Beauty A-Z: D - Dye-it-Yourself Hair Color

We are now on week four of the Beauty A-Z link-up! The premise is simple: every Thursday, we share our favorite brands, tips, tricks, or tools that correspond with that week's letter. We'll make our way through the alphabet the next 26 weeks. Link up your "D" post below and make some new friends, learn some new tricks, and discover new brands!

As many of you may have read last week, I am now a full time student. We've had to cut back on costs in our household. One of the ways I was able to cut back was to learn to dye my own hair. This tutorial may seem intimidating, but it's a fairly simple process once you know all the tips and tricks!

Before You Dye

//1// That hair color you see on the model outside the dye box? That might not be the color result you get when you dye your hair. The resulting hue is highly dependent on your current color. Someone who has dark hair will not get the same results as another with blond hair when they use the same box of “honey brown.” Many of the boxes have color charts showing the likely outcome for each starting color, so make sure you check those. Because not every photo or chart on the dye box is accurate, it also helps to look at the color code label. The numbers, or “levels,” indicate lightness - 1 being black and 10 light blond. The letters indicate tone - for example, A for ash and C for copper.

//2// Choose a shade either only 2 shades lighter or two shades darker. Leave anything beyond this to the professionals. Use these websites to help you choose a shade: Garnier Nutrisse Shade Selector; Loreal Paris Hair Color Consultation

//3// Think about hair length, thickness, amount, and condition. The goal is to minimize damage while achieving optimum color. This means if you have lots of hair or very long hair, you might need two boxes of dye to get the best and most even coloring. This also means you might want to leave the dye in your hair for an extra 5 to 20 minutes if you have very thick or coarse hair.

//4// Hair dye contains some harsh chemicals, so it’s better to be safe than sorry. If you have never used hair dye before, read the directions and do a skin test. Many brands will have instructions on a 24hr or 48hr skin test where you dab some of the dye on your skin to see if you show any signs of irritation.

//5// Do strand test. This is when you apply your hair dye to only a few strands of your hair. It will help you determine whether or not your like the color, and how long you will need to leave it on.

//6// Leave your hair unwashed for 24 to 48 hours prior to applying dye. Shampoos and conditioners can eliminate your natural oils, which are needed to help the dye set it.

//7// Before you begin, make sure you have everything you need in front of you, because you don’t want to stop in the middle of squeezing dye into your hair and have to run to another room to fetch something. This can get messy. Be prepared with paper towels and a comb if you like to use one, and a hand held mirror in case you have difficulty seeing the back of your hair.

//8// Put a thin layer of petroleum jelly on the outermost edge of your hairline. The jelly will provide a barrier so the dye does not stain the skin.

//9// Separate your hair into four different sections using the clips. Doing this will ensure that you don't miss a patch.

Apply to Dye

//1// Open your dye box, put on your gloves, and read the directions carefully. Mix your dye according to the instructions from the box.

//2// Apply the dye to your hair in sections. Break up each section into subsections as your work. Begin with your roots to get the most uniform color.

//3// The front and sides will dye faster than any other part. This is because of the warmer temperature around that area. Start with the midsection of your hair, move to the back, and then finish with the front and the sides. This is a great way to even out the color.

After You Dye

//1// Set a timer for the amount of time that is found in the instructions. Follow this direction exactly unless...

//2// Hair will dye faster in warm temperatures because heat speeds up the chemical reaction of the dye. This may mean you might want to leave it in an extra 10 minutes in the winter, or use a shower cap to keep the heat in.

//3// You can use wet paper towels to wipe any dye that may have dripped onto your ears and face. Hair dye will dye your skin too, and it could take days to wash off completely.

//4// Wait until the processing time is over. Jump in the shower or use the sink or tub to to rinse your hair. Rinse completely until the water runs clear.

//5// Condition for a full five minutes with the provided conditioner. Rinse once five minutes has passed.

//6// Do not wash your hair with shampoo. It is best to leave your dyed hair unwashed for 24 to 48 hours. Waiting to wash allows the dye to more thoroughly penetrate your hair shaft.

//7// Avoid exposing your newly dyed hair to extended time in the sun for at least a day. UV rays can interfere with freshly applied hair dye.


  1. Great tips! I've never had my hair dyed by anyone but a professional, so doing it myself kind of scares me haha

  2. Awesome tips! I get mine done professionally but it's so expensive! I admit this is tempting, even if I'm a little intimidated!

  3. I dye my hair myself actually! Great tips!