I’ve been dying my hair for over 20 years and I’ve tried a lot of permanent and semi permanent hair dyes. Coloured hair has always been big in the alternative community but it’s definitely become more mainstream over the past few years and there’s no shortage of inspiration on Instagram and Pinterest.
If you’ve been umming and ahhing over the decision to dye your hair I say DO IT! Throw caution to the wind, it’s only hair, if you fuck it up you can always fix it.
I’ve been very fortunate in the past when it comes to employers, they’ve never had a problem with my hair and I was working directly with the public. Maybe try slipping a few streaks of colour into your hair before adopting a full head of colour if you just want to dip your toe in.
If you’re concerned about what your employer might say, honestly, I’d remind them that discrimination is illegal so if having pink hair offends them, tough shit, your hair does not impact your work. I don’t ask anyone’s permission when it comes to my hair. However if you’re truly concerned about it, speak to your boss and see what they say.
If you’re new to dying your hair and you can afford it, go to a salon and have it done professionally. If you don’t want to shell out on a trip to the hairdressers then here are some tips to help you on your journey to badass hair! And I hope you have fun embracing colour.
What you need before you start:
- Ask a friend to help, having another pair of hands around is handy!
- Wear an old t-shirt when bleaching/dying your hair
- Have an old towel on stand by
- Use an old pillowcase on your bed as the dye will likely leave residue while you sleep
- Vaseline! Put it around your hairline. It stops dye from dying your skin and stops bleach from burning your skin.
- Gloves. You can buy packs of disposable gloves in most chemists or DIY stores.
Even the blondest person should use bleach when you want to add colour. And remember, the darker your hair is, the more rounds of bleaching you’ll need to reach the required paleness. This also means you’ll need to wait a few weeks between each bleaching session, lest your hair break in half – been there, ain’t pretty!
I use Bblonde where you mix Bleach powder with hydrogen peroxide. It’s never let me down and has never burned my scalp so I’ve stuck with it and it’s relatively cheap too.
Always apply bleach to dry hair but I like to let my hair get a bit greasy before I bleach it. The natural oils in your hair and scalp help protect against the chemicals.
I also like to put plenty of conditioner in my hair after I’ve bleached it and then ideally leave it at least 24 hours before adding the colour. Your hair is going to need some TLC now that it’s had the colour stripped.
Another plus to using dyes like these is that you can leave the dye in overnight. Wrap your hair in an old t-shirt and rinse the colour out in the morning. An overnight dye is the best way to make sure your hair soaks up all the dye.
If pastel hair is what you’re after good luck to you. It’s difficult to get right but I must admit it looks great even though I personally need to have my hair saturated with colour.
If trying pastel for the first time and you’re struggling to find the perfect shade of dye, I would suggest trying adding dye to conditioner to water the pigment down a little. This way to can subtly add more colour until you get it right.
Rinsing and Washing your Hair
Brace yourself! To keep your colour fresh and bright, the best thing to do is rinse your hair with cold water and use as little shampoo as possible. If you want your colour to hang around you have to sacrifice washing it as often.
Removing dye from your skin
So, most dyes will come off your skin with warm water and soap but some are a little tougher to shift. I’ve been known to use nail polish remover to get rid of some tough hair dye stains and some folk recommend using toothpaste. (I haven’t tried that method.)
I have used skin wipes and the ones designed to remove makeup are the best at removing hair dye stains.
Congratulations! You now have badass hair but guess what? It’s also more fragile so you’re going to need to take care of it. This means getting a good conditioner but it doesn’t mean you have to spend a fortune. I love a bargain and there’s a great cheap Superdrug style shop in my town that does all kinds of beauty products and I got a great deep condiioner for £1! ( I can also get coconut oil for 99p and that stuff’s great for your hair.)
The conditioner I got has argan oil in it which is known for its antioxidant qualities. It has essential fatty acids and Vitamin E, which naturally increases hair’s elasticity and restores shine.
Welcome to the Dye Hard Club!
The Badass Manifesto