Do you ever start bleaching or dyeing your hair, then realize you forgot something, take off your dye-covered gloves to get it, then come back and realize you’ve stained the sink just by putting the gloves down for that minute? Even if you haven’t, I’m sure you can make use of this list. I know I will because there’s always something I forget before starting my bleach or dye sessions. So here it is: a complete list of absolutely everything you’ll need to do before you start bleaching or dyeing your hair!
Preparation: Know exactly what you’re going to do, and HOW you’re going to do it, before you start. Impulsive bleaching or dyeing can be hard to resist, but if it’s not thought out, it can lead to hair disasters. If you’re unsure how to go about getting the look you want, ask around on the HairCrazy forums, then plan out your process. Also, remember to bleach or dye your hair evenly. For bleaching, don’t bleach all one side of your head and then do the other; by the time you start the second side, the first strand you bleached will be yellow, and your hair will look very uneven. For dyeing, make sure you know which side, which area, and which layer of your hair to do first. Doing things in the wrong order can lead to bleeding colours and a bad dye job! Once again, if you don’t fully know how to do a good bleach or dye process, ask on the forums. It’s worth the wait!
- First step: Put on a t-shirt you want to ruin! Smocks are good, too, but nothing beats a t-shirt for accidentally getting bleach or dye stains all over while you colour your hair!
- Second step: Put your plastic or rubber gloves on. Don’t unscrew your dye jars without them, or you’re likely to stain your hands.
- Get some old towels, rags, old hole-y t-shirts, plastic bags or newspapers: Put them over the floor, sink edges, counter top, and every other place that the bleach/dye might end up trying to stain. You might need a lot of these to cover your floor, but at least you won’t be desperately trying to scrub out stains that you only see the next day!
- Fill two or more medium-sized containers with water. They should be about the size of a cereal bowl, but hopefully plastic in case they fall on the ground. These are to dip your gloves into when you want to get the bleach or dye off of them. If you wash them in the sink, your sink and faucets might end up being stained. I find using plastic containers filled with water very helpful, especially when I’m putting more than one colour in my hair at a time.
- Get out your tint brush as well as a mixing brush if you’ll be mixing bleach with powder, or mixing two different colour dyes together. Tint brushes are hard to mix with because they’re so flat, so I like using round brushes. Spoons can also work if you’re using a lot of bleach or dye.
- Cover your ears, neck and forehead! You can use conditioner, petroleum jelly (beware, it’s nearly impossible to get it out, which is why conditioner is better) or just put tape on your forehead and ears to protect them from getting stained or bleach-burned.
- If you’re doing your whole head alone, get a medium-sized mirror so you can see the back of your head.
- If you’re planning to take before and after photos, don’t forget your camera!
Now gather the rest of your necessary ingredients:
- Bleach & dye(s)
- Cap/shower cap/plastic bag to put over your head while the bleach/dye soaks in
- Something to cover the rest of your hair if you’re not dyeing your whole head
- Two or more spare rags or old stainable t-shirts to wipe your hair with
- Plastic bowl for mixing your bleach and powder, or for mixing two dyes together (if necessary)
- Stain remover (use strong soap or baking soda and vinegar for recent stains; rubbing alcohol for stains that have been there a while)
- A good soap to wash your hands with
- Shampoo & conditioner
- A watch or clock to check the processing time. Check it often!
- Hair elastics, hair clips, barrettes, etc.
- A hair dryer: Good for helping the dye soak in if you’re dyeing your hair. Not needed for bleaching.
- Something to do while you’re waiting for the dye/bleach to set in
I hope this covered everything you need to have a successful bleaching or dyeing session. You can never be too prepared, so always plan before you start making your hair look awesome!