There are few things more nerve racking than dying your hair a bright colour for the first time. Personally I was loaded with panic the whole time, worried about what my result colour would be... worried if the dye would ever come off my ears... worried if I would suddenly have a weird allergic rations. I really want to save you that worry, which is why we have put together this 'crazy hair dye step by step guide' to help you achieve perfectly dyed hair every time!

Please note that this is not an exact science and results may vary. This guide is just want we have come up with through experience and a passion for brightly coloured hair and alternative dye! Feel free to submit your own tips and feedback to improve this guide and our site! We would LOVE to hear from you and see your dye jobs!

So on with the guide!


It is important to prepare properly for you alt hair dye adventure and there a few stages to this depending on your particular requirements.

First up lightening or bleaching your hair.

Very few people like the idea of bleaching their hair however it can be a necessary evil if you want very bight and vibrant colour hair.

REMEMBER dye will only ever make your hair DARKER, so if the colour you want is lighter than your base colour you will need to LIGHTEN your hair accordingly. If you have very dark hair or you want to achieve a very light colour we do recommend getting some professional advice as over bleaching can cause breakage!

If you do decide to go a head with some home bleaching all we have to say is

*Follow the instructions carefully

*Never leave your bleach on longer than advised

*Always patch test for safety

*Wear gloves

*Look after your eyes

GOOD TO KNOW: If you use a home bleaching kit that goes into a nozzle bottle, remember bleach keeps expanding so when you are finished with your bleach be sure to remove the cap and dispose of it! Pressure can build up in these nozzle bottles as the bleach expands hours after use and they have been know to explode!

It is also note worthy to mention that the base colour of your hair before dying will affect the out come of your final colour... so if you want to go blue and you have lifted your hair to a very yellow blonde colour, your result colour may well be green! We suggest getting that pre dye colour as neutral as possible by using a toner. Manic Panic's virgin snow is pretty great for this but you will find that most brands do one. They usually come our the pot a purple colour and this is perfect as purple will neutralise all those brassy tones left over from your lightening efforts!

Once you have bleached and toned it can be a good idea to rest your hair before dying, but this is a personal preference. If you decide to go straight into dying you will need to dye your hair so it is only just damp before progressing!

Some people recommend dying on to dry hair (this works best for me!) others will say damp , just washed hair that has NOT been conditioned... try both at different times and see what suits you!

Before you go on to dying your hair make sure you have patch tested your dye to make sure you are not allergic, do this every time as allergies can appear after the first use.

Great *puts on Batman villain Bane's voice* now you have my permission to DYE!


  • Dye (that you have patch tested)

  • A tint brush, preferably with a tail for parting your hair

  • Gloves

  • Vaseline or a barrier cream

  • Some hair clips, none metal is best


  • Dye away wipes or baby wipes for smears

  • A plastic dye cap or something similar to protect your home while you wander around covered in dye

  • A plastic mixing bowl should you want to mix colours

  • An double mirror set up so you can see the back or your head or someone to help you with the bits you can see... or Jedi skills!

  1. Coat your hair line and ears with barrier cream or vaseline to stop them from being dyed in the process.

  2. Section your hair using the gripes into easy to manage sections. I usually seperate mine into five; each side at the front, centre front, back left and back right. I dye each section according to how visible it is, so my parting area gets done first to give it the longest time to take the dye.

  3. Take down your first section and working from one side to the other section out a strip of hair and working from the roots down, paint on your dye. For good measure I flip the strip to expose the under side and work some dye down from the roots that way too, to ensure optimum coverage.

  4. The group the area back together and clip up. Then move on to your next section.

  5. Once all your hair is covered you can take it out of its groups and work any remaining dye through the length, then clip your hair up for the colour development period

  6. At this point I usually like to check I have got good coverage around the hair line. Once you are happy put your hair in a protective cap if you desire and leave for the allocated development period for the dye you are using.

REMEMBER don't get over excited and wash your dye out too soon! You want good colour so leave it in for the full time... unless you are after a pastel shade, in which case a shorter time might be preferable.

  1. Wash your dye out WITHOUT using shampoo!! Cooler water will also help you not to loose too much colour! They say to keep rising your hair till the water runs clear... I never manage this... which might be why I have blue hands for the week after dying :-/ I would say just make sure you rinse your hair very very thoroughly!

  2. Condition your hair if necessary... but don't be too vigorous with lathering

  3. Clean off your barrier cream and there you have it!