Get Savvy: A Guide On How To Dip Dye Pre Dyed Dark Hair

So after spending a silly amount of hours on the Internet, searching for help with getting my pre dyed dark hair to dip dye colour I found there were none! Apart from the odd video's on Youtube that were not very clear, so adding on to my guide to dip dye hair, here is one for if you have pre dyed dark hair. So if you follow me on twitter you would have been following my progress, so this guide has been written based on my journey (trail and error) on getting FINALLY to dip dyed hair. Before you start know that this is no quick process, but if you want it bad enough than read on. (please note I am not a hairdresser, I strongly recommend going to the hairdressers to have this done I wish I had. It's up to you anyway ...)

My hair before bleaching, with my dyed dark brown/black hair

After the first lot of bleach, (I apply it after dying my roots dark, so missed heaps: note, do bleaching on it's own so you don't miss bits).

This was the second time I bleached my hair, like I said I didn't have enough and so the back come out really weak.

Things you will need:
Brushfor sectioning your hair.
Gloves, these usual come with hair dye/Colour B4 but if not make sure you wear some as you don't want dip dye hands. Plus bleach will irate the skin.
Colour B4, or a product to strip your previous colour.
Get a dying hair kit, I got mine off EBay. You can reuse it again, and again and the brushes are great. Make sure after any dye/bleach you use, you wash your bowl and brushes!
Bin bag, (or an old tee shirt if you have one) cut a whole in the top for your head to go through this why you won't get dye on yourself and you won't need to destroy your towel. Plus a small bag to bag your hair (you can use a small grip in hold the bag around your hair.(don't get a highlighter kit they don't contain enough product). 
Pre lighter/ Bleach, Loreal & stargazer and most other brands have heaps for blonde hair. Basically you need to bleach the ends of your hair first (as if you were just going to have Ombre hair), this will help the coloured dye take to your hair and also make it vibrate a must for really dark hair. 
Cling film/foil, this will be to use once the dye is on to stop it from going everywhere.
Coloured Dyealternative shops are great for picking up crazy colours like pinks, blues etc.
Here are some stores that sale great coloured dyes:
Manic Panic

Firstly this will take you a few weeks, you need to rest your hair in between different treatments. If you rush it you won't get as much colour. I rushed mine, now I have to wait a month, so that I can re-bleach and add colour again. Take your time, the results will be worth it, also do strand tests! Buy a hair stripper, if your in the UK we have a product called Colour B4  you may have to do this twice. It will leave a great base as it rids your hair of colour, it will be dry and feel weak so let it rest. If you have had black or brown dyed hair, it will go to a orange/rust type colour. Follow directions on the pack 100% for best result.

  • Once you have an old tee on or a bin bag, start to section your hair up, start with hair underneath and pile the rest of your hair on top than you can let it down when you need to apply (makes it a lot easier).
  • Next follow the direction and mix up your Colour B4, you can either apply it from a bowl with a brush or just use your hand with the nozzle. Leave Colour B4 in for the time stated, I wrapped mine up with foil and bagged it (it works best when warm).
  • You must rinse your hair for the time stated, and than shampoo with the buffer, rinse again and shampoo with the buffer again apply and rinse.
  • Towel dry your hair, if it's light enough you can apply your dye I used Directions Turquoise , it's a really good semi permanent colour, they have a heap of different ones to choose from. If it is still too dark you will need to leave your hair to rest for 3 weeks at least before bleaching it.
  • If it still isn't bright enough, now you can bleach it but you must leave your hair for at least 3 weeks after stripping it, let your hair rest ( if you do use Colour B4). As your hair needs to rest, or it will break and yes you will damage your hair dip dying it, but you can minimise it as much as you can. Shampoo your hair with toner shampoo, to help lose the brassy colour giving you lighter hair to dye. 
  • Follow directions on the pack 100%, and don't leave it on longer than the recommend time as it doesn't work beyond that and you will just be causing damage. If your hair is still dark than again you will need to bleach it, I found after two weeks mine was fine. Do the strand test! Just to check. 
If you need to bleach after Colour B4 (you must wait 3 weeks):
  1. Once you are covered with your bin bag or towel, put on your gloves and start to mix the bleach according to the instructions.
  2. Section your hair with your brush, and at the ends apply the bleach evenly (you can go as wide with the dip as you like, or just have a little at the ends of your hair).
  3. Bag your hair, this will stop mess and help dye develop. Wait for 40-45 mins to let the bleach work (double check instructions as it may vary), as dark hair takes a while. 
  4. Rinse out the bleach by shampooing lightly. I a toner shampoo (this will remove brassy colour) I used Sheer blonde toner shampoo by John Frieda   and towel dry your hair.
  5. Apply your coloured dye and wrap in foil. Start by taking a square of foil, fold both sides inwards than start folding the foil upwards to keep the dye covered and help it develop.
  6. Apply heat by blow drying, I left my Directions dye on for a hour, this will give you a much stronger colour.
  7. Wipe off any excess dye, reapply and wait if needed (you can make the colour as strong or as faded as you desire) when your done just rinse. Do Not Shampoo the colour out! Just rinse and condition if you wish.
Note: If you want your chosen colour to be lighter mix in some condition into it.

Things to avoid:

  • Bleach the hell out of your hair, after doing mind twice I realised that I should have stripped it first. As you can see from the photo's it did lift some of the colour, but not enough to put the coloured dye on. Because of this it's taken me forever to even get a little dip dye colour!
  • Moaning that you are going to damage your hair, it's a fact if you have pre dyed hair than you are going to have to use strong methods to remove it. If you are that worried than I strongly recommend you go to a salon and let them do it for you. If your like me and are not worried than go for it (after all it's at the end so you can always trim it, if it gets that bad).
  •  If you are really, really scare of hair damage than check out my guide to dip dye hair, where I share other non permanent ways of achieving the look. There's nothing wrong with faking it.
  • If it ends up going badly wrong, don't continue cut your lost and go straight to your hairdresser!

My dip dye story: So I wish I had just waited and gone to a hairdresser, it would have cost me less. Taken less time, but no I wanted it now. Anyway like I mentioned I rushed my first lot of bleach and did it while doing my roots, so missed half of it. The colour was brassy, which I actually liked, but I wanted my colour so washed my hair with the sheer blonde toner to correct it and get it lighter.

Than I left it a while, rested my hair and than got a highlighter kit to do my second lot of bleach. Bit mistake, as my hair is long and I want most of the bottom there just wasn't enough in the pack! Big fail, still it did lighten some bits. So again I rested my hair and thought of stripping it (finally), it only got out a little colour. 

Fed up I just dyed it with the directions (you can use a semi permanent dye after Colour B4 right away, but not bleach) it did dye some of my hair and I have the start of dip dye hair. I wanted minty colour so mixed the turquoise dye with conditioner, but I should have just put it on neat and let it fade! So now I have the start of my dip dye hair, I'm leaving it 4 weeks, bleaching and than colouring with the directions again. I will let you know if I finally get the colour I want.

(sorry this is long, but I wanted to let you know, rather than skimming important information. Please read directs for anything you use on your hair and follow them, I really hope this helps you). If you have ANY question comment or tweet me @law1sfab)

My dip dyed hair

Update: I re-bleached my hair and re-coloured it and I'm much happier with the results:

 Another Update: I give my hair a trim, and changed the colour the fade on this shade is not as bad as the teal/blue colour.


  1. First of all love the colour you picked, thank you so much for this guide. I have dark red dyed hair, so it's going to be the same for me, this has really helped. No one else has talked about the pre dye before. I would kill to be a natural blonde, than its easy!

  2. That was informative! I hadn't realized how involved dyeing ones hair can be!

  3. I actually really love the end result, a real turquatic mermaid colour. Very pretty :)
    I'm forever dying my hair and I always use Color B4 now, saves so much hassle and damage. We live and learn! xxx

  4. Love your hair. :]It looks amazing I wish my hair was that long. I've been dip dying for a while and Ive had orange blue and purple ends. My hair is so damaged that its falling out though! xx

  5. Even if you have used semi perm colours that wash out they still leave a residue which makes it harder got bleach to take. The best thing is to get a hairdresser to try and strip the colour out but this could leave it is bad condition.

  6. ahhh! the green is so amazing. I'm tempted to go green for my tips too and this has made me want it that much more. darn it! xD

    rebecca x

  7. it's turned out so well, really good job and it suits you too. thumbs up dudesters!

  8. Suits you so much!! it's a lovely colour! :) x

  9. do you have the ebay link for the dying hair kit by any chance please?

  10. Lovely result.but how would you retouch the black/brown roots without ruining the hard work on the ends?


Thank you for your comments, I really do love hearing from you x