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Everything You Need to Know Before Dyeing Your Hair

Here are things to know before dyeing your hair that will ensure your hair stays healthy and beautiful without any post-treatment upsets.


Our hair is one of our most cherished outer expressions, especially in today's modern world. Therefore, it is no wonder that hair dyeing has been an in-style practice for decades and continues to increase in popularity; we've even see vegan hair dyes become popular.

Whether you decide to dye your hair at home or get it professionally done, there are some major key things to know in order to not only prevent a hair coloring disaster but also to ensure that you get the exact hair color that you desire.

Below is a list of rules to know before dyeing your hair, both for people who opt for a professional dye and for people who decide to dye their hair at home.   

Make a consultation appointment beforehand where expectations are clearly communicated.

The first and biggest thing to know before dyeing your hair is that your hairdresser cannot anticipate your exact desired expectations until you clearly define them. 

Yes, most likely you will go to a hairdresser that has had a lot of previous experience. However, unless you set up a preliminary consultation that gives them the exact expectation list, there is a much higher chance that you could end up with a hair color your not happy with. 

The communication can include such things as what your willing to pay for the service, the exact color you desire, the length and style of your hair (if your getting it cut and styled), and concerns you may have about any possible damage to your hair.  

Show your hairdresser a picture of what you want.

The second key thing to know before dyeing your hair is that it really helps hairdressers when you give them a picture.  Giving them a visual can give them a precise idea of what you wish the transformation to look like. This leaves little room for doubt as to what you desire. 

Do your research on hair salons and stylists.

Not every salon or stylist will meet your expectations and preferences. Nor are all salons always on a professional level that ensures consistently happy customers. 

A great way to do this is to see their star ratings or the reviews other customers have left on their website or social media pages. Find out how long the stylist you're interested in has been doing hair and even talk with current customers if possible. 

Research standard dye prices for your hair length as well as for the type of hair dye procedure you wish to have done.

Another big thing to know before dyeing your hair is not only what the standard charge is for your specific hair length, but also the prices of a highlight versus a full dye. Most salons have set price points for certain procedures; therefore, you can call around to different salons and then compare prices (keeping in mind the caliber of each salon).   

Generally, the more hair you have (as in length), the more they charge because there is more time involved and more dye used. Also, it is well to note that because there is a more time consuming, specifically trained technique used with highlighting, it is more expensive than a single-process coloring.     

Don't use a box color the first time.

If you use a box color your first time (even if it says semi-permanent), the color depositing process can cause a problem for future dyes because the artificial pigment color tends to linger in your hair for years, making it harder to lift if you want to change the color later on.

Therefore, it is better to invest the first time around in a professional who knows what base pigments to use for virgin hair. It's a basic hair hack everyone should know

Don't use a box color if wanting to go more than 2 shades lighter.

Many women will dye their hair with box color not realizing that if they are picking a super dark or a super light shade that is drastically different from their natural color, they will not get the dramatic change in hair color they are seeking because the chemicals contained in box dyes are not strong enough. 

Therefore, not only do you end up with damaged hair, but you also end up with a hair pigment you were not expecting or desiring. 

Only touch up new growth if you've colored before.

An important thing to remember if you already have color treated hair is that, first of all, your hair is more fragile now that it has been chemically treated; therefore, you don't want to keep putting large amounts of chemical color on your already treated hair every time you do your hair. Secondly, it is easier to create undesirable bands of lightness or darkness and discolored ends.

You can re-color faded hair; however, do so at the very end of the dyeing process to prevent severe damage. 

Wash your hair with a clarifying shampoo the day before.

Not many people are not told about the necessity of washing your hair with a clarifying shampoo and conditioner beforehand. The recommended length of time is a full week before your appointment, although a few days will suffice.

The reason for this is because you want to get all build up out of your hair that would cause problems with the dye setting properly. Also, residues in the hair can cause color inconsistencies throughout your full head of hair. Healthy hair starts with a healthy scalp, after all.

Treat your hair with moisturizing hair masks the day before your appointment.

Proper hair care is a crucial must-know before dyeing your hair. This not only ensures a smoother dye process but also that your hair is protected and remains healthy.

Whether you are going lighter or darker, there is always the chance of hair cuticle damage. Therefore, you want to minimize any potential damage by giving your hair a major moisture treatment the day before your color appointment. 

Buy a color protecting shampoo and conditioner.

Don't forget the necessity of buying and using a color preserving shampoo and conditioner so that you can maintain your colorful hair, keeping it bright and new looking.

There are many affordable name-brand products, available at most stores, that will help you maintain a rich and beautiful color after you dye your hair.  

Buy a hat or scarf to protect your post-treated hair.

This is one that most women either forget about or do not know to begin with (but that is important to know before dyeing your hair). Why? Because, if you want to have a lasting vibrant and rich color, you want to have an effective UV protectant.

Sun not only damages the skin but it also fades hair, both of which are undesirable in the beauty world. Therefore, investing in a good hat or scarf that covers your hair is an essential part of a healthily dyed hair.  

Use your own coloring as a guide when choosing your dye color.

As stated earlier, boxed color does not contain strong enough chemicals to drastically change your hair color effectively (like if you're wanting to bleach your hair when your natural color is brunette or wanting to go jet black when your natural color is blonde). 

Therefore, if you decide to use box color, use your own coloring (eye color, skin tone, natural hair color) as your guide. If you opt for dyes that have natural colors similar to your own coloring, you are more likely to be happy with the results (and avoid a color disaster!) 

Always test the dye first with a small strand of hair.

The last thing you need to know before dyeing your hair is that the color you see on the box isn't necessarily what's going to manifest on your hair.

Therefore, in order to avoid a color disaster, always do the strand test first, preferably on as little hair as possible and underneath the top of the hair (so if it gets messed up, no one will see it!) 

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is that no matter what color you choose or whether or not you choose to dye your hair at home, you want to make sure you take care of your hair. Treat it carelessly in the dyeing process, and it will not look or feel good, and consequently, you will not feel good. If you are careful and take heed of all the above precautions, you will have dyed hair that radiates beauty and health. 

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