Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Beauty Scoop: DIY Hair Dying Disaster

Accidentally Brunette

Before swatch of my permanent dyed blonde hair
I am the queen of DIY hair disasters.

It took me a while to get the hang of it, to learn about the different kinds of hair dyes, and how to pick colors that can be done realistically at home. Since I did not go to beauty school, it was really a trial and error process for me. The best advice I can give you is to follow the directions! Not following the directions can result in some pretty big surprises like dark brown instead of light brown hair!

The moment of the disaster took place a couple of weeks ago when I noticed that my roots were getting a bit ridiculous. I didn't have time to go to a salon, so I decided to do a demi permanent dye at home to go a few weeks longer before getting it done.

Ion Demi Permanent Color Brilliance in 9NG $4,
 Sensitive Scalp Developer in 10 2$

Tools: Either a plastic mixing bowl and application brush or a application bottle with a precision tip for mixing hair dye and developer. I usually use the brush and bowl when I need to touch up my roots and use application bottles when doing my whole head. Gloves are a must. You can use whatever ones you want, but they should fit your hands and not be too big. If you get dye from the drugstore, the kits come with them inside. If you buy dye at a beauty supply then you need to purchase them separately. You'll want a shower cap to keep dye from getting on your stuff while it's processing. I wear an old shirt, but if you're worried about spillage or dye getting all of the place, you can cut the bottom off of a trash bag and wear it K$sha style to keep the dye off your clothing. I used to do this because I was much messier when I started out. And of course, you will need dye and developer. Drugstore hair dye comes with both inside but you'll need to purchase them separately at a beauty supply. If you're a first time beauty supply buyer, it's best to ask someone to help you pick out your dye/developer. That way you'll know you got the right level developer. 

I used Ion demi-permanent dye in 9NG and a 10 developer. (for permanent blond color, you would typically use a level 30 or 40 developer, demi-permanent cannot lift color so you only need level 10).
I purchased my hair dye/developer at Sally Beauty Supply.

For a couple of great DIY videos, you can check out Kandee Johnson's "How to Color (dye) Your Hair like in a Salon at Home!" video on Youtube or Anna Saccone's video on The Style Diet channel "How to Dye Your Hair At Home" . They show two different methods and they're both great.

Below is a swatch after going one shade darker.

Level 9 Natural/Golden
So even though going a little darker evened out my hair and made my roots look better, about a week later I decided I wanted to try a red blond and used Ion's 6WR Dark Warm Red Blonde. 

This is where I went wrong--
I decided to dye my hair after work and make dinner while my dye processed because I was starving. I used the same brand, so I knew the instructions and even read them again, which makes it all the more embarrassing.

By the way, I do recommend the Ion brand! They are not expensive and as long as you follow the instructions, you're hair should come out fine.  It is important to keep in mind that demi permanent hair color does tend to come out a shade or two darker in general, but since it washes out completely [unlike permanent hair dye], after a couple of showers your hair should technically be at the color you wanted.  However, I left the dye in for about 10+ minutes longer then I was supposed to because I lost track of time and it came out a kazillion shades darker. I would have never intentionally gone so much darker (at home) with permanent blonde dye as my base, and I'm honestly surprised the color came out as nice as it did.
Here's my hair today: 
Bottom Line: Don't do anything DISTRACTING while dying your hair. ALWAYS set a timer with an alarm (like your cell phone).  ALWAYS follow the instructions and ask the beauty techy in your life what to do if something goes wrong. Luckily my cousin went to beauty school and told me the quickest way to fade / strip my demi-permanent hair color is to wash hair with dandruff shampoo or laundry detergent. It's a much warmer auburn color today than it was a week ago when I first dyed it (it was pretty close to black).

I hope you all can learn from my mistakes. It was really just me being silly and forgetting to set the timer, but I also didn't think leaving dye in for a couple of minutes longer would matter. Now that I know what a huge difference 10 minutes make, I'll definitely be doing a strand test from now on and following the directions (should be a no brainer, right? haha).  I actually like the color a lot now that I'm used to it and think I'll keep it for the summer. May be it was meant to be. 

If you have any DIY beauty tricks, feel free to leave them below or post a link to your blog.


  1. Wow! That seems way darker than a level 6 shade would be. It looks more like a level 4 or 5 so I'm surprised that even being on ten minutes longer would have pulled that much darker. Of course, since your hair was already incredibly light before hand, this darkness will fade a bit quicker than the typical time it takes a demi to fade, so I would be too concerned... especially since you pull off that color very well. I wonder if when it fades, though, if the hair will go toward a dark strawberry blonde-ish kind of color? I can't imagine it going green since this color wasn't ash based...

  2. @Mandy
    I know, right? I've never been super strict about the exact time the dye is in my hair and this is the first time I've had such a dramatic change because of I left it for longer.
    Ashy colors--
    that's exactly why I used the golden toned blonde for round one and the red blonde for round 2. I'm always afraid my hair will turn green if I do an ashy color at home (and ashy dyes tend to wash me out anyway which is just not ideal haha)
    As for when it fades, I'm going to reapply the shade again in a few weeks when it's lighter (and follow the directions) and then in the fall if I decide to go back blonde, I will be going to a salon or asking my cousin to do it. I might just stick with brown though (probably not this dark), I was blonde for a few years so it was time for a change.

  3. Brunette looks good on you! I will remember your tips when I lighten my hair in a couple of days ;)