8 Things You Need To Know Before Dying Your Hair A Colorful Shade

Admit it: you’ve seen those pictures on Instagram of the girls with the crazy fantasy bright colored hair

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…and you’ve always wanted to try it. Maybe not permanently, and maybe not anytime soon, but at one point or another you’ve either wondered what you would look like with pastel pink hair, or thought about popping into the store to buy a giant tub of purple hair dye. Teal, orange, turquoise, vibrant red, green… there are so many fun options!

Well, as someone who currently has colored hair, let me tell you that I had no idea what to expect when I first went from brown to pink. Sure, I had dyed my hair before, but those had all been natural colors – red, black, blonde, you name it, I had it at some point. Unnatural colors, however, aren’t quite as simple. Looking back on it, had I known these things, I probably would’ve still dyed my hair; these bullet points aren’t meant to scare you aware, but more to make sure you know what you’re getting into before pulling the trigger. Here are a few things you need to know before dying your hair a colorful shade:

You Should Start With A Blonde Base

One of the biggest mistakes people make when dying their hair a bright shade instead of a natural one is not making their base color light enough. You can't dye brown or black hair an unnatural shade - it simply won't come out as well, or if it does, it will fade very quickly. You have to bleach it first, and if you're going to do that, you should definitely go to a professional. If you don’t lighten your hair enough, the fantasy colors will come out muddy – and if you bleach it too much, your hair is going to look like you threw it into a deep fryer on high for a few hours.

Source: Instagram/@jboothyy

You Are Going To Fry Your Hair If You Aren’t Careful

Speaking of bleach - you're probably going to dry out your hair in the process. And by “you” I mean “whoever is dumping a gallon of bleach on your head that day." If you’re blonde this doesn’t apply to you as much, but if your hair is a dark brown or even black, it’s going to take a lot of bleach to get your hair light enough to accept fantasy colors like pink, purple, blue, etc. Bleaching hair dries it out no matter how careful you are, so it’s truly a matter of having an experienced stylist who has worked with these colors before.

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It’s Going To Fade

No one shows you what fantasy hair colors look like AFTER they take that first Instagram picture, and let me tell you – one wash and it’s never the same. Two washes and it’s still there but noticeably different. After ten washes your color has faded significantly and you’re trying to figure out how to put more color in it on your own without messing it up. It’s not the WORST, but if you think you’re going to have Insta-color hair 24/7, think again. Remember the first picture in this slideshow? That was Gurl's editor Jessica the first day she got her hair dyed pink. This is her hair only about a week later.

Source: Instagram/@jboothyy

You Can’t Just Do ANY Color Right Off The Bat

The first time I colored my hair a fantasy color I went pink. The second time I wanted to go blue, but that wasn’t an option because of the underlying tones in my hair. Fantasy colors are subject to the color wheel more than natural ones, meaning if your hair has yellow tones and you put in blue hair dye, guess what – your hair will turn out green. In order to get rid of the yellow in my hair from when I was pink we had to dye my hair purple to neutralize it (purple and yellow are opposites on the color wheel, which means they cancel each other out), which means I couldn’t go blue until my third coloring. It doesn’t matter what YOU want, it matters what your hair can give you.

Source: Instagram/@jacobhair

It Can Require Some Styling

Want to dye your hair a bright color but worried it will look weird with certain clothes or lipstick colors? It sounds silly, but it actually might. When Gurl editor Jessica dyed her hair pink, she says she felt like she couldn't wear certain shades of lipstick and that it looked off with some of her tops. Of course, you don't have to worry about that if you don't want (it's not a big deal!), but it's something to think about. The other thing is that brightly colored hair can sometimes end up looking drab and dry if you just leave it to airdry or something. Jessica also said she felt like she had to curl her hair a lot because just leaving her hair alone made the pink look a little strange. Again - this is a matter of preference. But if that kind of thing bothers you, it's good to know.

Source: Instagram/@ogkkai

If You Want To Maintain The Color, You Need Fancy Shampoo

Ok, you don’t REALLY need fancy shampoo, but if you don’t want to be back in the salon every two weeks, I suggest shelling out for some fancy-pants $20+ color-safe shampoo and conditioner. The first time I went pink I was using Pantene Pro-V or some other CVS garbage, and within 10 days the color was basically gone and I had faded to blonde. It sucked. You can ask your stylist what products they recommend, but you CANNOT use the usual stuff your mom picks up at Costco in bulk. Remember when I said I only wash my hair twice a week? Yeah – it’s not just to preserve the color, but because I can’t afford shelling out $40 each on a bottle of shampoo and conditioner (yes, I spend $80 on shampoo and conditioner, JUDGE ME.)

Source: Instagram/@ssssamantha

Speaking Of Expensive Products…

…getting your hair to those fun shades isn’t cheap. Are you looking for exact numbers? Yes? Ok, get ready to cry – depending on where you are in the country it can cost $300+ to dye your hair a fantasy color. I’ve had it cost $300 and I’ve had it cost $600, but both times I walked out feeling happy with my money spent because 1. It looked good, 2. When your hair is bad you just feel bad and I looked FLYYY, 3. Because even though I could’ve gotten it done for cheaper elsewhere, knowing that my hair wasn’t fried and was still relatively healthy after double bleachings was/is important. If you’re down to shell out the cash then by all means, full steam ahead ladies – just don’t be shocked when you go to pay at the end and your final cost is in the triple digits.

Source: Instagram/@imallaboutdathair

People Won’t Shut Up About It

Friends, family, you name them they have an opinion on it. My ex hated my colored hair and my dad said I looked stupid. But you know why I didn’t care? Because pink hair was what I wanted and I did it for myself, no one else. At the end of the day, YOU are your OWN person and it’s up to YOU to decide what you like and don’t like for yourself. My ex is my ex for a reason, and my dad a gross 50 so his opinion is completely irrelevant when it comes to current fashion trends. Rock whatever style you like on your head, just be ready to tell the haters to piss off whenever they try to bring you down.

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