I HAVE BEEN WAITING YEARS FOR SOMEONE TO ASK ME ABOUT MY HAIR BECAUSE I HAVE A LOT OF DYING EXPERIENCE LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT IT:
1) With dark hair, always bleach first if you want a vibrant color. And always get bleached professionally if you can afford it / are okay with spending that money. Bleaching is super damaging and can be d a n g e r o u s so I never do it myself. If you do bleach it yourself (and I have many friends who do so successfully!), read up on the process as much as you can, and try to get your materials from a professional source.
2) Mix dyes if you can afford more than one tub of the stuff! My current purple is a mix of Manic Panic’s* Purple Haze and Hot Hot Pink. I don’t know what it is about mixing dyes, but it always looks better than using just one color. I mix one part purple to one part pink in a cup and smoosh it on my bleached streaks with gloves at home.
3) Start out small. I’ve had full highlights of purple, half highlights of orange, my entire head blue/purple, etc. But you can get the same feel and effect with less effort and money by doing one big streak or a couple of chunks in your bangs. It’s way easier and cheaper to keep up, and you don’t get all the crappy damage from bleaching all over your dang head.
4) Don’t forget upkeep. Upkeep suuuuuucks and it’s expensive and time-consuming and it’s the biggest barrier to entry for vibrant colors. But if you already put in the time and money to bleach your hair and put the color in the first place, you really should consider taking a little time every few washes to pop in a little more color. For example, I just keep a tub of color and a pair of gloves in my bathroom. When I feel like I could use a little more color, I just pop some on my streaks 20 mins before I shower. If you’ve dyed your whole head, you can even mix color into your conditioner. It’s not like HARD but it is ANNOYING.
BOTTOM LINE: Know what you’re getting into and be prepared. It sucks to go into a salon, get your cool green hair, and then three days later not know why the heck your head looks like a washed out booger. Do some googling! :D
GOOD LUCK HAVE FUN! I HOPE THIS WAS KINDA HELPFUL!
*Manic Panic fades pretty dang easily. Pravana Vibrant shades are better if you want less fade (I mix Orchid and Violet, about 3:1 ratio), but they’re more expensive, and if you’re not a professional, you can only get them on the “gray market” on the internet. Which I have. Because I’m the worst.