How I Dye My Hair

Going to a salon to get your hair dyed can cost upwards of a hundred dollars! If you frequently change your hair color and don't want to shell out a ton of money, try dyeing your hair at home. You can use box dye from the drug store, but I find beauty supply stores, like Sally's, offer more color variety. Their staff is willing to answer any questions you may have and they're probably having a sale!

Disclaimer: This is the method I have used for years. However, I am not a hair stylist and do not have any certifications or formal training.

Before you start:
> When picking your dye color, keep in mind that dark hair will not take light dye. In order for the dye to take, you must choose a color that is darker than your current color. 
> Developer comes in several volumes. Essentially, the higher the number, the better the color. However, higher volume developer causes more damage, so be careful. Read more here.
> My hair falls to my mid back and is very thick. I purchase three boxes of dye and have leftovers. I'd say chin length=1, shoulder length=2 and so on.
> If you need more than one box, I recommend buying two similar colors instead of two of the same color. I know that sounds crazy but it creates a more dynamic color. For example, if you buy Strawberry Red 2.0 then try Strawberry Red 2.1 as well. Keep your colors in the same family, but slightly different.
> Make sure to allow for adequate ventilation. Turn on your bathroom fan and open the windows. Leave the door to your bathroom open and take periodic breaks outside to get fresh air. Remember these are heavy chemicals and can cause irreparable damage, so use caution.
> Dye your hair back to front. Start with the back of your head and work your way to the front (fringe) area. 
> If you use something from your kitchen, make sure to designate it as "dye only" and DO NOT use it in the kitchen ever again.
> Dyeing your hair is very damaging. As such, make sure your hair is DIRTY before you start. The natural oils in your hair will help better protect your scalp. Also, I recommend doing a hair mask or oil treatment at least once a week to keep your hair silky.

Assemble your supplies: 
-Better to buy more and have too much than not enough. I like ion dye best. 
-I use 2o volume developer. You will need twice as much developer as dye. In general, each tube of dye is 2 oz. So if you buy three boxes of dye (6oz) you will need 12oz of developer. 
Measuring Cup
-Use one with ounce measurements so you can measure the appropriate developer amount.
-You can buy a special dye bowl with a handle but my hair requires so much dye that they are usually too small. I just use a plastic food storage bowl from IKEA. 
Applicator Brush
-Any kind
Plastic Gloves
Hair Brush or Comb
-Self Explanatory 
Clips or Barrettes 
-Not required but very useful
Disposable Shower Cap 
-Not required but very useful
Chapstick or Vaseline
-Not required but very useful for preventing the dye from bleeding onto your skin. 
Spare towels, washcloths, and crappy clothes
-You will make a mess; don't dye your floor!

1. Read instructions thoroughly. Determine how much time your dye needs to sit. 
2. Lay spare towels over every surface. Cover the counter, floor, and save one for after your shower. Lay a few extras near your workspace to clean up any spills or drips. Then lay out your supplies.
3. Brush or comb your hair thoroughly. Separate into sections and pin up all but one section in the back using clips. 
4. If using, rub Chapstick or Vaseline along your entire hairline.  
5. Pull on gloves. Mix your dye and developer. Read the instructions on the box for accurate ratios. If in doubt, look it up on the manufacturer's website. Stir well! 
6. Start timing. Using the brush or your hands, evenly spread the dye over the back section you've left out. You may need to use your fingers to smoosh the dye over every bit of hair. 
7. Pin that section back up and choose another to work on. Continue until your whole head is dyed, pinning each section back up. 
8. Cover with a shower cap and allow hair to absorb dye for allotted time (usually 30-45 minutes).
9. Once your time is up, take a shower. Rinse the dye out of your hair until the water runs clear. (This can take a while.) You do not need to shampoo! Finish with conditioner or a hair mask. Use the designated spare towel instead of your regular one as your hair will still have dye in it and it will stain. 
10. Style as usual. 

Clean up:
> For a fresh dye stain, you can wipe it up with a wet cloth. Spills that have been allowed to sit--even for a few minutes--will leave a stain. Soft Scrub with bleach can usually get rid of the stain. Only use on white surfaces though!
> You can likely wash all of the towels and clothes that have dye on them in your clothes washer. Remember, these will be stained forever so use them the next time you home dye! 

Feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions! 
Have fun! 
Lots of Love, 

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