I immediately adored Leelo and her bright, orange hair when I saw the film Fifth Element in my younger years. I’ve been wanting to dye my hair from that moment but didn’t have the courage until lately. I first dyed my crowning glory in 2017 with blue, and it hasn’t been in its real color since then. Friends now ask me how they can also have a rainbow head. I am not an expert, but I am getting better with each session, so let me share my process of dying my hair at home.
Things You Need
Dying your hair can get untidy, and these things can help you prevent any unwanted mess during the process:
- Mixing bowl
- Color brush
- Gloves – Because some products may cause allergy to those with sensitive skin. And also, some hair dye does not fade quickly with just washing.
- Old clothing – Wear something you can easily take off when rising or something you don’t mind getting stained.
- Barber cape – If you do not have old clothing, use a barber cape instead.
- Shower cap
- Petroleum jelly – Apply some to your skin surrounding your hairline to protect your skin from getting dyed.
- Wipes – Use wipes to remove the dye that stains your skin.
Dying hair is not for everyone. It’s a bit expensive, it’s meticulous, and it’s time-consuming. You need to be patient because dying hair needs two or three days (or longer for some) to complete the process.
The following steps are generic and will not contain all the detailed levels you may be looking for, so I will craft a series of blog posts for each step with photos (or videos) during the process and results whenever I can. 😉
Step 1: Deep-Condition
Deep-conditioning your hair is important pre-bleaching and post-dying. Bleaching damages your hair, like rubbery damaged. If not shampooed or conditioned properly, its texture is like a rubber band, hard to comb, and brittle. Before I bleach my hair, I use Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Moist Deep Conditioner. Others recommend using coconut oil and leaving it overnight before bleaching to protect the hair from the harsh ingredients of the bleach product that strip hair of its healthy bounce.
Step 2: Bleach
You want a vibrant red hair, but you have jet-black hair. For you to have that result you wanted, you need to lighten your hair by bleaching.
Imagine you are helping your young son or niece or whoever kids around to work on a coloring activity, and that is to transform a black tire into a shiny red one. If the tire is already colored black and you just put red on it, what do you think the result will be? The tire will still be black but with dull patches of red; this is the very reason why bleaching is needed. There is no skipping this step.
According to Merriam Webster, bleaching is…
to make whiter or lighter especially by physical or chemical removal of color.
There are lots of things about bleaching that every rainbow head should know, like its detailed process, if it damages your hair, etc. For now, let me share what I usually use to bleach my hair, and that is L`Oreal Quick Blue Powder Lightener. It lifts hair color to level 7; you need 10 if you aim to have that platinum blonde hair meaning you have to bleach your hair twice or thrice depending on your hair because not all hair is the same.
Step 3: Tone
Don’t expect blonde or white hair on your first or second or third bleach. It’s usually brassy or orange-ish, and it doesn’t look nice. This step helps tone down (or even eliminate) that brassiness. There are different types of toner for the color you are aiming for, so study first which one suits your goals. I tone with Wella Color Charm T14 Pale Ash Blonde Toner or T11 Lightest Beige Blonde. For best results, I use the Clairol Shimmer Lights Shampoo right after toning or before dying my hair.
Step 4: Dye
Once you achieved the level of blondeness you are aiming for, and if you are testing out a new shade, it is crucial to do a strand test first. Color a hidden section of your hair first and see the result before you carry on with the dying. That way, you’d know if the shade you are about to use is for you. I am a fan of Arctic Fox, Manic Panic, and Lunar Tides. They last long (when properly maintained), smells great, and they have great color swatches.
Step 5: Erase
Congratulations! You’ve made it this far! Are you happy with the results of your hair dye and want to try new swatches? It’s time for you to ditch that old color and erase it. I use Joico Color Intensity Eraser or L’Oreal Effasol Color Remover to quickly remove the hair color in as fast as 5 minutes after application.
There are alternative ways I’ve been reading online, like using dishwashing soap or lemon, both of which I haven’t tried. I can confirm though that using a dandruff shampoo removes hair dye, so stay away from this hair product if you want to keep the color of your hair.
Now back to Step 1! 🙂
I have been dying my hair at home for more than three years now, and I am learning new things every time. Here are a few more tips on how to care for your colored hair based on my experience.
- Extend the life of your hair color using a shampoo or conditioner made specifically for color-treated hair. I cannot recommend a shampoo because I don’t use one, but when I am not using the Aussie Deep Conditioner, I am good with Creamsilk Color Protect Conditioner.
- Do not wash your colored hair with warm water. I guarantee you your Fuschia pink hair will quickly become baby pink in just a few seconds; this happened to me while we were vacationing in Phuket, and I wholeheartedly regret it.
- When bleaching or dying, wear old and easy-to-remove clothing. The very first time I had my hair bleached, I stained a new tee that could’ve been my favorite now, then cried after. lol
- Be patient. Follow the process, and do not skip a step. You will end up with two-toned hair, or you will have ugly patches on your hair, which is something you do not want to happen unless it is intentional.
- Get your hair products from trusted or authorized sellers only. There have been cases of hair and skin damages caused by fake products sold by illegal vendors. I purchase all of the things I mentioned above from Rainbow Head, who is one of the most accommodating entrepreneurs I’ve ever encountered.
- Read and research before testing out anything. Watching tutorials or following the trend is not enough. Always remember that we don’t have the same hair characteristics. What works best for someone may do damage to you.