About Dyeing Hair
Dyeing Your Hair :: what are you getting into?
This site will help provide you with the information needed to dye your hair vibrant punky colors. Information provided is in reference to semi-permanent unnatural colored punk hair dyes, based on a collection of experiences from those who are experienced dyeing their hair with these products. If you are very nervous about doing this to your hair yourself, you can always get it done professionally at a salon! But doing it on your own can be safe and fun if you are careful and plan ahead.
Semi-permanent hair dye works in a way that coats your hair with color, and gradually washes away over time. These dyes do not not lighten hair, only hair products that contain ammonia or peroxide will lighten hair color. One of the first things you need to understand to achieve a specific color, is how that color will work with your natural hair color - you may or may not need to bleach your hair to get the desired result.
So for example, if you have dark brown hair and buy light pink hair dye, don't expect to have vibrant pink hair - because it does not "replace" your natural hair color, but stains your hair. Think of using a pink crayon on brown paper compared to white paper. So without taking the necessary steps to first strip your natural color from your hair by bleaching, to "clear the canvas" you will not get the vibrant pink color. Depending on how dark your natural color is, you may however get a pink tint to your hair. Applying a dark plum color over brown hair will be more noticeable than a lighter shade such as the pink, assuming it is a darker shade than your natural color - but still will not really give you true vibrant results.
You can apply the dyes to non-bleached hair, but you will most likely be disappointed with the results (depending on your natural hair color). If you have a natural light hair color, you can dye your hair without bleaching and get very noticable results. Still, even those with blonde hair can benefit from bleaching prior to dyeing their hair a punky color. Bleaching will not only lighten your hair, but also make it more porous allowing more color to be absorbed for a more vibrant color. This will also help the color last longer.
If you have light or medium colored hair and are uncomfortable with the idea of bleaching your hair (as bleaching is permanent until your natural hair color grows back in, and a more serious decision than using semi-permanent dyes alone), you should be fine coloring it and still get some very noticeable results depending on the color. Some colors will only tint your non-bleached hair, this tends to make your hair look grimy. Bleaching is highly recommended to get the best results and the truest color. Keep in mind, bleaching will damage your hair, but with proper care you can keep your hair in good condition.
Generally semi-permanent dyes will last 2-8 weeks and will gradually fade. How long the color lasts will depend on several factors such as how often you wash your hair, the hardness of the water you use, the shampoo and styling products you use, the amount of sunlight your hair gets, the color of the dye (reds/pinks tend to stay in longer than greens/blues), etc. Hair type, and how damaged your hair is, also contribute to how long the dye will stay in your hair, and how the color turns out. Some hair types simply will just take colors better than others.
Be aware that bleaching and dyeing your hair vibrant colors takes time and effort if you want it to look good, but may not be as hard as you think if you are prepared. Just make sure that before you bleach or dye your hair you're ready to experiment with your hair color - don't do anything you think you will regret!
One more thing to consider - these semi-permanent dyes stain (and I mean stain), so be careful, and wear old grubby clothes, make sure you have a pair of latex or vinyl gloves on while applying the dye! You probably want to do this on a weekend, so that if you get dye on your hairline and scalp it has a day or two to wear off. So you've decided to go for it and dye your hair? Be sure to check out the other how-to sections of this site for more information.