Split hair dye is a trendy hairstyle that involves splitting the hair down the middle and dyeing each half a different color. Think Cruella de Vil, but with color.
Split hair dye is when you dye half your head one color and the other half another.
Some peeps like to use standout colors like neon pink combined with a bold blue. Others prefer a softer look with combinations like peach and blonde or gray with black. But no matter what colors you chose, this hairstyle is fun, stylish, and cool AF.
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to DIY split hair dye at home. We also have a rundown of popular split hairstyles and tips on preventing color bleeding.
Yep, it’s possible to split dye your hair at home! Just keep in mind that it can be a bit tough, especially if you’re flying solo. But if you’re determined to avoid a hefty salon bill — or if you just want to have some fun — here’s how to DIY split hair dye at home!
1. Pick your dyes
After you pick the colors you want, it’s time to decide if you want to use permanent or semi-permanent dyes.
If you’re really ready to commit, a permanent hair dye might be your best bet. Semi-permanent dyes only last 4 to 6 weeks.
However, temporary dyes aren’t without perks. Since they fade faster, you can switch colors more often. Plus, if you don’t dig the colors you picked, you won’t have to live with them for too long.
Product PSA: Stick to high quality hair dye brands that have stellar customer reviews. Your follicles deserve VIP treatment, always.
2. Grab your gear
In addition to dye, you’ll also need:
- hair comb
- old towels
- hair dye clips
- disposable gloves
3. Prepare your hair
Unless you have naturally super blonde hair, you might want to bleach your hair before you dye it. This gives the colorful hair dye a blank surface to absorb into. Some dyes will still work even if you don’t bleach your hair first, but you prob won’t get the exact results you’re looking for.
Bleaching your hair can be a tricky business. So, unless you really know what you’re doing, you should get this done at a hair salon. A bad bleach job can really damage your hair.
Once your hair has been prepped, be sure it’s totally untangled before you dye it. Trust us. Combing dye through knotted locks is a major pain in the A.
4. Part your hair
Take a pintail comb to part your hair where you want the color split to be. Most people go straight down the middle, giving you a symmetrical look, but you don’t have to be super-precise about it. Tie up or clip one side, keeping it nicely out of the way.
5. Vaseline up
Vaseline is the magic secret ingredient for DIY hair dyes. It prevents those bold, beautiful colors from bleeding together.
Simply apply Vaseline (or another brand of petroleum jelly) along your scalp where your hair is parted. Also rub some along your hairline, neck, and ears to keep the dye from staining your skin.
6. It’s time to dye
Let’s take things one step at a time.
- Put on your gloves.
- Part the right side of your hair back, leaving the left side down.
- Use a dye applicator brush to work the dye into the left side of your hair.
- Once the hair is completely saturated, use a comb to brush the dye through your hair.
- Use a mirror to check for any spots you may have missed.
- Pin the left side of your hair up to your scalp.
- Repeat on the other side. Be sure to put on a new pair of gloves for the new color.
Pro tip: Work from the bottom up. Your roots will develop faster thanks to the heat coming off your head.
Check the dye packaging to see how long the dye takes to develop. As you wait, clean up your bathroom, post amusing selfies to Instagram, have a snack, etc.
8. Wash it out
Rinse your hair thoroughly with lukewarm water. Be sure the water runs clear with no color before you stop.
Follow-up with a deep conditioner to help lock in moisture. And … voilà! You’ve split-dyed your hair.
Now you know how to do it, here are some split dye hairstyles to take your look to a whole new level.
Instead of dyeing your entire head, you might want to opt for a subtler (but still totally badass) look. To split dye bangs, simply follow the normal split dye steps.
Balayage + split dye = 10/10. OK, enough math. But really though, combining both hairstyles together will leave you with a truly unique and stunning style.
Just keep in mind that this one might be too tough to do solo. If you have an experienced hair colorist in your Rolodex, it’s time to give them a call.
A high contrast look can give you an instant high-fashun look.
These solid colors can go as vibrant as you dare. Some popular combos include:
- teal and dark grey
- neon pink and orange
- bright purple and blue
- violet and pastel green
- orange and black (hello, Halloween!)
Black and white
Who doesn’t want to go full Cruella de Vil sometimes? This classic split hair color combo is simple yet stunning. You’ll stand out while maintaining a classy, refined vibe. Just be nice to those Dalmatians, OK fam?
Color bleeding from hair dye is a major drag. It can stain your clothes, towels, and pillows. UGH. But don’t worry — we gotchu. Here are tips to prevent color bleeding.
No, we’re not talking about you — you’re already cool. Hot water does not do hair dye any favors. If you want to wash your hair, use cooler temps which help to seal the color in.
It’s not just the faucet you have to be mindful of. Heat makes your hair’s cuticles open up, meaning that color leaks out. Sad pillows, sad you. Keep that color where it should be by avoiding curling irons, straighteners, and blow dryers.
Get the right products
Leave-in conditioners and sulfate-free shampoos are your friends. The latter is particularly useful, as sulfates are super-harsh on your hair and can strip color away. You can also look for shampoos and conditioners that were designed with hair dye in mind.
Do an apple cider vinegar (ACV) rinse
Is there anything ACV doesn’t help with? Time to let it deal with your hair! Simply get a spray bottle and fill it with 4 parts water to 1 part apple cider vinegar. So, like, 1 cup or water and 1/4 cup ACV.
Spray on to your hair and work it through with your fingers. Then leave it for 5 minutes and rinse with cool water.
You don’t need to spend beaucoup bucks on a split hair dye. You might be able to get salon-quality results at home if you follow the rules. However, more advanced styles (i.e., balayage) might be too tricky to do on your own. You may also want to have your hair bleached by a professional since this process can damage your hair.
You should also do some research into what colors and exact style you want. But above all, be creative and have fun! That’s what this trend is all about. *hair flip*