• Samantha Simard

Dyeing My Hair @ Home w/ NO BLEACH: The Good, the Bad, and the End Result!

Hey guys! I realize it’s been a hot minute (try two years) since I wrote a formal blog post, but that’s just because my life isn’t interesting enough to tell you about often. However, with the advent of Ms. Rona and the knowledge that I’m not getting my hair done professionally anytime soon (if ever again) I decided that I wanted to do something I’d never done before: dye my hair a different color.

Now you’re probably thinking, “Sam, SERIOUSLY? You’ve NEVER dyed your hair, which takes very little commitment, but you’ve had multiple surgeries AND gotten a tattoo?” I know, I know, it’s probably weird, but let me explain! When I was a teenager I had HORRIFIC psoriasis all over my scalp, most likely caused by a combination of trauma and hormones. If I had tried dyeing my hair back then I have the distinct feeling that I would’ve paid for it dearly. Additionally, I have very fine hair and I never wanted to use bleach on it because I was afraid it would get totally fried.

Spoiler alert: I didn’t HAVE to use bleach, and you might not either depending on the natural color of your hair and what color you want to achieve. I decided that for my first time I wanted to play it safe, so I stayed on the same “level” as my natural color, only changing the tone. I went with Garnier Olia Ammonia-Free Hair Color in Medium Royal Amethyst. The instructions were simple enough, and with some help from my mom I was able to complete the entire dyeing process in about an hour. Unfortunately, the first time around I made two mistakes: I didn’t leave the dye on long enough and I also didn’t wear a shower cap, which allows the heat from your head to help your hair absorb the color. This meant I had to go back and buy ANOTHER box of dye and apply it to my hair again, which could’ve been catastrophic but thankfully wasn’t because the Olia line of dyes is so gentle (not sponsored, I just really like them).

The color itself turned out great - a nice cool-toned amethyst shade, just like it said on the box - but I found it washed out of my hair extremely quickly even with using a sulfate-free shampoo. That being said, I purchased a color-depositing shampoo/conditioner and it’s maintained the life of my color from mid-June until almost the end of August, and I was able to achieve the look I wanted for minimal cash and no damage to my hair. I plan on re-dyeing my hair in a couple of weeks to a dark red that will be closer to the color of my color depositer (I use KeraColor Clenditioner in Merlot). If you’re itching to try dyeing your hair for the first time like I was, these are my tips:

  • Take a shower and wash your hair a day or two before you plan to dye it. You will not be able to wash your hair again for at least 72 hours after you dye it, plus dye adheres better to clean hair.

  • Use trash bags to protect yourself and your floor/vanity/whatever. Not everything has to be an Instagram moment.

  • Buy some cheap plastic clips, a shower cap, and a wide-toothed comb (depending on your hair type) along with your dye. The clips will help you section out your hair, and the comb is great for helping with that and also making sure the dye is applied evenly and you don’t have tangles.

  • Follow ALL the instructions that come with the dye, INCLUDING THE PATCH TEST 48 HOURS BEFORE!!!

  • And lastly, if you can, have someone help you! It’s much easier and way more fun to have someone apply the dye/conditioner for you and help you rinse your hair. :)

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