Things to do before you dye

Here's our top pointers on things to do before you dye! Make sure you get the perfect results by following our guides, written by our onsite, super experienced hair dye expert Kim! She's been dyeing her hair crazy colours for over 10 years and has compiled this list of tips and tricks to help get the best results -

Hi guys, Kim here! Here's my how to guide to get great results from any hair dye brand, I've used Manic Panic, Directions and Crazy Colour and know these tips will help you get the best results whatever brand you choose!

Before dyeing colours I recommend you bleach hair so that you get the brightest and best shades. We have a bleaching guide here if you need any help with this part. Some dyes will work on lighter blonde or brown hair and give them a coloured sheen, particularly darker shades or reds and purples, but most require lightening to get the best effect. The best way to decide what shade a dye will come out on your hair is to imagine your hair as a canvas, and you're going to paint it! If your canvas is white, colours will show up nice and bright, but if your canvas is yellow, lighter shades will not show on it. I always bleach my hair as light as possible before applying dye to get the brightest colour results, though when I had red hair I used to apply it over more yellow/orange lightened hair. This resulted in a deeper shade with a red sheen. If your hair is really dark or black it is best to go consult a hair dresser and get them to bleach it for you, but people with blonde or brown shades can use our bleach kits at home prior to dyeing!

Feel free to e-mail us or call if you need further advice on bleaching :)

Now, to dyeing!

You'll need a few things handy before you begin -

An old towel (all these dyes stain so use one you don't mind getting mucky!)
Gloves (you don't want to stain your fingers!)
A tint brush if you're doing streaks or finer areas
A fabulous coloured hair dye!
Shower (again, dyes may stain so make sure you scrub the shower out good when you're done!)

It's also best to wear old clothes, that way if any dye splashes onto you and stains it's nothing you don't mind getting mucky. I also usually cut up a bin liner and put it on the floor beneath where I'm dyeing, just to catch any of those little splashes and splodges that always seem to escape!

First you want to shampoo and towel dry your hair, don't condition as this makes hair 'greasy' and can stop the colour from absorbing properly.

Pop your gloves on and get some dye on your fingers, gently massage this through the area you want to dye starting at the roots. It will build into a lather as you massage it in, just make sure you apply fresh dye evenly over all your hair. If using a tint brush start at the roots and gently brush down along the length of your hair with the dye.

Work through all the hair you want to dye, our colours don't damage hair so feel free to take your time and make sure you get every strand! It always helps to have someone on hand to make sure you don't miss patches.

Once all your hair is covered with dye, its time to wait and let it do its magic! I'd advise a minimum of 30 mins to make sure the colour takes (only do this with colour, NOT bleach! See our bleach guide for details on how to use it), Directions, Manic Panic and Crazy Colour hair dyes do not damage hair. Sometimes I'll sit for an hour or 2 and watch a movie or play games while the dye takes, this helps the colour last longer though if you're in a rush 30mins is fine :)

After this time, I often grab a hair drier and run it on a high heat over the bits I'm dyeing, heat will help the colour to take and last longer. You only need to do this for a few minutes.

Then its time to wash it out! Hop in the shower or get a friend to hold the shower head over your hair while you lean in. Note a LOT of colour will come out while you do this, keep the water running over your hair until it runs a paler colour. There will always be some colour in the water as the dyes are semi permanent, so a little will come out with every wash. Condition your hair to help seal the colour, don't shampoo as this will cause more colour to come out.

If you've bleached your hair prior to dyeing, I recommend sitting with the conditioner on for 30mins before washing it out. This will help treat your hair if it is dried out from the bleaching process. Once the conditioner is washed out I usually use a heat protection cream before using the hair drier. Always take good care of your hair! You can buy these from most super markets or chemists, just choose a brand you like. 

Dry your hair and voila, super sexy awesome colours!

To help keep colours brighter and vibrant for longer, try washing it less. When you do wash it, use less shampoo and if you can bear it wash under cold water. Hot water and shampoo will make colours fade quicker. Darker colours will last longer anyway but lighter shades will require some upkeep, but its totally worth it for fab hair! Really light shades, whites, silvers, and pastels require very very light hair before application. Check my 'HOW TO - perfect pastels' below to make sure your hair is ready for these gorgeous shades.


I've also written guides for those more daring who may want to try something a bit different with their hair, check out the links below -

HOW TO - streaks

HOW TO - dip dye

HOW TO - 2 tone or multicolours

HOW TO - perfect pastels

Follow the links below to view the full range of hair dyes by brand, or use the top bar to navigate and view hair dyes by colour!

Directions Hair Dye     -     Manic Panic Hair Dye     -     Crazy Color Hair Dye