Your cart is empty

Dyeing Guide

Application Instructions & Tips

Be sure to read about dyeing and about bleaching before you bleach or dye your hair.

REMINDER: This hair dye guide is ONLY for semi-permanant punky color dyes (Manic Panic, Punky Colour, Special Effects, etc.). THESE DYES STAIN, PREPARE TO MAKE A MESS.

Here are some things you should have (besides hair dye!):

  • pair or two of latex or vinyl gloves are a must
  • junky towel !
  • junky clothes !

Also recommended but not necessary:

  • petroleum jelly / vasoline
  • tint brush and mixing bowl
  • a friend to help

You're ready to dye your hair crazy colors, here we go!

  • If this is your first time dyeing your hair with a specific product, always do a skin sensitivy and strand test!
  • Do not use conditioner the same day you're going to dye your hair. This will prevent the dye from sticking to the hair.
  • You might want to lay down newspaper or old towels around the sink of your bathroom if you are worried about making a mess.
  • Apply petroleum jelly on your skin just around your hairline to help avoid staining your skin, do this before putting on your gloves and avoid getting it in your hair. * Put on latex or vinyl gloves before opening the dye (did I mention this stuff STAINS?)
  • You should apply dye to clean, combed, dry hair (unless your specific dye instructions recommend different)
  • You may find it helpful to use a tint brush while applying the dye, to help avoid getting the dye on your scalp. However, if you want you can just rub it in with your gloved hands. Since you want to avoid getting the dye on your scalp, its a lot less messy to use a tint brush and do a strand of your hair at a time, use the tint brush like you're brushing your hair while applying the dye and make sure you're working the dye through the hair thoroughly. This is where having a friend help comes in very handy! If you don't use a tint brush it will be extremely difficult to avoid getting your scalp dyed. The color will only stay on your scalp for a couple days. It's probably going to be easier for you to do it without a tint brush if you don't have a friend to help you.
  • For best results, leave the dye in longer that the instructions say. Keep the dye in for at least a half hour, an hour should be long enough. Some people say to leave it in for a few hours or leave it on overnight, which seems a little overboard - but whatever you think works best go for it. Your hair will only be able to absorb so much dye.
  • * Rinse your hair carefully and avoid letting it rinse down your face
  • For maximum staying power don't shampoo until the following day
  • It is ok to use conditioner after you dye your hair, and is recommended especially if you have bleached hair.


Ok, so now your bathtub, sink, or skin is stained?? oops!!

Here are some clean tips:

For cleaning up the tub/sink - Ajax, Comet, Lysol Plus Bleach All Purpose Cleaner, and similar products should do the trick. I use Clorox Soft Scrub with Bleach and it works very well.

For cleaning up your skin The first thing to try is soap, sometimes that will do the trick. You can also try toothpaste, or body scrubs. There are also specialty products you can buy to remove dye from your skin. I have tried Clean Touch by Revlon and it worked well. You can also try using facial astringents to help remove dye from your skin. This will however dry your skin so use with caution.

Do not use household cleaning products with harsh chemicals to remove dye from your skin. Such chemicals can be toxic and cause chemical burns, or other serious problems. Stick with finding a solution that is safe for your skin.

More Tips & Comments

Here are some tips that were submitted by others related to both dye application and cleanup. Thanks to everyone who has contributed!

  • Be extra careful with the clothes you wear the first few days - since these dyes can often stain/bleed onto your skin and clothing more the first few days when the color is still very pigmented. Since the dye will gradually wash out over time, this does get better after a few washes but still be careful with your hair when it is wet. SWEATING can also be an issue! If your hair is freshly dyed - you might want to avoid going to the gym and sweating or you might find yourself having colored sweat dripping down your face! again, this does get better after the first few days once the dye begins to wash out more.
  • Instead of petroleum jelly, you can use baby oil below your hair line to prevent staining your skin.
  • Have a tissue handy or an old washcloth to wipe up any spills on the sink area ASAP.
  • Use old bath towel to cover the counter top and sink. That gives you less clean up time. The same towel can be used for cleanup when rinsing out whatever instruments you used.
  • It's best to rinse your hair in a sink or over the tub, so that the water doesn't run over your body!
  • You can add a bit of dye in with your shampoo (use gloves when shampooing then) to help the color last longer
  • Do not condition before you color in any circumstance. After you bleach your hair, deep condition it, rinse, and wait until the next day to color. Because if you put a conditioner in your hair before you color, it will repel the color.
  • Before coloring, take a glass with lots of baking soda in it, and pour it on your head after your regular shampoo, and massage it in. Leave in, then wash it out. This makes your hair dry yes, but when you color, it soaks up the maximum amount of dye for moisture.
  • After you rinse out the dye, use vinegar, and rinse your hair with it. This brings up the pH level in your hair helping the color stay longer.
  • Buy a good deep conditioner to use daily after you dye. This helps the color stay in longer, and helps you hair back to "normal" condition. Also, buy a conditioner that is either "Color Enhancing" or "Color Protective" as this will help your color stay in longer.
  • Semi-permanent dyes stain REALLY bad. Make sure you are in a damageable area when you dye, or outside. If you get some on your forehead, ears, or whatever, use soap to scrub good!
  • Be prepared for an altered natural hair color after it all comes out. This only applies to people who did not bleach before dyeing. As the dye fades, punky semi-permanent dyes will all stain bleached hair a light shade of the color. And on non-bleached hair, it may leave a different shade to your hair even months after the color is gone, you may want to dye your hair back to a "normal" shade of your natural color if this is the case.