Unlike shaving, our fathers don't teach us how to dye our hair.
That's a problem – if your natural hair color doesn’t work for you, it could be ruining your style. Which means you’ve got to change it.
Controversial opinion alert: Dying your hair doesn’t make you feminine and every guy should consider doing it.
Whether you're a mature guy trying to escape the ‘gray fox' look or a younger guy who just wants a change, dying your hair can be a great way to switch up your everyday style.
In today’s article, you’ll discover how simple it is to color men’s hair and start looking your best.
You need to follow these steps:
- Clear Some Space
- Wash Your Hair
- Protect Your Skin
- Apply Your Dye
- Be Patient And Wait It Out
- Wash Your Hair
- Make Your Color Last
#1. Clear Some Space
What’s the biggest problem with hair dye? It stains EVERYTHING.
Trust me when I say you want a clean, wipeable workspace before starting your men’s hair color mission.
The best place to color your hair is in front of your bathroom mirror. Clear away any ornaments, razors, and toothbrush holders so that the only thing in front of you is a clean basin and countertop.
You should also prepare your hair dye routine by placing any brushes, dye, and conditioner bottles within reach.
Once you have a clean and clear space prepared, you can move on to the next step.
#2. Wash Your Hair
Your hair should be clean before you dye it.
The day before you dye your hair, wash your hair WITHOUT using any shampoo/conditioner.
The aim is to remove dirt without washing away your hair’s natural oils. These oils play a big part in protecting your scalp from harsh hair dye – they ensure that the color doesn’t penetrate your hair strands too deeply.
Remember, hair dye is strong stuff. Without proper protection, your skin can become irritated by the dye and begin to crack. Avoid this at all costs.
In short, 1-2 days before dying, wash your hair with water and let it air dry. I would also avoid any hair products during this time to avoid unwanted build-ups on your scalp.
#3. Protect Your Skin
Hair dye is liquid and can run wild if not kept under control.
You should apply a small amount of petroleum jelly to the skin around your hairline. It acts as a protective barrier that stops hair dye from running onto your forehead and into your eyes when used correctly.
Like I said earlier, hair dye stains everything. If you let it sit on your bare skin, it could dye it the same color as your hair.
Warning: Do not apply petroleum jelly to your hair. It will prevent the dye from doing its job and will cause your hair color to become patchy.
Although hair dye is safe to use as the manufacturers intended, when applied to the skin – or worse, the eyes – it can cause chemical burns and even temporary blindness if left untreated.
In an emergency, wash the dye away ASAP with warm water.
#4. Apply Your Dye
First thing’s first – READ THE INSTRUCTIONS!
I can give you all the best advice, but nothing will beat the instructions included with your men’s hair color product. Please read them carefully, then reread them to be sure.
Hair dye methods vary slightly from product to product. However, you are likely to find a routine that looks something like this:
- Put on the protective gloves included with your hair color kit. This first step is essential unless you want to dye your hands the same color as your hair.
- Mix your hair dye components. Some kits may provide a pre-mixed solution and some will provide two sachets (one color sachet and one developer sachet) that you must mix yourself.
- Apply the hair dye to your hair. You can do this using your hands or any application tool included with your product. The aim here is to ensure an even layer of dye across every hair on your head.
- Don’t be afraid to lay it on thick and flatten your hair with your hands. This will ensure you don’t miss any hair and suffer patchy coloring.
- Ensure there isn’t any excess dye on your scalp. You should be able to see the texture of your hair. If your head looks like a bowling ball, scrape off the excess product.
- Set your timer for the wait time outlined in your product’s instruction. Avoid touching your hair while the dye develops – too much touching can create an uneven finish.
#5. Be Patient And Wait It Out
Hair dye isn’t like shampoo – it needs to be left on for a while to have any effect.
Unless you’re a trained professional, you need to follow the product-specific instructions to the letter. The worst thing you can do is wing it and hope.
Depending on the color and brand of your hair dye, you’ll have to leave it on your scalp for anywhere between 20 and 45 minutes.
I repeat: READ THE INSTRUCTIONS!!!!
Set your timer for the time suggested by the instruction leaflet and wait it out. Take your dye off too early, and you’ll see little color change. Leave it on too long, and you could damage your hair and scalp.
#6. Wash Your Hair
The second your timer goes off, get your head under some water and wash away the dye.
The easiest method is to take a shower.
Depending on your dye strength, it may be recommended to use shampoo after rinsing. Your product should state whether or not this is advised so, guess what… READ THE INSTRUCTIONS!
If it doesn’t tell you, assess the strength yourself and follow this guidance:
- Permanent Dye – Lather with shampoo after thoroughly rinsing your hair with hot water.
- Semi-Permanent Dye – Do not use shampoo. It will affect the color and cause it to fade quicker.
In all cases, you should condition your hair after rinsing. Most hair dye products supply a max-strength conditioner. However, if one is not provided, use your everyday conditioner instead.
To finish, blow dry your hair on a medium heat setting.
#7. Make Your Color Last
When we color men’s hair, it’s essential to understand that it won’t last forever.
As your hair grows, natural color will show through the roots of your hair. If you use a semi-permanent dye, your new shade will fade everything time you wash your hair.
My advice? Adjust your shampoo schedule and only wash your hair every other day. Doing this decreases the dye’s exposure to shampoo and lessens the speed at which it fades.
Conditioning is fine – however, you may wish to buy a max-strength conditioner to ensure your hair stays hydrated after being exposed to strong chemicals.
Last but not least, be prepared to re-dye your hair in the future. As your hair grows out, your natural color will return. Once this becomes obvious, you should wash the dye out using a color-removing shampoo or re-dye your hair.
You’ve got the color, but do you have the style to boot? Check out my list of hairstyles that women find irresistible.