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The winter holiday season usually calls for tons of gift buying and giving--which also calls for a tighter budget on personal care items. This includes your monthly trip to the salon, which is on hold until post holidays. What does that mean for you? Experimenting with temporary hair dye in the comfort and convenience of your own bathroom. And although it is a great way to save money, it also means there is a greater risk for pink and purple hair dye stains all over your bathroom floor and countertops. That's no bueno.

Here's what to before, during, and after your temp hair dye experience.

What you need

Assuming you have already bleached or permanently dyed your hair color and you are now attempting to temporarily change the color with a store-bought hue, here is what you should have readily available:

Before and during application

  • pair of gloves (latex or vinyl)
  • plastic cap
  • glass mixing bowl
  • white or apple cider vinegar
  • tub of Vaseline
  • tint brush
  • hair clips or hair ties
  • old T-shirt or cleanup towel
Prior to application, do a vinegar rinse in your hair after shampooing. Let white or apple cider vinegar coat your scalp for 30 minutes, then rinse. Do NOT condition the hair, as it will repel the color from staying on your strands. Vinegar helps bring your pH up. Separate your detangled hair into 4 large sections with either hair clips or ties. Wear an old shirt that you don't mind getting hair dye stains on. Put on your gloves and dip two fingers in your Vaseline jar, outlining your scalp and nape to prevent the color from spilling onto your face and neck (or baby oil, if you prefer).  Pour the coloring mix into a glass bowl (plastic will stain) and use your tint brush to sort of paint the dye onto your hair, starting with your roots.
Use your shirt or a cleanup towel to wipe any color off your arms, the sink counter, or anywhere you notice it. Do it quickly, as temp dyes tend to set in pretty quickly and stain. Wear a plastic cap over your head and let the color saturate your hair as long as the directions from the brand advise you to. 

temporary hair dye

After (cleanup)

  • toothpaste
  • brillo pad
  • white vinegar
  • baking soda
  • facial astringent
  • cleanup towel

Coat your bathtub floor with a generous amount of vinegar and/or baking soda. Discard your gloves in the proper place--trashcan. Do not set them on your counter.

Use a brillo pad and your usual cleaning supplies for spots on the counter, sink, and floor. Toothpaste works for pesky spots in the sink, too.

When rinsing the color out, use a color-corrective or color-enhancing deep conditioner. Your hair needs as much moisture restored into it as possible.

Use a facial astringent or vinegar to get unwanted color off your ears, forehead, etc.

On your next wash day, use this to touch up your roots, add some leftover dye in your shampoo.