Tips: The Good, The Bad and The Downright Ugly of Dying Your Hair Black

by - Tuesday, March 06, 2012


I have a confession to make. It's one of those confessions that I can imagine a lot of woman (and possibly a lot of men too) would be able to make. But, I have not seen the natural colour of my hair in roughly ten years!! Actually, the part of this confession that really gets me sobbing into my morning Cornflakes, is probably how old it makes me feel. Ahhh, ten years ago. Turning eighteen, and about to head out into the big wide world for the first time, with my whole life perfectly formed ahead of me. Oh, if only I knew that ten years later, my hair would have been dyed more colours than I'd care to admit!

Throughout these ten years, I've made some bloody awful colouring errors, that I won't bore you with. But, I think that it's fair to say that all of us has what we'd call our "Go-To" Colour. Y'know, the one that makes us feel confident and happy, and the minute we step away from it, we want to cry and have it back again.

For me, that go-to colour is black. But, unfortunately, my hair hasn't been that colour in about two or three years now, and not a day goes by when I don't miss it. So, I decided to share this post about the good, the bad and the ugly of dying your hair black, for anyone who might be considering the big change. And trust me, going black really is a huge change for most of us.

Of course, remember that I'm not a hair colouring expert, I just wanted to share my thoughts and experiences with dying my own hair black. So, if you are umming and ahing about dying your hair the ultimate dark shade, here are a few things that you really need to think about, and/or be aware of.


Expect people to comment on how shiny your hair is: When I had black hair, I had several people comment on how shiny my hair was. And it does appear to be true, that since going back to being a brunette, my hair hasn't appeared quite as shiny and healthy-looking as it did when it was black.

You have to love the low maintenance. One of my pet gripes with colouring my hair, is how quickly a lot of shades fade. When you're paying £5 for a dye, you really do want it to at least last the six weeks, that it promises, not a couple of days. And I have honestly had hair dyes that have faded before the week is through.  

With black hair however, I have never experienced noticeable fading which is an enormous pro for me!!


Expect to make a mess. It is inevitable when dying your hair that you're going to find dye on your forehead and the back of your neck. You'll probably even find small traces on your scalp. However, with most shades, they're fairly easy to remove from your skin. With black, however, it can be a pain in the bum, especially removing it from your scalp. I've had attempts where I've had to wash my hair again, after dying, just to get the dye off my scalp and I've had to really scrub.

It's not just your scalp that will get messy either, because black hair dye seems to be more difficult, at times, to clean off the sink. It's never a huge problem, but it does sometimes take a little more elbow grease than lighter shades.

If you have naturally light hair, your roots will show. Just like with dying your hair blonde, if you have light or ginger hair, when the colour starts to grow out your roots show up like a sore thumb. It means that if you fall behind on topping up those roots, they quickly look ridiculous.


It can be a nightmare to get rid of. When I decided to ditch the darker locks, I had to dye my hair three times, before I got it to a shade that I was comfortable with. That's the thing with dying your hair, it is really easy to go darker, but when you've gone dark, it's not so easy to get rid of. Basically, you have two options:

1. Wait for it to grow out, and that is not a pretty look, let's be honest

2. Go lighter. Typically, this means going blonde, however you can also get hair lighteners to lighten your hair. The problem with this method is that it's recommended that you wait before you dye your hair again, and if like me, you really do not feel comfortable being blonde. Or, even if the shade just looks ridiculous, as it also did with me, you're probably not going to want to wait. So, the chances are that you'll just go ahead and dye it your desired colour (like I did). The problem is that this is really damaging to your hair, and sometimes it can take a long time to get your hair back into a good condition.

I'm not trying to freak anyone out, and be assured that I loved having black hair.

Have you ever had dyed black hair?
What tips and/or advice would you offer to anyone thinking about giving it a try?

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4 beautiful fairies had something to say

  1. I've dyed mine black a couple of times (my natural hair colour is very dark brown) and loved it. As you said it looks super shiny and the lack of fading is always a bonus. When I eventually decided I wanted rid I did actually grow it would but I use temporary dyes in blackened burgendy or violet over the top to blend my root growth in with the black. When eventually all the black had been chopped off the I just stopped the temporary dyes for a bit then dyed everything a warm brown.

    My main tips for hair dye are always use copious amounts of vaseline around the hair line, ears, neck etc and cover your lovely clean bathroom on mountains of manky old towels!

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  2. I've had my hair coloured loads of times but never black. My only tip, after one or two home-hair disasters, is to get it done by a pro ;-) xx

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  3. I've never dyed my hair black, I've been really blonde which was a nightmare with roots, just now highlights which I'm happy with x

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  4. My natural hair colour is dark brown and I've been dying it black for a couple of years now. I usually end up with purple ears for a few days after a dye job :o! x

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