Putting some cool colors in your hair is a great way to shake things up if you feel like you need a change. Colorful hair can revamp your whole look, and it’s the perfect accessory for any drab outfit. Of course, it’s not all fun and games; the process can be tricky, and it involves a few steps. Coming from someone who’s dyed her hair all sorts of colors—from blues to pinks—here are five things you should know before diving in headfirst.
1. Bleach Isn’t Fun
Generally, when dyeing your hair a fun color, you’re going to have to start with bleach. Bleaching your hair strips it of color, so that whichever dye you use comes out as true to form as possible. But, be warned: Bleaching your hair also dries it out a lot. Try using hair masks (coconut oil works wonders) in the days or weeks leading up to when you dye it, so that it’s extra soft and ready for the bleaching process. In addition, the bleach itself may irritate or sting your scalp when it’s applied, depending on the volume you use. It’s not unbearable, but it is something to keep in mind before you do it. Just make sure you communicate with your hairdresser if it hurts too badly.
2. The Process Can Take Time
Getting your hair light enough to put a color in can sometimes be tricky. Depending on how dark your hair is to begin with, and how easily the color lifts, the process can involve multiple rounds of bleaching. If your hair is strong enough, this could all be done in one day, over the span of a few hours. However, if your hair is more on the thin/fragile side, it may be better to space it out over the span of a few sittings. I know it can be frustrating not to have immediate results, but it’s important to wait it out so that you don’t seriously damage your hair.
3. You’ll Stand Out
Having colorful hair guarantees that you’ll be noticed. Whether it’s little kids excitedly pointing you out to their parents or older people giving you judgmental looks, be prepared to stand out. Going out in public will definitely feel weird at first; you might feel out of place, or like everyone is looking at you. This feeling goes away pretty quickly though, I promise. Before you know it, you’ll be so used to your hair that you won’t even think about how other people are reacting. Plus, having a crazy color in your hair comes in super handy when trying to find friends in crowded places.
4. It Might Make You More Confident
For me, putting colors in my hair definitely gave me a newfound confidence. I had to get used to constantly standing out, which gave me confidence in other areas. I knew what I wanted and went after it when it came to my hair, and that made me more sure of myself overall. I know this confidence also had to do with starting college and being out of my comfort zone a lot of the time – but I think my blue hair definitely added to it as well. So if you decide to get crazy with your hair, you might feel a little out of place at first. But eventually you’ll get used to it and maybe feel more like yourself than ever before.
5. There’s a Lot of Upkeep
Unfortunately, colorful hair can fade quickly. It all depends on the color and dye you choose; for example, red tends to fade super fast, whereas blue fades to green and then refuses to leave your hair for months on end. Before taking the plunge, you should know that it’ll probably take quite a bit of maintenance. Your roots will inevitably grow out, and the color itself will need a touch up every so often. Some tips for preserving the color: wash your hair less often if possible and use a sulfate-free shampoo—sulfate strips color fast, so it’s important to use hair products without it.
Dyeing your hair a cool color is definitely a fun thing to do, especially at this stage in life. However, it’s really important to have all the facts before you go diving in. Hopefully, this guide serves as a good start, but make sure you do your own research before making any big decisions. Once you have all the information, I encourage you to go out and do it. Take it from me—all of the upkeep and bleach is worth it!
All images courtesy of author.