14 Struggles People Who Dye Their Hair Understand

The first time I dyed my hair was my parents' community pool, because I knew if I dyed my hair in their bathroom, they would have grounded me until the very end of time. I tried going “red” but it really just came out “brown with a hint of dried up orange peel.” That was in 2004, and I've often then dyed my hair different colors since. I’ve done stripes of caramel tones (read: orange), purple-black, red-black, brown-red, red, and most recently, black. I thought dyeing my hair black would be the most effortless look and project ever, but I was wrong. Because you know what? Hair grows out. And when black hair grows out, it leaves a trail of your natural hair behind. And it is NOT very fresh. As it also turns out, my hair grows super fast! It must be all the Skittles and Doritos I’m eating, because I’m basically a super Chia pet.

Fast hair growth means I get to dye my hair every month, and it’s a DOOZY, you guys. For all my ladies and dudes who go through the same thing every month (or two, or three; I realize my hair care is a little intense), let’s talk about our hair. Because we’ve got 99 problems and dyeing our hair is definitely one.

Finding the exact, right shade at the store

If you have “blue black,” you generally can’t go with “natural black,” because the latter is basically dark brown (been there, done that). Also, different brands have different effects on your hair.

Going with a maybe acceptably close shade if your color isn’t there

You want a chestnut brown, but there is no chestnut brown because there is no god. But there’s a light brown! Which is pretty much super close, right? Maybe. Oh well, let thy scalp be thy canvas.

Either doing it yourself and missing like five patches of hair...

You will think you can catch all those stray baby hairs by your ears. You will be confident, deftly massaging colorful, potent goo into your head. You will wait the time instructed and wash your hair out in the shower. And you will blow-dry your hair only to discover you missed some pretty prominent hair real estate. Curses!

...or begging your friend or significant other to do it, thereby wasting an hour of their life

Pleeeez help me dye my hair tonight?” is a question I ask often, so if you become my friend, just prepare yourself.

Getting dye all over your skin

When you dye your own hair, you will always get some dye on your skin. Unless you are like a masterful sorceress of dyeing hair, and if that's the case, well aren't you cool. I hope you were also going for the blotches-on-your-ears-and-forehead-and-neck look, because it comes with your freshly dyed head ‘o hair!

Destroying the bathroom with dye

The scariest is when you dye your hair red. Your bathtub and curtains will seriously look like someone stabbed a major artery.

Ruining your sheets

Pro-tip: buy all black, dark gray, or dark blue. Do not buy white sheets. White sheets are for the wealthy or the reckless.

Not being able to wear white until your hair calms down

I wear mostly black regardless, but I’ve held many a funeral for t-shirts destroyed by my wet, just-dyed hair.

Root shame

Like I said, your hair grows. It’s unfortunate, but what can you do. It gets worse when grays start popping up like they think own the place. (Not that you shouldn’t love your grays —I just like my hair to be one uniform color, 'tis all.)

Oh, nothing, just dry, brittle, deader-than-dead hair

Hair dye is ruthless! It will strip your locks of any and all moisture it holds dear and leave it thirsty and begging for hydration. When you dye your hair frequently, you hair WILL feel like straw, especially if you’re bleaching it first. Invest in hair oil, pronto.

Spending like a quarter of your paycheck getting it done professionally

Yeah, goodbye, hundred dollar bill. You looked so nice in my wallet. I’ll miss you and your crisp greenness.

Your relatives telling you that your hair was so much prettier before

Okay, maybe this is just a Jewish Mom thing, but every single time my mom sees me, she takes a few strands of hair in both hands, and looks at me with shiny, pleading eyes. “But your natural hair is so beautiful,” she says. Every. Single. Time.

Having to buy special shampoo

I mean, okay – not really a big deal. You just swap your normal shampoo for “color safe” shampoo. But then you quickly realize that in order to really hold on to that particular red or caramel-color tone without it going brassy, you need to pay more than four dollars for a bottle of shampoo.

You gotta make sure dem brows match

Then all of the effort will be for naught. Unless you're going for that look, and if so — you just keep doing you.

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