Dye-It-Yourself Hair Color
With just three steps and the right product, you can get pro-quality hair color at home.
Step 1: Pick Color Wisely
Hair color is classified as warm, cool, or neutral. “Warm colors have golden undertones and create the effect of sunlight hitting your hair,” says Christopher Cilione, a senior colorist at the Oscar Blandi Salon, in New York City. Cool shades have no golden tones at all and are best done by a professional in a salon, as they can leave you with a grayish cast. Neutral shades are a combination of both. To know which tone suits you, consider the clothing colors you look best in. If they’re warm (yellow, tomato red), go for warm shades. But if they’re cool (lavender, royal blue), choose a neutral color. Whether you go warm or neutral, the color shouldn’t stray dramatically from your natural tone. Classic rule of thumb: Stay within two shades of your own hair color, says Marie Robinson, owner of the Marie Robinson Salon, in New York City.
Step 2: Prep Properly and Thoroughly
Setting up correctly before you start coloring is crucial (for example, when jet-black dye has splattered onto the bathroom
tile, well, it’s a little too late to throw down a protective drop cloth).
First, read the directions that come with the color kit. Knowing how you’ll be using the product—how long you leave it on, whether you shampoo it out or just rinse—will minimize goofs.
Second, gather everything you need, which should include an old towel to drape over your shoulders; the items in the kit, such as gloves, a brush, and a bottle applicator; a rattail comb to section hair; and clips to hold back already colored pieces.
Third, tuck your shower curtain up over the rod and place a torn-open lawn-and-leaf bag on the bathroom floor to catch drips, says Harry Josh, a colorist in Los Angeles and the international creative consultant for John Frieda. If the bag gets wet, it won’t run and stain the way newspaper would.
Finally, turn your showerhead to the gentle setting. If the flow of water is too strong, it can send dye droplets flying when you rinse, which may permanently stain tiles and grout.
Most Popular Galleries
Everyone agrees embarrassment can be excruciating. But is the emotion all bad? Discover its surprising upside—and learn how to get over it more easily—with this expert advice for kids and adults.