How to Color Your Hair at Home

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Whether you want a deep, rich brunette or a brilliant blonde, you are searching for that perfect hair color. The salon has its draws, but sometimes it can be easier and cheaper to color your hair at home. You don't need to set an appointment, and all you have to do is buy the hair dye you want and apply it yourself. These tips will help you successfully dye your hair in the comfort of your own home.

Home Hair Coloring Tips:

  1. Choose your color: First, you will want to decide between semi-permanent and permanent color. Semi-permanent color only darkens hair; it won't lighten your current shade and it will wash out after a few shampoos, so it's perfect if you just want to add a little pizzazz to your current color. You also won't have to worry about roots growing back in a drastically different color. Permanent hair dye is a great way to go if you are looking to cover up greys or if you want to color your hair a lighter shade. But remember, permanent means permanent, and you will have to worry about root regrowth if you go this route. Plan on coloring your roots every four to six weeks to avoid a severe grow-out line. A good rule to follow with at-home permanent coloring is to never go two shades lighter or darker than your current color. And unless you're a pro, stick with a single process.

  2. Prepare your supplies: Put on a smock or an old shirt that you won't mind getting stains on. If you have thicker hair, get some clips you can section your hair with; this step will help the dying job go faster and much more easily. You may also want to stop at your local beauty supply store and pick up a paint brush, plastic bowl, and pair of rubber gloves. For the most part, these items from the supply store will be easier to handle than those provided with the kit, and they are reusable. If you want to be really careful, take any rugs or other linens that could be stained out of the bathroom. Chances are that things won't get too messy, but why take the chance? Then gather all of your tools in the bathroom and set up your own at-home salon.

  3. Prepare your hair: Dye can irritate your scalp, so apply the color to unwashed hair; don't worry, the color will penetrate through your hair products. When you shampoo your hair, you wash away the natural oils that you need to protect your scalp from the chemicals in the hair dye. Ideally, you should deep condition your hair a couple days before applying color, but that step is optional. It is a good idea to put a thin layer of petroleum jelly at your hairline. This will create a barrier on your skin so the dye stays on your hair, not on your forehead.

  4. Read the directions: Always read all the directions on the color kit thoroughly before starting. Different brands work differently; even different colors within the same brand can work differently. Make sure you know exactly how the dye is to be applied before you take that first step.

  5. In case of emergency: Not every home dye is perfect. If your color comes out too dark, wash with dishwashing detergent; this will take some of the color out and help to lighten the overall shade. Keep in mind that the soap can dry out your hair, so be prepared to deep condition or use a leave-in conditioner (or both) afterward. Don't try to re-color with a lighter color; dye can't lift a darker dye and the extra coloring can damage your hair. Almost all hair dye brands have a phone number on the box that you can call if you have any questions.

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