So you want to colour your hair at home? We’ve done it all, and here’s what we’ve learned along the way....
We’ve seen hair trends rise and fall throughout the years, and to keep up with the times, we regularly visit the hottest hair salons in the city for a stylish new do. But if you prefer taking on your own hair (and saving a bit of cash), there is an affordable alternative… We’re talking DIY hair dye at the comfort of your home!
This may sound like a piece of cake, but it’s so much more than just grabbing a box of hair dye and following directions. You have to consider the strength of the formula, your hair’s natural hue and undertones, whether the new colour complements well with your skin, and the maintenance after achieving it. Here are some tips and tricks on colouring your own hair with the coolest shades that will have you serving looks.
Look for the right hair dye
First things first: decide if you want a permanent or semi-permanent hair dye. Permanent colours last longer, but semi-permanent is ace for anyone looking to experiment with colours (these usually last around eight washes before fading to reveal your base). Once that’s sorted, pick the right colour. No matter the colour (unless you’re going for a bold shade on bleached hair), make sure to stay within two shades of your natural hair so as to ensure that it flatters your skin.
Get the right base
Unless you’re looking to keep things subtle and dark, it’s time to take the plunge with peroxide. Lighter shades work well on lighter base; so say if you’re planning to go for a pastel pink hue, you’ll have to bleach your natural hair beforehand, unless you’re born with platinum blonde!
Question is: when is it best to dye your hair? Hair colour is much more effective on hair that isn’t freshly washed. Plus, the natural oils work as a barrier between the dye and your scalp, protecting it from any form of irritation. Word of advice: hold off the shampoo at least 24 hours before you colour.
Take the test
Beginners, you may want to try the hair dye on a strand of hair to see if it works. Also, whether you have sensitive scalps or not, it’s best to do a patch test at least 48 hours before the actual application to make sure there’s no form of discomfort — itch or burn. Better safe than sorry!
Work on it
Before opening the contents of the box, prep yourself up with an old shirt you wouldn’t mind getting dye on, plastic gloves, Vaseline for your hairline and ears to avoid staining, a small container to mix your hair dye or bleach formula, a tint brush and a comb to part your hair. It’s important for first-timers to read and follow the enclosed instructions. Once that’s sorted, the fun begins!
Tip: Try not to take breaks in between: hair dyes lose its potency over time once mixed, and may not be effective later on.
Using heat from your hair dryer or flat iron to elevate the process is a myth. Yes, I once practised using heat while bleaching and colouring my hair, and though the colour became apparent faster, it ruined my hair and no deep conditioning could salvage it. TiGi’s hair guru Hidero Nakagami advises that you avoid applying heat when bleaching or colouring, especially if the formula is already intense.
Washing your hair
Once the waiting is up, proceed to wash your hair with the conditioner included. This helps to rid your hair of any excess colourant and maintain your hair’s natural pH balance by closing the cuticle. Space out shampooing your hair to about two to three times a week to avoid colour stripping. A no-brainer, but do use shampoos that are specifically made for coloured hair (purple shampoo is great for maintaining light coloured hair). If it feels too greasy, opt for dry shampoo.
Discover these hair dyes
For natural long-lasting colours
If you’re looking for permanent hair colour with 100% grey coverage that not only hides your age, but is ideal for the office, L’Oreal Paris Excellence Creme is a top choice for its wide range of natural, brown, gold and red shades (17 to be exact!). Its triple-care formula revitalises, strengthens and protects your hair too. Another strong contender is Revlon ColorSilk, giving you natural-looking colours whether it’s burgundy, auburn or black.
Both L’Oreal Paris Excellence Creme and Revlon ColorSilk are available at Watsons and Guardian
For fun semi-permanent colours
If there’s one thing I love, it’s colouring my hair in bold, eye-catching hues (I gave the unicorn hair a go!) such as pink, blue, green and even the mermaid trend (green and turquoise)! My favourites are Schwarzkopf Live Bright Color XXL (for easy application), Manic Panic High Voltage (it’s got 44 shades!), and Lime Crime Unicorn Hair (this smells divine). For pastels, I usually opt for Bleach London.
These brands are ace for vibrant shades, but works best on bleached hair. I use Bleach London’s Total Bleach Kit and Toner for my base, but you can opt for Dixmondsg which is great for lifting Asian hair.
Schwarzkopf Live Bright Color XXL available online at Shopee. Manic Panic High Voltage available online with international delivery. Lime Crime Unicorn Hair and Bleach London available online at Cult Beauty with free delivery over £40. Dixmondsg available at *SCAPE underground.
For temporary, washable colours
If you’re not planning to leave it long, go for L’Oreal Paris Colorista. It comes in a variety of fun colours from pastels like pink and blue to metals like silver and copper. Choices come in the form of a spray (for 1-day application) or cream (for 1 to 2-weeks application). This is great for a weekend fun before stepping into the office on Monday.
Both L’Oreal Paris Colorista Spray and Washout are available at Watsons and Guardian