Dyed hair: 5 things you should know before taking the plunge

Amra | 22 April 2016

Thinking of joining the colour club? Consult our expert guide before taking the plunge.

Be it bleach blonde, fiery copper or warm, classy brunette, there’s no denying that dyed hair has amazing transformative powers. Whether you’re looking to channel a certain trend, enhance your natural tones, or go for a dramatic refresh, colouring your locks isn’t a decision to be taken lightly.

Getting the blend of shades right and knowing which techniques to use isn’t as easy as runway models and celebrities – who all seem to be changing it up regularly – would have you believe. So if you’re seriously considering colouring your locks, here are a few things to take into account before booking that salon appointment.

Dyed hair: What you need to know


dyeing hair at the salon
Dyeing your hair at a salon is a safe bet!

1. Go to the salon

If it’s your first time dyeing your hair, we recommend you have it done by a professional. Yes, it can cost more, but we promise it’ll be worth it. Because while your best friend may claim to be an expert with box dyes, for someone inexperienced, a home dye job can easily go wrong.

Not only can you be confident that a professional colourist will be more vigilant with the application of the dye, but he/she can also tailor a specific blend of tones to best suit you. Good colourists should also know how to minimise the damage dye can cause, and advise on a haircare routine that will help your colour stay vibrant, too.

2. Understand the terminology

Demi-what? Semi-who? Before you take the plunge, these are just some of the terms you should familiarise yourself with. Temporary hair dye – which usually fades after only one or two washes – is applied after shampooing and left on as a treatment.

Semi and demi permanent hair dyes are stronger in formula and last longer, as the name suggests. Both work to coat the strands with colour by gently penetrating into the hair shaft. The colour lasts up to three months and the vibrancy gradually fades away with each shampoo.

If you want to test out a new shade without having to commit for too long, we suggest opting for any of the above options. Note: because these dyes don’t contain ammonia or peroxide, they don’t have lifting action. This means they won’t lighten your hair, only deposit colour onto it.

Unlike the dyes mentioned above, a permanent one is lasts longer. This is because it uses hydrogen and ammonia-based ingredients to penetrate through the cuticle, into the cortex layer of the hair. This then removes the hair’s natural pigment and replaces it with a new colour that won’t wash out easily, though that doesn’t mean it won’t gradually lose its vibrancy over time, which is why regular touch-ups are a must.

pink hair colour
Thinking of getting your hair dyed? Make sure to research your colours.

3. Research your colours

When choosing a shade, use your skin tone, eye colour and natural hair colour as a guideline. Remember, what works on others may not work as well on you, so be realistic with your choice. A good shade should be one that flatters and complements your complexion, rather than washing you out.

A quick and easy way to determine what colours will suit you is to try the ‘wrist and vein’ trick. Hold your wrists out, facing upwards to direct sunlight or artificial light, and if the blood vessels seem greenish in colour, then your skin is warm-toned; if they appear to be bluish, then you have a cool skin tone.

Tip: those of you with cool tones should try cool reds, intense brunettes, honey, taupe and ashy browns. Those of you with warm tones should try deep chocolate browns, auburns, golds and coppers.

If this all seems too complicated, book a consultation with your colourist, who’ll happily help you decide what shade to go for. If you have a specific colour in mind, bring image references as a starting point, and whatever your choice, make sure it’s one that you love!

4. Understand the damage

While dyed hair is beautiful, it’s no secret that it can cause damage to your locks. The intensive process you’ll be putting your hair through will no doubt change the strength and integrity of it, making it more prone to dryness and breakage. This is especially true with bleaching. Going from brunette to blonde will require a full bleaching process, which will not only strip every last drop of moisture from your hair, but change its texture too.

Editor’s tip: If you want to brighten up your tresses without having to put it through this drastic process, consider getting highlights instead.

Though damage is inevitable, investing in the right products and following a good haircare routine can help minimise it. Colour-treated hair needs all the TLC it can get, so regular deep-conditioning is a must, as is using a colour vibrancy-preserving shampoo and conditioner, TIGI Bed Head Colour Goddess Oil Infused Shampoo and Conditioner

dyed hair care
Using the right products for your dyed hair will keep it in check.

5. Be 100% sure

After reading all those points, ask yourself if you’re ready to take the plunge. Once your hair is dyed it will be difficult to hide, and as it would still be recovering from the process, you’ll won’t be able to dye it back again for a while. A cool new hair colour will have a huge impact on you, but as long as your choice makes you happy, and you’re willing to dedicate the time for proper maintenance and care, we say, go for it!


Considering a home dye job? Read our tips and tricks for maintaining coloured hair or learn how to remove hair dye stains from your clothes, carpet and upholstery.


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