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If you're dyeing your hair with a semi-permanent shade, good for you. You're getting the different look you're after, but without causing serious damage to your poor tresses. With African-American hair this is usually even more important, as it tends to be quite dry to start with. Even with the benefits of semi-permanent dye, it's all about the application, because no matter how rockin' the color and how cool your confidence, if you don't actually apply the dye right, your 'do is going to look like a don't.
Mix the dye according to the instructions, using a plastic mixing bowl and brush. Your kit may come with a basic applicator bottle, but the mixing bowl and brush allow you more control when dyeing your hair.
Divide your hair into four sections: two at the front side by side, and two at the back the same way. Use hair clips to keep them separated.
Unclip one of the front sections of your hair and let the hair fall loose.
Use the mixing brush to scoop up some of the dye and apply it onto the hair of the loose section. Keep adding more dye as needed, until all of the hair is completely soaked in the stuff.
Let down the second front section of hair and apply more dye.
Do the same on one bottom section, then the other.
Check your hair for any dry bits; if you find any sneaky dry strands, apply more dye so you don't end up with a patchy 'do. Let the dye sit on your hair for the suggested amount of time. Check the instructions again to be sure.
Rinse the dye out of your hair. Once the water runs clear, you can towel-dry your hair and style as desired. Good work!
Throw on some old clothes or a towel around your shoulders before starting.
Perform a quick strand test by cutting off a small section of hair and dyeing it to see what color it turns out before dyeing your whole head.
Perform a strand while the dye is processing on your hair: Wipe a small section of hair dry about 10 minutes in to see what color it is. If it's not quite the color you want yet, massage the hair back in with the rest of your hair to re-wet it with dye, and check it again in two minutes.
Semi-permanent shades can't lighten your hair; they just add tones. So if you want to lighten up, talk to your stylist.
Semi-permanent shades last only through about 12 shampoos.