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To splurge or to save money, said almost everyone who has at one point, wanted to dye their hair.

It is an almost universal fact that if you want to achieve gorgeous, colourful tresses, you’re going to need to invest… quite a bit of money for that to become a reality. And when we say “a bit of money”, we really mean like, a heck lot of money. Sometimes, bank-breaking amount sort of money.

(Okay, maybe we exaggerate, but hair services, depending on the colour and hair length, can go for up to around SGD 700-800, which is still pretty darn expensive!)

Perhaps one day, you find yourself scrolling through several Guy Tang hair videos, and think to yourself, you know, maybe I can do this myself at a fraction of the cost.

So comes the dilemma – the riskier but cheaper DIY, or to play safe but possibly emptying your bank account?

Daily Vanity has done the research for you and have scoped out the pros and cons so you can decide on whether to dye it yourself or splurge and head to the salon.

Pros of DIY hair dye, and cons of hair salons

1. Price

Dye It Yourself Or Hair Salon Price

Let’s be honest – the main draw of dyeing your own hair is its cost.

A dye box at a drug chain store like Watsons goes for around SGD 9.90 (Revlon’s Colorsilk), compared to the much higher prices that hair salons charge, often in the three-digit range (SGD 70 – 150) for one hair colouring session.

That’s a huge world of a difference, but you probably don’t need us telling you that!

2. Can adjust colour to suit your liking


If you’re up to it, you could get as creative as you like – be it mixing colours, or not making a colour so intense – it’s all up to you. After all, if you decide to do it yourself, you are your own hair dresser.

The thing about hair salons is that they don’t always have the crazy, crazy colours you’re looking for – perhaps you’ve been eyeing Guy Tang’s Pastel Silver Lavender, or his Fire Ombre – but find yourself falling flat when the hair salon you frequent only has the conventional reds, browns, and blond colours.

Have fun. Go wild.

3. Do it any time, anywhere


Want to book an appointment to do your hair, only for the hair stylist to tell you that they’re full booked? On the only day you’re free? Pssh, forget waiting when you can just dye your hair now!

Pros of going to a hair salon and cons of DIY hair dye

1. Things can go wrong… devastatingly easily


Well, we hate to be Captain Obvious here, you’re most likely not a hair expert or pro colourist. And since the hair and scalp are such sensitive areas where a million and one things could go wrong, quickly, and devastatingly easily.

Compilation of videos on Youtube on DIY hair dye fails should be sufficient to show how easy it is to destroy your hair.

2. Mistakes will be costly… likely costlier than going to the hair salon

General Hair 4 1

Oh yes, this is a thing. As mentioned earlier, because we’re not experts, it is oh-too-easy to make silly mistakes along the way that end up being costly.

We’re talking perhaps more minor issues like an uneven dye (from a lack of expert hair-dye distribution), or worse – irreversible damage like super dried and damaged ends – or even worse – ends that break off entirely.

This means having to spend even more money on hair treatments and other hair products, but also possibly another round of bleaching to get rid of the uneven colour on your hair to start over, essentially meaning that simply going to the salon without all the DIY kits is cheaper, overall.

Plus, going through another round of bleaching would cause your already damaged locks to become even more damaged. Adding on all the cost and your non-silky but colourful tresses, surely, you don’t need us telling you that that totally sucks.

3. You end up with a colour that looks awful on you

Judging Beauty

While you can technically customise your hair colour to whatever the heck you want, and get a totally unique, awesome colour that’ll win you compliments from everyone and their moms, but on the flip side – it could end up a complete disaster. We’re talking I-just-did-my-hair-by-myself-and-messed-up-hehe kind of look which is not cute at all.

The thing about DIY-ing your hair at home is that you want to avoid looking like a kindergartner’s badly drawn painting, and more like a Picasso modern work-of-art.

(Okay, we exaggerate, but nobody wants to step out looking like they’ve tried doing their hair themselves, and failed epicly at it. The aim is to look hot, not a hot mess.)

The thing about going to a hair salon is that you get not only a second opinion – but an informed second opinion – on what colours flatter your skin tone and really making you look like you’ve glo-ed up, and what colours will, well, not flatter you. Like at all.

4. No mess

DIY-ing your own hair may sound like a fun experimental project for yourself…until you remember how messy dyeing your hair can be. Especially if you’re trying to bleach your own hair.

We’ll just leave you with a visual representation of the mess you’d have to clean up after dyeing your own hair an epic new shade (or not).

5. You can’t be your own one-woman (or man) team

Diy Hair Dye 1

DIY-ing your own hair is easier said than done – when you’re getting your hair done at a salon, you have your hair dresser taking care of your hair for you, no hassle, easily reaching difficult to reach parts and ensuring an even colour distribution.

Often, it is only too easy to fall into the trap of thinking, hmm, maybe I could do this myself!

Except that it’s really not. Even hair stylists with their colourful, bright tresses often enlist help of other hair stylists to dye their hair, simply because it’s just easier.

By yourself, you’re going to have to crane your arms or back in incredibly awkward positions, and you’re almost guaranteed to not have an even colour distribution, because nobody is really that flexible to be able to see what’s going on in every part of the hair, especially the back part of the head.

The takeaway

When should I dye my hair by myself?

Thinking Curious 1

Well, to be honest, it really is a very YMMV thing – if you feel like you’ve done your research and feel you are conscientious enough to be able to do your hair yourself – good on ya!

But if you’re not so confident but still want to have a go at DIY?

We suggest perhaps doing non-bleach colours like the browns, dark reds which you can find easily at any drugstore, and if you’re afraid of uneven coverage, brands like Liese’s Creamy Bubble Hair Colour have got you covered – where you simply lather the mixture on your hair, much like shampoo – it is deliberately beginner-friendly and difficult to go wrong.

Of course, if you want to minimise hair damage and if your hair is already brittle – going to the hair salon might be your best bet.

When should I get it done at a salon?


Definitely if you’re after colours that require bleaching. Why? Bleaching your hair wrongly could result in soooo many bad things happening to your hair, like hair breakage, hair thinning, hair loss, frizzy Albert Einstein sort of hair, gross ramen-yellow hair, uneven bleaching, a painful burned scalp… the list goes on and on.

Point is, you don’t want to try bleaching your hair by yourself.

Not convinced? Just google “hair bleaching gone wrong”, which is all the warning you’ll really need to be putting away those DIY bleach boxes, and hurtling towards the hair salon where your hair will be receiving the proper treatment it needs.