D-I-Y hair dye kits are a cheap and easy way to switch our hair colour but it is not as straightforward as following the instructions on the box.
When I first read the news about people eager to cut their own hair during the lockdown period, I was baffled. “Why can’t they just wait until the salons are open again?” I thought to myself. Little did I know, I was one of them. Although I never thought of cutting my own hair (since I’m a girl and wanted longer hair anyway), I had wanted to dye my tresses for the longest time.
Yes, I could have waited to get my hair dyed professionally. However, I was starting to feel self-conscious about my ugly hair roots whenever I go for my weekly grocery shopping. After a few weeks of contemplation, I decided to purchase a D-I-Y hair dye kit online to fix the issue. Prior to starting my “big project”, I’d watched multiple video tutorials to prep myself. But as it turns out, there’s only so much you can learn from videos.
My first D-I-Y project didn’t end up well but thanks to that personal experience in which I screwed up big time, the second attempt was so much better. So if you’re thinking of being your own hairdresser and do such a major change to your hair, don’t go in blindly and expect a miracle to happen. Here are some tips and tricks you need to know to be fully prepared for what’s about to happen.
1. Don’t trust the model image on the box or online
There’s a reason why brands choose to put a model on the box – to show you how beautiful the hair colour is so that you’re enticed to buy the product. While the model’s hair looks like a fantasy, it’ll most certainly not look the same for your hair. There’s no way to know what the model’s base hair colour is and this can greatly affect the outcome of the colour. The best way to estimate how the colour will look on your hair is to refer to the chart on the box, which shows you the predicted final colour for a range of different hair shades.
2. Don’t choose a crazy colour
It may be tempting to dye your hair a funky colour like green or blue, but it actually requires more hard work than you think. The rule to make such bold colours stand out is by bleaching the hair so that the colour can be seen more prominently. However, bleaching your hair is extremely dangerous and can lead to you losing all your hair. The safest colours to go for are brown and deep burgundy if you have naturally dark hair so that mistakes won’t appear very obviously. Learn to walk before you run!
3. Buy at least two boxes
This is undoubtedly the biggest mistake I’ve made during my first attempt of dyeing my hair at home. I ended up with ugly patches on my head since there was not enough dye to cover all my hair. If your hair is past your shoulder, make sure to get at least two boxes of the same shade to ensure you have enough product for the whole head. Don’t try to be creative and cocktail two different shades because the end result would definitely be a disaster.
4. Prepare all the necessary tools
Whether you like it or not, this will be a very messy affair. Dyeing the sides may be very easy but it can be a hassle when it comes to reaching the back section of your hair. While many people suggest protecting your neck and shoulder with a cut-out plastic bag, I find that an old button-down shirt works like a charm. This is because you don’t need to pull anything over your head when you have to wash off the dye. Have an old rag or towel prepared as well to wipe off stains and wear gloves when you’re handling the dye. If the D-I-Y kit doesn’t come with the necessary tools, invest in some plastic tools instead of metal ones so that the formula doesn’t react to it.
5. Never neglect the after-care
Once the job is done and dusted, it’s almost natural to just leave our hair as it is and admire its beauty. However, this is not the case. Compared to getting my hair dyed professionally, I realise that at-home dye colours actually fade so much quicker than professionals’. Not to mention, dyeing your hair, be it at home or in the salon, is very damaging to the strands.
Make a commitment to take good care of your hair by using shampoos that are designed to keep the colour vibrant and hair nourished. Consider applying hair masks once a week to keep your hair moisturised as hair dyes can dry out your tresses and never skip conditioning! Most importantly, don’t jump into dyeing your hair another colour a few days after a dye job as this will put too much stress on your hair.