Dying your hair may seem like a superficial thing to lose sleep over, but for anyone who's actually taken the plunge and done it, you know it can be a completely life-changing experience.
I mean, you're changing the appearance of your whole head, or most of it, at least. People look at your head every day, and, of course, you do too, so you might as well enjoy looking at it.
But, it's so much more than that.
Changing your hair color can be a powerfully exhilarating experience. It's a physical way to channel a more intangible desire you may have for change.
As with any big life decision, though, you need to take some time to really think about it, and make sure this is the right call for you.
Here are 10 questions to ask yourself before you take the leap and dye your hair.
1. Why now?
Why do you want to dye your hair right now? Have you sat on the idea for awhile, or are you walking into the salon just hours after falling in love with a Pinterest board?
Believe me, I know how easy it is to get excited about changing your hair once the idea comes to mind. But, remember this is a semi-permanent decision -- one you'll have to live with for at least a few weeks, if not months.
2. Am I doing this for the right reasons?
People will often change their look right after a huge life experience, such as a breakup, or even after getting laid off from a job.
Change is good, and it will feel really good in those high-pressure life moments. But again, this decision is going to stick with you for a pretty considerable amount of time. Just be sure it's what you really want.
3. Do I really know what I want?
Have you taken the time to research different images of the color you have in mind? The most dangerous thing you can do is walk into a salon with no pictures or other points of reference for the color you want.
Going "blonde" or "brunette" can mean a lot of different things, especially for hairdressers who have worked with hundreds of different color formulas. It may feel obnoxious to have an entire Pinterest board for your hairdresser to look at, but I promise you'll both be thankful you came prepared.
4. Is this color going to come out after a few washes?
A new hair color doesn't come cheap, unfortunately. Talk to your stylist about the longevity of the color you're getting, and how you can make sure you get the absolute most out of it.
This might mean washing your hair more infrequently, or using a special type of shampoo or conditioner to retain the color as long as possible.
Get your money's worth, baby.
5. Speaking of money, how expensive is this going to be?
This will depend on what exactly you're doing to your hair, where you live, and even how long your locks are.
I'd say a solid base price for any good dye job will probably start at around $60 or $70, and the price will go up from there depending on how intricate the style is, if you're getting a blowout, etc.
6. Is my hair healthy enough to dye it?
Believe me, you do not want to lean back in the shampoo chair, bleach all up in your roots, and find out your hair is falling out into the sink.
A consultation appointment with a stylist before the actual dye job would allow a chance for the expert to give you the go-ahead, but you can also check out the health of your hair at home with a simple little trick.
Pull a strand of your hair taut, add a drop of water, and count how many seconds it takes for your hair to fully absorb the water.
If it takes more than 10 seconds to absorb, you're good to go. If it takes less time, maybe go ahead and book that consultation before you take the plunge.
7. Will this color match my eyebrows?
If not, screw it, go ahead and dye your eyebrows too if you have to! YOLO, right?
Pro tip: You can easily color your eyebrows at home, with a men's mustache dye. All you need is a timer, some Q-tips, cotton swabs, Vaseline, a mild shampoo, and of course, the dye.
You can thank me later.
8. What if I hate it?
Hair dye can be a fickle little monster to deal with. Sometimes, ashy blonde turns into Shrek green, or dark brown turns into pure black.
Or, in less nightmarish scenarios, maybe you simply had a vision of how your look would turn out, and the end result is just kind of underwhelming.
Just remember: It's not the end of the world. It will eventually wash out, and your hairdresser can work their magic with purposeful layers. In a later appointment, bring your shade to whatever vision you had in mind.
9. Will my job be cool with it?
If you're lucky enough to work in a creative industry, your employer probably wouldn't even care if you got zebra stripe highlights.
But, if you find yourself in that typical, corporate cubicle grind, and you're going for a more untraditional color outside of the blonde, brunette, and redhead realms, clear it with your boss first.
10. Will this new color empower me?
I know, it sounds a little cheesy. But for real, dying your hair can make you feel like a totally different person, in both good and bad ways.
You want a look that complements you in a physical and figurative sense -- something that gives you confidence, makes you feel beautiful, and makes you feel powerful in your identity.
Seize the dye, and seize the day!