Dyeing your hair at home – that is a risk for many and can quickly end up in a homemade bad hair day disaster. However, if you follow a few tips and tricks when bleaching and dying, not so much can go wrong. That’s why we’ll clarify the most important questions about permanent hair dyes, semi-permanent dyes and show you how you can be spared from a nasty look for a long time. How to do hair dye at home has many benefits for a long-lasting beautiful hair color result and we explain it now.
1. Using Semi-Permanent or Permanent Hair Dye – which is the right option?
That depends on how long the hair color should last. A semi-permanent hair dye is based on so-called direct-drawers, which “draw” the dyes directly onto the hair without adding oxidizing agents – the pigments only settle on the hair surface. This allows the hair to be colored slightly darker or the natural color to be intensified, but it does not lighten the hair. After 10 to 15 hair washes, the dye will disappear again.
Permanent hair dyes initially contain swelling agents such as ammonia, which open the cuticle layer of the hair wide. The second important additive is hydrogen peroxide. On the one hand, the oxidizing agent removes natural color pigments from the hair. On the other hand, it reacts with the third important component – the so-called color precursors – and forms color molecules that permanently anchor themselves in the hair. Permanent means: with both colors, colorations and intensive shades, the hair grows out with one root.
Small difference: permanent hair dyes become slightly paler with the hair wash. For about 25 to 30 hair washes, they “hold” the colored shade. If you are a first-time user, you should try semi-permanent dye. This way you can test different nuances without the color having to grow out.
2. What kind of dye should I Use? (Mousse, Lotion, or Cream)
What kinds of dyes are available, and which ones are suitable for whom? Lotions are very liquid and are applied directly from the bottle to the hair. You have to work quickly to prevent dripping. Creams are a bit thicker and therefore a bit easier to handle. Mousse is the latest invention among dyeing consistencies.
Comparable to styling foam, nothing can run or drip here. It is also the easiest for beginners to apply, especially on the back of the head or neck. With all three types of products, you have to divide the hair into sections and tone or color each one separately. Also, a mousse should not be spread wildly in the hair, such as a shampoo. Otherwise, the color will not be even.
3. What kind of preparation I need to worry before the hair dying process
Very important: Do not wash your hair before the coloring process and always apply the color or bleach to dry, unwashed hair and, thus, to the original hair color, as the light sebum film protects the scalp. In the days before, use styling sparingly, even with strong firming styling, so that the hair color is always even. It is also advisable to pamper the hair with care treatments a few days before coloring so that the color is evenly adopted.
In order to prevent stains during the process, rub the facial contours and ears well with a fat cream, this avoids the coloring of the skin. Should something go wrong later: Spots on the skin should be rubbed away immediately with water, and also color stains on ceramics should be removed with a damp cloth. Hair Dye can only be removed from clothing at temperatures above 60 degrees – and, unfortunately, stains from bleaching will stay forever inside the clothes.
4. Natural Hair Dyes are they more gentle?
If they do not contain hydrogen peroxide, they are (it says on the packaging). But many other hair dyes still require a little chemistry or hydrogen peroxide for intensive color results. Red, brown, copper – only these shades are excellent. With natural dyes, there is only a limited spectrum of nuances. Pink or blond shades are therefore not available as a natural hair color. Even for hair experiments such as dip-dyeing (the tips of the hair are dipped in a bright color) natural hair dyes cannot be used. If you want to do without artificial additives, you have to look carefully at the packaging.
By the way: If you had a chemical color in your hair before, you should not combine it with natural hair colors. Depending on the pre-treatment of the hair, the result can vary or become very uneven. If you want to cover grey hair, this is unfortunately rarely possible with natural products.
5. Brown is not just brown – how do I know which tone suits me best?
If you dying hair at home never choose a product that is more than two shades lighter or darker than the natural shade. If in doubt, choose a shade lighter than darker. If the color does not quite match the idea, the result will at least not be too extreme. You must assess your natural hair color correctly. The eyebrow color is a useful orientation guide.
Grey hair can be covered relatively easily with dark colors. The lighter you want to become, the more difficult it is. The trickiest thing to do is to give only partially gray hair a red tone.
6. Is the active ingredient ammonia harmful?
Ammonia is an alkalizing agent that increases the pH of the hair so that the structure, i.e., the cuticle layer, swells. Once it has done its job, the small gaseous molecule volatilizes again – which manifests itself as an unpleasant odor and can irritate the mucous membranes of the eyes and nose. For this reason, ammonia is replaced by monoethanolamide in some hair dyes. This alkalizing agent is not volatile and, therefore, completely odorless. However, real high-performance colors that also need extreme lighting (such as bleaching) work best with ammonia and thus achieve the best color result.
For women with sensitive scalps, ammonia-free color dyes are useful. Most of these dyes contain vegetable oils that have a caring effect on sensitive scalps.
7. What is the best way to proceed when dying?
If you want to color your hair lighter, it is best to start at the neck and the back of the head; in many women, these areas are slightly darker than the – sun-bleached – outer hair. If you want to get darker, then the fine hair around the face should be brushed with the coloring lotion last. It absorbs color very quickly and could become too dark if left on for a long time. Even broken or lightened hair will take up more color; the result can be irregular in the end.
8. Shock, my hair dye went wrong?
We try very hard to apply the hair dye as evenly as possible on the hair, and yet after three weeks, you already discover the first hair root problem. But no time to refresh the color? No worries! Meanwhile, there are special application powders which are supposed to create a fresh look as well as individual highlights. The waterproof formula should last until the next shampoo and be especially gentle on the hair. Simply brush it onto the roots with the corresponding short-haired brush, and the roots problem should disappear.