I’ve dyed my hair dozens of times. I’ve been fire-engine red, pink, bleach-tipped, emo black, and lavender-tinted before settling on my current all-purple hair. Dyeing is an adventure that I highly recommend.
At Lyco, hair dye is pretty normal. During my freshman year, I saw girls in the bathroom dyeing their hair all the time, which my RA never minded (as long as we all cleaned up), and my floormates were constantly asking one another for help with dyeing. Colored hair is everywhere on campus; Lycoming College is a place that celebrates diversity and creativity.
If you’re interested in dyeing your own hair, here are some tips I’ve learned over the past few years. Read them and begin your dye journey.
1. Do your research
What kind of dye would work best in your hair? Look it up. In the age of the internet, there are countless product reviews online. Here some things to consider.
- Colors: darker colors usually show up the best, while pastels can be temperamental.
- Dye permanence: how long do you want your color to last?
- What the dye is made of: would you prefer a vegan brand, or one that doesn’t test on animals, or one with vitamins in it?
Figure out what you want before you buy- there are tons of options.
2. Be careful with bleach
If your hair is dark brown and you want it to be mint green, you’ll need the assistance of bleach. The same way you researched dye, you should research what bleach will work best for your hair. I advise against boxed bleaches- in my experience, they fry hair, and hair shouldn’t be fried. Eggs should be fried. So, RESEARCH. And don’t be afraid to use YouTube tutorials- there are plenty of videos posted by professionals.
3. Section off your hair
When it’s time to dye (you don’t know how close I came to typing “die” just now), brush your hair and section it with hair ties or clips. This way, you can work the dye into your hair thoroughly. Gloves are not necessary if you want your hands to match your hair. When you’re done dyeing, comb through your hair to make sure the color is evenly distributed. For once, don’t skip the instructions- use them to see how long you should wait before rinsing your hair.
4. Rinse until the water runs clear
Shower until the water at your feet is clear, unless you want your towels, pillowcases, and clothing to match your hair (and your hands if you didn’t wear gloves).
5. Don’t ever wash your hair again
Okay, I’m kidding. But once your hair is dyed, you may want to avoid washing it every day, or at least shampooing it every day. Your hair color will last longer. (Bonus: your hair might be happier if you wash it less. Frequent washing can strip your hair of natural oils.)
Whether you dye or not, I hope you love the color of your hair. Personally, I love the self-expression that hair dye allows. It’s fun, and it doesn’t have to last forever.
Whether you want to go blonde for a semester or blue for a year, I hope you have fun and try dyeing.