I would have LOVED to dye my hair crazy colors as a teenager, but my parents would never have allowed it! It wasn't until I was in my thirties that I finally went for it. It's been four years now, and I haven't stopped. In fact, I may be addicted. (Fuchsia, purple and blue shown above. The blue is a little hard to see, but it was fun because it reminded me of Wonder Woman.)
Having tried a few things, I have a few tips that I thought I could share with you.
1// Go to a pro
Find someone you trust and who has done this before! It is possible to do your own touch-ups when your color starts to fade (though I usually just stick with the salon) but for most people it will take some bleaching to get your hair light enough first, so go to a pro for this step at least. I go to SHAG salon in Boston and oomph salon in Portsmouth, NH. Make sure they use great products. Most stylists I know seem to really like PRAVANA brand hair color.
2// Consider going with ombré highlights
This has worked well for me, especially since my hair is so dark. If you've got dark hair, you'll need to lighten it in order to see the pretty colors. Going with highlights means you don't have to bleach your whole head, and doing ombré means you don't go to the roots, so there's no need for frequent re-bleaching.
I only go once, maybe twice a year to have my hair lightened (yes, actual bleach blonde highlights. I try not to look because it's alarming.) Then the vibrant colors go on over that. You only have to touch up your rainbow colors as they start to fade, every 4-12 weeks, but at least you don't have to continually be damaging your hair by bleaching it.
Side note: the colors will actually be darker when they're fresh, and will get lighter and brighter through the fading process. Your shower/towels/pillow cases/hats will never be OK again. Be prepared to deal with this.
3// Don't wash your hair too much
I try to only wash my hair every other day. (Let's be honest, this is one of the main reasons I don't do hot yoga. Excessive sweating leads to excessive hair-washing.) You can use a dry shampoo on non-washing days, but I haven't found one I absolutely love. You can also get creative with up-dos when your hair's not clean and shiny enough to wear down. When you do shampoo, use a product that's made for colored hair, and it's a good idea to wash with COLD water, so less of your color will rinse away.
4// Put some of your hair color into your conditioner!
Have your stylist put some of the color into your conditioner. Each time you wash your hair, leave the conditioner on for 5-10 minutes while you're in the shower. This really extends the time in between touch-ups.
5// Have fun and don't take no B.S. from anyone
It's YOUR hair. Have fun with it. And really, it's JUST hair. Let's not take ourselves too seriously.
Do you have other tips to share? Questions? Let me know in the comments!