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

Woman with colourful hair wearing a leather jacket

Before you jump on the bright and colourful hair bandwagon, there are a few things that you need to know.

You need to understand 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 bright hair colours.

Taking good care of your coloured hair can reverse the damage to a great extent.

This 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.

Social media platforms provide us with all the inspiration we need.

Models and common people alike post beautiful hair colour pictures in different hues.

Bright hair colour can be anything that is away from the usual blondes, browns, and blacks.

Blue, pink, purple, green, grey, orange, lilac, yellow or even the unicorn hair are regarded as bright colours.

They are many more colours that can be added to this list.

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.

The unusual colours are plenty to choose from too.

It is important to understand how to decide on the bright hair look you want to achieve.

The undertones of your skin need to be understood.

This is followed by understanding how to get the colour you want and to maintain it for long.

While making the decision, you also need to know the drawbacks of opting for bright hair colours.

All of this is explained in detail in this article.

How To Decide What Colour To Dye Your Hair?

Woman with long colourful har

You have made up your mind about dyeing your hair a bright and unusual colour.

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.

However, do not 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.

To avoid this, 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 big window through which natural light floods in.

Step 2

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

Yellow and gold undertones are seen in warm toned skin.

For cool toned skin, the undertones are pink or olive.

A trick to identify your skin undertone is the doing the vein test.

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.

Step 3

This is the main step now.

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 bright and beautiful hair colour.

Or, you would rather prefer partial colouring or highlights only to fulfil your hair painting desire.

What Type Of Maintenance Do Bright Hair Colours Need?

Woman with short, colourful hair pulling a strand of it

While the beauty of bright hair is mesmerizing, the risk of the colour fading is higher than usual.

Bright hair colours require optimal maintenance measures to keep the hair shade intact for long.

The commitment is serious here and necessary to ensure the colourful hair remain colourful over time.

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.

Bleaching the hair to lighten it is a compulsory step.

The side effects of hair bleaching are plenty.

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.

It also differs with the colour.

You need to choose a hair colouring product that is known for quality results.

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 shade easily.

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.

Also, rinsing the hair too often washes away the hair colour.

Use dry shampoo in between washes to tackle the greasiness.

Just spray some on your roots and massage it in to absorb all the excess oils.

Keep Your Hair Protected While Swimming

Chlorinated water in swimming pools can damage normal hair.

Imagine the effect it will have on bleached and dyed hair!

Wear a swimming cap to keep your colourful hair protected from the effects of chlorine.

No Heat Styling

Just like the hot water for showers, heat styling tools make hair colour fade easily.

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.

Apart from these, 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.

How Does Dyeing Your Hair Bright Colours Damage It?

Woman with bright coloured hair wearing round glasses

Bright hair colours are very different from traditional hair colours.

They need an almost blank canvas to produce the best results.

The process of obtaining a blank canvas here involves bleaching the hair.

Hair is stripped of its dark pigmentation to make it lighter.

The bleach removes the colour by oxidizing the pigment in the hair strands.

This leaves the hair lighter and lighter with every consecutive bleach session.

If the bleach is left on for too long on the hair, the hair can even turn white.

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.

Porous hair loses moisture very easily and becomes brittle.

It becomes rough, develops split ends, and also becomes frizzy and unmanageable.

Pre-lightening hair is necessary to apply bright hair colour and make it stick.

If you have lighter hair naturally, then you might not have to undergo many bleaching sessions.

But, people with darker hair need more than a few sessions before their hair can be dyed a vivid hair shade.

This can easily ruin the hair, especially if all the precautionary measures are not taken.

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.

How To Evaluate The Health Of Your Hair Before Deciding To Bleach It?

Woman with pastel coloured hair

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 but it won’t last long at all.

Your hair needs to be healthy to start off with.

Here is 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.

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.

The damaged cuticle is more porous and absorbs moisture faster.

It is not suitable for bleaching and hair painting.

Check Hair Texture

Run your finger from tip to base of a hair strand to analyze the texture.

If it is smooth and glassy, then the hair might be difficult to bleach and dye later on.

Slightly rough texture signifies normal hair and can be bleached easily.

If the hair is too rough, then it might have undergone too many treatments.

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.

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.

How To Colour Your Hair A Bright Colour At Home?

Woman with bright coloured hair

You know quite a bit about colouring your hair a bright colour now.

But, you are still contemplating a visit to the salon 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.

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.

You may need more than one session of bleaching.

Do not bleach your hair more than once a week or leave the bleach on for too long.

In between the bleaching treatments, use hair masks and hair conditioning treatments to keep the hair healthy for colouring.

Apply The Colourful Hair Dye

Read the instructions on the hair colour box carefully.

Different brands need different steps to be followed.

This may involve mixing the hair dye prior to applying.

Mix thoroughly using the hair dye brush to get a homogenous mixture.

Put on the old t-shirt and lay the old towel on the floor to catch any dye that drips.

Divide your hair into sections and apply Vaseline on the hair line and ears.

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.

Keep rinsing until all the dye is removed and the water finally is running clear.

How To Remove The Colour?

Woman with bright coloured hair

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.

Bright hair colours start to fade.

Getting rid of them seems like a better option than touching up in many cases.

Since bright colours are semi-permanent, you can remove them even at home.

Some methods that you can try are given below.

Method 1

  1. For this method, you need dandruff shampoo and baking soda.
  2. Mix the two in equal quantities approximately and apply it on the hair.
  3. Massage the mixture in to get some lather and leave it on.
  4. After a few minutes, rinse your hair.
  5. Repeat the process if required.

Method 2

  1. This method involves mixing equal parts of hot water with white vinegar.
  2. Put this 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. Crush the tablets and mix them in the water.
  3. Apply this to wet hair and let it sit for an hour.
  4. Cover your hair with a shower cap if required.
  5. After an hour, rinse your hair thoroughly. Shampoo and condition as usual.

These methods can be drying for your hair.

Follow them up with a deep conditioning treatment to counteract the drying effects.


To learn more about dying your hair, click here to read our article on Henna Hair Dye: Your Guide To Dying Hair With Henna at Home.

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