Cool Ideas for Coloring Your Hair

Overview
Formerly restricted only to the punk rock crowd, bright dye colors are a hot new trend in hairstyles. Bright dye colors have a special zing that can wake up a look that has fallen to the land of dull and drab. With just a little extra color, you can add flair and youth to any basic hairstyle. It's a snap to apply color to your hair, whether you need the hairstyle beauty boost to be permanent, or washably fabulous for a one-night event. Brightly colored hair dye affords a variety of options in colors and color arrangements that can create a fun hairstyle which will stand out in a crowd.
Intense Color Stripes and Highlights
If you are ready to go a little bold with your hair color, you can try bleaching a stripe or some highlights and dyeing them a bold and bright color. A stylist who wanted to achieve this technique would use a foil to bleach the stripes into the hair.

To bleach your hair, you need a hair bleach kit. Hair bleach is not the same as laundry bleach, and it is dangerous to attempt to use laundry bleach to bleach your hair. You can buy a hair bleach kit at Hot Topic, most Wal-Mart stores, and beauty supply stores.

See Resources for specific information on hair bleach products and safe techniques for bleaching.

To Dye For Technique
To apply dye to your bleached hair, follow the instructions the manufacturer gives you. This generally involves applying the dye to the intended area and covering it until the appropriate amount of time has passed. You may also need to use a warm blow dryer to heat up the dye for more intensity.

When rinsing the dye, avoid getting it on your body as much as possible. Brightly colored dye, especially blue, has a tendency to quickly and unflatteringly dye skin. Be aware that brightly colored dyes tend to stain tubs and sinks, so if you have a stainless steel sink or can rinse the dye in the back yard, it would be advised to do so.

Bold Color Dye Options
Companies that specialize in brightly colored dyes for bleached hair include Fudge and Punky Colors. Punky Colors comes in a jar, and can be purchased at Hot Topic or a novelty shop, as well as at many alternative hairdresser stores. Fudge is a professional-level company, and certain products that they sell can only be bought by professional hairstylists with a special identifying card.

Both Fudge and Punky Colors offer a wide array of colors to satisfy a need for any shade. The brightly colored hair products are meant to have a long semi-permanent effect on bleached hair, and will fade gradually in 2 to 6 weeks.

Toned-Down Retail Dye
If you are not allowed to dye your hair too brightly, there are a number of products available to dye your hair a variety of colors, from bright to more reasonably bold colors, and they come in varying degrees of permanence. You can get a hair color spray or gel that will wash out as quickly as your next wash. Many manufacturers offer semi-permanent brightly colored hair dyes that last as long as three weeks and do not require that you bleach your hair. Unfortunately, semi-permanent dyes do not get as bright as brightly colored dye that is applied to bleached hair. The most common semi-permanent bright dyes come in varying shades of red.
Bright Ideas
Using the bleach-and-foil technique to prepare your hair for dye can give you a brighter color, and gives you more freedom in the type of color options you have available for your hair. In addition to stripes, you can apply this technique to strategic areas of your hair, such as your bangs or layers of hair, giving it a sophisticated and modern look. Try using a highlight cap to put just a few subtle highlights in your hair. Alternately, if you feel particularly bold, you can bleach and dye all of your hair a ragingly bright color.
Resources
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Punky Color Hair Dye
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Fudge Hair Dye
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How to Bleach your Hair