Hi, this is Cassandra Solvent, here to tell you how I dye my hair. I cannot guarantee that this will work for you, and different people have different opinions and results. In particular, if you might be allergic to bleach or hair dye, or if you have never dyed your hair before, you might want to do a test on a small patch or small piece of hair first. If you’re under 18, you should get with your parent or guardian before you try to dye your hair. Your Mileage May Vary, this is just the method that works for me.
To Bleach or Not To Bleach?
If you have light hair, and you don’t bleach before dyeing, the dye will probably fade quicker than if you don’t bleach. I have darker hair (naturally), so I have two reasons to bleach: to make the dye last longer, and to make it show up better. If you don’t want the color to be prominent, just a highlight, and you’re ok with it not lasting as long, you might decide to skip bleaching.
Steps In How I Bleach and Dye My Hair
- 1. I go to my favorite local hair supply store, and buy either a bleach kit or powder bleach and a bottle of developer (30 or 40 weight). Developer is less messy if it’s the cream type, which is important because that makes it easier to keep it out of your eyes.
- 2. I use rubber gloves, that I buy either at a medical supply store or just a local hardware store.
- 3. I mix equal parts bleach and developer in a NON-METALLIC bowl, until it’s the texture of yogurt. This way it won’t be as likely to drip into my eyes.
- 4. I apply it completely over my hair with my gloved hands. Some people like to have a hair-dyeing brush (which they don’t use for any other purpose), but I just use my hands. Only with rubber gloves on, obviously.
- 5. I put on a plastic shower cap (disposable), or just plastic wrap like you would use for food, to keep my hair moist and hold in the heat. In a few minutes I can tell that my hair feels warm; this always reminds me that bleach is not a particularly nice thing to do to my hair.
- 6. I wait 10-15 minutes and then look in the mirror to see how yellow my hair is. If I’m dyeing my hair orange, red, bright yellow, or purple, then just bleaching my hair to yellow is good enough. If I’m dyeing it blue, or any other color you wouldn’t want to mix with yellow, then a few more minutes is needed to get my hair white. I never bleach for more than 20 minutes.
- 7. I wash my hair thoroughly with good shampoo, to get every last bit of bleach out. Often I’ll shampoo more than once. Then I can take the gloves off for a bit.
- 8. I use a good quality conditioner, lately one with tea tree oil in it. I let the conditioner soak for 20 minutes. Some people think that using conditioner after the bleach and before the dye will keep the hair from taking the dye as well, but I haven’t had this problem.
- 9. I rinse out the conditioner.
- 10. I put the gloves back on, stick my gloved hands in the hair dye (some people use their hair dye brush here), and put dye on my hair. I make quite certain to be thorough here, unless I’m just wanting streaks or something.
- 11. I let the dye sit about 3 hours, plus or minus depending on how intense I want the color to be. Some people put on a shower and sleep with the dye still in their hair, but I find that 3 hours is plenty for me.
- 12. I rinse my hair with water until the water runs clear.
- 13. If there’s any dye on my skin or the sink, I use rubbing alcohol to remove it. Sometimes I make my husband help with this part, for example on the back of my neck which is hard to check.
That’s pretty much it. Obviously you should be careful not to get any of this stuff in your eyes or mouth, especially the bleach, and if you do rinse it with a ton of water and then go to the emergency room. Other people do this differently, and always read the safety instructions on your dye and bleach, etc. etc.
Have fun dyeing your hair!