15 Helpful Tips For Coloring Your Hair At Home
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We get it! Taking time out of your schedule to sit in a salon and color your hair is a luxury you cannot afford. Salons can also be quite expensive, so a cheaper alternative might be what you seek. In either case, learning how to color your hair at home is the perfect option when done properly.
Hair coloring is pretty popular and this is proven by data from Statista which notes that over 50 million people color their hair between 1 to 5 times a year. While this chart doesn’t show how much of this is done at home, you can be sure that it’s a whole lot.
Is store bought hair as good as the salon? Well, professionals are considered experts for a reason, is all we can say. But fret not because this only applies to the more complex hair dyeing techniques such as the balayage, dip dyes, and for those really drastic changes that can make you look like a whole different person. Simpler techniques work just fine, such as changing to a completely new hair color.
There are several things to keep in mind when coloring your hair at home, such as the tools you’ll need, how much hair dye is needed, the spots to color, and how to get the color to the right hue. All these factors can easily be overcome with patience and sticking with the dos of hair coloring while avoiding the don’ts.
To help you color your hair at home in a way that you’d consider switching professions to hair styling, we’ve compiled some tips from the experts that you should keep in mind to get the best results.
6 Things to do before you change your hair color
Choose a color that compliments your skin
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When thinking of how to color your hair at home, the first thing to do is decide the color you want to change to. Remember that hair color is best when it compliments your skin tone, which is why warmer tones are great for paler skin, and ashy and cooler tones work best for darker skin tones.
As a general rule of thumb, you should choose a new color from a range that is either two shades darker or lighter than your current shade. To find out your current hair shade, use the swatch on the box as it accurately depicts the color of the dye in the box.
Buy two boxes to stay safe
Depending on the thickness of your hair, there is a chance that you might run out of dye when coloring your hair. Get around that possibility by simply buying two boxes of hair color just in case.
You don’t have to open them both at the same time; just open one and use it first. If it isn’t enough, you can move on to the second one. Mixing doesn’t take too long, as you won’t face any harm if you mix the second box after the first finishes. A second box is also advantageous because it will give you enough color to target your roots.
Patch and strand tests are essential
Patch tests are very important because they test if your skin will react negatively to the hair dye. They should, therefore, not be skipped. When thinking of how to color your hair at home, you should also not forget strand tests, as these will show whether your hair will react negatively to the hair dye.
To do a patch test, here are the steps:
- Mix a small amount of the color activator and color.
- Apply a small amount of the mixture behind your ear so you can easily conceal it if things don’t go well.
- Leave for 48 hours to be absolutely sure.
If there are negative reactions, wash the color off and don’t use it. However, if nothing happens, that’s the green light you need.
For a strand test, the steps are:
- Choose a strand of hair. Preferably one from under that can be hidden easily if the color doesn’t turn out as envisioned.
- Separate that strand from others by using a plastic clip.
- Dye the strand and wait a day to see how it turns out.
If you like how the hair color looks, then go for it. Pro tip – if you plan on coloring your hair at home on the weekend, consider doing the patch test on Thursday and the strand test on Friday. That way, you’ll be ready to try the new color by the weekend.
Gather the right materials
An artist once said, “Money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy art supplies. That’s pretty much the same thing, right?” This underscores the importance of having the right tools if you’re going to be your hair’s Michaelangelo.
So if you’re thinking, how can I color my hair myself at home, you definitely need to ensure you have all the necessary tools ready and in one place. This way, you can reach them easily during the process.
Some of the tools that you’ll need include:
- Disposable gloves – get a pack or a spare pair in addition to the one provided by the hair color box because you’ll need a clean pair for rinsing.
- Mirrors – two mirrors are ideal as they allow you to monitor the front and the back of your hair.
- Butterfly clips
- Hair color brush – application brushes are quite cheap at beauty stores and are the best for applying hair color, which is why even professionals use them.
- Bowl – to mi everything
- Towel – to cover yourself up and protect from stains.
- Shower cap covers up your hair after application (depending on dye and preference).
- Petroleum jelly or lip balm – to protect from color ruining your hair line.
Check out some of these equipment here.
Wash hair 48 hours before
If your hair is quite dirty (or too dirty by your standards), then you can wash it 48 hours before you plan on coloring your hair so that it can get dry enough in time. Dirt makes it harder for the hair dye to penetrate, so washing would help the process.
But, you mustn’t wash your hair within 48 hours of when you plan on coloring your hair, as you’ll be sorely lacking in natural oils. These oils aren’t important if you don’t count that they protect your hair when dyeing by providing a layer for your hair. They also protect from irritation. So yeah! Pretty important. Also, don’t color wet hair.
Check out these tips on cleaning different types of hair.
Get a friend to help
You’re thinking, “how can I dye my hair at home like a salon?” Well, one thing you have to remember is that they are professionals. Seeing as you aren’t, you shouldn’t be thinking of doing this alone.
Two pairs of amateur hands don’t make up for one pair of professional hands, but they are still better than a single untrained hand. So if you can, get a friend to help you in the coloring process.
A friend will help you get better coverage and will watch out for any spots you may miss. Having someone around can also make the process easier and more fun. You could even turn it into a “weekend activity with friends” type of thing.
6 Things to do when dyeing your hair
Start by detangling your hair
What should be the first step in applying hair color? Detangling. It is important to remove any knots as these can interfere with your hair coloring process by causing uneven application.
Also, knots can be quite frustrating if you run into them while applying the dye, and we need you in tip-top shape of mind to be successful. An excellent tool for detangling is the wet brush. Wide combs are also great for this.
Divide your hair into sections
Dividing your hair into sections will help you target as much of your hair as possible because you will have access to more hair per section than if you left the hair as is. Four sections are usually recommended by hair professionals.
The first thing to do is to create a middle path from the front of your hair to the back. Then, run a path from one ear to another. This creates four sections, with two sections at the front of your hair and two sections at the back. Use clips to hold the sections in place.
Apply protection to your hairline
Before you go any further, it’s time to protect your hairline from the hair color dripping around it and flowing down your head.
Use petroleum jelly or lip balm to apply a protective layer around your hairline. Don’t forget to apply it around your ears as well.
Mix the dye
Mix up the color and the activator/ developer using your bowl. Be sure to put on the disposable gloves before you do so. It’s not your hands we’re trying to color, but your hair.
Applying to the roots
When coloring your hair at home, it’s best to start with the roots. Start by draping the towel over your shoulders and untangling one of the front sections.
Start from the center of your hair by using the edge of the comb to pick up a portion of hair that isn’t too thick. Using the brush, apply the mixture evenly from the roots to about an inch away from the scalp of your hair. Use the comb again to flip the portion of hair and apply the mixture underneath.
Pick up another portion of hair, apply the mixture, flip it over, and apply it underneath. Do this for both front sections and clip each when you’re done. For the two back sections, it is best to apply the mixture diagonally as it better targets the roots.
Applying to the hair
Unclip a front section and pick out a small part of your hair (about an inch thick). Then apply the color from about half an inch away from your scalp to your roots. Flip the portion of hair over and do it again.
Repeat this for all four sections of your hair, and voila, application done!
3 Things to do after applying the dye
Leave your hair for 30 minutes
Unclip all the sections of your hair and then tie them into a single bun. Then leave your hair for about thirty minutes for the color to settle.
Most hair dyes these days don’t drip, but you can still wear a shower cap to be on the safe side while you wait for the half hour to be up.
Rinse your hair
A common question is, “do you wash your hair after dyeing?” and the recommended thing is not to do so. Instead, you are to rinse your hair with some clear water.
Experienced hair stylists recommend that you sprinkle some water on your hair first. Then – after wearing a fresh pair of disposable gloves – swirl your hands around your head to mix the dye.
After that, you can rinse your hair clean and squeeze your hair to get rid of excess water.
Use the right conditioner
With your hair still wet, apply some conditioner that is meant for hair that just underwent coloring. The box should come with one so you can use it. You can also look in beauty shops for other brands if you’d prefer.
Leave the conditioner on for about 3 – 4 minutes, and then rinse off your hair. You can then use a hair dryer to remove any excess moisture.
You mustn’t skip this step because the conditioner stops the process of coloring by closing off your hair cuticles. If you don’t use conditioner, the dyeing process will continue until you end up with a darker shade.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I color my hair myself at home?
Coloring your hair at home isn’t as challenging as some make it. You just need to follow a few steps and practice some patience and you stand a good chance of coloring your hair so well that you might get a job referral to a salon.
Some of those steps include:
- Finding out the right hair color for you.
- Doing a strand and patch test.
- Getting the right tools for the job.
- Targeting your roots first, and then the rest of your hair.
- Using the right conditioner.
These steps are explained in greater detail above.
Where do I start when coloring my hair?
When coloring your hair, the process begins when you decide what color you’d like to change your hair to. Then, after you purchase the hair dye, you need to do both a patch and a strand test to check if your skin or hair will react to the color you’ve chosen. These should be done at least 24 days before you color your hair. The steps to the process can then continue as advised above.
Do you shampoo after dying hair?
You should not shampoo immediately after dyeing hair and should wait around 72 hours after if you really want to do so. This is because the hair color needs time to properly settle before a shampoo can be used without washing some of it off. Use a specially made conditioner for hair coloring instead.
Coloring your hair at home can be a fun and fulfilling experience if done right. You’ll be amazed at how professional your hair turns out when you look at yourself in the mirror afterward. All you need to do is to research well and follow the steps right, and you’ll be well on your way to slaying your new look.
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