Hair Color Directions

Preparing the hair for dying

Perform a patch test:
Before applying Underground Cosmetics™ hair color, perform a patch test. This will check for sensitization or an allergic reaction.

  1. On a small area of skin, behind the ear or the inner fold of your elbow, place a thin layer of hair color, about the size of a dime.

  2. Leave the dye undisturbed for 24-48 hours. DO NOT wash, cover or touch.

  3. If during the test period you notice anything unusual, such as itching, redness or swelling in or around the area, DO NOT APPLY THE PRODUCT.

Pre-lightening your hair:
For the best results you should always pre-lighten your hair with a bleaching kit. Follow the instructions and be sure to rinse out all of the bleach. Bleach that is left behind can interfere with the dying process. The hair should be shampooed, rinsed and 100% dry without any moisture left. You may want to give your hair a day to recover before applying hair color.

Pre-Lightening Guide:
Hair Color Desired: Pre-Lighten to:
Blackout™ Level 6
Bold Orange, Bold Red, Bold Violet Level 7
Bold Pink, Bold Fuchsia, Bold Purple, Bold Blue Level 8
Bold Yellow, Bold Green, Bold Teal Level 9
Illuminate™, Overcast™, All Pastels Level 10

Perform a strand test:
To ensure desirable results, process a small section of hair for 25-35 minutes in a discrete location before attempting to dye a larger section.


  • DO NOT use to dye eyelashes or eyebrows.

  • Hair dyes can cause severe allergic reactions, please perform a patch test.

  • Temporary “black henna” tattoos may increase your risk of an allergic reaction.

Dying your hair

Protecting yourself:
Always wear protective gloves when applying hair color.
To prevent staining use a conditioner or petroleum jelly around the hairline and tops of the ears.

Applying the hair color:
Using a color/tint brush, apply the color to clean dry hair free of developer. Starting at the scalp, work through the lengths and continue to the ends. Sectioning the hair can make complete application easier. Make sure the desired sections are thoroughly covered with color.

Processing the color:
Once applied, leave the dye on for 25-35 minutes at room temperature. Applying heat or heating the foils can affect the color processing. Cover the hair with a plastic cap if you process for a longer period of time.

Rinse clear:
Rinse out as much of the remaining color as possible.
Some bleeding will occur and this is to be expected.
Follow with a color protecting low pH shampoo and conditioner. 

Making it last:
The natural variations of hair and/or conditions from bleaching can cause the color to last different amounts of time. Exposure to sunlight and environmental conditions can cause the color to fade prematurely. 
A low pH color protecting shampoo and conditioner as well as refraining from sunlight exposure can help keep your hair color vibrant. UV protecting products can also help bring longevity to your color.

Mixing/Customizing Colors

Underground Cosmetics™ Hair Colors are ideal for creating custom shades. The color in the bowl is the color you will see on the pre-lightened hair. If the hair has remaining pigment, this will have an effect on the final color, making it important to pre-lighten to the proper level.

When using Blackout™, Illuminate™ or Overcast in your color formulas, lighten according to the Pre-Lightening Guide above.