Should You Dye Your Hair at Home? What to Know

There’s rows upon rows of boxes of home hair coloring kits at the drugstore or Target, but coloring your hair at home isn’t as easy as you think it is. If you want to avoid hair color mishaps and have the best hair color experience, then this list is for you! I’ve gathered tips and tricks anyone must know before they dye their own hair.

What are your hair color choices?

There are three ways to color your hair. You can go to a stylist who will handle the whole process, from mixing the color to application, and you just pay them for the service. You can also buy a box of at-home hair color from Clairol or other beauty brands, usually for less than $20 a box. Finally, you can buy salon-quality color at a beauty supply store, and mix it yourself. The salon-quality hair color will require you mix it yourself with a developer in the right ratio to achieve a good color. The prices aren’t as expensive as getting your hair colored in a salon, but you will need to do all of the work yourself. If you decide to go to the salon-quality route, you can speak to a beauty expert at the store for the best instructions, or check the manufacturer’s website.

Thick hair loves color.

Do you have thick hair? Don’t settle for just one box or bottle of hair color, because chances are, you’ll need two. If your hair is past your collarbone, you may even need three boxes of color, stylists warn. You’re better off buying too much than too little because then you’ll have to make a run to the store during the process, and who wants to do that?! If you end up with an unopened box, store it for touch ups when needed.

Prepare yourself for color.

Before you color your own hair, you need to take a few steps to prep your hair and face for the process.

Face: Dab petroleum jelly around your forehead near the forehead so it doesn’t get colored accidentally and stain.

Hair: Three days before you color, use a hot oil treatment or deep conditioning treatment to get your hair ready for the color.

Hair should be colored in its natural oily state.

This means don’t wash your hair before coloring. It’s better to color “dirty hair,” because the oil in your hair is a buffer against damage. Instead of shampooing the day of your hair color treatment, shampoo several days before with a moisturizing shampoo.

Avoid discounted and clearance boxes of hair color.

You can visit any discount store such as Big Lots or Ollie’s Bargain Basement and find boxes of closeout hair color easily. Should you buy it? Not really! Hair color formulas in the boxes change over time, and often when a new version is out, the stores will close out the older boxes. You may pick up a box and find out that the shade isn’t the same or that it looks poor on your hair. If you must use a box color, choose a new box off the shelf.

Know that not all colors are alike.

Every hair color you use isn’t going to look like the one on the box. You need to make sure that you grab a hair color that works for you, even if it means talking to a stylist for advice. You should never try to go bright blonde at home without advice, especially if you have dark tresses because the color is going to look poor and may need a boost. If you want bright colors like blues, pinks, purples, etc, you should really visit a stylist as their products are longer-lasting and won’t damage your hair. 

After coloring, wait 48 hours for color to set before shampooing.

Your new color needs time to settle into your hair, and you should wait at least 48 hours for the color to set. You want it to grab onto your hair strands, so waiting to shampoo

After the 48 hours, use only shampoos and conditioners that are for color-treated hair. Not using color-safe shampoo can cause your color to fade.


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