Colourful Hair: Everything You Need To Know Before Dying Your Hair A Bright Colour

Before you jump on the bright and colourful hair bandwagon, there are a few things that you need to know. Such as understanding how to know your skin’s undertones to pick a bright colour that would look flattering on you. You also need to be aware of the side effects of bleaching hair to achieve the full intensity of colourful hair colours.

beautiful woman pictured with bright, darkened, purple hair.

Taking good care of your coloured hair can reverse the damage to a great extent. Doing so will also help to maintain the colour’s saturation and brightness for long.

Colouring the hair an unusual and bright colour has been on the rise for a while now. In fact, social media platforms provide us with all the inspiration we need, simply by searching #colourfulhair you’ll find thousands of images. Models and common people alike post beautiful hair colour pictures in different hues.

Bright colourful hair‘ is technically classed as anything that is aside from the usual blondes, browns, and blacks. In walks shades like blue, pink, purple, green, grey, orange, lilac, yellow or even the unicorn hair are regarded as bright colours.

woman with unicorn colourful hair, profile pictured.

They are many more colours that can be added to this list, so understandably picking a bright colour for your hair is a big decision. The starkness of the colour will alter your look 180o and you definitely do not want to choose an unflattering shade! There are so many unusual colours to choose from too.

It is important to understand how to decide on the bright hair look you want to achieve. For this to happen the undertones of your skin need to be understood. This is followed by understanding how to get the colour you want and how to then maintain it for long. While making the decision, you also need to know the drawbacks of opting for colourful hair shades. All of this is explained in detail in this article.

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How to Decide What Colour to Dye Your Hair

You have made up your mind about dyeing your hair a bright, colourful and unusual shade. More so, celebrities like Lady Gaga and Nicki Minaj rock the look and you want that too. Well, you can definitely colour your hair a super fun and trendy colour.

woman with dyed colourful red hair, looks over a wall into water, with a bridge behind her.

Importantly, you do not want to make the mistake of just picking a colour and then regretting how washed out your skin looks later. Such a mishap can prove brutal to recover from and fix! Simply, to avoid this happening, follow our step by step guidelines when deciding what colour to dye your hair.

Step 1

  • Start with a clean face.
  • Remove all makeup and wash your face.
  • Pick a room that has good lighting, preferably natural light. For example, stand in a room that has a large window in which natural light floods in.

Step 2

Using a mirror, try to identify the undertones of your skin.

  • Yellow and gold undertones are those in warm-toned skin.
  • For cool-toned skin, the undertones are pink or olive.

A trick to identify your skin undertone is doing the vein test. Simply check the colour of your veins on the inside of your wrists in some natural light.

  • If your veins appear blue or purple, you have cool-toned skin.
  • Warm-toned skin has veins that appear green.

You could also have neutral undertones wherein the veins can appear bluish-green.

woman sat in front of a gated fence, staring into the distance, with her hair dyed a colourful bright orange.

Step 3

Next is the main step. Firstly, you need to pick a bright hair colour that is opposite to your skin’s undertones.

  • Warm-toned skin looks best with cooler hair colours, whereas cool-toned skin looks best in warmer hair colours.
  • If you have neutral undertones, then the entire rainbow can be your desired palette.

Step 4

Finally, you need to decide if you want to opt for an overall colourful/bright and beautiful hair colour or you may prefer partial colouring or highlights.

What Type of Maintenance does Bright Hair Colours Need

While the beauty of bright hair is mesmerising, the risk of the colour fading is higher than usual. Bright and colourful hair shades require optimal maintenance measures to keep the hair shade intact for long. So, as the commitment is serious here it is necessary to ensure the colourful hair remain colourful over time and mainly, that you are certain about the shade you want to use!

a woman playing guitar in front of a bright, with bright purple hair.

The Lighter Your Hair, The Better

Hair dyes are such that they latch onto lighter hair better. The brightness of the colour expresses itself in full swing when the base colour is light. For example, a neon hair dye will not show up on dark brown or black hair, but should look perfect on a lighter hair colour. Therefore, bleaching the hair to lighten it is a compulsory step.

However, there are side effects of hair bleaching. Hence, hair experts advise to not go beyond seven shades lighter than your original hair colour.

Pick A High-Quality Hair Dye

The quality of bright hair colours differs from brands, and with this, it also differs in the choices of colour.

It’s essential to choose a hair colouring product that is known for quality results. And, thankfully, the popularity of bright hair colours has risen quite a bit. This is making brands manufacture organic hair colours, and even no ammonia hair colours, that are safer for the hair and skin.

Cold Water Rinsing and Dry Shampoo

The higher temperature of warm or hot water can fade away the bright hair dye easily. So, simply switch to using cooler water for washing and rinsing your hair.

Keep it as cold as you can handle and then tie up your hair before you get the hot water flowing for your shower. It’s best to avoid rinsing your hair too often as the colour will also wash away! To combat possibly greasiness, as you attempt to keep your colourful hair going for longer, then we recommend that you use dry shampoo. Just spray some on your roots and massage it in to absorb all the excess oils.

woman pictured with short bob hair, blonde with blue front.

Keep Your Hair Protected While Swimming

Chlorinated water in swimming pools can damage even normal hair so just imagine the effect it will have on bleached and dyed hair! Always wear a swimming cap to keep your colourful hair protected from the effects of chlorine.

Suggested Article: Protect Your Skin from Chlorine Damage when Swimming.

No Heat Styling

Just like the hot water for showers, heat styling tools can make hair colour fade easily. So, to make your bright hair colour last longer, skip heat styling as much as possible. If you absolutely have to do it, use a good heat protectant serum or spray. In addition, be sure to use colour protecting shampoo without any sulfates or parabens.

These tricks will help you to increase the longevity of your bright hair colour. Eventually, it will fade and you will need to go in for touch-ups to reinstate the brightness.

woman pictured with long hair dyed a colourful lilac purple.

Suggested Article: Brass Hair: Prevent and Repair Brassy, Orange Hair after Colour Treatment.

How Does Dyeing Your Hair Bright Colours Damage It?

Bright hair colours are very different from traditional hair colours. For starters, they require an almost blank canvas to produce the best results. So the process of obtaining a blank canvas here involves bleaching the hair.

With the bleach then removing the colour by oxidizing the pigment in the hair strands. Hair is stripped of its dark pigmentation to make it lighter. And, with each subsequent session, this leaves the hair lighter. Furthermore, if the bleach is left on for too long on the hair, the hair can even turn white.

Bleach Effects

Hair bleach is often a combination of hydrogen peroxide and ammonia, which bring about the decolouration. These chemicals lift the outer layer of your hair so that the pigment stored within can be oxidized. In the process of this, the hair strands become porous. This is when porous hair loses moisture, and it does so very easily and becomes brittle. The hair becomes rough, develops split ends, and even becomes frizzy and, at times, unmanageable.

Pre-lightening hair is necessary to apply a bright hair colour and make it stick. However, if you have lighter hair naturally, then you might not have to undergo many bleaching sessions. Oppositely, people with darker hair may need more than a few sessions of bleaching before their hair can be dyed a vivid hair shade. In turn, this can easily ruin the hair, especially if all the precautionary measures are not taken.

Note: Hair Stylists and professionals are trained to bleach and dye hair in a safe manner. They also have access to special products that will prevent excessive damage to your hair.

woman in patterned top wearing short purple hair.

Suggested Article: Stop Common Hair Myths from Harming Your Locks.

How to Evaluate the Health of Your Hair Before Deciding To Bleach It

Yes, bleaching hair is required before dyeing your hair a bright colour. But, before you decide to take that step, you have to know if your hair can handle the effects of the bleach.

Bleaching and dyeing unhealthy hair might work immediately but the shade won’t last long. Your hair needs to be healthy to start off with. Below we explain how you can evaluate the health of your hair before bleaching it.

Check Hair Porosity

Take a hair strand and hold it straight with your fingers. Next, add a drop of water to it and count the number of seconds it takes for it to be absorbed.

When the time taken is less than 10 seconds, the hair cuticle can be considered damaged. Meaning that the damaged cuticle is more porous and absorbs moisture faster. Thus, it is not suitable for bleaching and hair painting.

smoked pictured of woman with colourful bright pink short hair.

Check Hair Texture

Run your finger from the root to the base of a hair strand to analyze the texture. If it is smooth and glossy, then the hair might be difficult to bleach and dye later on. A slightly rough texture signifies normal hair and can be bleached easily. However, if the hair is too rough, then it might have undergone too many treatments and is already damaged. This makes it unideal for bleaching.

Check Hair Elasticity

Take a hair strand and stretch it as much as possible without applying too much pressure.

  • Healthy hair stretches one-third longer than its original length and goes back to normal easily.
  • Unhealthy hair may not go back to the prior length completely after being stretched.
  • If the hair strand breaks easily, it shows that the hair is brittle and damaged and therefore it is unsuitable for any bleaching treatment.

It is best to undergo an evaluation at a salon to clear any doubts that you may still have.

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How to Colour Your Hair a Bright Colour at Home

You may know quite a bit about colouring your hair a bright colour now. However, you may also be still contemplating a visit to the salon…simply because of how expensive it can turn out to be. All that bleaching over weeks and the final hair dyeing can cost a lot.

The good news here is you can do this at home too. You will have to be cautious and careful during the process, but you can colour your hair a vivid hue at home.

Pick the Colour and Get the Supplies Ready

  • Use the guide we outlined above to pick your hair colour.
  • Purchase a no ammonia hair colour to avoid any extra damage to your hair. Furthermore, organic hair colours are also a good option but make sure the pigmentation they render is good.
  • You can also look into foam hair colours as they are said to be more convenient to use.
  • Apart from the hair colour, you will need to buy a hair bleaching kit for lightening your hair.
  • You will also need a hair dye brush, hair clips, rubber gloves, Vaseline or petroleum jelly, shower cap, an old t-shirt and towel, and Q-tips.
  • Keep an extra pair of gloves, tissues, and extra hair clips handy.

Bleach the Hair

Follow the instructions on the hair bleaching kit to bleach your hair and prep it for the bright hair colour.

Note: You may need more than one session of bleaching. It is essential that you do not bleach your hair more than once a week, nor leave the bleach on for too long. For best results, use hair masks and hair conditioning treatments to keep the hair healthy for colouring in between the bleaching treatments.

woman stood in a field with ice blue hair.

Apply the Colourful Hair Dye

Read the instructions on the hair colour box carefully. Do note that different brands need different steps to be followed.

  • Some brands may require that you mix the hair dye prior to applying. So simply mix thoroughly using the hair dye brush to make the product smooth and consistent in both texture and colour.
  • Put on the old t-shirt and lay an old towel on the floor to catch any dye that may drip.
  • Divide your hair into sections and apply Vaseline on the hairline and ears. As this will prevent staining of the skin from the dye.
  • Clip all sections except one and apply the hair dye on it from root to tip.
  • Apply the colour section by section using the hair dye brush.
  • Cover your hair with the shower cap and leave the dye on for the time period mentioned on the box.

Rinse Thoroughly

Once the waiting period is over, rinse your hair thoroughly. It’s important that you continue the rinsing until you remove all the dye and the water is running clear.

How to Remove the Colour

Be it a neon hair dye, a foam hair colour, or the usual vivid one from the popular brand, you will want to remove it after a certain time. This can for many reasons, but one will be that eventually, bright hair colours do start to fade.

Getting rid of the colour from your hair seems like a better option than touching up in many cases. And since bright colours are semi-permanent, you should be able to remove them at home.

Some methods that you can try:

Method 1

For this method, you need dandruff shampoo and baking soda.

  1. Mix the two in equal quantities and apply it on the hair.
  2. Massage the mixture in to get some lather and leave it on.
  3. After a few minutes, rinse your hair.
  4. Repeat the process if required.

Method 2

  1. This method involves mixing equal parts of hot water with white vinegar.
  2. Put the prepared mixture on your colourful hair carefully and cover with a shower cap.
  3. Rinse your hair after about 20 minutes.
  4. Apply shampoo and conditioner as you normally would.

Method 3

  1. Take a couple of vitamin C tablets and pour some hot water over them.
  2. Any excess you should crush and then mix in water.
  3. Apply this to wet hair and let it sit for an hour. Cover your hair with a shower cap if required.
  4. After an hour, rinse your hair thoroughly. Shampoo and condition as usual.

Warning: These methods can be drying for your hair. So it is important that you follow them up with a deep conditioning treatment to counteract the drying effects.


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