Dye planning

Plan your next hair colour masterpiece.

Browse our articles

Colourful 'Coon Tails

Published on 14th June 2008

Like Raccoon Tails but hate seeing your hairstyle on someone else? Try this easy to follow tutorial on making more interesting ‘coon tails.

You’ll need to raid your dye stash for this one! I used LaRiche Directions colours in the following shades:

  • Ebony
  • Poppy Red
  • Fluorescent Glow
  • Apple Green
  • Turquoise

I also used a tinting brush.

You don’t have to use these colours but for this effect pick 2 or 3 colours that are next to each other in the rainbow and a base colour like black.

You could have pink>raspberry>violet or pink>violet>blue or blue>green>yellow etc.

For this example I’m using some human hair extensions since my own hair has just been dyed but it’s just as easy with normal hair. Begin with pale blond hair or a really washed out shade that won’t affect the other colours.

Start with freshly bleached hair

Painting on chevrons to form the raccoon tail

It’s important that the piece of hair you choose to work on stays together so once you’ve sectioned off a wide flat piece of hair secure it at the bottom with a clip. Keep the hair out flat and don’t let it bunch together too much.

Instead of your average straight-lines-across style ‘coontail I’m going for something more feathery looking. Let’s start with the base colour; in this case Ebony. Use the tint brush to paint v-shapes onto the hair. You’ll find it helpful to use your fingers to hold the hair taught and flat or secure it with a long clip so that the hair doesn’t move around while you paint the black on.

Keep painting chevrons on at regular intervals. Don’t forget to check that the dye has soaked through to the other side of your hair. If it’s hasn’t, carefully apply more with the tint brush so that the chevrons are clear on both sides.

Allow the dye to process. If you’re using a veggie-based dye like Directions leave it on for at least 15 minutes. If you’re doing this with a permanent dye then follow the manufacturers instructions on development time.

Carefully rinse out the black. You may find it helpful to hold the end of your hair up and allow the water to flow through your raccoon tail rather than wash down it. This will reduce bleeding. You should now have something like the picture below.

It’s okay if the black bleeds a little bit because we’ll be dyeing over that.

After washing out the black dye

Start applying colour between the black bands.

Now for the fun part!

Start brushing on the dye between the black stripes, starting with a shade at the far end of the colour spectrum you’ve chosen. You don’t need to worry too much about overlapping onto the black but as before make sure the colour is saturated on both sides of your hair..

Here I’ve started with Poppy Red. I’ve mixed a red-orange colour with some of my yellow and painted that in the next space. After that I’ve mixed a yellow-orange and in the space after that I’ve used plain unmixed Fluorescent Glow. Next it’s a mix of Fluorescent Glow and Apple Green, then just Apple Green, then Turquoise mixed with Apple Green and finally just Turquoise. You get the idea.

Let the colour process for another half hour or so and rinse.

To complete the feathery look I’ve cut this piece of hair into a rounded point at the end.

And that’s it – a spiced up ‘coon tail!

Hair dyed to look like a feather

Coloured raccoon tails make a good contrast with dark hair

Leave a comment

You must Log in or Register to comment.

Read on...


  • Always clean you brush well between colours to avoid mixing.
  • Hold the hair in a u-shape while rinsing so the water does not run down the hair and cause bleeding.