How To Dye Your Own Hair Every Color You’ve Ever Wanted At Once

Following in the footsteps of every uni student cliché before me, as soon as my parents dropped me off in the tiny box that would be my room for my first year out of the family home, I shaved off most of my hair and turned what was left of it purple. I say this casually, as if the process was pain-free and smooth sailing all the way — when in reality my first time had me bent over the sink in said tiny box while a friend poured jug after jug of too-cold water over my newly (and unevenly) blonde, frizzy hair. BUT three years on, I can now safely say that I know enough about dyeing my hair to at least remember not to stain the bathroom tiles.

And I've found a partner in crime!

And I’ve found a partner in crime!

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: I’m not a professional hairdresser. Always follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer, and if in doubt, consult a qualified professional. However, there is very little to the process that requires specialist expertise, so don’t be scared off! My partner and I have gotten a fair amount of practice in and learnt how to do more complicated colour combinations, but I’ve done this even with friends who’d had no prior experience at all. Doing your hair yourself is fun, much cheaper than going to the salon, and probably only moderately hazardous to your health.

Step One: Bleaching

I’ve known more than one person who’s said things like, “I dye my hair so frequently I’ve forgotten what the original colour is” and I’m never quite sure how to respond. Is this a really roundabout humblebrag? Do these people never look in the mirror, wildly stabbing at their scalp every time they sense their roots have grown out? My hair is black, so bleaching isn’t optional. Some people have success getting tinted hair by just dyeing unbleached hair, but bleaching is the best way to get bright, long-lasting colours.

Before we begin, here’s a few things to take note of:

  • This how-to assumes you’re bleaching your hair as a first step to dyeing it other colours. While it’s possible to lighten your hair to platinum blonde, etc. at home, it’s also pretty hard to do evenly, so if you’re doing this (especially for the first time!), maybe lower your expectations.
  • If you’re using permanent hair dye (instead of temporary or semi-permanent ones like Manic Panic), the dye might already contain peroxide and/or ammonia to lighten your hair. I didn’t run into any issues this one time I bleached my hair before using Herbatint dye, but it might be different for you. Try to avoid ammonia in hair products.
  • The effects of hair bleach are permanent. Bleach oxidises the melanin in your hair (turning it from your natural hair colour to colourless) so there is no way to go back to the original colour until new hair grows out. There’s no getting around it: bleach smells terrible and feels terrible and will make you wonder why you’re putting yourself through this. But the end results will make you feel awesome about yourself and even if it messes up, hair always grows back!


Keep your hair as clean and healthy as possible. Avoid using hair products and heat styling tools, and try not to bleach your hair too soon after other chemical treatments like hair relaxing. Condition! And then condition some more — but not too soon before bleaching, because conditioner coats hair cuticles and makes it harder for the chemicals to work. Shampoo your hair about a day before bleaching, so it’s clean but your hair has some time to build up sebum to protect your scalp.

Decide on the strength of the bleach you want to use. Hair bleach usually comes in two parts: bleach powder and cream/clear developer. The volume of the developer affects the strength of the reaction that lightens your hair.

  • 20 vol: for light-coloured hair
  • 30 vol: for medium/dark-coloured hair
  • 40 vol: for very dark hair

Most guides recommend that you don’t use 40 vol developer and that you don’t bleach black hair (especially if it’s been dyed black). I do all of these things regularly with reckless abandon and great results. If risking the health of your hair for vanity and convenience isn’t your thing, try using 20/30 vol developer and bleaching your hair multiple times instead.

Get bleach! Boxed kits are great for getting started: Manic Panic (US) and Directions (UK) are popular options. We’ve also experimented with perfumed bleaches like GATSBY Ex Hi Bleach but found the artificial smell even more offensive — might work for you though. These kits contain all the equipment you need, but you’ll need more than one box if your hair is long or thick. For a more economical option, you can buy bleach powder and developer in larger quantities and mix them as needed.

Do a strand test. This is especially important if you’re using a new product, have previously bleached/dyed your hair, used henna or have skin conditions/allergies. I’ll admit I usually skip this step because I’m not too fussed about what colour my hair ends up since I move on immediately to dyeing, and neither my partner nor I have reacted badly to bleach despite having eczema and psoriasis respectively. But your mileage may vary, of course, and bleaching is by far the most destructive step in this process so take all the precautions you need to feel confident you’re not about to melt your ALH off.


Cover everything. Bleach will ruin your hands, clothes and rental deposit. Wear gloves and apply Vaseline to your ears and hairline; if you have cartilage piercings that you want to keep covered, use cling wrap. Use plastic sheaths or newspaper to line your working area and cover your back and shoulders. Don’t wear anything you’re going to miss if bleach falls on it; tops with a wide neckline are good so you can get it off without it brushing your hair. (Plus there’s always the option of not wearing anything.) Always, always use bleach in a well-ventilated place, unless you enjoy entertaining paranoid thoughts about your imminent death brought on by inhaling noxious fumes.

Mix the bleach powder and developer in non-metal containers. Mix the dry into wet (which I always do wrong). If no instructions are provided, the powder and developer should be added in roughly equal proportions till no lumps of powder remain and the mixture approximates the consistency of buttercream frosting. Getting the ratio exactly right isn’t super important; you just want it smooth enough to spread and not too dry.

Section and clip/tie up your hair (again, no metal!). Bleach is quite thick and doesn’t work itself into hair easily. I find it easiest to tie the top part of my hair up with a rubber band and then pull out small amounts at a time, but a more common method, especially with thicker/longer hair, is to use clips to section the hair into quarters. It’s a lot easier to do this with a partner so you can make sure nothing gets missed, but if you’re on your own, set up two mirrors so you can see the back of your head.

Work from the bottom up with a plastic brush or your (gloved) fingers. This seems counterintuitive, but the tips of your hair will take the longest to process because they’re the farthest away from the heat of your head. To get a more even colour, apply bleach to your roots only 5-10min after you’re done with the rest of your hair. (This also reduces the risk of chemical burns from too-strong bleach getting into contact with your scalp.)

Do NOT bleach your eyebrows. This shit will blind you.

Keep a close eye on processing time. Bleach might act faster on your head than during the strand test because of your body heat. To prevent the bleach from drying out and to speed things up a little, wear a shower cap. You can also use a hairdryer, but I don’t recommend it because it can make your hair really brittle. Try not to leave the bleach in for more than 30min — an itchy scalp is normal, but stop immediately if it feels like it’s burning.

Rinse the bleach from your hair with cold water and shampoo. No matter how healthy your hair was, bleach will make it feel like straw, I’m sorry! Don’t worry though, it’s nothing deep conditioner won’t fix. If you’re going to bleach your hair again or dye it immediately after, save the conditioner for later.

Bleach again (if necessary). Ideally, you should let your hair rest for about a week — with plenty of conditioning — before bleaching it again. Realistically, if you’re anything like me, you’ll be unwilling to live more than two hours of your life blonde(ish) and want to get it all done in one go. I’ve never had problems bleaching with 40 vol developer twice in a day (and thrice with 30 vol), but as always, be very careful if you’ve not done this before.

This is what happens when you don't take your own advice: as you can see, the tips are darkest because we didn't start from the bottom. (Also, that tank top is no longer black.)

This is what happens when you don’t take your own advice: as you can see, the tips are darkest because we didn’t start from the bottom. (Also, that tank top is no longer black.)

Use toner (if necessary). Toners are essentially very dilute hair dyes that help to remove the yellow/orange tones that remain after bleaching. Lilac (also called white) toners neutralise yellow tones, while blue toners neutralise orange tones. If you’re not dyeing your bleached hair, purple shampoo works as a long-term solution to remove brassy tones. A cheap alternative to all of this is to mix a bit of violet (bluish purple, not reddish purple) hair dye into regular conditioner and work it into your hair, and if you have green-toned hair (usually from swimming in chlorinated pools), some people swear by tomato juice. Keep an eye on your hair — if you overprocess it, it’ll take on the colour of your toner. To be honest, though, we’ve had very poor results with toners and find it to be an unnecessary use of time and money.

Step Two: Dyeing


Wash your hair with clarifying shampoo. Unlike bleach, dye (probably) won’t do horrible things to your hair but you do need to remove build-up and oils so it gets absorbed better. Hot water helps to open up your cuticles.

Choose the right colour. Hair dyes are translucent, so choosing what’s appropriate for your hair is a bit more complicated than you’d expect. (I learnt this the hard way.) Here’s a simple colour wheel:

These are the main colour types/relationships to be aware of:

  • Primary colours (red, yellow, blue) are colours that cannot be made of other colours. This is pretty 101, but if you’re planning to mix dyes together, it’s worthwhile to invest in primaries.
  • Complementary colours (on opposite sides of the wheel) neutralise each other. When used in small amounts (as in toner), this can help to remove the faded remnants of your last dye job and give you a paler base to work with. BUT if you use say, green dye on red hair, you’ll just get a muddy, unappealing brown. Streaks of complementary colours in your hair give you strong contrast.
  • Analogous colours (next to each other on the wheel) boost each other’s depth and vibrancy. Streaks of analogous colours give you smooth harmony, as well as what is described as “cool” (green, blue, purple) or “warm” (red, orange, yellow) blends. My current hair colour is a mix of Directions turquoise, cerise and plum (or as Natalie calls it, “merbutch”) and it’s definitely my favourite to date.
  • Monochromatic colours are tints, tones and shades of the same hue. To get a lighter, pastel shade, you can mix your hair dye with an appropriate toner or conditioner. These slow down how quickly the dye gets absorbed into your hair.

To minimise the amount of processing you put your hair through, work around the wheel (e.g. from blue to purple to red hair). Mix dye as you please, but it’s best if you mix the same brands together and don’t mix different types (e.g. permanent and temporary) because they’re made of different stuff.

Get hair dye! I really love Special Effects and Directions, and have had less luck with Manic Panic though it seems to be a lot of people’s go-to semi-permanent brand. It’s unlikely you’ll find the more unnatural (and better) colours at standard hair salons, so if you want to buy them in person try to find the kind of shops where they sell 394209 kinds of piercing jewelry and studded belts and everyone dresses in (faux) leather. Are they called punk shops? Goth shops? I am clearly too uncool to know this.

Do a strand test. This not only helps preempt any skin reactions or other hair health issues (as with the bleach), it also serves a preview of what the dye’s actually going to look like on your hair. Fair warning: while turquoise is lovely and everyone wants it in their hair, it also often shows up as green unless you start from a very pale base and tends to fade very quickly.


Section your hair and paint the dye on with a brush. Use a toothbrush (or even just gloved fingers) if you don’t have a dedicated plastic hair dye brush. It’s really fun, like an art project!

My kind of three-way.

My kind of three-way.

If you’re using more than one colour or high/lowlighting your hair, there are plenty of ways you can do it:

  • Get a highlighting cap or poke holes through a shower cap, pulling each section of hair that you want to dye out through the plastic. This is the best way to make sure nothing you don’t want dyed gets dyed, but figuring out which strands to pull through can get confusing.
  • Wrap each dyed section in foil. This gives you a better sense of where to apply dye, but is messier than the cap. Cut the foil before you start dyeing to make the process less exasperating.
  • Coat sections that you don’t want dyed in conditioner or petroleum jelly. Semi-permanent dyes don’t stick to these bits. This is useful if you want Rogue (of X-Men)-style hair.
  • Just paint it on. This is how my partner and I do our hair because we want the colours to blend together, not show up as distinct streaks. (Also because we’re lazy. Mainly because we’re lazy.) If you’re doing it this way, be prepared to get messy — clip/tie up the sections that are done to get them out of the way, or just get in there with your fingers.
Combing through the hair as you go along helps to make sure you get to every strand but if your hair is feeling fragile (especially after bleaching), don't push it.

Combing through the hair as you go along helps to make sure you get to every strand but if your hair is feeling fragile (especially after bleaching), don’t push it.

Leave the dye in for as long as you want IF it doesn’t have any developer in it. (If it does, don’t exceed the processing time stated on the box.) Put a shower cap on and use a hairdryer to help the colour set better. Some people choose to leave the dye on overnight, but I think that’s a colourful accident waiting to happen. With most semi-permanent dyes, leaving them in for longer doesn’t damage your hair but you might get a much darker colour than you’d bargained for — it’ll fade with a few washes though.

Rinse the dye from your hair with cold water and shampoo. It’s gonna be messy: back when I used Special Effects’ Blue Velvet (one of the longest-lasting dyes I’ve ever tried) regularly, my bathtub would look like a Smurf murder scene. At this point I usually get quite distressed that none of the dye is sticking because my hair’s short enough (and my eyes myopic enough) that I can’t see any of it while a seemingly endless stream of dye bleeds out into the water, but don’t worry, it’s still on there. Probably.

Condition! Conditioner is just so good for your hair, you guys.

Clean any hair dye stains on bathroom tiles, etc. before the dye dries. When the dye’s still quite dilute often just soap, scrubbing and running water does the job, but I also use nail polish remover for more stubborn dried stains. The stuff on your hands will wash off eventually.

Step Three: Aftercare

Don’t wash your hair too much, but condition plenty. Semi-permanent dyes fade with each wash. Shampooing your hair excessively makes it drier and more brittle, which is particularly a concern for bleached hair. On the other hand, you can’t condition too much! Conditioner helps to seal the colour in. Try to get colour-safe, sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner.

Add a bit of dye to your conditioner to maintain your colour. Or, if you need to neutralise certain tones in your hair (dye can act in strange and unpredictable ways, including changing colour upon exposure to sunlight or chlorinated water), remember the stuff about toners and the colour wheel.

Cover your pillowcases! Temporary and/or cheap dyes will bleed really quickly out of your hair, including when you’re sweating, but even the best semi-permanent dyes will probably stain your clothes/anything you rest your head on while your hair is wet.

 Here’s a recap of the most important tips we’ve covered here:

  • Do a strand test before trying any new chemicals.
  • DON’T shampoo your hair right before bleaching.
  • DO shampoo your hair right before dyeing.
  • Work from the bottom up.
  • Condition, condition, condition (but only after processing).

Now we’ve got the basics down but everyone has their special feelings about how to get their hair done exactly right (I know I do) — you’ll figure it out as you go along. Share your own tips and photos in the comments!

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Fikri has written 61 articles for us.


  1. You had me at Only Moderately Dangerous to Your Health! Sign me up, and I’ll read all about it later and come to terms with what I’ve agreed to. Heat of the moment life decisions are the most fun!

  2. Soooo wanting to do this, but I just got a real person job where I can’t be “distracting.” (hard enough hiding the boob tattoo and undercut.)

    • I am currently at my grad school orientation (paying plenty of attention, clearly) and now hyper-aware of how no one else in this entire auditorium has weird hair except me.

      Still awesome though.

    • I have this issue too, I have a job where we can’t have “unnatural colored” hair, and other nonsensical rules :(

      • I evaluate and test kids with neurodevelopmental concerns. Turns out it’s kind of hard to get a kid to do what you want if you’re fielding lots of questions about your hair color or tattoo or hair or whatever. It makes sense to me, but it does sort of make my life less interesting than when I was working at a super hipster pizza joint where everybody had full-calf tattoos of zombie pinups and stuff.

        • Oh right…!! Yeah that’s totally different to, like, ‘we need our employees to all look straight and boring because…well we can’t really explain why but we do’!

          Also your job sounds interesting :)

      • For the record, I also can’t wear perfume due to the kids’ sensory issues. Woe is me.

  3. I dream of beautiful mermaid hair all the time but there are millions of dire warnings about how it will ruin my curly hair For All Time, so for now I’m sticking to just gasping with jealousy at every picture in this article.

    • Oh, that’s hogwash. I have curly hair, and I just dyed the top black that fades into purple at the tips. (Dip-dye) It’s fantastic!

      Plus dying your hair without bleaching it actually makes your hair softer because the dye fills in the cuticles of you hair. SO if you have frizzies like I do, they will calm down a bit when you dye your hair:)

    • I have curly hair, and that’s so not true! I mean, not totally… I’ve done many years of crazy stupid colours in my hair, a combination of home jobs and salon jobs. there have been times when the curl has been less than stellar, but even those times it still looked pretty rad, and it always bounced back. No amount of hair dye and bleach has ever wrecked my curls more than my highschool years of brushing it (shudder) and daily straightening.
      If you’re worried, talk to a hair stylist who has experience with curly hair AND crazy coloured hair and get some tips. Maybe go to a salon the first time. Or just Google for tips. The internet is full of hair advice! It may take a bit of extra care, but the information you need for DIY coloured curls is totally out there.

      And as proof, here’s a shot of my own coloured curls… this was a totally at-home job, from bleach to dye.

    • Marina’s dyed curly hair is AWESOME but I feel for the sake of full disclosure I should say that my hair used to be wavy but between the significantly lower humidity in the UK/US compared to my hometown and repeated bleaching, it’s now mostly straight. Like it went through hair conversion therapy.

      BUT hair curliness is based on both genetics (the shape of your hair, which dyeing does not affect) and the chemistry that goes on between strands (which dyeing does affect, but so does y’know, taking a shower) so my transformation could have been a natural change or something. You won’t really know until you try, so you could maybe start with dip dyeing?

      • I’ve decided to take the coward’s road and try hair chalking! But also this tutorial has been bookmarked for when I turn brave.

      • Aww gosh Fikri complimented my hair I can die happy <3

        Actually though, it's true that my hair curls nicest when it's not bleached or dyed. Back before getting a real job that frowns at cool hair, what I would usually do is bleach my hair & dye it some colour, then dump more dye on it as it faded. I'd cycle through the colour wheel (from purple to blue to green, for example) so that I wouldn't have to re-bleach it. I'd often only colour sections of my hair, leaving the rest a natural-dye colour like brown or black, so that it wasn't obvious when my roots grew out. That way I could go months and months without having to rebleach my hair.

    • Bleach with only destroy your curl if you do it too much and don’t take the time to replenish your hair’s protein structure. Bleaching damages the protein structure of your hair and can, over time, change the curl pattern. However, if you use a strengthening/anti-breakage conditioner immediately after bleaching/coloring and once a week between coloring, then you should be fine.

  4. Yeah I’ve always been scared to do anything like this with my hair, because it’s so fine and curly and I don’t want to hurt it! But I’m also so intrigued…

    What’s your advice about shampoo and conditioner for dying if I typically use baking soda and apple cider vinegar? Will that work?

    • I would say it depends on the kind of dye you use. Like she said, dye can do funny things, so the acidity of the vinegar may change the color, as well as the alkalinity of the baking soda. It’s really hard to say unless you try it!

    • If you color your hair, the apple cider baking soda combo will strip the color quickly from your hair. You need to find a color safe shampoo, or stick to water

  5. I once saw an older woman with white hair with that shade of blue dye, and it looked so awesome now I can’t wait to be old and have blue hair so I don’t have to bleach it!

  6. My recommendation is black towels and pillowcases…saves a lot of dye running trauma.
    11 years agoo I lived for that directions blue hair dye. I was a poor student with a shave, grow, dye cycle that stood me in good stead ’til I dropped out of Uni and moved home. For the past 2 years and 2 months I’ve been growing out my leopard print ALH to shoulder length boring brown. You guys are making me long for my halcyon days.

  7. I’ve been waiting to finish my summer job to dye my hair purple, and then I found out I can’t dye it until spring because of the rules of the prison where I have to volunteer for class :(

  8. I just want all my body hair to BE GONE!!!

    Naired all over! Yep, even THERE! no problems and it has lasted a long time…. just some fuzz. :)

    Hmmmmm? Aquamarine sounds good….. all over! Yikes!!! hehe

    • I love your explanation! I saw your post when searching for tips on dyeing my hair multiple colors, and I wish I had had this advice when I first started dyeing my hair
      Also, whitening toothpaste is handy if you’ve stained the sink/shower/floor with dye!

  9. This is cool and interesting but I’m confused that your semi-permanent dye continues to come out every time you get your hair wet. Is that because you’ve bleached it and the dye doesn’t stick as well? I have lighter hair and don’t bleach it, and my semi-permanent dye never comes out after that first wash. I’ve dyed it at home a few times and had it done by a professional a few times and it’s never happened.

    I definitely want to dye my hair again soon though and this just reminded me so thanks! I don’t trust myself so I’ll get a friend to help but it’s good to know you’ve not had any disasters.

    • Bleach does blow your cuticles wide open and makes less of the dye stick, yes, which is why it’s generally recommended that you wait about a week after bleaching before doing other stuff to your hair. But it’s not just that — I tend to leave the dye in for very, very long so there’s plenty of excess that washes out after (but I should clarify that it’s not every time my hair is wet, just the first few washes). Also some dyes bleed out considerably more than others, but it’s not something I’ve found to be easily generalisable by brand or colour.

    • I found that even when I used to dye my hair red with permanent dye – it bled for the first few washes at least! But I was also in the pool a lot, which probably didn’t help.

    • Not true! I am a multi-colored curly girl, and have only happy awesome hair feels!some colors tend to shed more than others. My dark purple Splat! color didn’t stop until it was pale violet, but my dark crimson stayed quite dark, and stopped after my second shower.

  10. So I will say from personal experience that you CAN bleach your eyebrows without going blind (I was a dumb/reckless teen once), but you still probably don’t want to do it because it looks super weird. On me, it looked a lot like I’d just shaved the eyebrow off, so I wound up coloring it in with Mr. Sketch markers every day.

  11. Fikri, is the blonde pre-dye version of your hair after 2x 40 developer? Because I’m idly thinking of getting my hair to that colour (mostly because I’ve never had that colour in particular and my KimK character looks oddly good in it) but whenever I’ve had my hair bleached for other dye jobs it only goes to the same orange as Marina’s hair.

    • (or the orange in the top chunk of my hair in the icon – the entire thing started off as deep purple and jewel-pink, and faded to those colours. people liked the faded version better, for some reason.)

      • Nope, that’s my hair after one round of 40 vol developer. Natalie’s too. But before we did this the dye in our hair was already pretty faded and we’d both bleached our hair many times before so it’s much, much lighter than you’d usually get if you start with black hair. The second photo of Li Sian’s hair is also the result of 40 vol developer, and even after two rounds her hair didn’t come out as light as ours (though we were bleaching the ends of her hair, which takes a lot more processing).

        I have entertained thoughts of white/silver hair many times but it makes me look like an anime character.

  12. Yes on the not washing! I successfully dyed my hip-length hair rainbow once, with only the help of whatever untrained friends were available to rope into it. It looked perfect for a month and some of the colors stayed for over 6 months with no maintenance. But the friends I’ve helped dye never have such good results, and it’s because they wash their hair too much. My girlfriend washes her hair every day or two and she has to re-dye monthly, which does give her the opportunity to do different colors.

  13. Hey! Im considering dying my hair about somewhere from honey blonde to maybe a bit lighter than that,and then dying on side’s tips pink,and the other blue.the only crazy colors i can find are from splat.would u recommend splat as reliable? Its all ive ever used,and ive heard it works great,but for me(because i often shampoo a lot) the color always fades within two weeks.i also have bleached my hair before,but it was about a year and a half ago,and at least 6 months ago,i died it a darker color,but that colors long gone.this will b the first time i dye it without the help of a friend whos had a lot of experience,so anything else i should b aware of?i rlly wanna do this hair,but im afraid ill end up breaking hair off,or waaaay uneven bleach or some other horrific ending.please help! Thanks!

    • I’ve only used Splat once and the results weren’t great but ymmv — different brands sometimes do different colours well, so maybe I just picked the wrong one. (It was blue I think.) Two weeks sounds a bit too fast though.

      I think the article’s pretty much covered the extent of my knowledge in this area so I don’t know what else to tell you, sorry! Doing a strand test might give you more confidence, and since you’ve done it before it seems unlikely that your hair will suddenly not take to bleach as well. Good luck!

  14. Hey, do you know if a less bleached hair fades quickly than a more bleached hair? I bleached the tips of my hair blue, but before that, I did a strand test, so when I bleached all the tips of the hair, that part got a little bit more bleached. So now that the color is fading, my hair is all green, but that part of the strand test is VERY BLUE and I don’t understand why. :/

    • I might be understanding this wrong but I’m guessing the bit that was bleached more was a lighter shade of yellow to begin with? That would explain why it’s blue while the rest of your tips have faded to green.

      • I bleached all the tips the same, but some of them were already bleached, these ones haven’t faded much. The rest, those that were bleached only once, faded to green.

  15. Hi everyone! Professional hairstylist here! I normally would never recommend bleaching one’s hair at home, but we all know that people do it anyway, so I thought I’d come down here and add a few pieces of my own advice!

    All of the tips and advice here are great and very true, but there are a couple other things that you should keep in mind if you’re gonna do this.

    1. Hair type will also greatly affect your hair’s ability to withstand bleaching. If you have fine hair, your hair does not have the strong protein structure needed for multiple bleachings in one day, not without affecting some serious damage. Coarser/thicker hair is naturally stronger and can take a serious beating before any noticeable damage happens. So pay attention to your hair type and keep it in mind when trying to lighten your hair.

    2. When re-touching your roots: do not re-bleach the hair that you already lightened last time, unless you’re trying to completely change your color. In that case, go ahead and bleach JUST THE ROOTS first, and once that’s completely done, use bleach with a lower volume developer on the ends where you want to remove the old color. If you only need to remove a little bit of leftover tone (i.e. it’s super faded and you just need to get that last little bit out) you can further dilute the bleach with shampoo and do what’s called a “bleach wash.” It’s a much gentler way of using bleach to remove JUST the unwanted tones without actually making the hair any lighter.

    3. If the bleach has been on your hair for a while and doesn’t look like it’s getting any lighter, WASH IT OUT. Leaving it on at that point will only make it more likely to break off.

    4. And remember, when you’re doing any kind of chemical process to your hair, frequent trims are a must. If you don’t trim off the damaged ends, they will eventually just break off, and often in a way that looks way worse than a haircut would have.

  16. ALSO ALSO ALSO! I am a HUGE fan of Punky Colours! You can order it from (which also has tons of other beauty supplies and hair color and stuff). Their turquoise was my go-to for a long time, and their colors last way longer than just about anything else I’ve ever used.

  17. Hey there. I’m having some hair color difficulties. i had previously been dying my hair with Adore’s Purple Rage however I have realized that the color is no longer sticking to my hair. I have decided to switch to Special Effects Deep Purple but i’m wondering if its advisable to mix the Special Effects with a Pravana vivids violet dye? Also I am trying to fade out the pinkish color that the Adore fades to so as to give the Special Effects more of a holding effect. What would you recommend for this purpose? I hope you answer. Thank you

  18. Hi guys ☺ I stumbled upon this article while just surfing around the net & I have to say I am SO $*#&’N IMPRESSED!! … I’m a Sr Master Stylist/instructor specializing in color & corrective work for 25yrs + (yeah, I know that dates me, lol!) & apparently a little late on submitting a comment since this article was written pretty well a yr ago to date.
    The information you’ve shared from experience is real & with no BS. Turthfully, there’s really nothing I could add from a professional viewpoint, just confirming that the info you’ve provided is pretty well what I would’ve said & agreeing to the suggestion of getting yourself some black towels & pillowcases or picking up some from your local 2nd hand store & designating yourself some “hair coloring clothes” to be worn solely for the process (just like we do for our monthly visitor “period panties” if you will, lol)

    So really, I guess the main reason I wanted to comment was to commend you on the excellent information you provided & to anyone reading this article and the comments is to trust what you’ve said, listen to your gut instincts & utilize common sence and logic. Again, I’m very impressed with info you’ve shared, considering you’re not a professional as you stated b/c the info is professional that I myself would’ve provided

    Keep up the good work and happy coloring!!.

  19. Just have to say that you’re absolutely hysterical! Was laughing my ass off the whole time and learned a few new things to boot! Yo go chicka, thanks for the laughs.

  20. how did you rinse out your hair so that the different colors won’t bleed into each other? if u give me a tip, it’d be a life saver! thank you :)

    • From what I have seen and experienced with dying, as long as you use cool water, the colors don’t really bleed or blend into each other unless they were mixed or pressed together for a long enough time to stain another section. Just don’t smush the sections together if they have different colors and you’re good. :)

  21. Hey! I really found this article informative (especially that I’m interested in dyeing my hair in unnatural colors). I just have a question though, if I mix a pink dye with a white dye, would it make the color lighter? Hope this thread gets answered. Thanks!

  22. After stumbling into a YouTube video of multi-colored hair dyes, I have plans to bleach and dye my hair blue, purple and pink of various shades. I love fun colors like that so I’m really excited.

  23. Can i mix permanent hair dye with conditioner, so i can get a pastel colours? It’s a little bit difficult to get semi-permanent hair dye at my city

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