Colouring your own hair at home can be a good option if you are trying to save money or if you don’t have a lot of time to go to a salon. It can, however, be something that makes people nervous. Following our 17 bright ideas on DIY hair colour should make the process seem less scary and more achievable.
There are 2 main types of hair colour to choose from – The first thing you need to decide when you are going to do your own hair is what type of hair colour you want to use: Permanent & Semi Permanent. Permanent hair colour will not wash out and can give you the most dramatic change, as it can lighten your hair while a semi permanent can last between 6 -28 washes depending on which semi product you purchase and will not lighten hair. A semi permanent is a good place to start if you’ve never tried DIY hair colour and can also be used to simply add shine to dull hair.
Always do a sensitivity test – Don’t skip this step. Hair colour companies recommend you do a sensitivity test 48 hours before every colour. This way you can make sure you will not have an allergic reaction to the dyes.
Always do a strand test – A strand test will allow you to see what your end result will be without doing your whole head. That way you can make sure you have selected the best colour that you will be happy with and you won’t get any nasty surprises.
Don’t use colour too soon after a perm or chemical hair straightening. – It is best to wait at least two weeks after you have permed or chemically straightened your hair before you decide to colour as the chemicals may react with the hair dye to give you a disastrous result. You should also avoid swimming in a pool too close to when you colour your hair.
Read the instructions on the packet – If you are going to embark on colouring your own hair, take the time to read the instructions. Know how long you need to keep the product in your hair, if you need to apply product to wet or dry hair and how to prepare the product.
Prepare the area where you will be colouring – If you are colouring in the bathroom, prepare the area with old towels and wear old clothes. You will also need a timer/clock too keep a track of the time. An old comb (to evenly distribute product) and some cotton wool (to clean away product from your skin) can also be helpful. Have all these things on hand before you start to make sure you don’t get dye everywhere. Don’t forget to remove all your jewellery and wear gloves.
Prepare your hair – It is always a great idea to colour on clean hair. If you use a lot of hair styling products and you have product build up, wash your hair with a good shampoo a day before you are going to colour. In the same way you prepare walls when you are going to paint, you want a good surface to start with for best results. Giving your hair a good hair treatment a few days before you colour can also help. It is best not to wash your hair just before your colour as this may over stimulate your scalp so plan ahead when preparing.
The colour on the box is a guide – The base colour you start with will ultimately determine what colour you end up with. The condition of your hair can also have an effect on the end result as dry hair will absorb more colour for a vibrant look. This is why it’s important to do a strand test. Look at the colour number on the box too. If you have been to the hairdresser for previous colours, find out what colour number was used and try to find that number in the DIY colour.
Choose a colour 2-3 shades away from what you have – For best results, it is a good idea to choose a colour not too far away from what you currently have. It is very difficult to go from a brunette to a blonde without professional advice.
Don’t cut time to get a lighter result – Permanent hair colour works in a certain way. The setting time on the instructions takes into account the different stages of hair colour. Reducing the setting time doesn’t necessarily mean you get a lighter end result so stick to the correct time and refer to your strand test.
Apply to roots first when colouring re-growth – Apply the hair colour to the re-growth area first, then apply to the remaining hair later. This will allow the two different hair colours to blend better. Refer to the instructions for correct timings.
Don’t wash your hair for 24-48 hours after colouring – For best results, it is a good idea to not wash your hair with shampoo for a day or two. This will allow the colour to set better in your hair so that the colour will last longer.
Use the conditioning treatment provided in the box – Hair colouring can be stressful on your hair so always use the conditioning treatment provided in the box after you have coloured. This will help with putting back nutrients to you hair as well as helping to lock in the colour. If your find your hair still feels dry or tangles, use your own conditioner (specifically for coloured hair) for an extra treatment until you are happy with how your hair feels.
Long or thick hair may need two boxes – Most DIY hair colour boxes typically give you enough product for shoulder length hair. If your hair is longer or you have a lot of hair, apply two packets of hair colour so that you get an even result. Using more product won’t give you a darker result.
Throw away left over hair colour – You need to throw away any permanent hair colour that you have mixed (hair colour generally comes in two parts that you need to mix together just before colouring). Do not put it into a jar for next time as you may get a surprising chemical reaction. Always buy a new box of hair colour whenever you are going to colour your hair.
Use a shampoo and conditioner designed for coloured hair – For longer lasting colour, use a shampoo and conditioner that is specifically designed for coloured hair. This will help to lock in your colour and help to avoid that washed out colour look. It will also give you more time between colouring.
If in doubt, call a hotline – Most well know hair colour companies have hotline you can call with all your questions and concerns. Use the hotline to get tips and advice on the best colour to suit your needs. Check the back of the box for numbers.
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