting so you say good enough and give up. There is no shame in this because your arms are going to hurt a lot by this point, you’ll feel loopy from fumes, and you’ll get bored of staring at your shower curtain.
The Moment of Truth: Does Coloring Hair at Home Actually Work?
After your 45 minute shower you are going to want to blow dry your hair so you can make sure the color came out well. Some say it's not the best idea to apply heat to color-treated hair, but I personally haven't had any problems. Also, who has the patience to actually wait until their hair has air dried?
Once your hair is blow dried and combed, you’ll look in the mirror and stare at yourself for a good ten or fifteen minutes. And honestly, you may well hate your hair at this point, which is normal - completely changing your hair color can come as a shock. And let's face it, it never turns out exactly how we imagined it, whether we go to the salon or not. But once you get over the shock and trauma of dying your hair at home, experiment with some cool new hairstyles and add some punky hair accessories (your hair is bright colored now, after all) - you'll fall in love with your cool new style!
Your hair coloring process isn’t really over until the first time you wash your hair, which shouldn’t be for about five days after it’s colored. The longer you let the color sit the better it will stay in, and you shouldn’t wash colored hair that often either way.
This is where you will fall in love with your new hair and realize the whole process must have been worth it. You’ll definitely decide the pain and time it took was nothing compared to the payoff when you go out and get your first “You’re so brave! I could never do that.”
Like most things, you'll forget the pain of coloring your hair and only remember the benefit. You’ll immediately scour the internet for the next cool colored hair trend because, even though it’s a pain in the ass, colorful hair is really addictive! You'll never want to wear another hat again.
Changing your hair color is a great way to change up your look and life while gaining more confidence. Though it’s a trying journey, dying your hair at home is definitely a journey worth taking.
Have you had success coloring your hair at home? Let us know your tips and tricks for upkeep below!