How To Use Directions Hair Dye [Tips From 10 Years Of Nonstop Crazy Colouring]


La Riché launched Directions Hair Dye in 1981 with a fab selection of semi-permanent hair colours that have been tried and tested by an ever growing and fiercely loyal following over the course of the last 32 years. This vibrant range of hair dyes is still super popular, and with good reason.

For starters, here are a few good-to-know tidbits straight from the horse’s mouth:

- Not tested on animals
- Vegan friendly
- Lasts for 12 months once opened
- Does not contain ammonia or peroxide

Because these hair dyes are semi permanent you can normally expect the colour to last for around to 6-8 weeks, depending on which colour you go for and the condition of your hair. So you’ve probably just finished the bleaching/pre lightening stage, which is of course not very good for your hair; thankfully Directions hair dye is a lot gentler then its harsh chemical-based counterpart.

The colour chart

The directions hair dye colour chart


  • If lightening your hair (which is recommended for best results): make sure you use a hot oil or intense conditioner. This will leave an oily layer so make sure to shampoo before dying.
  • It is a good idea to wear gloves: you can get away with not wearing any with some of the lighter colours but I would recommend getting into the habit of always wearing them.
  • Use a tinting brush: highly recommended for the first application and if using more than one colour. It will help you to be more precise and achieve a good even coverage.
  • It’s a good idea to have a dedicated t shirt for dyeing your hair: this will save your clothes from getting dye on.
  • Once the hair dye is applied, cover hair in cling film or a shower cap: this prevents the dye from drying out, keeps your head nice and warm, helps the colour to develop, and prevents you getting dye everywhere.
  • You don’t need to shampoo after you’ve rinsed the dye out: but I find a tiny bit loosens the little extra bit of dye which would only end up on your pillow if you didn’t do this.
  • For long lasting colour try to avoid washing your hair with hot water: the colder the better, which will not only keep the dye from washing out but it also leaves your hair shiny.
  • Switch to a gentle shampoo (PH balanced): such as natural/herbal shampoo or what I opt for is baby shampoo; this is sold everywhere and is very inexpensive.
  • Try to keep hair products and straightening/curling irons to a minimum: I know this is easier said than done but it really does help and it generally means you don’t need to wash your hair so frequently.
  • I found swapping my very hot straightener for one with temperature control has really helped the condition of my hair and does not affect the colour, meaning I can style it more often. Yay!
  • Treat your hair colour and the dye as though they are two paint colours you are going to mix together: e.g. Lagoon Blue on hair which is still a brassy colour will go greener then on the chart because you are mixing blue and yellow together.
  • If you think your hair will not go white/pale enough for the colour you desire: I recommend using the white toner to lift the brassy tones and give you a better base.
  • White toner can also be used to dilute colours: e.g. Carnation Pink dilutes into a very pretty candy floss pink.
  • All the colours can be mixed together: which means you’re not limited by what you see on the chart. I mixed apricot and tangerine together to achieve the orange I desired (pictured below).
  • Always have face wipes handy: for getting dye off your face and neck; make up remover will also do and if you have very bad luck and get badly stained use a facial scrub.
  • It’s useful to put a little household bleach on a sponge before you start to quickly wipe up any drips on the floor and other surfaces.
  • Don’t over load the brush: and try to avoid any drips.
  • Don’t mix with peroxide: as all it will do is stop the colour from working properly and may hinder the end result.

My colourful hair in chronological order

My flamingo pink hair
Flamingo Pink

My flamingo pink hair in a robot constume
Flamingo pink in robot costume…^^^

My violet hair

My apricot, tangerine and flamingo pink hair
Apricot mixed w/ Tangerine and Flamingo

My turquoise hair
Turquoise: me today...hello!

I remember years ago finding the idea of bleaching my whole head the scariest thing ever…as you can see I changed my mind. But you don’t have to dye your whole head; for years I just had the bottom half of my head dyed and a little slice under my fringe (it was really cool when I wore it in an updo The possibilities are endless, for example you could try any of the following:

  • Dip dye
  • Ombre
  • Just your fringe
  • A side section (peeks out when hairs down and becomes a strip of colour whens hairs up)
  • One half, top, bottom,left, right or both halves different colours

Get creative! After you’ve dyed your hair for the first time the possibilities will seem infinite. Browse the internet for inspiration or just go for it; I tend to do a bit of both. My purple hair happened soon after the movie Kick Ass …who doesn’t want to be Hit-Girl from time to time? The orange and pink was just because I have always loved those colours together...whatever you end up doing be prepared for a lot of friends - and indeed strangers - telling you they love your hair (I mainly get middle aged men shouting ‘I really like your hair love’ across the road at me…but we can’t all be that lucky)... it will become a addiction and may take over your life! Have Fun!