How to dip-dye your hair at home—whether you’re a blonde or a brunette

Lauren Conrad - pink hair

Remember how Michelle said the “My Little Pony” hair colour trend isn’t going anywhere? Well, I’m pretty amped up about that because, for a second time, I’ve done an at home dip-dye job—in Lauren Conrad-style hot pink!—on MY little pony.

I’ve been dyeing my hair for a decade now (sometimes at a salon, sometimes on my own) so at this point I feel like I must know something about colouring. I actually have a theory: as long as the hair colour that frames your face works with your skin tone, then anything—well, almost anything—goes for the ends of your hair. Since the tips aren’t actually near your face, I feel like the colour doesn’t necessarily have to complement your skin.

So… rolling with that theory, why not try some pink tips?! If you feel like diving into this colourful hair trend, here’s what you need to do.

Get yourself some Manic Panic

The first thing I did was pick up Manic Panic Semi-Permanent Hair Color Cream in Red Passion:

Manic Panic Red Passion How to dip dye your hair at home—whether youre a blonde or a brunette

Despite its name (and how it looks in the picture above), the colour is actually hot pink. I know, weird.

Here’s why I liked it:

  • It did exactly what it promised (when beauty products don’t, that’s a huge deal breaker for me).
  • It’s ready to use right out of the packaging, and super user-friendly. You don’t need to mix the bottles and shake them like crazy, which is necessary for most at-home dyes.
  • MOST IMPORTANTLY, it does gradually fade with each shampoo to the point where it disappears.
  • It fades nicely!

The blonde versus brunette question

A DIY hair colour, especially in a bright hue, can be nerve-racking. I can hear you asking: Will the dye even show up on my hair? Or… will it ever fade out?

Well, I can vouch that this works for BOTH blonde and brunette hair colours, since I tried the dye on both my natural brown hair AND the blonde ends I had a few months earlier.

Rikki BEAUTY EDITOR How to dip dye your hair at home—whether youre a blonde or a brunette

I think it’s extremely vibrant for what it was dying over; a medium brown. It faded out faster in my brown hair than it did in the blonde, but that was kind of expected.

Blondes! I know you might be nervous that the colour might stick forever. But, it really, honesty, truly all came out of my hair after two weeks; about 9-12 washes and a few days in beach water.

Plus, as it was fading, it turned into a pastel hue. This was actually my favourite part! It was extremely feminine and girly. Think: Demi Lovato circa right now. How lovely is this lighter, more subtle shade of pink?!

Demi Lovato pink hair How to dip dye your hair at home—whether youre a blonde or a brunette

Brunettes! As a natural brunette, I always thought I would need to bleach my hair in order to rock the dip-dyed ends. As a matter of fact, the Manic Panic brand suggests bleaching your hair regardless of your natural colour in order to get the truest bright hue.

But honestly? Screw that. Plus, I’ve heard that bleaching should be left to the professionals, and at-home versions can fry off your ends if you’re not careful. So, I just ignored Manic Panic’s suggestion and tried it over my brown hair:

Brown hair with pink tips How to dip dye your hair at home—whether youre a blonde or a brunette

See? It worked just fine!

How to use Manic Panic to dip-dye your hair

1. Divide your hair into two or four low ponytails and fasten each one with an elastic. The thicker your hair, the more ponytails you’ll want in order to ensure you don’t leave out any random pieces of hair. If you don’t want to dye anywhere close to your face, clip up the front section of your hair.

2. Put on gloves if you want to avoid getting stains on your fingers. (Or don’t… I found I had better dexterity and control without them, so I sacrificed my hands for a day!)

3. Working with one ponytail at a time, start at the bottom and smother it with dye. You want your ends to be the brightest and most vibrant so start there. That way, that dye will be soaking into your ends the longest.

4. This is the tricky part! Using a CLEAN hand, grab your hair where you want to start the transition from your natural hue to pink. Begin to twist that chunk of hair with your hands, squeezing and turning it to blend the colour.

5. Continue to twist repeatedly over that same spot. You want to keep going over the one “transition area” until there is a nice subtle blend from your natural hair to the pink dye.

Warning: if you don’t follow step 5, a harsh line like THIS will happen:

Nicki Minaj pink hair How to dip dye your hair at home—whether youre a blonde or a brunette

Look how distraught Nicki is?!

6. Repeat on the rest of the ponytails, making sure the transition hits at the same level on each.

7. Once you’re done blending, individually wrap each ponytail in tinfoil. For a stronger colour, leave the dye in for 45 minutes. If you want something a little more subtle, 10 to 15 minutes will do the trick.

8. Then just wash it out, until no more colour leaks down into the shower.

Either way, expect vibrant results! With this DIY approach, you get an inexpensive way to dip your toes in the water… or should I say hair in the dye!

Rikki Ciminsky is a student at Ryerson University in Toronto. Follow her on Twitter: @rikki_see.

Tell me:

Are you a fan of the dip-dye trend?
If you’ve tried it already, what method did YOU use?
Which celeb do you think has the best My Little Pony hair?


Friday, November 9/2012 at 1:25 pm

After DIY-ing ombre hair on myself, I dip dyed it pink too!

DIY ombre:

DIY dip dye:

Love how yours turned out Rikki!


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Tuesday, November 13/2012 at 10:26 am

Looks amazing on you!


Saturday, November 10/2012 at 7:50 pm

I’ve had my hair purple for the last two years. Bleaching tour hair at home isn’t actually dangerous as long as it isn’t left on for too long. Manic panic hair dye can be left on safely for up to eight hours. Also, it first have to rinse clear and the color can be faded if it’s wet in the next twenty four hours after coloring.


Wednesday, April 10/2013 at 4:10 pm

Where have you got the dye and I’m trying to find a blue and I’m a brunette. So do you know if it would work as well as the pink?


Tuesday, July 2/2013 at 12:37 am

Hey, Ive done a hairdressing course and I know how to dip dye just wondering I’ve got a mate who wants pink dip dye and she’s got coloured hair already if I was to use 30 vol and power bleach would this fry her ends? I haven’t seen that product so I was just going to use paintbox for the pink, she’s also got quite thick hair how light should I let the bleach go before I should use the pink? I know you can only wait 30 mins max for the bleach but just curious on how the hair should look before applying the pink


Saturday, July 6/2013 at 12:22 pm

The hair should definitely be blonde, Siobhan. It doesn’t have to be white, but it has to be at least as light as Lauren Conrad’s ponytail in the picture above.


mimi jones
Wednesday, August 7/2013 at 9:05 pm

wrap your hair in tin foil then put the dye in a plastic bowl then just dip it in then (BAM)you have dipped dyed hair




Tuesday, August 13/2013 at 1:25 pm

Hey, just wondering how long the colour lasts, like 2 or 3 weeks? Months? Days? Thanks :)


Thursday, October 31/2013 at 10:52 am

what will give my early white a temp blond look? help.


Monday, November 4/2013 at 2:05 pm

Followed your instructions and it turned out great! No line. Nice dark hot pink color. When my hair dried, it became obvious that the locks framing my face weren’t quite even, so I parted out in-my-face bangs, made a pony of that, and reapplied that section. The rest isn’t that noticeable if it’s not exact, and in fact I think a little variability enhances the look.

I’m a natural dark blonde, but I get great summer highlights and my ends are almost completely sun-bleached. So this is a cool fall look. Clearly I’m about a year late on this trend, but my small Southern city is a trend vacuum.

I ignored MP’s instructions to start with freshly washed dry hair, because I am lazy. After rinsing (in the shower) I coated the dyed ends with conditioner, shampooed my scalp, and rinsed.


Wednesday, December 18/2013 at 8:27 pm

wow, i love this! i think i found the perfect hairstyle i need after suffering through a week of finals!


Monday, June 16/2014 at 11:45 pm

Can you please make a video of this because i didn’t really understand what you meant by twisting the hair to transition the colors.


Thursday, August 28/2014 at 2:16 am

Okay so I think I’m just dumb and didn’t understand step 5 >.< is there any way you can dumb it down even further lol sorry lisdexia


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