6 Insider Tips for Coloring Your Hair at Home

hair dyeingI've been highlighting my hair for god knows how many years. A million? But a few months ago, I decided I was sick of going to the salon and shelling out money every few months -- so I decided to take matters into my own hands.

I colored my normally dirty blonde, highlighty hair a warm brown color. (I've since gone back. I'm a creature of habit.) And, if I might say so myself, it looked pretty good! I wound up determining that the color was just too intense for me, and I prefer the dimension of highlights, but all things considered, it looked professional and I got a lot of compliments.

If you're looking to dye your hair one color, and are over getting it done professionally, here are 6 tips for coloring your hair at home. You can do it, I swear.


1. Color your hair, don't dye it. The first time I attempted to dye my hair, the color lasted for about a week. After some research, I found out that I had dyed my hair (like, with a box from CVS), as opposed to coloring it (like, how they do at the salon). I went to a beauty supply store and bought the stuff they use at the salon -- the color, the developer, the bowl, the brush, the gloves. It really did make a difference. It seemed to "take" to my hair much better than the previous time.

2. Dye your hair in quadrants to start. When first applying the color, divide your hair into four sections. Be sure to saturate each section evenly before rubbing color all over your head a la shampooing.

3. Use Vaseline. Before you start coloring your hair, apply a thin layer of Vaseline along your face near your hair line. Not doing so may result in staining your skin with the dye, which isn't a good look.

4. Use protein filler, if your hair has a hard time taking to color. Like I said, I've been dyeing my hair the same shade for as long as I can remember. Any time I've tried to deviate from this color, say, by going darker, my color automatically goes back to my original dyed color. It's like it's ingrained. Using protein filler on hair before dyeing it helps lock in the color for longer.

5. Save the highlighting. Unless you realllly know what you're doing, I'd keep the at-home coloring to single process and single-process only. Odds are pretty high that you'll wind up looking like a zebra, otherwise.

6. Deep condition first. I once heard a colorist say, "You wouldn't paint a cracked wall, would you?" And it makes sense. A day or two before coloring hair, do a deep condition. The moisture will help hold the pigment better.

Do you dye your own hair?


Image via Fabrice Lerouge/Onoky/Corbis

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