How to color your hair at home

Today, I am getting highlights which got me thinking about my hair color obsession. Full color, highlights, lowlights-I’ve done it all.  I have also had some scary occurrences (which all happened at a salon). One was so bad it took 7 hours and multiple salons to get my hair close to livable again. I have even been brave enough to color at home. I’m a big fan on using semi-permanent hair color to get that slightly darker look for the winter months.
If you are brave enough to do your hair at home, here are some pointers I learned along the way:

  1. Use semi-permanent hair color.This way you can see how much you like it before you color your hair permanently. If you don’t like the color you get with semi-permanent, you can use clarifying shampoo to wash it out. My favorite is Clairol’s Natural Instincts collection.
  2. Get help.  I always recruit my husband -who-hates-it- but I give him the whole this is saving us money speech. This will help to not make a huge mess and to make sure all parts of your hair are covered.
  3. Apply moisturizer or lotion to your face and neck before you start.This prevents color from staining these areas.
  4. Protect your clothes, by NOT wearing any.DOES A ROBE COUNT? You are going to have to get in the shower after your color is applied or wash your hair in a sink.
    I have found the easiest way to do this is to use an old cap-n-gown (they zip up and down so no having to pull anything over your head). Just upzip when you are ready to rinse your hair in the shower.
  5. Use a drop cloth or color your hair in an area that you aren’t afraid if you drop some dye. Hair dye stains if you don’t wipe it away quickly. I have used an old bed skirt as a drop cloth if you don’t have one handy.
  6. If you have long, full hair, you are going to need more than 1 box. I suggest buying 3 boxes of hair color. Save your receipt, if you don’t use them all you can return the extra boxes.
  7. Do not use the color touch up that some kits come with (to use a week after coloring). It’s NOT the same color as your hair dye! It’s usually a toner that adds red tones to your hair, which may not be the look you are going for. Once red is in your hair it is very difficult to get out.
  8. If you are going lighter than your current hair color, go to a salon.Seriously, don’t try to go blonde by yourself. You do not want to have pumpkin hair or to damage it!