Artificial hair colors are all the rave. Highlights, lowlights, Ombré, hair coloring is the way to go. From natural to artificial hair coloring products, there’s a wide range to choose from. There’s an even wider range of professional stylists, but the Goumin app can help you find one near you with ease. Hair coloring goes as far back as the 1600s. They used natural coloring agents such as roselle, turmeric, red ochre, amla, leeks and so on. These coloring agents gave colors such as red, gold, green, black and so on. Eugène Schueller is considered the father of synthetic dye which he created in 1907. He is also the founder of L’Oréal, pretty cool huh. “Poly color” was also launched in 1947 by a cosmetic firm called Schwarzkopf.

A large population of women and men living in Copenhagen have embraced the color craze. Up to 18% of men and 75% of women respectively. But, there are still quite a few sceptics out there. Admittedly, hair coloring can have unexpected results. This is due to the presence of volatile chemicals, different hair types and colors and a host of other factors, but the benefits are well worth the risks.

Down To Business

There are diverse processes involved in hair coloring, and they all vary. It depends on the look you want to achieve. Are you doing a full color on or going for streaks? Are you using natural products or synthetic? Will you be going to a professional or doing it yourself? Whatever the case, below are some of the techniques and processes involved in hair coloring. It will start with the basic stuff to know and then work up to guru level.

First of all, hair is made up of Keratin. It’s a kind of protein than can  also be found in skin and fingernails. It has a shaft, which is the part of the hair that you can see and a follicle that kind of anchors the hair down. The shaft is then made up of an outer layer (the cuticle) then an inner layer (the cortex).

Apart from the Keratin, there’s also the Eumelanin and Phaeomelanin. These two proteins are responsible for the color of the hair. The Eumelanin is responsible for brown to black hair. Phaeomelanin is responsible for golden blond, red and ginger. The absence of either produces white or gray hair.

Get Started

The first thing you want to do is decide what color you want. Do you want it to be temporary, semi permanent, demi semi permanent or permanent? You also want to buy your dye. This part can be a bit daunting with all the hair dye products screaming at you from the shelves. Don’t just go for the prettiest looking box, finding the right shade is important. If you’re a first time adventurer you want to go for a temporary to semi permanent hair dye. Pick a color that is no more than 2 shades lighter or darker than your actual hair color, just in case.

Getting Ready

You want to shampoo your hair 24 to 48 hours before you dye. This allows the natural oils in your hair to circulate and makes binding the dye to your hair easier. Avoid conditioning, it eliminates the natural oil in the hair. You don’t want anything hindering your hair from soaking that color up. If you have dry hair, you can condition your hair for at least five minutes every night for a week before you plan to dye it. Then skip the conditioning the night before dying. This will prevent your hair from wilting after the process. Before you apply the dye, apply Vaseline or lip balm to your hair edges and ears so the dye doesn’t stain you. Doing this also makes it easier to rinse off your hairline, ears and neck once you’re done.

Cover up!

You want to protect all surfaces from being discolored so it doesn’t look like a “paintalanch” when you’re done. All tables, chairs, mirror edges, and floors should be covered before you begin. You can use lots of newspapers, but tape them down at the edges so they don’t slip. Wear an old t-shirt, once you’re done, you are not going to be wearing it again, well maybe until the next time. You want to wear gloves, so your fingernails, which are also composed of keratin don’t get stained. It will also protect your hands from the chemicals in the dye. Some dye kits come with gloves, but just in case they don’t, you want to get some at the store. Regular rubber, vinyl or latex gloves will do.

Buy a color cape at a beauty supply store. Old towels too will work just fine too. Drape it around your shoulders and secure it in front with a safety pin or clip. It will catch any dye that might drip off in the process. You want to use a dark colored towel if you have it, just to avoid obvious stains.

Follow instructions

It’s time to prepare the dye for use. It is important to read the instructions as every dye is different. You can’t use the process for one type to handle another. Use the supplied container to mix the dye. Follow all instructions written on the box. Combine the dye “ingredients” into the bottle provided. Then give it a good shake until all the ingredients mix properly. If your hair dye requires a developer, mix that in as well. Most kits will come with their own, if not get a 20% developer at your local drug store.

If your dye package doesn’t contain mixing bottles or containers, you’ll need to buy them. You can also use some of those bowls you have lying around that you never use. If your dye comes with a brush, use it for application. If it doesn’t come with a brush, apply it to your hair with your gloved hands.

Now your hair

You want to brush your hair thoroughly, get those kinks out. This will make applying the dye easier. It will also ensure that the dye is distributed evenly throughout your hair.

Use a comb, preferably one with a tail to part your hair into four sections. Use clips or an elastic band to hold those sections apart. This will make application easier for you and ensure that you get that dye all the way in there.

Administer the dye to your hair in smaller subsections, taking it one part at a time. Use the applicator bottle or brush to apply the dye to your hair. Then use your gloved fingers to massage it in. If it’s your first time, avoid your scalp, start applying the dye from about one inch from the roots. Work that dye in so it doesn’t only color the top of your hair. It should also get into all those corners, especially if you have thicker or fuller hair.

Set a timer. From the time you start dyeing it. Follow the instructions in your dye package. Remember, dyes are different so you don’t want to generalize. Don’t rinse out the dye before the allotted time and don’t leave it in past the maximum time. Don’t ever go to bed with dye still in your hair. It could lead to terrible skin irritation not to talk of how uncomfortable it would be to sleep with all that dye on. If you are sporting a head full of grey hair, then you want to keep the dye in to the maximum time allotted. It might also help if you stay in a dryer.

Rinse it off

This is the last step. First off, once you’re done applying the dye, you can put on a shower cap to keep your hair in one place. Then wipe off any extra that fell on your hairline, ears or neck. You can use paper towels or a cloth you don’t mind abandoning. You can then wrap a towel around the shower cap to keep the heat in, this helps speed up the process.

Once the time has elapsed, rinse your hair thoroughly with warm water. Keep rinsing until the water runs clear. Before that happens there’s going to be a lot of dye in the rinse, don’t panic, it’s normal. If you used a temporary dye, the color is going to keep running with the water with every wash, until it fades completely. Temporary dyes usually wash out after 1-2 shampoos. Semi permanent dyes will rinse out after 20-26 washes. There are also shampoos and conditioners that are more suited to colored hair. Those will help preserve the dye a little longer.

Then shampoo and condition at least one hour after rinsing off the dye. If the dye kit includes a conditioner, use it.

Towel dry, air dry or blow dry your hair then fly your colors. If the result isn’t as you desired, you should see a hair specialist for color correction. Wait at least 2 weeks before applying dye to your hair again.

Some Jazzy Techniques And Terms


Highlights have been around for a long time and aren’t going anywhere. This hair coloring technique is kind of like shading. It involves coloring the tips, sides and wherever else with shades lighter than the main dye color. This gives a very in depth, sassy feel to the hair and a multidimensional effect. It was also the original way to achieve sun kissed hair. It is achieved by applying the dye from the tips of the hair then working your way from side to side, leaving spaces in between. The highlights will be side by side with the main dye color.


This is the direct opposite of the highlight. It involves coloring the hair like highlights, but with a darker shade of the main color. This lends volume to the hair, so it’s perfect for those with fine hair.


This is one of the most popular and requested hair coloring techniques on demand. It is a free hand technique that can be colored lightly or heavily, depending on preference. It’s great if you don’t want it to seem like your hair is obviously colored or dyed. It gives this smooth natural finish to the hair.


This is a great coloring technique if you want transition without the harsh lines. Usually it involves using a darker shade at the roots and applying lighter shades as you get to the tips. Ombre colors don’t necessarily have to be in the same hue. It is perfect if you don’t want to have to make the trip to you stylist so often for touch ups.


As the name implies, it is a subtler form of ombrè. Your natural root color is retained and a slightly lighter shade is applied to the tips. The effect is not so dramatic. But if you’re going for soft and elegant or haven’t worked up the gumption to shock the world, the sombre look is for you.

Root color

This is quite popular among celebs. Add a darker root color to light hair and you’re all ready to go. It recreates the ’90s grunge look and is absolutely fabulous.

Hair Chalks

This is a fun and creative way to dye hair. Of course it doesn’t get any more temporary than this. There are two kinds: cream chalk and powder chalk sticks. They come in all kinds of colors, it’s easy to apply and best of all they wash out as easily as you put them on. So when it’s Halloween and you’ve got to dress up your costume with a blue mane, look no further.

Alternative colors

These are hair dye color ranges that are not in the natural hair color range. From blues, to greens, to purples, take your pick. This will give you that extra something. But first you have to be ready to commit. Temporary hair dye will be your best friend when it comes to these flamboyant colors. One thing is guaranteed though, it’ll be fun!

Henna Hair Dye

Henna is a natural chemical-free way to color your hair. Especially if you’re looking for something different. When it comes to types of hair color, you will love henna. Incidentally, it is also a great hair conditioner. It leaves hair strong and healthy after all that work. Totally worth it. It is also considered to be a semi permanent hair dye. It lasts up to six weeks before it begins to fade and blend into your natural hair color.

Henna also has varying effects on hair as it reacts to the natural color of hair. So, it’s able to give different shades for different people. It should be noted that henna takes a long time to get into the hair and begin its work, at least an hour. It can also be difficult to change your hair color after applying it.

Important Tips To Consider

You don’t want it to look obvious that this was a house job, so you want to start applying the dye from the crown of your head.

Also, most professional stylists don’t stick to one color throughout the hair, for a more authentic look. This is because people naturally have sun streaked hair, or darker roots and lighter tips. They usually treat the roots and lengths of the hair a bit differently. This is to get color that is full of rich depth and tones and is properly blended.

Vidal Sassoon Global Ambassador, Duffy shared his expertise in choosing dye color. “When it comes to blondes, a cooler type with a pinkish skin tone and blue or green eyes looks good with ash blonde shades,” Duffy says. “Whereas a warm type with a gold-brown skin tone and brown eyes looks good with golden caramel or warm blonde shades.” Go the same route when seeking out auburn or brunette hues. Once you’ve chosen a color, pick up a slightly-lighter option to treat your ends.

Now remember, no matter what hair color you choose, you will need to switch to a wash and care regimen formulated with colored tresses in mind. Ask your stylist which Shampoos and Conditioners are great for keeping the color vibrant for longer. You’ll also need to pay special attention to your hair, see how it reacts to the dye, treat it regularly and pamper yourself, you deserve it.

Need a professional hair stylist to help you sport that perfect color? Use the Goumin app to find the best stylists nearest to you. The Goumin app is a haircut app that connects you with professional stylists. They help give your hair the care and attention it deserves so you can always look your best.

Table Of Contents

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Chapter 1 – Hair Coloring Processes: Step By Step Guide To Follow

Chapter 2 – Down To Business

Chapter 3 – Get Started

Chapter 4 – Some Jazzy Techniques And Terms

Chapter 5 – Important Tips To Consider

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