How To Dip Dye

Dip dyeing hair is one of the easiest ways to explore a funky new hair colour. For many people dip dye hair will be the first dyed hairstyle that they try. One of the selling points of dip dyeing hair is that you can easily trim off the ends of your hair to get rid of the colour meaning if you have a dress code to follow, you can enjoy dip dyed hair over the holidays or summer break. This fun style is also super easy to do at home as it only requires you to dye the ends of your hair.

How to dip dye hair step by step

Can you dip dye your own hair?

You can dip dye your own hair and it is one of the easiest ways to dye your own hair at home. If you want to cut costs and save an expensive trip to the salon then colouring your own hair into an easy and fun style is a great option. Dip dyeing only requires you to dye the ends of your hair which means you don’t need to worry about roots, which can be tricky to colour if you are less experienced at dyeing your own hair. If you want a vibrant dip dye then you may still want to bleach and tone your hair but there are plenty of colours to choose from that will look great without bleaching your hair.

How do you dye just the ends of your hair?

To dye the ends of your hair you will need:
  • Hair Dye
  • 2 x Hair Bands
  • Tint Brush
  • Comb
  • Gloves
  • Old Towel or a plastic cape
  • Foil
Tie your hair in two low ponytails. Placing the hairbands at the point you want the dye to reach. 

Put on your gloves to protect your skin and place an old towel or plastic hairdressing cape around your shoulders. This will help to protect your clothes from staining (although you should make sure to wear an old T shirt just in case).

Next, take your hair dye and apply it to the ends of your hair, making sure to thoroughly saturate your hair.
 If you want to apply bleach first, then follow the instructions on the bleach and apply to the ends of your hair, using your hairbands as markers.

Comb through the dyed ends of hair to ensure that the hair dye is spread out evenly.

Place the foil around the ends of your hair to cover it. Leave your hair to develop for the amount of time specified on your hair dye instructions. You can apply heat during the processing time to help fully saturate your hair with vibrant colour.

For a graduated look that blends in with your hair, you can braid your hair instead and leave the ends of your braids long. Apply the hair dye to these sections for a more wavy line between your natural hair colour and the dip dye.

Once your hair dye has finished processing, rinse it out. Wear a pair of gloves to do this to avoid staining your skin.

Dry your hair and your dip dye is complete.

If you want the ends of your hair to blend with your natural hair then you can add the dye further up the hair in order to blend your two colours together. It often works best if you make your dye paler using a product such as the Manic Panic Pastel-izer in order to graduate from the colourful tips of your hair to your natural hair colour.

How do you dip dye hair without bleach?

If you want to dip dye hair without bleach then there are plenty of colours you can choose that will give you a subtle tint. When choosing how to dip dye hair without bleach it is important to consider your natural hair colour as it is easier to tint blondes and even light browns compared to dark brown and black hair. If you have a darker hair colour choosing a shade such as deep red or purple will give you the best chance at getting a gorgeous tint on the ends of your hair. See our red and purple hair dyes for more options. Both are great colours for dip dyeing but you could also consider a vibrant blue dip dye hair or a forest green if you want to dip dye your hair without bleach.

The most important step, when applying any hair dye, is to perform a patch and strand test before you begin. Performing a strand test will help you to see the final result of the hair dye colour you have chosen on your hair. You can test how long you need to develop the hair dye in order to get the best results and check that this is the colour you want to use for your dip dye.

How long does dip dye last?

Most people dip dye their hair using a semi-permanent hair dye. The time that these hair dyes last vary for each brand but on average you should be able to enjoy 2-6 weeks of colour. You can help your dip dye hair colour to last longer by washing it as infrequently as possible and using cold or lukewarm water and sulphate-free hair products when you do.

If you want to use hair chalk or coloured hair spray to give yourself colourful tips then these products are usually a wash-in wash-out concept. One or two shampoo applications will be enough to completely rid your hair of the colour which is perfect for a temporary colourful hair change.

Does dip dye damage your hair?

In general, hair dye can cause damage to your hair and dip dye in no different but the benefit of using a dip dye is that you can simply cut off the ends of your hair and therefore remove any damaged hair. With the right products and care you can minimise the damage to your hair. For example, if you skip the bleach and got straight for a vegan hair dye such as Manic Panic, that conditions while it dyes, then your hair should not become as dry. If you are going to bleach your hair then make sure to take care of your hair in between bleaching and dyeing to help restore the condition. You should also deeply condition your hair before applying bleach to ensure it is in top condition.

How to dip dye short hair at home?

You can dip dye short hair at home with this easy method:
  • Comb out your hair, put on an old T shirt, wrap an old towel around your shoulders, and put on a pair of protective gloves.
  • Use the tint brush to apply hair dye to the ends of your hair and wrap each piece in foil as you go to ensure the dye does not spread and to help it process.
  • Leave your hair dye to develop. You can apply heat to help open up the hair cuticles for more intense colour saturation.
  • Rinse the hair dye out of your hair once it has developed.
  • Dry your hair and enjoy your new dip dye hairstyle.
How to dip dye dark hair?

To dip dye dark hair, you will need to bleach the tips of your hair in order to get a vibrant colour result. To do this:
  • Braid your hair into two plaits or tie into two ponytails. 
  • Put on an old T shirt, use an old towel, and wear protective gloves.
  • Prepare your bleach in a dye mixing bowl.
  • Apply the bleach to the ends of each braid or ponytail using the hairband as a guide. 
  • Cover the bleach with foil and leave to develop.
  • Regularly check a strand of your hair to see the colour.
  • Once the bleach has developed carefully rinse out the bleach while wearing protective gloves.
  • Deeply condition your hair or use a hair mask to repair any damage caused by the bleach.
  • After you have waited a few days for your hair to recover either re-apply bleach to make your hair even lighter or apply your hair dye to dip dye your hair.
If you don’t want to bleach your dark hair before dip dyeing then opt for a dark colour that will provide a tint to the ends of your hair such as deep red, purple, or blue.

What is the best colour to dip dye dark brown hair?

It depends if you want to bleach your hair before dip dyeing as to the best colour on dark brown hair. Some popular choices are blue, purple, and peach. Lighter colours such as peach will require you to bleach the tips of your hair before adding hair dye. Alternatively, you can enjoy a tint to your brown hair by using a dark shade of purple or blue. For vibrant results on dark brown hair, it is best to bleach your hair first, and then you can choose any colour!

Here are some of our favourite shades for dip dyeing hair:
What's the difference between dip dye and balayage?

Dip dye is a style that adds colour to the tips of the hair whereas a balayage is designed to add subtle graduation of colour from the roots to the tips. With a balayage, the lighter colour is mainly at the tips of the hair but the difference, when compared to a dip dye, is that a balayage features highlights throughout the rest of the hair.

As you can see, dip dyeing can provide you with the chance to try that hair colour that you have always wanted to try. Dip dyeing hair is great for taking a leap and trying out a bold and vibrant colour because if you don’t like it or you need to return to your natural hair colour for work or school you can simply trim off the last couple of inches of hair. Dip dye truly is hair colour without the commitment. 

Please Note: Blue Banana hair dye information should be read alongside professional advice. Blue Banana makes no guarantee of validity and additional instruction should be taken from trained persons.