Commitment Issues? - A Hair Dye Guide For the Colorist Newbies

Commitment Issues? - A Hair Dye Guide For the Colorist Newbies

“That color will never come out again,” they say. “It’s impossible to keep up long-term,” you might hear. “You’ll never get a job with hair that color,” the nay-sayers want you to think. 

There are plenty of reasons to not dye your hair. It’s enough to make you rethink whether it’s really worth it. But if you’ve ever scrolled through a Buzzfeed article about the latest trends in opalescent hair, or you think your faux-hawk needs a little extra oomph, it’s time to ignore all of those negative voices trying to talk you out of expressing yourself with bold, bright, electric hair color. But hey, if you’re still on the fence about taking the hair-dye plunge, stick around. Whether you’re a total hair-dye virgin, or you’ve never played with alternative colors before, a little bit more information can help you make up your mind. Enter our Hair Dye Guide for the Commitmentphobe!

Understanding Dye Types

First and foremost, it’s important to understand that not all hair dyes are created equal! The most common categories are temporary, semi-permanent, and permanent hair dye, but that’s not all. There are some options that aren’t hair dye in the traditional sense, like highly pigmented hair gel or spray-in color. There are also options made specifically for folks with grey hair, options that lighten and add color at the same time, and chemical-free hair dye options. So, let’s break it down: 

Temporary Hair Dye — As the name suggests, this subset of hair dye is made to wash out of your hair fairly quickly. Temporary hair dye may wash out completely the first time you shampoo, or you may get 3–4 washes before the color fades. 

Semi-Permanent Hair Dye — This is hair dye that’s made to last a bit longer, but it’s still not going to stick around forever. You can generally expect semi-permanent hair dye to last a couple of weeks up to around a month and a half. This is dye that will cling to your hair a bit better, but it will fade as it eventually gets washed out of your hair. 

Permanent Hair Dye — This is the longest lasting subset of hair dyes out there. Permanent hair dye is, typically, what you get with those boxed dyes at the supermarket, but it’s also the same sort of staying power from the dye job you’d get at a salon. There may be a bit of fading, but permanent hair dye is generally intended to stick around until you either cover it or cut your hair. 

So, How Do I Get It Out?

One of the biggest worries for most hair dye neophytes is what happens as the color ages. Some will tell you it’s a slippery slope and that once you start dyeing your hair, you won’t want to stop. Well, those wise souls definitely aren’t wrong — dyeing your hair can be a blast, and a great way to express your individuality! But that doesn’t mean you’re trapped in a vicious cycle of upkeep that you can never leave. 

Getting dye out of your hair depends on what kind of dye you use. Broadly speaking, the less lasting a hair dye is intended to be, the faster the pigment will disappear — which makes temporary and semi-permanent hair dyes a good way to dip your toe into the hair dye pool. However, if you have darker hair, you’ll probably need to lighten it to get any other colors to show up. In that case, the lightened locks will simply have to grow out and get cut off over time. The same goes for permanent hair dyes. 

Does It Hurt My Hair?

This will depend on the type of dye you use. Lightening, or bleaching, your hair can lead to dry, brittle hair, split ends, and breakage. This is why it’s a good idea to work with a professional to have your hair lightened — especially if your hair is dark and you need to go all the way to white to get an electric hair color to show up well. Permanent dyes can also damage your hair over time, depending on the formula. If you’re really concerned about damage, look for a chemical-free hair dye or a vegan hair dye to protect your soft locks. 

Does Hair Dye Need Upkeep?

Generally speaking, yes. Even permanent hair dye will fade somewhat, but temporary and semi-permanent dyes will need to be redone every so often if you want the color to stay. Some dye options, especially lighter or darker highlights and lowlights that correspond to your natural hair color, may not need much upkeep and can grow up fairly naturally. If you’re going lighter, a lot darker, or to an electric hair color, you’ll need more upkeep to deal with color fading and the “roots” you’ll get as your hair grows, when the new growth doesn’t match the dyed portion. 

Let’s Talk Concerns — Or, The Emotional Side of Hair Dye

Hair dye is a way to express yourself, just like your haircut, clothing, shoes, makeup, accessories, and so on. One of the scariest parts about taking the plunge to dye your hair, for most people, is processing how this one simple act can totally change what you say about yourself. It can absolutely be freeing to change your image that way, but it can also be daunting! In the end, dyeing your hair should be something that makes you feel great about yourself. It’s all about showing the world the side of yourself you want everyone to see, so, while that can be difficult, you’ll find that the personal rewards are pretty awesome.

If you’re worried about how much dyeing your hair might change you, fear not. Maybe you’ll find that going darker makes your eyes pop, or maybe going red makes you feel more confident. If worse comes to worst and you really don’t like how your colored hair makes you feel, you can work with a stylist to cover bleached sections with a dye that matches your natural color, lighten darker highlights, and so on. Even bold, alternative hair color options can be covered up if you need to — but we’re guessing you know what you’re getting into if you want to go neon green or cotton candy pink! 

One Step At A Time

One of the best things you can do to handle your hair dye concerns is to talk with a professional. They can easily answer all of your questions about dye types, what it might do to your hair, and any other concerns you might have. Working with a professional can also make sure you get the look you want, so bring a few reference images when you have that consultation. 

Whether you’re ready to take the plunge on a bold, electric hair color or something more traditional, you can always start with baby steps. Look into highlights, lowlights, dyeing just the ends of your hair, or maybe doing a dyed underlayer that you can hide. Give yourself a chance to get used to your new look, and then move to something more bold when you’re ready!

Here at Manic Panic, we’re all about bold colors and unique self-expression. Whether you want to rock a punk style or something sweet, electric hair color variations have become a lot more mainstream in recent years. Check out our array of vegan hair colors, and rest easy because our cruelty-free, chemical-free hair dyes won’t wreck your tresses. Explore our social media to see what other awesome individuals have done, mix and match our brightly colored dyes, and get the bold look that makes you feel like your best you! And hey, we know that showing your bold side can be daunting, so connect with the Manic Panic team if you want to know more about our electric hair color, and how to use it. This is supposed to be fun, so enjoy the plunge!