5 Common Hair Dyeing Mistakes You Don’t Want To Make

In just the past year, my hair has gone from blue-black, turquoise, magenta, purple, blue, and now to gray (on purpose). I consider myself a bit of a hair color expert at this point. I’ve previously had hair of every color of the rainbow even before this. In my many hair adventures, I’ve done so many things wrong and now I know what not to do. For example, when I was 14, I decided to do my hair at home, left maximum strength bleach on so long it burnt my scalp AND melted my hair and I had to cut it all off. Good times. If you’re coloring your hair, especially for a special event like your wedding, you realllyyyyy don’t want to f*ck it up. So help us help you. For these hair coloring mistakes, we consulted expert colorist and Redken ambassador Ryan Pearl. If you color your hair or want to, whether it’s fun colors or just adding highlights, these are the top hair coloring mistakes you don’t want to make:

1. Don’t Copy Pinterest

I’m obsessed with Pinterest and constantly use it for inspiration, whether it’s art, clothes, nails, meals, or hair. However, while you can definitely use it as reference, you can’t expect to look exactly like someone else. According to Ryan, “skin tone and eye color play a big part” in hair color. You may find a super cute short cut that looks so chic on Ruby Rose, but will make you look like a sumo wrestler with a little sad bun on your heads. Don’t do that to yourself.

2. Don’t Expect Great Colors Overnight

This is really true. The reason I went through so many colors this year is because I was trying to bleach out my 10+ years of permanent black dye in my hair. Every time we bleached, it turned a different color, like orange, and we covered it with something similar, like magenta. I bleached for almost a year and a half before finally getting the gray ombre of my dreams. My hair stylist told me she could do it faster, but bleaching so harshly would make me lose my long hair and fry what was left of it. So, we did it very slowly, and I’m so glad we did! I only lost a couple inches of length and the color is perfect. Ryan agrees—even if you don’t have permanent black in your hair, getting the perfect color takes time. He says it takes around “2-3 visits before I get it exactly how I want it to look.” Keep that in mind next time you think you’re going to go from brown to blonde in one session. You will end up orange.

3. Don’t Just Follow A Trend

I think it’s fun to try trendy hair colors (hi, I’m gray right now), but you need to put in a lot of thought before you do it. Dyeing your hair can damage it permanently and have long-lasting effects. It took me over a year to get this *trendy* color, but I had wanted to do it for a year or two prior so I finally decided it was worth the commitment. If you’re going to dye your hair, figure out how expensive it will be, what the upkeep is like, and how hard it is to go back if you change your mind. Ryan says, “Do what’s suitable and sustainable for yourself.” My gray hair requires a lot of maintenance, like using purple shampoo and not ever going in chlorine, and my hair is much more fragile than it was when it was black. Know what you’re getting into before you do something you won’t like in a month.

4. Don’t Use Permanent Color On Grays

Are you going gray? But not in like, the fun way? This is something that I have no experience with since I actually tried to go gray, but this is super interesting advice that most people probably don’t know. According to Ryan, using permanent dye if you only have a few grays creates too much of an obvious line as it grows out. He recommends using only semi-permanent, like Redken Shades EQ, to cover and it will grow out much more seamlessly. The more you know!

5. Don’t Ever Use Box Dye

This one I’ve heard from stylists my whole life and Ryan stresses the same. Box dye gives you hair cancer. Not really, but it fries your hair follicles. Yes it’s cheap, but do you want to be frizzy and cause irreversible damage? Do you want your hair to break off faster than it grows? I’ve even been told by a hair stylist that I should at the very least buy my color from a salon if I must do it myself. But really? You’re a grownup, get your hair done by a professional. Slopping one color on your whole head never looks as good as a colorist perfectly curating your style and giving you dimension. If you’re not willing to pay someone to do it right, maybe don’t even color. It’s better than having bad hair.

Images: Tamara Bellis / Unsplash; ryanpearl23 (4), redken / Instagram
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