I Dyed My Hair Hot Pink: Here's What To Know

Ever since I was in middle school, I’ve wanted to dye my hair. Unfortunately, my parents vehemently disapproved, despite all my begging. I guess they did not want their 12-year-old kid walking around with bright blue hair. As a result, I kept my hair all natural for years, even through that phase around 2016 when pretty much every girl on Instagram had that “millennial pink” hair. When I got to college, though, I decided it was finally time. Hot pink, here I come!

WHY I DID IT

Since I’d wanted to change my hair for years, I knew I’d eventually regret it if I never did. I didn’t want to be 30-years-old wishing I followed through with my teenage rebellious phase. I figured it was best to do it now, before I get too old for it to be socially acceptable for me to have crazy hair. When I first dyed my hair a few months ago, I got a blue balayage that was a bit of a fail. I didn’t realize how similar in tones blue and black are, so it unfortunately didn’t show up much. When it faded, though, the blonde underneath the old blue dye was much more noticeable. I liked the blonde, but the brief blue phase didn’t fully satisfy my desire for colored hair. So, I decided to go all out.

THE PROCESS

I got my blue done in Santa Monica, and it was ridiculously expensive for very little payoff. Over spring break, I called my usual salon at home for a price estimate and sent pictures of my current and goal hair. The price came out to $250, plus tip, for a full head of hot pink. I set an appointment for 1 p.m. the next day, and that was that. It was happening.

When I walked in, my colorist warned me that it might take two sessions to get my hair light enough for the vibrant pink I’d asked for. He told me he was aiming for a “inside-of-a-banana” yellow color to allow the pink to really pop. But I apparently have unusually strong hair! I have so much hair it took him two hours just to apply the bleach through my whole head and he didn’t wash it out until around 5 p.m. He noted several times that he was shocked my hair wasn’t breaking at all, since most people have way more breakage after leaving the lightener in for that long.

After he washed out the bleach, I did have a little bit of breakage. However, all the breakage was at the tips so it was just like I had split ends. My colorist ended up giving me a trim, free of charge, to get rid of the damaged tips. He then applied the pink dye, as well as a bit of black on my roots to blend my natural color to the pink for a shadow root effect. He washed the color out after about 45 minutes, and voilà.

THE AFTERMATH

My hair was incredibly bright right after the process, but I knew it would fade super fast if I didn’t take care of it properly. My stylist told me to invest in a pink shampoo to slow the fading process, and a deep conditioning mask to counteract the dryness. My hair wasn’t too damaged, but it was definitely dry. My colorist also warned against using heat, which would only further damage my hair.

I dyed my hair on a Saturday and didn’t wash it until the Tuesday after. I recommend going as long as possible without washing it, because the water really takes out a lot of dye. The first time I washed my hair, I was shocked at the amount of pink that came out. There was like a pink juice running down my whole body. The towel I used to dry my hair also ended up getting stained, as did the T-shirt I wore after. Luckily, I predicted this would happen and used my ugly towel and an old free shirt.

TIPS

If you want to dye your hair, go for it. Just make sure to do your research and book it with someone who knows what they’re doing. Bring some snacks and water, too, because it is a ridiculously long process. I didn’t, and my poor colorist--thanks, Victor -- had to keep bringing me water and Sour Patch Kids. If you know your parents will react poorly, though, maybe wait until you’ve moved out. I didn’t tell my parents, but I knew they wouldn’t really mind since I wasn’t living with them every single day. They were shocked, of course, but I guess they understood there wasn’t anything they could do about it. The next morning, my mom even asked to take pictures of me, so I guess she doesn’t hate it that much.

My hair is still really new to me. Whenever I catch a glimpse of myself in a window reflection, I do a little double take. I’m not sure if I’ll just let it fade to blonde and grow out, or if I’ll do a different color, but I’m glad I did it. It might limit the colors I can wear without severely clashing with my hair, and professors can probably actually notice me falling asleep during lectures now, but it was worth it. I have pink hair! Hot pink! Pretty sick, huh.