Wednesday, 27 June 2012

How to dip dye hair

Dip dye hair rainbow colour
via another hair blog
The dip dye hair look is everywhere right now. You may even have popped into Topshop if you're in London to try out the ever-busy Bleach salon and get this lovely look. It's a brilliant way to flirt with colour without the commitment, as long as you don't mind losing a bit of condition at the ends of your hair (if you want a lighter colour then you're going to need to use peroxide).

Ombre hair dip dye hair blonde blue
via effyeahombrehair
Even better, if you have fast-growing hair, when you're tired of your dip-dye you can go for a cut and get the ends chopped off.

I would leave the natural-look brown to blonde highlights/ombre hair to your hairdresser, as it's easier to cover up any mistakes with a red, blue, pink etc dye at home.

Model with pink dip dye hair
via effyeahombrehair
Dip-dyeing your hair at home is pretty easy, as long as you have the right tools.

Choose a colour (or two)

First of all decide on your colour. If you have brown hair, bright pink or red really stands out, while natural blondes can go for a subtle pale pink or lilac, or try a contrasting bright blue. It's up to you. Remember that the paler the colour, the faster it will fade. If you have a bright colour that you want to tone down, mix it with an equal part of hair conditioner - this is great for making pale pink from a bright pink, pastel blue from bright blue etc.

You will need:
  • Gloves - not silk. Plastic!
  • A plastic bowl
  • Tint brush
  • Tail comb
  • Hair bands
  • A good mirror
  • Bleach kit* consisting of bleach powder and peroxide (unless you're a natural blonde)
  • Vaseline
  • Hair dye (try Stargazer, Manic Panic or Directions)
*Look to the colour of your hair to determine the strength of the volume of the peroxide you need. If you have light to mid-brown hair, go for a 30% volume peroxide mix. Dark brown or black hair needs 40% volume peroxide. If your hair is naturally dark and you want it super light, you may have to bleach it twice. Be careful if your hair is weak, already dyed or over-processed, and keep an eye on the clock. A great place to order from is Sally's, which is a hair supply shop.

Get started:

1. Start with dry hair and give it a good brush/comb to get rid of tangles. Stick some vaseline on the side of your neck if you're dip-dyeing from this level down as it stops bleach/dye hurting or staining your skin.
2. Use a hair band a little bit above the level you want your dip-dye to begin. Tie it around the hair.
3. Put on gloves and mix peroxide and powder bleach in the plastic bowl. Stir it into a smooth paste (not too runny or it will go everywhere). Make sure the window is open so you don't asphyxiate!
4. Using the gloves and brush, apply bleach in small sections to hair below the hair band line. Depending on whether you want a definite line or not, you can follow the hair band line or paint it on for a more freehand look so there's no dividing line. Doing it a bit haphazardly actually look better than a severe line, unless you've got a sharp bob or severe fringe.
5. Let the bleach do its work. Follow instructions on packet - set the timer on your phone so you know when to rinse it off. Check the colour of the bleach every fifteen minutes. If you have dark brown hair and want to dip dye it red, purple or bright pink, letting the bleach lighten to a mid-orange will be a good base for adding colour over the top. If you want a pastel shade then it needs to be pale yellow or lighter.
6. Rinse it out using some shampoo.
7. Dry your hair. 
8. Apply your chosen colour over the bleach, making sure you work it in to get good coverage. If you want a rainbow effect, apply more than one shade, either vertically or horizontally. Take your time, as you don't want the colours to blend too much or you could end up with one-colour hair. You can also leave the ends blonde and apply the colour in a strip above, so you have your natural colour, crazy colour and light ends. Use hair conditioner mixed with dye if you want graduated shade of the same colour (e.g. bright pink fading to pale pink).
9. Let it go to work, have a cup of tea.
10. Rinse it out, dry and hey presto! Gorgeous dip-dyed hair.

Discover how to dip dye hair and the products you need here - along with some more inspiration...

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