If you’re going all “new look, new outlook” for 2014, dying your hair is a great place to start. Your hair is one of your most noticeable visual cues. Your best accessory. It has great power over outward impressions and inner confidence. Sound totally superficial? Try dying your hair with disastrous results – it may be funny after a while, but walking around wearing a hair dye horror story is a sure-fire way to feel silly. When you dye this time around, equip yourself with the all the tools you need to dye with success, starting with the know-how.
Do choose the right colour. There’s more to it than browsing through the boxes in the drugstore and scooping up the one with a great-looking hair model. Find the hue that's truly going to work best for you. Pick a shade no more than two or three lighter or darker than your natural colour, using the chart on the back of the box to determine the shade you’ll get from what colour you have now.
Don't get too ambitious. Save the drastic changes for the salon, lest you end up with a head-ful of green-tinted hair when you're not going for the punk-rock look.
Do enlist a friend to help, and equip them with all the tools they need to do the job right (a paintbrush, clips, enough dye, assurance that you will repay them back with dinner / drinks / photoshop lessons). Dying your hair by yourself adds time and effort to the process and also increases the likelihood that your dye won’t be thoroughly applied. Risking missing any spots at the back of your head isn’t something you want to mess around with.
Do conduct a strand test before you cover your whole head. You do this to determine if you like the colour and how long you need to leave it on. Dye a small section of your hair in a spot where you can see how it looks against the colour of your skin, ideally in natural light. Just let it sit for about half of the designated time before rinsing it out.
Don’t skimp on dye. Buy two boxes if you’ve got thick hair. Enure adequate attention is paid to the spots that need it – if you're going darker, apply starting at the front, where hair is usually lightest. If you’re lightening, start at the back.
Do slather some vaseline along your hairline, ears, and back of your neck to protect your skin from getting dyed.
Don't forget to clean up the bathroom afterward. Washing your hair after you dye it will turn your shower into a post-psycho scene. Be a considerate room mate / girlfriend / daughter – wash off those creepy streaks off the shower wall.
Do condition like a pro. That tube of conditioner that comes in the box? Use it right after you rinse, and make sure you splurge on a deep conditioning treatment once per week to preserve colour and shine. It's a worthy investment that will keep your colour protected, especially in the drying winter months.