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How Much Does it Cost To Dye Your Hair?: Hair Dyeing’s FAQ’s

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With summer coming up, it’s tempting to start dyeing your hair all colors of the rainbow. But before you go out and start painting your head, here are some things you should know about getting your hair dyed:

How Much Does it Cost to Get Your Hair Dyed?

It would cost anywhere between $50 to $150, depending on your location, the type of salon, how much of your hair needs to be dyed, and whether or not the salon uses high-quality box dye or cheaper alternatives.

Most high-end salon will probably charge more, depending on how ‘prestigious’ it is or if they carry the name of a particular hair stylist. Often, these places will usually pride themselves of being able to discern the exact type of dye to use on specific hair types and how to apply it in the most effective way possible for the pigment to take hold.

It also depends on the kind of dye job you need; coloring all of your hair uses up more dye, but specialized dyeing techniques like highlights or lowlights will often take longer and requires more labor and effort from your stylist, making it slightly more expensive than an all-over dye. Getting different colors or shades for your highlights is also another consideration, as some salons will charge per color. However, some salons will provide you a highly extensive number of colors and shades to choose from, but will charge higher, anywhere between $100-$200, plus labor.

Different salons in different parts of different cities will also charge differently; getting your hair colored in St.Louis Missouri, for example, will cost you around $45-$50, but the same service will cost you around $80-$100 in New York City.

Oh, and, don’t forget to tip! The standard rule is to tip anywhere between 20% and up to 25% of the entire service cost, which is then usually split between everyone who worked on your hair.

Does Hair Dye Expire?

Dyeing hair

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Yes, hair dye does expire. Depending on the brand, how it was packaged, how it was stored, and whether or not it was opened, hair dye will expire between 2 years and up to 4 years from its stated production date. Various physical, chemical, and even environmental, factors affect how long hair dye lasts and whether or not it will expire faster than what it says on the box.

Of course, contamination by dirt, water, and any other foreign object can (and most often will) make hair dye expire faster than it should. This is because foreign objects will often carry bacteria that would degrade the chemical composition of the dye faster. If you notice that your hair dye has some foreign object in it, remove as much of it as possible.

If your dye is compromised, then environmental factors like humidity and temperature will either preserve your dye for longer or degrade it faster. Some dyes are even light-sensitive, so much so that exposing certain types of hair dye to light (natural or artificial) can catalyze certain chemicals within its composition in a way that scatters the pigment or deactivates them completely.

And that’s why the chemical composition of hair dye is the most important factor that decides whether or not it expires fast. In general, hair dyes that have ‘all-natural’ components (i.e. dyes that use pigments derived naturally from plants) will often expire faster than hair dyes that use chemical extenders, although the former might not cling to hair as effectively as chemical ones (although they are gentler on hair).

Are There Side Effects to Using Expired Hair Dye?

Yes, there are side effects to using expired hair dye. Some of these effects don’t have lasting effects (although the effects that do happen are unfortunate), while some side effects can cause moderate to severe damage not just to your hair, but your scalp, hands, and eyes.

One of the most common side-effects of using expired hair dye is discoloration. Often, people who use expired hair dye will see their hair turn an unpleasant, off-green color that closely resembles mold. Because of the unique way certain chemicals degrade, expired dyes can also resemble colors that are completely different to the one advertised on the box (i.e. some expired orange dyes might come out as, red, or even blue).

If you’re lucky, your expired hair dye might retain its natural color, but it doesn’t mean that the pigments will have the same, consistent staying power as fresh hair dye. In fact, expired hair dye has a reputation for leaving uneven shades in your hair, creating patches of bright colors or faded shades.

But if you’re really unlucky, your expired hair dye might just damage your hair. If the dye’s chemical composition degrades badly, it can have a caustic effect on your hair, leaving it dry and brittle, classic signs of chemical burns. If you’re really, really unlucky, this caustic effect can leave your hands and scalp with 1st to 2nd-degree burns that could cause temporary hair loss.

In short, if your dye is expired, just throw it away.

How Long Does Permanent Hair Color Last?

Blue hair color

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No, permanent hair color isn’t exactly permanent: depending on the dye you use, permanent hair color will last anywhere between four weeks and six weeks.

Permanent hair dye’s lasting power again depends on a number of factors like the kind of dye you used, how you applied it, what aftercare you are currently using, and how often you’re out in the sun. While expensive permanent hair dyes might seem like the best option, don’t be fooled: expensive doesn’t always mean the best. Instead, always look for hair dyes that are formulated specifically for your unique hair type, as this will ensure that the pigments in the dye will penetrate all the way into your follicles, which means it will last longer.

How you apply the hair dye will also determine how long it will last. Normally, just following the directions stated on the box will yield the best results. However, certain brands might require a more deft hand to apply it properly, which is why it’s always best to visit your local salon. Seeing a professional hair colorist will also give you the opportunity to learn more about proper hair dyeing aftercare, from the type of shampoo you should use to the way you should handle it right after.

How much light you expose your hair to will also determine whether or not your permanent hair dye lasts. Light has a way of dispersing the color molecules in pigment dyes, which makes it look dull and bland after some time.

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