Dyeing your hair at home is a great way to save some extra cash for your pocket, especially if you dye your hair regularly or want a quick root touch-up – so I came up with some tips on how to dye your hair at home! I’ve colored my own hair at home at least 15 times before, and I want to share some of that knowledge I’ve acquired over the years. Although a drastic color change may be better left to your hairstylist, a switch to a few shades lighter or darker can easily be done at home. Whether you are a first-timer, have been unsuccessful in the past, or already know a thing or two about self-coloring, these tips on how to dye your hair at home might be useful to know. Let’s get started, ladies!
1. Color is (Not) as Shown
That hair color you see on the model outside the dye box? That might not be the color result you get when you dye your hair. The resulting hue is highly dependent on your current color. Almost anyone who has tried dyeing hair will know this. Someone who has dark hair will not get the same results as another with blond hair when they use the same box of “honey brown.” Many of the boxes have color charts showing the likely outcome for each starting color, so make sure you check those. Because not every photo or chart on the dye box is accurate, it also helps to look at the color code label. The numbers, or “levels,” indicate lightness - 1 being black and 10 light blond. The letters indicate tone - for example, A for ash and C for copper. To get a more accurate color, or to lighten your hair color many levels, you can always bleach your hair first. You should know, though, that bleaching could damage the health and texture of your hair. We’ll discuss hair damage more in our next tip on how to dye your hair at home.
2. Keep Your Hair in Mind
Let’s think things through before buying and mixing a dye kit. We need to think about hair length, thickness, amount, and condition. Our goal is to minimize damage while achieving optimum color. This means if you have lots of hair or very long hair, you might need two boxes of dye to get the best and most even coloring. This also means you might want to leave the dye in your hair for an extra 5 – 20 minutes if you have very thick or coarse hair. You probably shouldn’t leave the dye in your hair for two hours just because you want to make sure the dye has run its course - it’s best to keep to the dye time proposed in the directions. But this doesn’t mean you can’t adjust it by a few minutes to fit your unique hair type. I wouldn’t extend the wait time too much if your hair is very damaged, but find that point where you can achieve the best color without sacrificing the health of your hair.
3. Dye Your Front and Sides Last
Ever wonder why your color comes out uneven, despite using the dye consistently throughout your hair? Not everyone may have heard of this one, but the order of your hair-dyeing process matters! The front and sides will dye faster than any other part. This is because of the warmer temperature around that area (more on this later!). If you have long hair and need to divide it up into sections, dab some dye onto the midsection of your hair, do the tips and other portions next, and then finish with the front and the sides. The reason we do the midsection first is because it is neither as damaged as the tips nor as warm as near the roots. This will be a great way to even out the color.
4. Be Prepared
Before you begin, make sure you have everything you need in front of you, because you don’t want to stop in the middle of squeezing dye into your hair and have to run to another room to fetch something. This can get messy. Be prepared with paper towels and a comb if you like to use one, and a hand held mirror in case you have difficulty seeing the back of your hair. You can use wet paper towels to wipe the dye off when it drips or gets on your ears and face - the chemicals will dye your skin too, and it could take days to wash out completely. If you like to use hair clips to divide your hair into sections, have those ready too! And don’t forget to change into a shirt that you don’t mind staining.
5. Safety First
Hair dye contains some harsh chemicals, so it’s better to be safe than sorry. If you have never used hair dye before, read the directions and do a skin test. Many brands will have instructions on a 24hr or 48hr skin test where you dab some of the dye on your skin to see if you show any signs of irritation. Some people with very sensitive skin will have adverse reactions to the chemicals. I admit that I have never tried the skin test, but it’s mostly because I didn’t know about it the first time I got my hair colored. These are all tested products and most people will be fine using them, but it doesn’t hurt to delay your hair coloring a day or two to be safe.
6. Temperature Matters
Remember what you read before about the front and sides of your head being warmer than the rest? Hair will dye faster in warm temperatures because heat speeds up the chemical reaction of the dye. This may mean you might want to leave it in an extra 10 minutes in the winter, or use a shower cap to keep the heat in. I’ve tried dyeing my hair in the wintertime before, and while I was waiting for the dye to do its magic, I could feel that my hair was wet and cold. When I finally washed the dye out and dried my hair, I could barely notice the difference in color. Make sure to keep this in mind and adjust the time and temperature as needed!
7. Ask for Help
Coloring your own hair can be a little difficult, especially if you have very long hair. It will take some time to get every strand. If you’re worried about taking too long or missing random patches and streaks of hair, ask for some help. Ask a sibling or a friend to help you so that you can complete the process faster and have more evenly dispersed coloring. It may not be the best idea to take more than half an hour to comb all the dye into your hair.
I hope these 7 tips will serve useful to you ladies when dyeing your hair at home. Don’t forget to deep condition when you wash out that dye and apply some great smelling Moroccan or olive oil to your keep your hair beautiful and soft. Because these chemicals can easily damage the health and texture of your hair, the least we can do is give it some healthy nutrients to undo that damage. But don’t worry too much - as long as you don’t dye your hair very frequently and avoid using bleach, you should be able to keep you hair shiny and silky with routine care. Have any at-home hair dyeing tips to share? Do you have a favorite brand of hair dye you like to use? Tell us!