Before you read this, I would like to point out that I am not a cosmetologist. However, I've dyed my hair several times and have learned some good tips. Not everyone is capable of spending several hundreds of dollars and several hours of their lives at a hair salon. Though it's not always easy, dyeing your hair at home can be fun, less expensive, and incredibly rewarding.
1. Do Your Research!
What color do you want your hair to be? How much of your hair are you going to dye? All of it? These are questions you need to know the answers to before you dye your hair. First, pick a color. Make sure you really want this hair color and you're not just doing this on a whim. Then, go online and research different brands. You can find out about the longevity of the dye, the brightness, the ingredients, and other pertinent information. Though your experience may be different, I recommend reading reviews from real people who have used the product.
For example, I've wasted more hours of my life than I care to admit watching video after video on YouTube of people dyeing their hair, and many of them use Manic Panic's High Voltage Semi-Permanent Hair Color Cream. I decided to try it for myself. This dye produces a beautiful hair color and is also vegan and cruelty-free. After a few days with my freshly purple hair, I realized that I wanted a more permanent color so I used Beyond The Zone's Rock On Permanent Creme Hair Color.
2. Permanent Dyes versus Semi-Permanent Dyes
If this is your first time dyeing your hair (especially at home), I would highly recommend a less permanent dye that washes out easier than a permanent dye. This also allows you to make sure that you like the hair color before you really commit to it. The length of time that a semi-permanent dye lasts can varies for several reasons including the brand, the application time, the color of the dye, and the original color of your hair. Nevertheless, the color will wash out and/or fade much faster than a permanent dye will. Permanent dyes can slightly fade over time.
3. Always Be Prepared!
It's important to make sure you're purchasing and preparing enough dye to cover all the hair you're wanting dyed. If you don't prepare enough of the dye beforehand, you run the risk of preparing dye that isn't the same shade as the original dye. Therefore, your hair might not match. Preparing enough dye beforehand also makes it easier on you so you don't have to stop mid-application to mix more dye. This could also result in parts of your hair being different colors due to the varying process times different sections have had.
4. Lighten Up!
Your hair may be too dark for the dye to show up. Often times people have to bleach their hair beforehand so the dye will show up. Unfortunately, the bleaching process can be extremely time consuming and taxing on the health of your hair. I had a terrible bleaching experience in 8th grade and I didn't get my hair back to health until my freshman year of college. Needless to say, I was scared to bleach my hair again. However, I wanted the color and was willing to take the risk. If you're also afraid of bleach or maybe you're comfortable with it, I would recommend the Blond Brilliance Highlighting Kit. It's important that notice that this kit is for highlights. If you're planning to dye the entirety of your hair, you may need to buy a couple of these kits depending on your hair length. I needed two for my shoulder length hair. Depending on the darkness of your original hair color, you may have to bleach your hair a few times, but I don't recommend doing that all at once. Try lightening your hair over time as opposed to doing it all in one day.
For the best results, follow the directions that come with the product. The makers of the dye know how to get it to work correctly. If you're nervous, try getting a friend to help or even dye their hair with you! You can both make sure that an even amount of dye is applied to each person's hair.
Most importantly, have fun. As cliché as it sounds, try not to worry too terribly much about the outcome. In the end, it's just hair and it can always be redyed or cut. Don't let your fear get in the way of making memories.