Recently, in a spur of the moment decision, I decided to dye my hair dark brown. To be honest, I really wanted it darker for an outfit I was wearing to an upcoming wedding. #girlproblems 😉 But, since it was so last minute, I didn’t have time to make an appointment and decided to use at home box dye. When it comes to box dye, there is only one brand I will EVER use and that’s Revlon ColorSilk. This is my go to. And the best part is it’s only $3! I’ve tried other brands and none of them ever lasted in my hair for more than a week or they left my hair feeling dry and brittle afterwards. Revlon ColorSilk makes my hair feel amaaaazing after and the color lasts for a long time. It is ammonia-free so it doesn’t dry out your hair like most other box dyes do. In fact, back when I used to dye my hair a lot, it was actually a lot healthier. I love the depth, dimension, and richness of the color and the incredible shine Revlon ColorSilk always gives me. It leaves me with a color that’s even better than some salon visits I’ve had in the past.
I’ve dyed my hair so frequently that I definitely have a system down now when dying my hair at home. I’ve even dyed my hair with a cast all the way up my left arm lol. Here are some of my tips for a smooth process of dying your hair at home.
Selecting a Dye
1. Picking Your Color. I find that box dyes generally work best when dying your hair a darker color as opposed to lighter and, overall, I recommend not going any more than 2 shades lighter or darker than your natural or current hair color. If you want anything more advanced, you’re gonna want to see a professional who has the tools, skills and knowledge necessary to achieve your desired result. When picking the color, keep in mind that it will fade. I always select the darkest brown knowing that it will be a little bit darker to begin with and then fade into the perfect dark brown color I want after a few washes. To achieve this, I use Revlon ColorSilk in the shade 30 Dark Brown. I have thin, medium length hair so one box is enough for me, but if you have longer or thicker hair, I recommend getting two boxes of dye.
2. Picking Your Tone. There are three main tones when it comes to hair color — warm or golden tones, cool or ashy tones, and neutral tones. Note the natural tones in you hair. Does your hair have a red or golden tint (think Jennifer Lopez) or an ashy or mousy tint (think Jennifer Aniston)? Most brands offer colors in different tones and you want to make sure to pick a shade that matches the natural tone of your hair (or whatever tone you feel looks best on you). For me, I actually find that neutral tones work best because my natural tones already show through a little anyway. Then the the color doesn’t come out too dramatic one way or the other.
1. Remove Everything Out of Your Bathroom. I mean EVERYTHING. Bath mats, towels, your toothbrush holder, your soap dispenser, everything. There’s a good chance that dye will splatter and you don’t want it to get all over your things. (Tips on stain removal later in this post.)
2. Keep an Old Set of Clothes on Hand. I keep an old t-shirt and pair of lounge shorts that I always wear when I dye my hair. I’ll just wash them separately in the washing machine to make sure they don’t stain any of my actual clothes. There’s no sense in throwing away these clothes and wasting a new set of clothes after each time.
1. Applying the Dye. Mix the dye according to the instructions provided. If you have longer or thicker hair, I recommend dividing your hair into 2-4 sections, securing each section with a clip, and unclipping and dying one section at a time. My hair isn’t very long or thick so I don’t find this step necessary. I typically start with the top of my head and apply the dye directly onto my hair and work it in like I would my shampoo. I don’t use a brush or foil. You can use these tools, but I find it much easier and more efficient not to and I’ve always been happy with how my color turned out. So long as you are doing all over color there really is no need to use these. Then I work my way down to the middle, sides, and underneath, lathering it in the same way. For the underneath and end pieces, I’ll hold my hair in my (glove-covered) hand and apply the dye directly onto the hair in my hand. The biggest tip I have for you here is just to make sure you cover your entire hair with dye, paying special attention to the hairline at the front of your head and near your ears as these are the most obvious areas if you miss them. Most hair dye instructions will tell you to only dye the roots if you are touching up, but I find that by the time I dye my hair again (usually 3 months minimum) the color has already faded some so I dye the entire length of my hair to ensure an even color. Once complete, put your hair up in a clip and let sit for 25 minutes (or whatever time is printed on the instructions). I also want to note that I always dye my hair when it’s “dirty” as I find the dye works best this way and the oil on your hair will also act as a natural protectant against the dye.
2. Rinsing the Dye. When it’s time to wash the dye out, rinse your hair until the water runs clear and you no longer see any color in the water. This step is pretty straightforward and you basically just need to make sure you wash all of the dye out of your hair.
The Clean Up
1. Getting Dye Off Your Skin. The two things I’ve found most effective in getting hair dye off of your skin are baby oil and patience. Dampen a cotton round or tissue with baby oil and wipe any areas of your skin that have dye on them. If it doesn’t come off, patience is the best option and I usually find that the stain on my skin goes away after a day.
2. Getting Dye Off Shower and Tub. This last time I dyed my hair I noticed it stained our tub a little. It was the first time I’d dyed my hair in our new apartment so it may have been that this type of tub material is more susceptible to the dye. I was able to remove the stains with a little bit of Oxi Clean, bleach and a sponge. I also read that the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser works well, but didn’t have any on hand.
3. Getting Dye Off Everywhere Else. This is why I told you to remove EVERYTHING. You will find that somehow dye gets into places you didn’t even realize possible. Prevention is key! As for those places you can’t prevent, I usually try to wipe up any dye as soon as I notice it even if I’m still in the process of dying my hair. The sooner you clean it up, the less likely it is to leave a stain. Once I’ve completed applying the dye and am letting it sit I’ll examine my bathroom again for any areas I didn’t see while dying my hair — walls, counters, the floor. Somehow dye will show up where it wasn’t before when you last looked at that exact location. I have no idea how this happens. It honestly baffles me and I don’t think I’ll ever fully understand it. I assume it has something to do with the same science that causes the color to develop in your hair. It starts out a lighter, more transparent color and then develops into a “stain” or “dye.” Fancy that 😉 For all these areas you missed, nail polish remover is key and I find acetone nail polish remover works best. Test out a small area of the surface you’re applying it to to make sure it won’t ruin it first. If it’s safe, dampen a cotton round or tissue with the nail polish remover and just lightly dab the stain. This most recent time I dyed my hair, I dyed it in the apartment we’re renting and I’m happy to say that it was a stain free process thanks to this tip. 🙂
1. Protect Your Sheets and Pillow. It takes awhile for the dye to completely rinse out of your hair so the first few times you wash it I recommend fully drying your hair before you sleep. If you must go to bed with wet hair, lay down a towel or old sheet for protection. The first time this happened to me I woke up with stained white pillow cases and I was never able to fully remove the stains. So as a safety precaution I now make sure my hair is completely dry before going to bed after the first 3-4 washes after dying my hair. This is also the case if you lean back or up against a couch or upholstered chair with wet hair so be aware or you may ruin some nice furniture!
I love to play around with different styles and looks, and dying my hair at home is such a fun and affordable way to do that! It’s a small, simple change that can really give you a whole new look. I love the way I feel after a fresh, new color!