How to colour your hair at home

A recent survey in the US showed that over 50% of women who colour their hair do so at home. With this in mind, we thought we’d give you a step-by-step guide to getting the perfect salon colour in the comfort of your own home.

This is a story I wrote for Glamour a while back, as following-on from the trends post yesterday, I thought I’d share it with you.

  1. Allergy test. I know you’re thinking, yeah, yeah yeah, whatevs. But seriously girls, YOU HAVE TO. Skin allergies are growing at an incredible rate, and even if you’ve coloured your hair before, you might be allergic to new ingredients or particular brand. Do a patch test on the inside of your wrist 48 hours before you want to colour. If your skin gets aggravated and goes red, you need to try another brand, or go to the salon.
  2. Moisturise your locks. Dye adheres best to healthy, moisturized locks. Use a moisturizing hair mask once a week for a few weeks before you colour to ensure your hair is in top condition.
  3. Wait a day after washing. Applying all those chemicals to a sweaky clean scalp will lead to serious irritation. Wait 24 hours after washing before attempting colour.
  4. Protect your hairline. A dye line around your head is not a good look. Prevent this but applying a line of Vaseline around (but not touching) your hairline using an ear bud
  5. Protect your shoulders with a towel or wear jumper you’re happy to ruin.
  6. Read the instructions thoroughly. Doh! I know it sounds simple, but many people just skim the instructions and are left unhappy with the results. Read them two or three times to make sure you know exactly what to do when. Mix the product according to the instructions, and you’re ready to go.
  7. Use clips and a tail comb to section off hair, starting at back, working upwards in sections across the back of your head. Then do the same on the sides. Then do the front section last. If you just want to touch-up your roots, only apply the colour up to where the line of your natural and dyed hair meet. If you go over already dyed hair, you might end up with dark bands of colour.
  8. Clip-up your hair so that it will stay in place for the duration of the developing time. Don’t ever go over the recommended developing time, as it won’t make your colour darker, or last longer, it will burn your head.
  9. Rinse until you think you can’t rinse anymore, and then rinse again. Make sure every last particle of colour has been removed before you apply the conditioning treatment.
  10. Once you have achieved your brilliant colour, keep if fresher for longer by using colour-protecting shampoo and conditioner.


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