Things I Do To Save Money: Home Hair Dye

Rarely a day goes by that I don’t get a compliment on my hair color.  I have been a red head for about 9 years, and they have been the best years of my life.  I feel like I was born to be a red head…fair skin, freckles, and green eyes.  In actuality, I was born a brunette, and not a pretty brunette, either.  I had this mousey brown hair that never really shined and I felt kind of like I wasn’t really living up to my true potential when it came to looks.  I would have to go to my parent’s house to hunt down a photo of what my natural hair color looked like, and today, well, I just don’t have the energy for it.  :p
The very first time I colored my hair I was 15.  I was on A Walk to Remember kick, and I was so very in love with how Mandy Moore had colored her hair this rich, dark brown.

So, once you’ve gotten past the urge to sing “Only Hope” you have to appreciate the gorgeousness that is Mandy Moore’s hair.  I was so envious of that hair, I needed that hair! I took myself to Wal-Mart with my allowance money and bought myself a box of home hair dye…this really dark, almost purple brown.  I got home, followed the directions to a t, and my hair turned this bright fire hydrant red!  So far from the brown I was hoping it to be.  I cried, called my mom in, who made me wear it to school the next day because it was really to0 late to neutralize it.  I rocked it though with a plaid shirt and my chucks and told everyone who commented, “Well, yeah, I meant to do it.  I am an artist!”  Later that afternoon, we were able to neutralize the color and it dulled down to a soft copper.  And that was the day I became a red head.

I have been lucky with my hair color, because it really doesn’t wash out too often. I really only have to color my hair every month and a half to two months, and I do a full dye job instead of “just the roots.”  It’s more costly, but I get a longer lasting and total color.

I use Revlon ColorSilk these days, because A) It’s cheap and B) I have to buy two bottles because my hair has gotten that long.  Other great dyes that I lurv…Clairol Nice N’ Easy, pretty much anything that is not a foam base.  Not a fan. I really can’t work with it as well.


I felt like I had to make a face in the mirror…no idea why.  Back to the task at hand, though.  I dye my hair first thing in the morning so I don’t have to shower twice and the dye usually needs about 24 hours the set.  The pink shirt I am wearing is my father’s and I have been using to dye my hair for the past 7 years.  I love this shirt.  It makes sure that the dye never gets on my neck or clothes for that matter. 🙂

Follow the instructions written in the kit as far as time goes.  I have found another method for my coloring that I feel is more beneficial to my hair type, but as far as timing goes, I follow the directions.  Most dye kits call for the dye to actually be mixed.  Put your free coloring gloves on and mix like a madman…or madwoman…and just shake that bottle.

The song that pops up in my head as I shake it! Sometimes I dance a little, too.

I always start at the roots when I am coloring, my bangs in particular, working from front to back.  The key is to make sure the color gets down to the roots WITHOUT touching the scalp or forehead.  If it does, you can always use a wet cloth to quickly wipe it off.  Otherwise, you start looking like you have premature liver spots on your face.  No good.

After I have colored my roots and bangs, I start to work the color through to the ends.  There is really no rhyme or reason to it, I kind of pull my hair out to the side and squirt copious amounts of dye on it like you would pour ketchup on a hot dog (strange visual, I know…hot dog hair…what?). This is very important…do NOT neglect the back of the head, especially at the nape of your neck.  I figured this one out one of first times dying my hair.  Even though my head was a radiant red on top, underneath it was a boring brown. This became especially evident when I pulled it into a ponytail.  I was teased a little for “missing a spot.” You live, you learn.

Once you have worked the dye through from the roots to the ends, pile it on top of your head and smoosh it.  Seriously.  Always works and you don’t have to worry about it falling down and leaving color trails on your neck and ears.  Then go about your business for the allotted time in the directions, but remember to check the clock often. If you scalp starts to itch or burn, get to a shower immediately. No, the dye is NOT working; you are allergic and it is burning holes in your skin.  Shoo!

After the time is up, hop in the shower and let the color come out on its own.  Don’t do the shampoo thing and start scrubbing it out or else it will look like a total crime scene that you will have to clean up.  Once the water is beginning to run somewhat clear, condition it for 3 minutes.  Then you’re done!

Helloooooo beautiful!  Of course, you can always go to the salon and have your hair professionally colored.  This will run you about $30 a month. If you need to dye it regularly, that’s $360 a year!

My two boxes of ColorSilk cost $2.97 a piece, giving me just under $6 for my monthly dye job, and $24 in savings!  I don’t know about you, but I love being able to buy a few extra pairs of shoes or groceries with that mighty dollar.

Have a fun hair coloring story?  What home beauty remedies do you have to save money?  I want to hear about it!


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