Krista Robyn's beauty blog - makeup tutorials - health and wellness blog

Bright & Crazy Hair Dye Tutorial

I think I’ve just about dyed my hair a million times … starting at age 12 with sneaking some bleach on my hair from my mom’s Revlon Frosting kit. Actually, I am thinking back further to a time when I was only 6 or 7 and I was coloring my hair with a scented marker. I really wanted pink hair, and the only place I had seen pink hair was on one of my See Wees mermaid dolls.

Ahh yes.. the colored hair on dolls made me really want to dip my head in a vat of paint. When I was about 16, I discovered Manic Panic and Punky Colours. I was scared to ask my mom if I could do it, so I just did it and hoped she would get over it if she didn’t like it. My first dye job was when I used the gel version of Manic Panic’s Shocking Fuschia. It was a mess.. such a mess, that I ended up dying my hair in the garage from then on. This stuff is a DYE.. it stains really, really bad on skin, clothing, walls, furniture, carpets.. anything it touches! I am going to teach you in this tutorial how to lessen your chances of a disaster.. so listen up!

You are going to need some supplies.. so make a list!

1. Pick your color: I buy all of my bright hair dye from a wonderful little independent website called : If you click on the name of the hair color, you will go to a page where you can view actual photos of people who have used those products. Normally when you see swatches of hair dye on the web, it’s wayyy off from the actual color of the dye. It all depends on how light your hair is before it is dyed.. the lighter your hair, the more intense and long lasting the color will be. If you dye over your natural color of hair, you can get a really nice sheer cast of the color, of course that depends on the color of your hair and the color of the dye. I find that the darker the dye is in the bottle, the longer the shade will last. Here are a few photos of me with various hair colors:


Ok.. that is a lot of dye and pictures, isn’t it? I can’t even tell you what dye brands and colors go with which photos, that is a span of 9 years of photos. From 1999 to 2008! Crazy. I’ve changed a lot.. now that I am noticing.

Well.. so order your dye (Amphigory is really fast with shipping) and when it comes, don’t open the bottle.. okay?

PRELIGHTEN your hair…I have already posted a blog about bleaching to white, but you don’t have to have it white for these dyes to show up. I have actually used blonde hair dye from the drugstore to lighten my hair and it worked pretty good when using the purple, pink, red and orange shades. For blue shades, it’s best to get hair as light as possible first.


2. Get your supplies while you wait for your dye to arrive:

-Good Gloves. I buy mine from Sally’s Hair Supply.
-Tinting Brush and plastic bowl and wide -toothed combs. I also get one from Sally’s. I have three different sizes of tinting brushes. One is very wide, maybe 2.5 inches wide for doing large areas quickly. I also have a smaller one that works well for doing streaks in my hair and quick touch-ups. My favorite tinting brush is the blue one below. It is a comb-tint brush combo.. and it works really good for me when I am bleaching my roots. The wide-toothed combs help you comb in the dye since your hair will be moist.


-Shampoo and conditioner for colored hair. The only shampoo and conditioner that I like are from the Pureology line. It’s pretty expensive, but worth it since you won’t need to dye your hair as often.I normally use the Hydrate line from Pureology and I get the BIG jug of the shampoo because it lasted me almost a year and a half. This stuff doesn’t smell wonderful or anything, but it’s the best shampoo out there. I like to switch my shampoo every so often and use a clarifying shampoo to remove residue from my hair. Actually, it’s a good idea to use a clarifying shampoo (I like the one from Kenra) before you dye it. As far as conditioners go, I love Pantene, Fredric Fekkai, Terax and Phyto. I switch around all the time with conditioners.


-Shower caps / Processing Caps: I use plastic shower caps to keep the dye on my hair on not near my skin.

-Optional: A heat bonnet. I just got this heating cap off ebay for 30 bucks: (Don’t Laugh!)


It’s actually pretty fun to wear. You can dye your hair and act out a scene from the Star Wars cantina at the same time! The heat bonnet is beneficial in many ways! I use this thing when I am processing bleach, vegetable-plant based dyes (like Special Effects, etc.) and to do deep conditioning treatments. Since the bonnet is also a hair dryer, you can use it to dry your hair when it’s in curlers. How fun is this!?!

-Cleaning supplies: Keeping this dye off of stuff is going to be a challenge. From the minute you take the lid off the product, your chances of getting dye on yourself is about 90%. Get old towels and put them on the floor!
-Baby Wipes: Good ole baby wipes do the best job getting the dye off your skin. I get just the cheap ones from Target. -Magic Sponges: Ahh.. Mr. Clean sure does a great job at keeping my bathroom nice and sparkling. These sponges are really great for rubbing stains off of surfaces. -Spray Bleach: Yup.. your shower stall and tub are going to be a mess every time you wash your hair. I get good old spray bleach from Target.. I think it says it’s a mildew remover, but all it really is.. bleach! I also get a gel bleach for tough stains.. I let the gel sit on the surface stain for 10 minutes and it works really good!


Now that you’ve got everything, it’s time to dye your hair!

-Wash your hair with the clarifying shampoo. Do not condition unless your hair is very tangled. Make sure you comb your hair out after you towel-dry it.

-This is all up to you: You can choose to blow-dry your hair entirely or keep it damp. My own personal experience is that when my hair is dry when I apply the dye, the dye looks and lasts so much better than when it’s wet. The only problem is that when your hair is dry, it’s hard to get the dye to reach every hair, you will need to spend extra time working the dye through your hair with the comb and your fingers. When my hair is damp, sometimes it will drip and get stains on the floor.. not good.

-I normally squirt some dye into my tinting bowl and dip the tinting brush in and start applying. If the dye seems too thick, you can dilute it with a bit of water in the bowl and mix it up. I clip my hair up as I go along so that I won’t get dye on my skin.

-Once you are done covering your hair in the dye, immediately put the shower cap on to keep the dye from dripping down. Pat the cap down onto your hair so it sticks to it.

-There are several ways to process your color. Since your hair isn’t going to get damaged from this type of dye, you can leave it on as long as you like. You can let the natural heat from your head process the dye, but that will take about 2-4 hours.. maybe more. I’ve slept in my dye before just so it would last longer.. but I’ve found other effective and quick ways to do it. With my shower cap on, I put on my heat bonnet, on high heat, and process for about 15-20 minutes. If I am doing streaks, I wrap my streaks in foil instead of putting the shower cap on. I tap the foiled streaks with my flat iron for one second all the way down the streak. If you don’t have any of these tools, you can always put the shower cap on and use your hair dyer on different sections of your hair for a few minutes. Don’t let the dryer get too close to the shower cap or it will melt.

– After the processing time is up, you will want to carefully remove your shower cap and throw it in the garbage. I am lucky enough to have a hand-held shower, so I can closely rinse my hair. I put my head down while I rinse out the dye so that the dye doesn’t stain my whole body. You can also rinse your hair outside if you are too scared to use the bathtub. The cold water will make your dye stay in longer, anyway! (Closes up the hair cuticle) I rinse for quite a while, until the water is almost clear. Then I apply a good conditioner. The conditioner helps extra dye come off your scalp, too. Rise that out and put an old towel on your hair (or black towel!).

– I towel dry my hair really good and apply some hair products on to help tame frizzies and stuff. I normally air-dry my hair when I first dye it, but you can dry it with a hair dryer, too. I try to stay away from hair dryers since the heat fades the dye.

Wow.. it seems like you are done! Did I miss anything?


Every 4 weeks, I touch up my roots with bleach and reapply my dye on the roots and my whole head. If you want to change the color, sometimes you can just dye right on top of what you had before if the colors are close enough. It’s easy to go from orange to red or from red to purple, but a lot harder to go from purple to orange.. know what I mean? If you really want to change.. you are going to need a color removal product called EFFASOL.

Effasol Dye Remover

You can find this product at Sally’s. Read the directions on Effasol very well. You can use it with water or bleach, and I feel like the water method works well for removing those vegetable based dyes. This stuff can also (with bleach) remove black hair dye, which can be very hard to remove.

I also like to give myself a conditioning treatment with my heat bonnet every two weeks or so.

Anything else you would like to know? Comment below!! Hope you enjoyed this.

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Makeup Artist | Beauty Blogger
I am Krista, the author of I started a career as a pro makeup artist in 2001 for Benefit Cosmetics in the San Francisco bay area, and transitioned in 2006 to pursue jobs in the Silicon Valley. I am currently working as an editor in the media industry, where I contribute to original content that includes beauty articles. I am occasionally doing freelance makeup jobs, but spend most of my time working on improving my health and wellbeing. I have Hashimoto's and PCOS, and plan on contributing articles that touch on these areas, as well as weight loss and Paleo Diet recipes.

3 Responses to Bright & Crazy Hair Dye Tutorial

  1. Hey! Thanx a lot for your advices, really helpfull! I’ve been dying my hair several colors since a year and a half and it’s allready so dried and damaged! how do you keep it so nice looking? I also have to cut the tips every two months because it looks awfull! I’ve been using Manic panic and i just changed to Punky Color and I use “color defense” champoo and conditionner. Do you put on a specific product after washing your hair?

    Thank you!

    • Maggie,

      I mainly stick with sulfate-free shampoos, which tend to not only fade color but dry out your hair. I am using Pureology Nano shampoo and conditioner and one day per week, I use Colure Clarifying Shampoo (green bottle) to wash away any residue from styling products. Yes, the clarifying shampoo will strip color, so I try to use very little of it and concentrate on my scalp. I normally put a little bit of my hair dye into a bottle with shampoo and into another bottle with conditioner. I am not using Punky or Manic colors currently, I am using the Sebastian Cellophanes dye, which is pretty high quality and expensive, so I am looking for something a little less expensive right now. Putting the color into the shampoos / conditioners really helps maintain color!

      After I rinse out hair dye, I use a product from Sally’s called Ion Color Brilliance After Color Treatment, which seems to help seal in the color. I use the Colure Shine Serum after the shower to make my hair glossy. I try to stay away from strong alcohol, sulfates and parabens. It is hard, but if you go to a Planet Beauty store, they are well-trained on the subject of sulfates (at least the girls at my PB store are!)

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