5 things to know before dyeing hair for the first time

Posted by Kayce Sebree on

Considering dyeing your hair for the first time? 

Whether it’s inspired by a bad breakup, it’s just time for a change, or you’re simply bored (all good reasons to go for it) — most of us have been there.  We know it’s a big step that includes deciding on what color, what shade goes perfect with your skin tone, and thinking about things like how much cash you’re willing to throw down. Pro tip: Make a big transition (like brunette to blonde) more affordable and healthier on your hair by making it a process rather than going for the at-home bleach — we always recommend a good stylist over any rash decisions.

Coloring costs money and time, so we know it’s important to consider all the factors before making a decision. Beyond that, there are so many options from a full leap into pastel pink hair, a low-maintenance balayage, or going for a beachy “bronde.” If you’re considering dyeing your hair, here are some things to know and questions to consider first. 

1. What level of maintenance (and money) are you willing to commit to? 

Coloring your hair comes with different levels of maintenance depending on what color you’re coming from and going to. Dyeing your natural hair to a similar shade won’t require the same amount of maintenance as going across the color wheel, like from black or brunette to blonde. Less prominent transitions mean you can probably get away with salon visits twice a year, while more radical transformations may require touch-ups every month.

It’s important to be real with yourself on how often you’re willing to make appointments and pay up the cash for the time and effort of your stylist. Hair color fades and roots grow in, so really consider how dedicated you are to the color transition and what lengths you’re willing to go to keep it up. Let that be the first decision in informing what color you want and use that as a guide when looking at inspiration photos. We also recommend asking your stylist about pricing before the appointment so that you know what you’re getting yourself into.

Keep in mind that roots grow on average about ½ an inch a month, so that can guide the approximate amount of time you’ll need in between salon visits. For a bleach, that’s about once a month to fix roots while a balayage or root melt gives the flexibility of deciding when it’s time to re-up on color.

2. When deciding on a new color, consider your skin tone and natural hair color

Now that you’ve thought about what type of hair color would be best for your lifestyle (and wallet), it’s time to consider which shade would look best on you. It’s easy to look at influencers on your feed and want to copy their perfect shade, but keep in mind that not every hair color is made the same. 

As a general rule of thumb, if you have pink undertones, you will want to stick with cooler, ashy shades. If you’ve got yellow undertones, then warm golds will tend to look best. No idea what undertone will look best? Most salons will do free consultations. Reach out and ask for some professional advice before you color. 

After considering what shade goes best with your skin, make sure you’re thinking about your current natural hair color and how that will affect what shade you want to get to. For example, if you’ve got dark brown hair, trying to go bright blonde may leave you with a lot of brass to deal with that you didn’t sign up for. Make sure you talk with your stylist about the reality of what hair color you’ll get from your natural shade and how many appointments it will take to get you to your dream shade.

Per one of our stylists, don’t forget that, “Pictures are always a great reference to bring to your appointment.”

3. How dedicated are you to getting your perfect shade?

We want to reiterate the investment of time and money when it comes to dyeing your hair. Make sure you’ve got realistic expectations for a major transformation and keep in mind that sometimes things don’t go as planned. You may not get the exact results you’re looking for after the first coloring session, and may need one or multiple follow-up appointments to achieve your ideal shade. 

Additionally, going back to your original shade can also be difficult if you don’t like the results — so make sure you’re dedicated to the color you choose before your first dyeing appointment, and be patient if you’ll need several visits to achieve your desired color.

4. How healthy is your hair currently, and are you willing to invest in quality products to help maintain it?

Coloring your hair is a major transformation that will affect the health of your hair. The dyeing process often involves the use of intense heat and chemicals to change the hair’s color, so it’s important to make sure your hair is in a good state before starting the process.

Before dyeing your hair, talk with a stylist about the current condition of your hair and assess the level of damage it can withstand. If your hair is in bad shape, the stylist may recommend waiting until it’s in a better state before dyeing it.

If you do need to hold off on dyeing, we recommend using a nourishing hair treatment like Hydrating Mask to ensure your hair stays as hydrated as possible and to help regain moisture after coloring. Make sure to add in a protein mask to repair the bonds in your hair like the Reset Repairing Mask once every four to six washes to keep your hair happy between salon visits. It’s also important to use something like Leave-In Mist when brushing and styling your hair to minimize damage.

5. Should you wash your hair before dyeing it for the first time?

Now that you’ve done your research, picked out some inspo photos and have an idea of what you’re looking for when dyeing your hair for the first time, it’s go time! One of the biggest questions we hear, even from those who’ve dyed their hair for years, is whether to go into the salon with fresh hair or not. The salon may have you wash your hair when you get there, but doing so means you likely won’t be able to pick the products you use. 

We recommend washing your hair at home before getting to the salon, preferably with a product like Reset Clarifying Shampoo that helps remove product build-up and make sure your hair is at its most natural state pre-color to help the dye last longer.

“Clean hair is essential when coming in for any color service. Product and mineral buildup on the hair can greatly alter how hair color processes and reacts to your skin. It's good practice to use a clarifying shampoo (try our Reset Clarifying Shampoo) before any major service.”

Should you dye your hair? 

Dyeing your hair can completely change your look, so it’s important to carefully consider the factors above before scheduling your trip to the salon. 

If you’ve decided to dye your hair, the next thing you’ll want to look into is maintenance to help your new color last long. A few simple tricks include choosing color-safe products (p.s. everything at Verb is color-safe), avoiding the sun, and minimizing wash days with your favorite dry shampoo. For more great tips and tricks, check out our in-depth guide on everything you can do to maintain hair color for longer.

Have more questions about coloring your hair? Find us on Instagram at @verbproducts and DM us! We're happy to answer all questions and help you find the right products, tips and tricks for your hair type.

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