Tuesday, June 4, 2019

8 Things to Consider Before Dyeing Your Hair Darker

8 Things to Consider Before Dyeing Your Hair Darker
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As you may have noticed, over the last 6 months I've been gradually dyeing my hair darker and darker. It was something I'd always wanted to try since I was a teenager, but never had the gumption to do. My hair is naturally a dirty blonde colour - not light enough to be really blonde, but not brown either. I'm not a big fan of my natural colour, so I've been highlighting it for about 20 years with the exception of a few years when I dyed it red myself out of a box. Since going for the brunette look I've been so much happier - it's my absolute favourite and I'm not sure there's any turning back now.

As much as I adore my new hair colour, there were a few surprises I didn't really think about before I decided to make the change... In the interest of sharing so other people don't have the same surprises I did, here are 8 things to consider before dyeing your hair darker so you'll be more prepared than I was.


1. Stages
Depending on the colour of your hair when you start the process, you may not be able to reach your desired shade straight away. When I decided to go darker, my hair was super blonde with lots of platinum, bleachy highlights, so I had to go to the salon once a month for about 5 months before I got it as dark as I wanted and for me that was okay. I'd heard horror stories of blonde hair turning green when dyed brown, so I was happy not to take any chances. My process started with adding an orange pigment to my hair that would help the colour bond to the strands and put warmth back into it before adding the colour. Once applied, that was blown dry on my hair before the brown colour was applied. My first time it was a warm, gingery light brown colour and after that, we went a little darker and cooler on each following occasion until I got the colour I wanted. It's worth pointing out that in the beginning, my colour started to fade a little quite quickly - after about 5 or 7 washes I'd say, but as I went darker, the fading gradually stopped and now (6 months later) I can't really tell the difference between appointments other than the roots. Having never dyed my hair brunette before, I really didn't mind doing it gradually at all. It was kind of exciting, trying loads of new colours and it minimised the shock.

2. Regularity
Since I'm naturally blonde, when I highlighted my hair I could go for ages between appointments if I wanted to. You could definitely see my roots after about 6 weeks to a month, but I had the highlights placed so naturally that I could get away with it. Now that my colour is dark and my roots are still blonde, I need appointments more often, so it's something to consider before going darker. While highlights can help to hide greys and light roots as they grow in, they are super obvious when you dye your hair darker. There are however some options for covering up roots that I've seen in the pharmacy and online, so there are ways to extend the time between appointments if you need to. It's also worth noting that you may choose to tint your eyebrows too, which needs to be done every 2-3 weeks or thereabouts.


3. Quick
Despite needing appointments more often, having my hair dyed brown is remarkably faster than getting a full head of highlights. Not only do I not need as much time in my schedule for an appointment, but I'm also not sitting around in a salon for hours getting bored. It's usually pretty quick - maybe an hour or so including a blow dry at the end. The colour is just brushed on and then left to develop for like 20 minutes before washing. Easy peasy!

4. Better
Since I've stopped bleaching my hair it feels so much better. It's growing faster, it feels thicker and it's remarkably healthier. My hair has never been so full or healthy and blow drying it myself is super easy since I made the change. It just goes to show what 20 years of regular bleaching can do your hair... I'm not sure there's any turning back for me, if only for this reason alone.

5. Money
From a cost perspective, going darker might be cheaper. This of course depends on your salon and how quickly your hair grows, but because it's faster and less fuss, you might be looking a much cheaper bill at the end of your hair appointments. I've also found that my hair doesn't need cutting as often or require as much in the way of treatments as it used to, so I'm saving some money there as well.

6. Wash
When I bleached my hair regularly it was so dry that I could sometimes go 5 days without needing to wash it. I would sometimes go for more highlights because the roots were getting too oily too quickly. Sadly those days are gone, but to be honest, I don't mind. I can get away with maybe two days if I wear my hair natural, but sometimes I curl it and use lots of product so I can get away with 3 or maybe 4 days without washing. This may be different for some people - I suppose it depends on your hair and scalp, but without any product or anything, my hair is starting to get a little greasy after about a day and a half or two days.

7. New
I didn't consider it before I dyed my hair, but I found out fairly quickly afterwards that I needed all new stuff. Colour safe shampoos and conditioners are key for maintaining the colour for as long as possible, so those are essential. I've tried a few and I'm a big fan of the TIGI Bed Head Colour Goddess Shampoo & Conditioner For Coloured Hair. Alternatively the CATWALK by TIGI Fashionista Brunette Shampoo & Conditioner is great as is the CATWALK by TIGI Fashionista Brunette Hair Mask, which I sometimes use once or twice a week. In addition, things like dry shampoo also need to be switched up or used more sparingly as they'll show up in dark hair where they didn't in blonde. Other things I didn't think about were bobby pins, barrettes, hair ties, hair nets (which I use for dance competitions) and anything else you'd normally buy the same colour of your hair. It's worth considering what products you'll need to replace before making the change.

8. Colours
If you're making a drastic change like I did, it's possible that you won't look the same in colours. For me, I haven't found too many colours that I think look worse on me, but I now feel like some hues I would've never worn as a blonde look so much better on me now. Similarly with make-up, I now wear lipstick colours I used to avoid because I felt they made me look washed out when I was blonde. You might find you want to invest in some different clothing to go with your new look or add to your cosmetics stash - to me this is just so much fun, so not a burden at all, but worth considering before you take the plunge. It's also worth noting that going darker might make your skin look more pale, which may look gorgeous on you... For me, it's been an excuse to wear more bronzer, switch up my makeup look, finally use all those eyebrow products I've been hoarding and finally jump on the sunless tanner bandwagon. I don't think my colour looks bad if I'm a bit pale, but I'll be the first to admit that it's complemented nicely by a tan. Keep these things in mind when you take the plunge and if you're just not sure, try a temporary colour first to see how you get on.

Have you ever dyed your hair darker? If you have any tips that I left out, feel free to leave them in the comments below.

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