How to dye your hair in a hostel [YQrtw Day 80 Jun 25]

hair color

Imagine that you are travelling. One day, you thought that your old hair color is kind of boring but you do not have extra cash to go to the saloon to get it colored.

What do you do? DIY (Do-It-Yourself), of course.

Step 1: Buy hair dye

How to die your hair in a hostel: Buy hair dye
How to die your hair in a hostel: Buy hair dye

This is the simplest part. Head to the nearest supermarket near you to pick up a bottle of hair dye.

Please note that the hair color displayed on the box will probably not be the result that appears on your hair, especially if you have ink black hair with the texture of iron string.

While you are at the supermarket, it’s good to pick up a few cheap towels for your post-dye hair drying.

Step 2: Read instructions

Read the instructions even if you don't know the language
Read the instructions even if you don’t know the language

This part is very important. If your instructions are in a foreign language, get your dictionary out. Or try interpreting the pictures on the instructions, they make sense most of the time.

Step 3: Test for allergic reaction

It’s best to test if you are allergic to the dye mixture. Do this by opening the mixtures and putting a few drops on the inside of your elbow.

If you get rashes, do not use the hair dye solution. Instead, get a new one or don’t dye your hair at all.

If no allergies appear, it’s probably safe for you to use the dye. Give about 24 hours before you start dying your hair to see if any allergic reaction occurs.

Step 4: Prepare your instruments


Besides the hair dye, you should have newspaper or plastic bags as well as dark colored towels around. The newspaper and plastic is to protect the floor from getting stained while the dark colored towel hides dye stains when you dry your hair.

Ask the hostel people if they have dark colored towels. If you are lucky, they might have discolored but clean towels for you to dry your hair with.

Lay the newspaper on the floor or on the sink to prevent the hair dye from coloring anything but your hair.

Use protection
Use protection

Step 5: Start the dye job

Follow the instructions in your manual for steps to dye your hair. You might need to shake the dye mixture together or gently slosh them around.

Cover your hair with the mixture and let it sit for as long as the instruction requires you to. During this time, you can read or play games on your smartphone.

Step 6: Rinse it out

When the time is up, rinse off the dye. Rinse until the water from your hair is clear. If the dye comes with conditioner, apply as instructed.

However, no matter how much water you splash on your head, some hairdye will cling to your strands. That is why you need dark colored towels.

Step 7: Admire the result

Since this is the first day of the dye job, you might see a darker color than what was depicted on the box. If you use your imagination enough, the hair color might look like what the box promised.

If that does not work, just let it be and be satisfied that you actually turned your hair from the same tone to the same tone but with dark lowlights.

My newsletter just went out this morning (Buenos Aires time). If you are curious about it, check it out.

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Have you ever dyed your hair in a hostel? How did it turn out?

Settling back in Buenos Aires [YQrtw Day 79 Jun 24]

iguazu group

Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina

The bus from Iguazu was supposed to reach Buenos Aires at 10am. In the end, we reached at 12:30 noon. It didn’t matter to me since I was jobless and schoolless.

While on the bus, I managed to conquer my motion sickness and write up a few disjointed blog posts. At times like these, I really wish I have 3G internet so I can surf the web.

When our bus arrived at our destination, there was a group photo. Try squinting to see me.

BAIS Iguazu group
BAIS Iguazu group

I took the same bus as I did coming back from the US embassy. It felt strange to look at this city which I’ve been in for about 3 weeks. I recognized some of the street names and some shop fronts looked familiar.

I headed back to my old hostel. Now I have a new bed space, the furthest away from the window (Hurray!) and has a less saggy mattress.

I spent most of the afternoon on the bed, trying to get a nap. It didn’t work.

In the end, I walked to the supermarket for dinner. As usual, I bought steak (it’s just so cheap here!) and half a head of cabbage because it was cheap (S$1 per kilo!) and I need my fiber after countless suppers of steak.

While I was preparing my steak, the hostel receptionist who was from Buenos Aires gave many tips for cooking steak:

  1. Beat the meat to tenderize it (I’m sure he didn’t mean it that way.)
  2. Cooking in on an iron grill (and not the frying pan I was using.)
  3. Pair the steak with a strong Malbec (not the wimpy rosada Malbec that I got.)
Meat on a frying pan
Meat on a frying pan

Anyway, my steak turned out awesome even without his tips. Still, I might take his advice when I’m cooking my next meal.

The rest of the night was spent preparing my newsletter and looking at random things on the internet. I should start planning touristy trips out of the hostel.

What do you want me to do in Buenos Aires?

Cost of travel in Dubai

futuristic Dubai

After Sri Lanka’s cheap living expenses, I reached Dubai. The place was rather expensive so I skipped touristy things like sand duning and desert trips, spending most of my time reading.

Dubai’s travel costs

In April 2013, Dubai’s exchange rate was around 3 dirhams to 1 Singapore dollar.

I changed my dirhams at Changi Airport before flying out to Singapore.

I figured that having some Dubai cash in hand before landing is a good idea since my plane arrive past 11pm.


Total spent (dirhams) # of days Daily average
1166.50 5 233.30

By Category

Accomo Transport Food Museums/ sites SIM
820 70.5 163.25 15


Duration: 5 days

Photos taken: 451 photos

Books read in Dubai: Several books from Song of Ice and Fire


Best dish: Shawarma! [I didn’t expect to see that many reincarnations of this dish for the rest of my trip but I did in Greece and Istanbul.]

Chicken shawarma

Favorite part about Dubai: Air-conditioning

Biggest surprise: Dubai felt very familiar. It was like Singapore but with a lot of heat and sand. The place was eerily clean and the buildings in the CBD were shiny metallic.

Worst experience: Receiving a note under my door on my first night. I didn’t mention it in my blog posts because it felt too scary then.

Biggest rip off: Dubai 3G price. It was so expensive that I refused to buy 3G for my phone.

Biggest regret: Staying in Dubai for so long. Accommodation price in Dubai was really crazy. I booked an AirBnb accommodation and that took up 70 percent of my total spending.

Related posts:

Round-the-world pre-trip expenses

Sri Lanka: Travel costs & summary