Yes, you can dye your hair crazy colors and keep it healthy — here’s how

Like many things, crazy colored hair can often looks better on Instagram than IRL.

It’s easy to hide a fading dye-job with an Insta filter, or take a far away pic that doesn’t show how damaged your ends are. Not to mention that so many Instagram stars can afford a zillion pairs of extensions and wigs and some don’t even touch their natural hair.

If you’re craving some rainbow mane or pink ombré IRL, it’s going to take a lot more time and effort. Like, even more time than it takes your fave influencer to Facetune her pics. Take these tips from KEVIN.MURPHY’s COLOR.ME Design Director Kate Reid to heart – or, to head.

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1. Go above and beyond basic haircare

Once upon a time, you may have thought shampoo and conditioner were all you needed for your hair to look lit. If that’s all you need to this day, you’re lucky, but that’s going to change once you dye your hair an insane color.

“Whether it’s a strengthening, moisturizing or bond rebuilder, make a once a week [treatment] essential, not a treat,” says Kate. “My go to is SMOOTH.AGAIN as it has weightless smoothing on the hair, it’s paraben free and repairs.”

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2. Don’t skimp on that $

There are many things I recommend saving money on – whether it’s Uber pools or drugstore makeup – but your hair is not one of them, especially if you have sensitive hair. You do not want to use some shitty cheap dye and fuck up your hair irreparably for the next few years. Invest in your hair, you’re worth it.

That being said, know what your stylist is charging ahead of time so you’re not shocked when she unleashes your bright pink hair and a $400 bill.

And if you’ve got some practice and some good products, feel free to DIY it.

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3. Pre-plan your touch-ups

Did you know that Marilyn Monroe got her roots done every three weeks? Gwen Stefani gets hers done once a week. Figure out how often you need a touch-up, and book appointments ahead so your salon doesn’t get overbooked and leave you with an in-between dye job lewk for longer than you’d like.

4. Avoid ammonia

Like the food world, the beauty world has been getting hip to avoiding damaging ingredients in their products. In haircare, you want to avoid ammonia as much as possible, which helps your hair’s integrity.

“This integrity helps your hair color, tones, and reflections stay longer lasting,” says Kate.

Try a semi-permanent hair dye like L’Oréal’s Colorista Semi Permanent Hair Color, which is affordable and doesn’t include damaging ingredients like ammonia. This way, you don’t have to sacrifice your hair health for a dope dye job. Kate also recommends a cream-lightener.

5. Always use heat protection

Even if you have never dyed your hair, you should be using heat protection. Whether you use a hair dryer or a straightener, that heat is not good for your hair. Just spritz some protectant on before using any tools!

Kate recommends using ANTI.GRAVITY by KEVIN.MURPHY.

“It adds light body and heat protection,” she says.

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6. Turn down your tools

If you can avoid the heat tools completely, please do. What better time than summer to embrace your natural hair? Especially when any straightening you do is going to probably be over-run by frizz. But if you must use a curling iron or whatever, make sure the heat is on the minimal setting.

“Lightening hair is like ironing a silk dress, compared to natural hair which is more like ironing a pair of jeans. So, ensure you adjust to your Insta-hair requirements,” says Kate.

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