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Tips on Coloring Your Hair Unnatural Colors

Updated on February 29, 2020

While dying your hair crazy and unnatural colors doesn't necessarily mean you're an angry teenager rebelling against your stuffy parents who "just don't get it," it does make an impression on people, and get you noticed. Having bright green hair does not mean that you are a drug user, that you're going to fail in school or that you're running away to join the circus. Expression of self comes in many forms - for some, outwardly artistic in paints and pencils. For others, a part of expressing one's self means body piercings and pink tresses. Here you will read about the techniques to dying your hair funky colors, be you emo, gothic, a hippie, or just plain experimental.

P!NK, the singer.
P!NK, the singer.

Getting Ready to Dye Your Hair

First things first, you have to figure out what color and intensity of funky hair color you want to achieve. If you want to get your feet wet with a color that is extremely temporary, you can do that. On the opposite end of the hair dying spectrum, if your desire is for your hair to be neon and electric, that can be done as well with preparation and attention to detail. In the days prior to your new color choice, follow that little line of text on your shampoo bottle that says "Repeat if desired," just once. Condition your hair well if you plan on bleaching so that your hair is in optimal condition and won't be straw-like after the bleaching process is finished.

Temporary Hair Dye - Color Combs

One inexpensive and extremely non-committal option which is good for a single night or even a weekend's fun coloring is a color comb. There are many different brands of comb, so visit your local party costume shop or wherever the gothic kids flock to at your local mall and ask about these nifty little items.

A color comb will only last until you wash your hair. Contrary to popular belief, you can actually skip a day without washing your hair, the natural oils your scalp produces are helpful to a certain extent, and so you can feel safe keeping the stuff in your hair over a Friday and Saturday night, for instance. This option is perfect for someone with a more conservative employer or a high school student. Kids, remember to always get your parents' permission, but these combs are a great option for you because they wash out so fast.

Fun video of John Halcyon Styn doing his hair PINK!

Bleaching Your Hair

The first step to creating an intense color on your hair, no matter what color your hair is naturally, is to bleach it. There are dozens of bleaches on the market, from gentle to intense. If you have light hair, a bleach with 20 weight developer will be preferable, as the amount of lightening required is lower for a blonde, for example. Make sure, as well, that you are using a cream based developer.

Follow all the instructions on the box, and when bleaching your hair, always work from the roots to the tip. Vasoline at the hairline will keep you from turning your smooth skin into a white landing strip for the eyes of your friends and coworkers.

Pro tip: Bleach your hair in a ventilated area. A grand majority of bleaching products are very strong, both in odor and chemicals, and can make you feel light-headed.

The final step: Color!

Once your hair is bleached to the point you want - just a light lift for less intense color, or platinum for truly vibrant neon hues - you've crossed into the easiest part of the process. Applying the purple, green, or pink dye you want to use is as easy as putting gel in your hair, in fact similar techniques apply.

Simply put on gloves, then squeeze some of the dye out - on your hands, or in a bowl if you're using a brush to apply it. Then, well, you just put it on your hair. You don't want your hair dripping wet with dye, but at the same time you want a nice even thick coating of it so that the color is strong and smooth the whole way through.

Once you've applied the dye, wait the alloted time based on the instructions for your particular brand of dye. For more rich color (and longer lasting, but only just a little) let the coloring product sit in your hair for at least 10-15 minutes more than the instructions tell you.

Rinse very well, and then blow-dry your hair. If you insist on towel drying, be gentle with your hair and use a towel you don't mind getting color on, as there will be streaking on objects, but only lightly if you rinsed well.

That's all there is to it! No strange tricks, no brilliant displays of light, just bleach and color, style and go. Now you know how to do it, so tell me about it in the comment box below.

Ever dyed your hair a fun color? Tell me about your experiences!

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    • profile image

      Nunya 

      9 years ago

      Used splat, lusty lavender, kind of disappointed, it's only been a few days and it's washing out like crazy, won't waste my money again.

    • profile image

      skittlez 

      9 years ago

      A.) I use splat all the time cuz its cheep and on sale. B.) Most the colors suck with splat. And are just crapy looking after u wash. C.) Barley last a couple months *if that* inless u put this color lock shit on it to sal in the color witch usualy cums in 3-4 easy steps. D.) Oh don't forget bout the dying everything a pretty color from ur hair*avoid things that are light colord. I'm tlkin bout inanimate objects to* I learnd that the hard way with the leg of my pj pants, my bathroom floor and door. E.)yes manic panics ight but I recomend and suggest Raw u cqn get it at hotopic*sell outs*cough cough* and u can also get it at sallys beauty supply I think its calld. Like it don't got all the toxit smelly chemicals long lasting outstandin color. And it actualy last unlike spat. Oh and I forgot if u do us splat watch out for the neon blue wen it fades it turns grey no fuckin joke.

    • profile image

      Sarah 

      9 years ago

      My hair was hot pink in honor of breast cancer... at first the plan was to have the bottom inch or so hot pink but that bottom inch soon turned into half of my head of hair (which was about 13 inches at the time) it was TOOOOTALLY EPIC in all ways shapes and forms... it allowed me to feel like an individual and accomplished because i was doing it for a good cause... and when i say hot pink i mean like neon, glew in the UV light looks like some pink neon monster threw up on my head... neon pink XD

    • profile image

      Annie 

      9 years ago

      I wanted to dye my hair with splat! But some people say its bad and some say its good so confussed :(

    • profile image

      lala 

      9 years ago

      ok, so i used splat to dye my hair red& i loved it!!

      its been twoo weeks now and its starting to fade away, what can i do to keep it as intensive as the first use?

    • profile image

      Destiny :D 

      9 years ago

      I'm 12 and I've had every color out there! I started dying my hair at 9... My hair is very healthy right now it's blue black red :D

    • profile image

      Casie 

      9 years ago

      I'm 13 and I have died my hair 16 times. Splat! I have used the lusty lavender and the multi colored one. For both my hair is bleached to bleach blonde and the colors do stay in but only vibrant for a week or two.... But if your gonna use it use lusty lavender it stayed plain out purple for 4 weeks!

    • profile image

      Stephanie 

      9 years ago

      Im in cosmetology school right now and I love splat! It works great and doesn't fade fast at all... I use the fetish pink alot and it lasts for over two months before it fades, it stays so vibrant! The bleach it comes with also works well if you can't get your hands on professional lightener. You can get splat from giant tiger and shoppers drug mart in saskatchewan. ! Splats awesome and works better than ink works, ink works fades rank.

    • profile image

      Dee 

      9 years ago

      I was never pegged for the person to use demi-permanent hair. I mainly used permanent colour, sure I know it is/was very difficult to mix to get the right colour, But its worth it when you get it right. Its a struggle mixing developer and conditioner to the mix, but it takes skill. So if your not skilled in the area of permanent dye use demi-permanent, and if you want complete permanent colour (never washes out). I suggest you google henna, and for the best demi-permanent dye, use special effects. Its the best of the best, but for me I mainly cheap out and use wal-marts garnier natural red colour and add some black chunks and I have hair everyone wants. ;P

    • gamergirl profile imageAUTHOR

      Kiz Robinson 

      9 years ago from New Orleans, Louisiana

      I've used Splat for a LONG time, and have never had the problems commenters above have had. The key with Splat is to heat process - cover your hair in plastic and heat your head with a hair dryer. Once it's warmed - let the dye sit in your hair for a little longer than the recommended time. When you rinse the dye out of your hair, you should make VERY sure you rinse until the water flows CLEAR. You will see color lift with every shampoo, less of a color shift if you use a gentle shampoo.

    • profile image

      M4rB4r 

      9 years ago

      Splat is NOT the permanent dye I would EVER recommend.

      Bleach or no, your color will begin to lose it's richness on the first shampoo. You can see the color washing out while you shower. Trust me, I have used Splat hair dyes several times using multiple colors. You will not be happy with your results.

    • profile image

      Xander 

      10 years ago

      Punky colour is the best ive found. ive tryed some manic panic but punky still seems to last me the longest (longer then the jar says) and for a swimmer who's in water for a min. 4 hours a week it works for me. ive tryed almost every colour and each one is soo bright and but if you put it over top of darker hair it still turns out awesome.

    • profile image

      Faith 

      10 years ago

      I personally prefer Manic Panic over Splat!

      The Manic Panic you can leave in for as long as you would like and it won't ruin your hair. I've used Splat! and everytime it runs and fades out super quick. Plus when I used Splat! I turned the whole bathroom blue. Along with my face and arms. Let me tell you how my mother reacted to that, aside from the fact my hair was blue! (:

    • profile image

      Alex 

      10 years ago

      Splat is the bomb! I use it all the time im a natural red head but after all the hair dye I use my natural hair color seems to have gone from red to a carmelish brown? whys that?

    • gamergirl profile imageAUTHOR

      Kiz Robinson 

      10 years ago from New Orleans, Louisiana

      Lauren - I bleached my hair and used the raspberry version of Splat and it stayed vibrant for almost 2 months - I'm not sure what you did or what kind of shampoo you used, whether you bleached first or not, but keep in mind you won't get the best results if you don't bleach first.

    • profile image

      Lauren 

      10 years ago

      Do not use splat dye! I do not recommend it.

      It fades very easly. Trust me and if your using the peroxide unless you have boy short hair, its only gonna get through the top of your head.

      I put purple highlights in my hair using lusty lavender and it worked out nice but ended up coming out pretty quickly. which sucks it was only in about 2 or 3 weeks.

      Do not use Special Effects dye either it lasts the same as splat. Ive never saw raw colors before so i cant speak for them, but manic panic is the best for funky colors.

    • mythbuster profile image

      mythbuster 

      11 years ago from Utopia, Oz, You Decide

      Omigosh, it's either too late to be watching pink-colour hair dye videos or else that was the most flourescent pink I've ever seen.....I'm almost blind......... aaaack! Wonderful. I liked the video - my eyes are just not adjusting back to normal like they should when I walk away from the puter now lol. Thx for the very fun hub, gamergirl.

    • profile image

      Maegen Elsberry 

      11 years ago

      Ive died my hair black with lime green, sky blue, emo pink (sparky), fire red, and sunny yellow. I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I think that the colors that u picked represennt who u r. Its so much fun 2!!

    • profile image

      lil punk princess 

      11 years ago

      im only 13 and i've dyed my hair about 5 times already lol people always say that it's bad foor my hair because i'm young but i don't care! it's a great way of expressing yourself :) my favourite colour that i've tried is blue/black it's really awesome though i can't remember which brand it was lol

    • profile image

      hannahGLAMOURSEX 

      11 years ago

      im dyeing all my hair oink this comming week. i have not much dye left and i was thinking to add shampoo or conditioner, what one would be better to lighten the bright colour and give me more dye.

    • profile image

      lioness82 

      11 years ago

      Hey guys n gals...I am a cosmetology student, and I figured I could pass on what knowledge I have gained, that is if you would like. Color is AWESOME as we all know and love, but if you are coloring frequently with ANY color over top of color, over top of color, so on and so on you get a "build up of color" - kind of like when you use gel that makes your hair all crusty and flaky build up...so to get rid of that use a CLARIFYING shampoo a couple times a week to remove it. However, if you want your colour to last be sure to use a colour shampoo and conditioner (it doesn't have to be expensive top of the line, but it doesn't have all the harsh acids that regular stuff does that strip the hair) If you are using semi colour over and over again on your hair it does become more of a permanent colour because those lil colour molecules get into the hair's cortex (the inside part of the hair where colour gets changed). Breanna, be very careful when you bleach your hair... if it is thin it will get lighter faster, thick takes a bit longer, and if your hair is a normal texture then go with the manufacturers time on the box. If you need the hair to stop processing quickly you can spray it with water and then it will be ok. To get it back to the natural color when you are ready you can section the hair that is bleached and apply the color to that area. You will want to go a level darker possibly to ensure that it blends properly. Don't apply it to the darker colors though or there will be uneven areas. If your hair is a yellowy reddish blond and you are trying to go back brown then I would suggest yellow semi color first, and letting it sit on your hair for about 20 min. Do not wash it out just towel blot it. Then apply any level of color (like 2N, 3N,4N,5N etc) with an N (meaning Natural or brown - you can get it at Sally's) do not use A (Ash) it will give you a green muddy ugly color so be careful. I hope that this was helpful and hope you have fun!!!

    • gamergirl profile imageAUTHOR

      Kiz Robinson 

      11 years ago from New Orleans, Louisiana

      Bleach is a permanent lightening of your natural color. The only way you'll be able to get your natural color back after that is to find a salon that has color specialists who can redye your hair based on the color of your roots, or wait until it grows out and cut off the blonde bits.

    • profile image

      BreAnna 

      11 years ago

      I have a question..if i bleach my hair and dye it bright blue then when the color fades will my hair be permanently bleached for life. Can I go back to my natural hair color?

    • profile image

      jess 

      11 years ago

      hey,

      i've been dying my hair for about 5 years now and its getting more and more wild =)

      a REALLY good dye to use is 'la riche - directions' amazing colours, lasts a fairly long time, cheap, easy, pots seem to keep me for about a month if i dye it every other week =D

      (thats half my shoulder length hair every other week )

      im currently bleaching the whole lot and am going to go completely flamingo pink. the only problem is - a year of having half torquoise and half passionfruit-pink has left its mark lol, no matter how much i wash and scrub it wont budge, i need to get rid of most of it before i bleach and cant!!! its started to fade but as i said a year of continuous 'semi - permanent' tends to erase the 'semi'

      any suggestions? thecyanidedesign@gmail.com

      thanks

      x

    • profile image

      angie 

      11 years ago

      ive been dying my hair crazy colours for about 3 years now - its just about the most easiest thing to do once you get the hang of it and its even easier to get rid of if you want a change - unlike tattoos and piercings; which i've seen go horribly wrong!

    • Choke Frantic profile image

      Choke Frantic 

      12 years ago from Newcastle, Australia

      I like Manic Panic since its vegan but I live in Australia and its rather expensive to import. It washes out of my hair quickly too but since I only have the one blonde streak in my hair that I colour, a jar lasts me forever. I've personally never heard of Splat! but I'll check it out. Other than that, I recommend Fudge Paintbox. I'm not sure if its available in the states but it comes in really cool, funky colours and lasts a while in your hair. Beware the pink though, sometimes it sticks =]

    • gamergirl profile imageAUTHOR

      Kiz Robinson 

      12 years ago from New Orleans, Louisiana

      Karrie- Yeah, I stopped using Manic Panic a while ago myself, it fades far too quickly. Check out the stuff I've linked above now - it's called Splat! and if you apply it to bleached hair it's bright, lasts forever, and it's relatively cheap for as many applications as you get out of it.

    • profile image

      Karrie 

      12 years ago

      The manic Panic hair dye sucks. I used it on my hair it it never showed up

    • johnr54 profile image

      Joanie Ruppel 

      12 years ago from Texas

      I guess I'm from a time and a place that never had much of this, but I have to say it always seemed to be a reasonably harmless way to express yourself. It's not like a tatoo that is the gift that keeps on giving.

    • C.S.Alexis profile image

      C.S.Alexis 

      12 years ago from NW Indiana

      I had hair to my waist that was very blond from the sun in Texas. I was going to cut it short but decided to dye it yellow, red, blue, and green, before I did the chopping. It was fun. I kept it until it faded and lost the excitement it generated. It was something I had wanted to do for several years. Coloring your hair is wonderful self expression. The best thing about it is it grows and you can change it up often. Great hub! C.S.

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