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How to Color Hair at Home Like a Professional Easily

How to Color Hair at Home Like a Professional Easily

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Learning how to colour your hair at yourself is one of the most difficult — and rewarding — things you can do. There's a reason salon sessions are so pricey, as anyone who's done it knows. Coloring your own hair needs dexterity, expertise, and a rudimentary understanding of science. To assist you, we've gathered tips from some of our favorite hairstylists on anything from allover color to subtle highlights.

There's one hair color rule that doesn't change, whether you're going platinum blond or pixie-dust purple: Always follow the dye box's instructions. According to experts, failing to do so is one of the most common reasons women return to the salon for costly repairs. So read the back of the box and study the accompanying error-proof guide for further information on how to color your hair at home. But before, let me ask you a question....

Is it safe to colour your hair?

It's normally safe to color your hair at home as long as you follow the product instructions carefully. However, colorist Lauren Grummel advises that before picking up a box colour kit at the pharmacy, you should think about your eventual aim as well as the quality of your hair.

"If your hair has been through a lot of treatments, it's not safe to color or bleach it at home," Grummel explains. "Or if it's already severely destroyed." If you're not honest with yourself, your hair may fall out." Touching up your grays at home, she says, is often a safe idea, as is going two shades darker than your current base color. Anything else should be left to a professional, particularly bleaching, which can result in patchwork results at best and chemical damage at worst.

Most importantly, if you do go back to the salon, tell them about any home tests you've done. "It's critical to be completely honest with your colorist about what you've done at home," she advises. "There will be no judgment." We simply want to maintain your hair healthy and looking its best."

To colour your hair all over, follow these steps:

Human Hair and Ponytail may be present in this image.

When shopping for the exact results you desire, look at the "before" hues on the box labels and make sure your initial color matches.

  • You'll need the following items:
  • dye in a box
  • Sweet'N Low packet (optional)
  • Brush for hair color

Step 1: Let your hair air dry for two days before dying it. According to celebrity colorist Kiyah Wright, "you want your scalp's natural oils to function as a barrier against irritation." Add a packet of Sweet'N Low to the dye if you have supersensitive skin to assist stop the drying effects of ammonia.

Step 2: Apply color to a tiny area of hair to do a strand test. This will assist you in determining timing. Your hair texture will have a role in this: The finer your hair is, the faster it will lighten—you may only need 5 to 10 minutes less than the box suggests; if your hair is coarse or dry, you can follow the instructions.

Step 3: Read, reread, and execute the instructions on the package to the letter. (With the exception of step 4, do not apply color from roots to ends in one go.)

Step 4: When dying your entire head, this tip will help you acquire an even color every time: "First, put dye a half-inch away from your scalp and work your way to the ends—the heat from your head speeds up the color development at the root," Wright advises. "Then go back and cover your roots midway through the processing time." Use a color brush to apply the dye for more professional, accurate effects.

What is it about a one-box color kit that we adore? Clairol Natural Instincts, winner of the Glamour Beauty Award. However, don't miss this roundup of more of our favorite at-home hair-color kits.

Natural Instincts by Clairol

Excellence Triple Protection Permanent Hair Color by L'Oréal Paris

How to highlight your hair: What's the secret to getting that sun-kissed look? "Pick a kit that's only one shade lighter than your base color," recommends celebrity colorist Rita Hazan. Madison Reed's Balayage Kit, with its wishbone-shaped brush that paints on color with fewer errors, is ideal for at-home highlights.

  • You'll need the following items:
  • Highlighting kit or box dye
  • Brush your teeth (optional)
  • Glossy finish

Step 1: Blow-dry, style, and part hair as usual after doing a strand test and reading the instructions (see Allover Color, steps 1–3). This will make it easier to see which items should be highlighted.

Step 2: This is when you can somewhat deviate from the instructions. Instead of taking out random strands, Hazan recommends sectioning out 10 quarter-inch-wide pieces a quarter of an inch apart, starting at the front and moving back toward your crown. However, don't space them uniformly. "Asymmetrical highlights appear the most natural," adds Hazan.

Step 3: If you're not using a professional highlight kit, consider painting on the solution using a toothbrush from root to tip, which is more exact than certain brushes. Prop each item away from your head with a cotton ball to prevent color bleeding.

Step 4: Allow the dye to sit for the specified period of time (if you're worried, rinse one piece five minutes early and verify the color, as Hazan recommends). To help seal the color and improve shine, wash and finish with a clear gloss treatment. Is there a favorite among the editors? Clear Rita Hazan Ultimate Shine Gloss

How to get blond (or blonder) hair:

First and foremost, let's be clear: dying your hair more than one or two shades lighter at home is a dangerous proposition. "It's best to leave this to a professional if you're trying for a dramatic hair transformation," says celebrity colorist Marie Robinson, who is known for her flawless platinum blonds. "If you don't, you risk permanently ruining your hair."

However, if you're already blond and wish to lighten your hair, you can do so at home. (Get to a salon, brunettes and redheads!)

Blonde color Bond repair procedure is required.

Step 1: Complete the first three steps in the Allover Color section before proceeding. Then, going forward from the back of your head, apply the solution, keeping it one inch away from your roots. Massage the color into the strands until they are completely covered.

Step 2: Set aside for 20 to 30 minutes, but check on it every 5 to 10 minutes. "Don't be frightened if you notice a touch of red; hair lightens in stages," Robinson adds.

Step 3: After 30 minutes, apply the remaining solution to your roots and wait another 10 to 30 minutes, depending on how light you want to go.

Step 4: Gently pull on a strand above your ear to make sure it doesn't break. If it does, immediately rinse your hair and apply a protein mask or a bond repair product like Olaplex. If your hair still has a golden tint, Robinson recommends leaving the dye on for another 10 minutes. If the color appears nice, rinse with warm water before shampooing and conditioning your hair.

If you don't like your new hair color, here's what you should do:

Don't worry: we've got some suggestions for how to remedy (or at least enhance) any color disaster. A clarifying shampoo, a conditioning mask, and a few pantry staples are all you'll need.

If your hair is too black, you should...

Jennifer J., a famous colorist, advises, "Wash it right away." If your hair is far too black, combine a spoonful of baking soda (which acts as a mild detergent) with a clarifying shampoo like Paul Mitchell Clarifying Shampoo Three and leave it on for five minutes. Alternatively, apply olive oil to damp hair, wrap it in a shower cap, and cover it with a heated towel. "The heat only opens up the cuticle enough for a few dye molecules to escape," she explains. Apply your usual shampoo as soon as possible.

If it's a little too light...

You'll need to add some more dye. Jennifer suggests that if your hair is just a little too pale, go one shade darker than the one you started with and apply it exclusively to the places you think are too pale. Leave the color on for half the time recommended on the box, and keep an eye on it to ensure it doesn't fade too much. Consult a professional if your hair is far too light.

If it's a bit brassy...

The warm tint in your hair will need to be toned down. If you used semipermanent dye, Robinson recommends using a lavender-colored shampoo (such as Clairol Professional Shimmer Lights Shampoo) for the next three days. Paint a two-tone deeper tint simply on the orangey patches if you used a permanent formula. Choose cooler tones with a blue basis next time.

If it turns green due to dyeing (or exposure to chlorine),...

Wash the colour off as soon as possible using a clarifying shampoo or a deep treatment mask, such as Matrix Biolage HydraSource Deep Treatment Hair Mask. If it doesn't work, use ketchup to rinse your hair. The crimson balances out the green, while the acidity aids in neutralization. Then, before you leap into the pool, make sure you know how to safeguard your color.

Clean Maniac Clarifying Shampoo by Redken

Clarifying Shampoo by Paul Mitchell Clairol Professional Shimmer Lights Shampoo (three bottles) Biolage HydraSource Deep Treatment Hair Mask in Blonde & Silver Matrix

How to keep your hair color vibrant for a long time:

Maintaining all of your hard work is the second most crucial component of learning how to colour your hair at home. Otherwise, you'll end up wasting more time and money in the long run by dyeing your hair. Expert colorist Kari Hill swears by these upkeep tips.

Make use of the appropriate items.

"Treat your hair the same way you would your skin," Hill advises. Use a sulfate-free, color-preserving shampoo and conditioner, and stylers that are alcohol-free (as the label will state) to avoid drying out your hair. Here's a step-by-step guide to deciphering the ingredients on your shampoo bottle.

Shampoo less frequently.

Because water is hair color's deadliest enemy, forgo washing on days when you can and spray roots with dry shampoo instead (find the best one for your needs here). Use as little shampoo as possible or, better yet, rinse hair with warm water and use only conditioner on days when you can't.

It'll be hidden.

To keep hair nourished and silky, use a deep conditioner once a week (we like this one from Amazon). Allow to air dry if feasible after that.

Make a glaze.

"Think of color-enhancing glosses as a hair topcoat," Hill explains. "They give it a lustrous sheen and a thin layer of color." Every week, use a light formula like one of these.

UV protection is essential.

Wear a broad-rimmed hat to keep the color from being bleached by the sun. If you can't avoid it, spritz your hair 30 minutes before going out with a UV protectant like Bumble & Bumble Surf Infusion.