Going to a salon can not only be pricey, but time consuming. For most people who dye their hair the inconvenience simply isn’t worth it. Coloring my hair has been a part of my life from when it was just for fun to now covering grays. I have learned tips and tricks on how to achieve that salon quality color in your own home time after time. Follow my guide to get the most out of your at home color.
Prepare Your Hair
One to two days before you color your hair, use a color protecting mask or deep conditioner. A protecting mask will help keep the hair from drying out too much when you add the color. I like to wait two days before coloring my hair after a wash to make sure that the color deposits. Dirtier hair tends to grab color better and with a good dry shampoo, you won’t miss washing it at all. Most masks go on in the shower after you shampoo and stay on for five to ten minutes. Pop on a shower cap as you shower to help the product heat and penetrate the hair.
Pick Your Product
Visit a local beauty supplier to get a bottle of color in your shade and permanence. If you’re covering grays, you should choose a permanent hair color for the most potency. If you’re just covering roots or want to change up your look, a semi permanent that lasts about six weeks may be a better option and is typically healthier for your hair. After you choose your dye, you will need a mixing bowl and brush or a squeeze bottle to apply the dye just like you would get in a box kit.
Many box color contain high volume developers, or the chemical that activates and allows your hair to absorb the color. Most people need a volume 10 or 20 develop to deposit most colors and only need the 40 found in most brands if they’re bleaching their hair. The best way to avoid the higher levels of damaging chemicals is to mix your own hair color. Choose a low volume developer to go with your dye that will be the best for your hair color and type.
Dye Your Hair
Make sure to do a strand test the day before you dye to be sure the product doesn’t irritate your skin and that you like the color. I like doing sections around the base of my neck that I don’t typically have showing to test the color. After you pass the strand test, you can proceed to dye your entire head. Section your hair into several large chunks to make the coloring process easier.
If you are covering grays, make sure the roots are fully covered before moving down your head. Brush the product on the top and underside of your hair covering completely. If you’re using a liquid, put on gloves and massage the liquid through your hair making sure its completely saturated. If you have a friend who can help, ask them to get the back sections of your hair. Once covered, pile hair on top of your head and top with a shower cap to help with developing time. Follow the box directions before rinsing.
After Color Care
After you color your hair, apply a thick moisturizer or color locking conditioner. I prefer using color locking conditioners because they create a mask in your hair that keeps the color from fading quickly. Be sure to leave any conditioner or mask on for the maximum amount of time allowed. Even if your hair tends to get oily, you need to completely replenish all the moisture you just stripped out of it with the color. Allow your hair to air dry after rinsing out the conditioner and avoid heat tools for as long as possible. I try to go 5 days without washing and use dry shampoo to help keep it clean. The longer you wait to color, the more locked in the color will remain.
Continue to use a color protecting shampoo and conditioner after you’ve colored your hair to help prolong the life of the color. Typically reds and blondes will fade fastest, so be sure to use proper products to keep it fresh. Color masks, which are like temporary hair dye, can also enrich color and help you spread out the coloring process a few weeks longer. In no time, you’ll have your hair color routine down and be able to skip the salons, and save a lot of money in the process.