Dyeing Your Hair in the Dorms?

Exam season is on the rise and homework is piling up, sometimes you just need to take a break from it all and find some time to relax. Personally, the form of self-care that works best for me is dying my hair some wild color. 

Personally, I favor semi-permanent dyes as to permanent because they do fade and wash out, so if you don’t like the color it’ll fade and you can re-dye later. I also enjoy semi-permanents because within the month or two that the dye lasts, seasons change, new colors become popular, and your mood changes, so you can re-dye as you want, and change the colors to match how you are feeling, and what’s trendy. Pastels in the spring, vibrancy in the summer, reds and oranges in the fall, and icy blues and grays in the winter. 

Please note that I am, by far, not a professional stylist. If you are seriously considering doing something big with your hair, or are hesitant about changing your hair by yourself, go to a hair stylist. It will cost more than doing it yourself in your dorm bathroom, but professionals can guarantee results. 

Here are some tips and tricks to help your venture into dying your hair in the dorms. 


  1. 1. Have a plan in mind

    Planning beforehand minimizes stress and helps assure you get the color and style you want. 

  2. 2. Make sure you do a skin test

    You never know if you could react badly to some of the chemicals in the dye. I have very sensitive skin and I have reacted badly to some hair dyes I thought I would be safe to use. It’s better to be safe than itchy. 

  3. 3. Test the hair color on a small strand

    If you find you don’t like the color, you can adjust it as needed. 

  4. 4. Use a towel to prevent staining on the floor

    You may think you won’t make a mess, but trust me, you will. However, to also note, use a towel that you especially care about. Dye is incredibly difficult to get out of fabric. 

  5. 5. Rub Vaseline on your neck and ears before starting 

    The wax from the Vaseline protects your skin from getting stained from the dye. It may also be advisable to place a bit of Vaseline on your face. 

  6. 6. Wear the right clothes

    Dye has a special talent of getting anywhere and everywhere. Also to note, the rinsing process is hard to do in the dorm showers or over a sink. Most of the time, at least the top you are wearing will get pretty soaked. 

  7. 7. Section your hair 

    It’ll help make sure all the hair on your bottom layers gets dyed. That way no matter how you style your hair, the color is right where you want it.  

  8. 8. Use a mirror

    If you’re dying your hair alone, it’ll help you see those hairs on the back of your head, and make sure you distribute the dye evenly. 

  9. 9. Use rubber gloves

    The dye will get on your hands, and your hands will try their very best to match your new and trendy hair. No rubber gloves? No worries, old plastic grocery bags work just as well! 

  10. 10. Don't be afraid to use your hands

    Massage the dye directly into your hair to make sure all hair gets dyed. 

  11. 11. Remember not to rub your face

    Many a time you just have to scratch that itch and then you have a small blue or pink smear right on your nose. 

  12. 12. Do it with friends!

    Friends are always there to help reach the tricky spots and provide emotional support and words of encouragement. 

  13. 13. Dry shampoo. dry shampoo. dry shampoo. 

    Dry Shampoo will save you washes and keep the color in longer. 

  14. 14. Don’t stress

    Stress and worry leads to overthinking and panic. Everything will be alright! Just go with the flow. Dying your hair should be a fun process, not another stressful activity to impact your day. Let go of your worries and have fun with it.