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Since the beginning of the pandemic, I have been experimenting with dyeing my hair. While I’m not a stranger to hair dye, I had never applied it on my own. There was a lot of bleach involved.  It went from purple to green and then, from gray to pink. I get easily bored of colors—that means that every few months I change it. The thing about using hair dye on yourself is that it can get messy really quick. The process can get complicated and end up in a disaster if you are not careful.  Here are some tips that I learned along the way to help make the process smoother. 

  1. Prepare the area 

First things first, prepare the area you are going to use.  Find a place where it will be easy to clean and you can see yourself in the mirror. Gather every material you will need: bleach, dye, gloves, developer, bowlsーyou name it. The last  thing you need is to start using the dye, only to find out you have nothing to apply it with. Running around the house once you start applying it will mess up the processing time, and each part of your hair will end up looking different. Also, be sure to prepare the area where you will be removing  it. Place your towel close and make sure your shampoo and conditioner are  close nearby.

  1. Don’t forget the gloves 

You need  gloves even when you think you don’t. I know that having to take them on and off can get annoying, but that’s preferable to stained hands. Touching bleach with bare hands irritates the skin and it hurts…a LOT. Using color dye without gloves will most likely stain your hands with hair dye for nearly 3 days, and believe me, nobody wants green hands. You might think, “Ok, but why do I need three pairs?” Well, if you are using bleach or more than one dye, the gloves will stain and things will get mixed up.  In the process of taking the gloves on and off, they can break, so it’s always a good idea to have an extra pair. 

  1. It’s okay to use your hands

Using your hands to apply the color is probably one of the easiest ways to dye your own hair. Don’t be afraid to use them. Just make sure to use gloves and cover all the hair you’re going to dye. Also, remember that bleach doesn’t lather like shampoo, so be sure to put a big amount on your hand to cover all the strands. 

  1. Have wet paper towels near you

Wet paper towels will save your life. If you make a mess, be sure to clean yourself and your surroundings quickly, so it doesn’t stain. The more you have, the better. It will be a messy process, but you can always clean it. 

  1. Section your hair

Brad Mondo doesn’t repeat this in his videos for fun. When using hair dye or bleach, sectioning your hair is the best way to do it. With this strategy,  you can make sure that everything is covered. If not, you will probably miss a spot and end up with it looking wonky and uneven. 

  1. Let your hair and scalp rest

I know seeing your roots is kind of annoying, but it’s better than getting a chemical burn or losing hair because of excessive bleaching or dye. Give your hair time to rest. When applying only dye, I used to give it a month or a month and a half as a rest period until I decided to redye it. Now that I bleach it, I give it two months before I redo the roots. Do I sometimes look like a crazy person with excessive roots? Yes, but it’s worth it to keep my hair healthy. 

I hope these tips help you have a smooth sailing and get an amazing result. Don’t be afraid of it. Do  your research to know what you want and  need. Now go dye your hair and have fun with it!

Alana is currently in her fifth year, studying Comparative Literature in the UPR Río Piedras Campus. She loves books, superheroes and mythology. Will sing any song that she knows (even if she can't sing to save her life) and is always tired. She dreams with someday writing a book.
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