From shaving it all off to seriously questionable bangs, the world is turning to home hairdressing (cuz quarantine). But the one beauty product truly having a moment right now? At-home hair dye. You could even say that at-home hair dye is the new toilet paper, with people’s priorities clearly shifting as lockdown continues around the world. But before you go down this DIY route, you might want to know about the eight emotional stages you’ll go through – some of which entail a little heart pounding.
Will it turn out how it looks on the box?
You think this even if you’ve used the same packet for one, 10, or 50 different home dyes. As it mixes in the bottle, you see it turn a different color to the one you imagined and feel the fear rising. No, you tell yourself, this is your color – you can trust it. If you’re new to home dyeing or you’ve gone for something radical, this feeling will be way, way stronger. Well, you’re here now. Might as well give it a go.
It’s time to put the gloves on.
Setting aside feelings of looking like a murderer, you don the plastic gloves in the pack, designed to stop you from getting dye on your hands. It’s a shame they’re oversized and slippery, which means picking up that bottle of precious dye is all the more precarious.
You’ve got to watch out for your face.
There’s less risk of a colored forehead if you’re blonde, but if you’re going for browns or darker colors – and some people have been experimenting with reds during lockdown – there’s a new worry once you start applying that dark liquid. Getting it on your face. And your ears. And your neck.
Where has the dye gone?
You’ve got a towel around your shoulders and an old T-shirt on, but let’s face it, you can’t see the back of your head, so it’s a guessing game as to whether it’s all on there, on you, the floor, or the walls – or all of the above. So then you start wondering whether you should brush it.
Brushing is a great way to distribute dye, and you’ll have seen your hairdresser section your hair and do it bit by bit. You can’t help but think it seems so easy when they do it. But at home? Not so simple. You could try and brush the dye through as you go, but things could end up with the bathroom looking like a crime scene.
You're watching the clock.
You’ve read the instructions countless times, and you know it’s a 20-minute situation with this dye. As you watch the clock ticking, you ponder whether your hair is going bright green or scarlet, and whether you should wash it off sooner.
You're thinking about your hairdresser.
You think fondly of the times you’ve sat chatting with your hairstylist as she makes your hair the exact color you’d like it. You reminisce, as you sit on the (closed) toilet seat about that comfy chair, large coffee, and stack of magazines you usually have at hand while the expertly applied dye takes hold.
The rinsing commences.
Having managed to wait for the allotted time, you get to rinsing. Those with a shower attachment over the bath can now lean over and begin to rinse the dye out of their hair. You grapple with the shower, your hands (yes, still covered in those special protective gloves) slipping all over the place. Finally, you dare to open your eyes. You go to scream as the bath looks like a massacre has occurred before you remember this was a very red hair dye. Finally, the water runs clear, you apply the special conditioner, and your heart rate starts to slow.
It’s the big reveal.
Hair wrapped in an old towel, you stand in front of the mirror. What’s it going to look like? You bravely remove the towel and, hopefully, let out a sigh of relief when you blow-dry the water away and the ‘real’ color emerges. Otherwise, it’s reassuring to know that Zoom meetings aside, you’ve got time for it to fade out.