Mermaid Hair 101 – D.I.Y Hair Color Tips & Tricks

So you finally decided that it’s time to let your inner mermaid/merman out, to become the candy coated punk rock scene kid you’ve always dreamed, to stop being held back by the fear of damaging your hair… or you finally got permission from the parental unit. All the same, it’s your time to shine in an “unnaturally” colored mane. When the time comes when one feels ready to venture out into the world of colored hair, but cannot go to a professional, why not do it at home? Don’t get us wrong, there are risks, and some colors are near impossible to achieve without the help of a professional, however, our readers aren’t afraid to get a little messy, and we like that! So  If you’re feeling brave today, do it yourself or better yet call a friend for help. Why not make it a fun day out of it? I’ll share some of my “do it at home” tips with you to make it go a tad bit smoother.

In order to do your hair you’ll have to gather some supplies, here’s  my list:

  • Coconut oil
  • Bleach (Developer 20 or higher)
  • Toner
  • Semi-Permanent hair dye (In the color(s) of your choice)
  • Aluminum foil
  • Plastic hair cap
  • Gloves
  • Tint brush(es)
  • Bowl(s)
  • Favorite music playlist


To begin, go out and get some coconut oil. Seriously, what is coconut oil NOT good for? It’s almost magic! When it comes to your hair, coconut oil works well to help keep the harsh bleach chemicals from doing tons of damage. So a night before you plan on bleaching, massage in a generous amount of the oil into your hair, and then sleep on it. This can either feel super gross, or be really fun. As you massage it in why not give yourself a styled “rock star on tour” hair-do. Make sure to do ALL the hair, even the parts you don’t necessarily plan on dying. Coconut oil works wonders for hair as a natural remedy, google it if you don’t believe me!

The next day (in a well ventilated area), take your bleach and have at it. Follow the directions on the bottle E-X-A-C-T-L-Y, and be sure to check on its progress every 10 minutes. Developer 20 will take longer but is less damaging, while developer 40 is the quickest but can cause the most harm to your hair. The thinner, or lighter in color your hair is, the lower the developer that is needed. Please be warned NEVER bleach hair that has already been bleached, it gets gross. It’s better to do a good job the first time than try and fix it later. If you want to bleach it again, it would probably be in your best interest to go to a professional. So binge watch some YouTube videos, and Google your heart out, to make sure you know which developer and brand is right for you.


After you thoroughly wash out the oil and bleach, it’s time for some toner. I find that this step helps the color brightness last longer as opposed to color simply applied to freshly bleached hair. Toner helps take out the yellow tones, fills in the hair cuticle, and evens it out the overall look. There are many different kinds and colors- so just do your homework. After the toner is rinsed out, it’s finally time for the color!

The bottle gives you directions and suggestions. Some say shake, others don’t. Some say comb to make it frothy, others say no heat needed. It just depends on the brand’s formula. Put on some gloves and follow the directions. Apply the dye with your hands or a tint brush. Saturate the hair with the dye, cover with a hair cap, and then leave the hair dye in as long as possible. The best tip I’ve come across in my year of research is to keep the dye wet as it processes, because as you’ll learn when the dye comes in contact with water it will dye and stain anything and everything it comes in contact with. Here is where the tin foil comes into play. If using more than one color keep the different colors separate with the tin foil.

“When watching YouTube videos you’ll see the many different ways people dye their hair, but trust me you’re not going to be as advanced as the chick with the pixie cut who just throws dye everywhere and rinses out to a perfect balance of bright and pastel sections. This is not real life.”

Anyways after you’ve kept the dye in as long as you could, rinse it out in the shower or in the sink. I recommend using the water as close to the bottom of the shower as possible. Unless you’re the one who cleans the tub or shower at home, and even if you do, last thing you want is to get the dye everywhere. So stick to rinsing it under the faucet or as close to the floor as possible until the dye stops bleeding. If you used different colors rinse the different colored sections individually to avoid darker colors staining lighter colors during the initial rinse. Once the water hits the hair it will seem like all the dye is going to come out, but don’t worry this is normal. Rinse until the water is almost clear (this can take up to 3 washes, so be patient).


While getting used to washing your freshly dyed hair, stick to washing it last in the shower with cold water and non-sulfate shampoo. No need to break the bank, just get the cheapest color-safe or non sulfate shampoo. Just remember expensive doesn’t always mean better. Also, depending on how oily your hair gets, it may be worth your while to invest in a good dry shampoo.  The less frequently you have to wash your hair, the longer the color will last.

It’s all trial and error, but have fun with it, and be sure to experiment with different hair dye brands and colors. In no time you’ll be an expert in how to get the best result for you. So go forth, have fun, and rock your new hair!

Alice G Signature

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