There are loads of reasons we shun our natural hair colour and love to dye our hair, from wanting to hide greying hair to experimenting with a completely new look.
Choosing a new hair colour can not only boost our self-confidence, but help us play with our identity in a fun way.
And even though there are “permanent” dyes, unlike other methods of body modification, dying our hair will never be forever, as we can always cut our hair or simply try a different colour!
There is nothing new about dying hair. There is tons of evidence of people using natural tints from plants, minerals and animals throughout human history, but chemical hair dyeing really started in earnest back in the 19th century.
Today, there are hundreds of types of hair colourants, from harsh bleaches that strip hairs of their colour to spray-on hues that are as temporary as the event you are putting them on for.
There are permanent hair dyes, semi-permanent hair dyes, touch up dyes for roots, home highlight kits and more.
Natural hair dye
While chemical dyes are still popular, there is an ever-increasing demand for natural hair dye.
This shift is, in part, being driven by our understanding about man-made products and what they have done to our environment since industrialisation.
Many people are keen to keep dyeing their hair, but to do so with products that are kinder to both their bodies and the environment.
Not only are the salons capitalising on this trend by innovating with natural dyes, but the home natural hair dye market has improved dramatically in recent years.
Once upon a time, natural hair dye limited you to a semi-permanent tint, such as henna (which is still a great semi-permanent natural dye to play with).
But now, with companies such as Naturtint, you can get results that are as vivid as chemical dyes.
Permanent hair dye
Permanent hair dye is for those determined to get a long-lasting change.
Whether it is finding a colour that matches your natural hair colour to cover your greys or going a few shades lighter or darker, if you are sure you want that colour until your hair grows out, go permanent.
Using a permanent hair dye means less fuss, less mess and less expense, as you will not need to repeat the process so often.
It is a great way of touching up roots in between permanent dye jobs and making your hard work last that much longer.
The other must for anyone using permanent dyes is to use a coloured hair shampoo and coloured hair conditioner.
Again, Naturtint makes fantastic natural options. Naturtint Colour Fixing Shampoo has rock rose and lemon fruit waters to nourish and help strengthen the hair, while organic lavender floral water calms and moisturises the scalp and organic sunflower seed extract helps with split ends.
A great option for those starting out with hair dye, or just wanting to play with their look temporarily is to try a semi-permanent colour first.
As the name suggests, semi-permanent hair colour lasts longer than temporary wash-in, wash-out options and spray-on dyes.
They might last a couple of weeks, or a couple of months, depending on the brand, type of dye and how you take care of your hair after you have dyed it.
Probably the most famous natural semi-permanent dye is henna, which comes from the leaves of the Lawsonia inermis plant.
Henna can come in a range of reds, from light orange, to dark auburn.
One of the benefits of henna is that it works with the natural highlights in your hair to give rich and varied tones, which means it can look much more natural than other dyes.
Henne Color, a French brand we love, makes several shades of henna dye, from blondes to blacks, and is easy to apply.
Best of all, it contains no PPD, bleach, ammonia, or synthetics. Always carry out a patch test whether a hair dye contains PPD or not as you may be sensitive to the ingredients.
Naturtint also does a fantastic range of semi-permanent hair colours, based on henna. Naturtint Reflex Semi-Permanent Hair Colour comes in six shades of blonde, black and red and has a nourishing hair mask that helps the colour last longer.
Depending on what dye you use, dying your hair can dry your hair out, causing strands to become brittle and break. To combat this, you should condition your hair regularly and use a deep conditioning mask before and after colouring.
If you are worried about damage to your hair, consider natural hair dyes. Natural hair dyes do not contain harsh chemicals, instead they use naturally sourced ingredients and fragrances.
You should wait 72 hours before shampooing your hair after it has been dyed, this is because it can take up to three days for the cuticle layer to fully close. Once closed, this traps the colour molecule which allows for longer lasting hair colour.
Hair dye can be used on either wet or dry hair and it all depends on the hair colour being used. Semi-permanent dye can be applied on either, whereas permanent should only be applied to dry hair – this is so that hair oil can lesson peroxide’s damaging effects. If the dye is peroxide or ammonia free, it is best to have wet hair.
Dying hair when dry helps maximise lifting and depositing results. If your hair is wet, the water acts as filler and dilutes the pigments. This could make the shade appear weaker in colour.