The 3 Best Reasons to NEVER Dye Your Hair at Home

I am a participant in the Amazon Affiliate program and other affiliate programs. This post may contain affiliate links which earn me a few dollars to help maintain the cost of running this blog. See my disclosure page for more info. 


As you may or may not have known from my glamour shots, I’ve been dying my hair since I was 12. I started out with highlighting and going blonde(r)…but eventually went dark…then finally the ginger set in.

I’ve gone to professionals, had friends do my dye jobs, and done it myself. I’ve done it all.

Of the three, I obviously prefer the first. But I’d been known to frequently do my own hair (typically when I was broke). Now, I have a relationship with a hair stylist, like a grown up. And I could never cheat on her.

I used to be pretty awesome at it. I mean, dying your own hair blonde is no big deal. The blonde dye doesn’t really stain anything. It cleans up pretty easily…

After several attempts at dying my own hair, I finally only let a stylist handle my mane. Theses are the 3 reasons not to dye your hair at home as learned from my own experiences.

Reason # 1 to Never Dye Your Hair at Home: Stains

I did the auburn/brunette thing… That got a little trickier. I may or may not have stained the bathtub in my college apartment. I may or may not have almost stained mom’s bathroom floors, walls, sink, bathtub…you get the picture. Mom banned me from ever dying my hair at her house again.

So then I finally grew a pair…and decided it was time to go ginger. I had been waiting for so long to do this. Years! Friggin’ years! And finally…I was ready. I went to the store. I bought the color. It was awesome. Bright. Delicious. Ginger. Excitement!

I was living at my pal Mark’s at the time as he was uber busy working in some foreign land, and someone had to make sure Jerry the Mouse didn’t invade again. (Note: This is not like the time I stole his car. I had permission to live in his home.) So I took the opportunity to change my look (in not-my-mother’s bathroom).

Reason # 2 to Never Dye Your Hair at Home: The Stains Hide

So, I may or may not have accidentally made a huge mess in Mark’s apartment bathroom. I cleaned it all up and made sure to get all of the red spots before they dyed anything permanently…or so I thought. A few weeks later, when Mark came home, he called me up and asked “What the fuck did you do?!” He found some red stains. I went over there with my trusty Mr. Clean Magic Eraser and discovered that there were apparently stains that I had missed…quite a few of them…whoops! Those bitches hide.

Reason # 3 to Never Dye Your Hair at Home: Drastic Errors

That same dye job over at Mark’s apartment required a double process. The first was my own, in which I fucked up royally and had blotches of red, blotches of brown, and blotches of in between. It was a disaster. I had to call my sister (a beauty school drop-out) to come over and fix my huge err. Luckily, the second process was done by my sister, and she handled it like magic. And then once I thought it looked hot, I STILL got some pretty nasty commentary about going such a bold shade of red.

Of course, this wasn’t my last adventure in self-hair-dye.

After a few months of dating Brian, it seemed like an OK idea to dye my hair at his house (well, his roommate’s house). You know, since Mom banned me, Mark banned me, and I had already dyed my hair at several hotels–staining their white towels pink (I know, right–it was a terrible idea).

I had a system though. I would run a bath while dying and sit in the bathtub. That way the dye wouldn’t stain the porcelain. Brilliant right? Except that as I set the dye down on the tub edge, I learned (the hard way) that the edge was angled. I first dropped the bottle into the tub of water.

So I placed the bottle on the floor outside the tub. I had removed all towels and anything that could get destroyed in the process. But when the bottle fell onto the bath rug (that I had carelessly forgotten to remove or hadn’t noticed…I don’t even know–sometimes I’m not very observant), it was game over. I freaked out. Red toner spilling everywhere onto this rug.

Brian’s roommate liked nice things. While I wasn’t the biggest fan of this rug, I assumed that it was costly. So I tried to do damage control. I scrubbed it. I loaded it with soap. I did everything I could think of to get rid of the stain. And it looked…better.

I Googled the brand on the tag. No luck. I didn’t know where it came from or where I could replace it. So I contacted Brian…and he told me it was his rug. PHEW and that it was from Walmart DOUBLE PHEW (and I should have known the minute he said it was his, because everything he owned was from Walmart–just like Danell Leyva’s Towels).

I told him we would likely need to toss it. He didn’t believe me and said it could be washed. I explained it was pretty bad and hair dye was permanent. I had just checked on it again, and apparently “cleaning” it made it significantly worse after it dried a little…it was blood red and the stain was enormous. I was still having a panic attack as I typed a G-chat message to Brian, even though he kept telling me it was fine and not to worry. (He still does this a lot because I have a lot of unnecessary panic attacks.)

The following weekend, Brian threw the rug in the washer.

It came out clean.

Who knew?

What errors have you made when dying your own hair? Do you see a stylist or do it yourself? What are your thoughts on stylist loyalty?

Follow Me and You'll See...

19 Responses

  1. He threw it in the washing machine and it came out?! I am amazed by this. I have had numerous hair dye problems. I’ve been dying mine forever. That’s what happens when your hair startes to turn gray while you are still a teenager. I’ve never gone ginger. I’m afraid to! I think I’d have to do it outside. I am sure I would dye my entire bathroom blotchy pink and red before I was finished if I tried.

    1. I am STILL just as shocked as you. It was BLOOD. RED. Ginger is fun. Best decision I ever made…okay, second to agreeing to go out with Brian…

          1. LOL mine fades out after about two weeks. At the moment I have people complimenting me on the nice streak of ginger. Which means I need to re-dye.

  2. As my hair started falling out when I was around 19, I finally gave up and just started shaving it all off with a razor when I hit 26.
    I’ve recently started to consider buying dye for the silver hairs appearing in my beard and, um, ‘other’ areas.
    And I’m only 35 for christ’s sake!

    1. Ah shit! I have silver hairs everywhere. I was thinking of writing an ode to the one gray eyebrow hair at some point. Brian has a gray and red beard – it’s all good.

  3. Very funny….I do have dark brown dots on my bathroom fall. It drives me crazy. Even worse, my onyx sink has small craters from repeated bleach. That one is not on you….another home dyer. I have always had a pro do it. Hair is important!!!

  4. After about 15+ years of dying my own hair, I finally found a colorist that I loved. She was perfect and did an awesome job… and she just left for 6 months. So, I decided to go back to my “roots” and grab a box of dye to do it myself last month. Um… NOPE. My medium reddish shade turned out super dark brown (which you saw when we got together). I’m trying to fade it as much as I can before going to the salon (and trying to break in a new colorist) to go back to medium reddish. Stupid box color.

    1. It took me forever to find one I liked. And then I found one and she left me for the far south suburbs…so I had to find another one – luckily the next try was a winner for life.

      As a side note, I thought your hair looked nice when I saw you!

  5. Oh man. I’ve done it all. My hair is naturally a medium brown with a bit a of red undertone. I’ve done professionally (and do now) but I’ve also done everything from box dye (I once tried to cover up professional blonde hi lights with brown dye because I wanted to embrace my inner brunette….my hair turned green, lemon juice, Sun-In (yeah that shit turned my hair orange and henna (that shit had to grow out). I’ve been various shades of blonde, brown, red and black. I leaned years ago to never DYI when it comes to hair.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *