Woman dying her hair at home.

How to Recover from a Bad At-Home Hair Dye

Dyeing your hair at home as opposed to getting it done at a professional salon is risky: on one hand, you may end up with a great new look, like ombre hair, highlights, or lowlights, for a fraction of the cost, but on the other hand, you could end up with catastrophic results if you don’t know what you’re doing. If you’re in that second category and you’re freaking out and thinking that you ruined your hair completely, you can relax a little bit. No matter how bad you think you’ve messed up your hair, there’s always a way to remedy the situation and get your locks back into tip top shape. 

Signs of Damage

Before you can repair your hair, you need to be able to do is recognize the signs of damage from semi permanent hair color or permanent hair color before you can repair your hairs. The symptoms of damage are fairly obvious, such as overly dry or stretchy strands, breakage, thinning, and in severe cases, hair loss. Some of these issues can be resolved with a little TLC, but if the damage is bad enough, you may need to head to the salon to see what can be done by a professional. 

DIY Treatment

The first thing you need to do is stop using any kind of hair color, even if your hair is currently a color that you absolutely despise. Continuing to dye your hair will damage your strands even more, which you want to avoid at all costs. If your hair has been completely stripped of moisture, you can start out with a homemade hair mask to replenish some nutrients. Combine mashed avocado, coconut oil, and honey, and massage it into your hair and scalp. Leave on for 20-30 minutes and rinse out. You can continue reapplying this mask every few days to reduce dryness and breakage. As further treatment, you should only wash your hair about twice a week and avoid any kind of heat (blow dryers, straighteners, etc) to prevent further damage. 

Professional Treatment

At-home treatments can aid in healing minor hair damage, but if your hair starts thinning or falling out, you need to seek professional help. In most cases, your hairdresser will advise you to trim or cut your hair to remove the hair that is damaged beyond repair. Before you panic about being forced to rock a pixie cut, remember that your hairdresser is trained to know what haircut will look best with your face shape, so she will do whatever she can to make your new cut work for you. Your hairdresser will probably also cover your hair in a professional hair mask to repair it even more. 

No matter how bad you think you messed up your hair, it will grow out eventually and look as good as new. (Plus, it’s probably not as bad as you think it is!)

Last Updated: September 04, 2015