The Biggest Mistakes You're Making When Coloring Your Hair at Home, According to a Pro
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In 2017, the Daily Mail reported that the average American woman will spend $55,000 on hair products and treatments in their lifetime. According to a survey of 2,000 American women done by us.lookfantastic.com, "those numbers equate to roughly $80 and 11 hours per month."
While $55,000 is a huge chunk of change, when you add in costs of hair cuts, color appointments, products, and more over the course of a year, reaching 55,000 is not that hard to imagine.
The winner for the most popular hair treatment? You guessed it: hair color. The article also reported, "No matter what state you reside in, you're likely a fan of hair dye. To enhance their appearance, 89 percent of respondents said that they turn to a colorist. The most popular shade they ask for? Blonde."
With so many women dyeing their hair and spending big chunks of change on salon appointments, it's no wonder at-home hair color options continue to expand. While at-home dyeing may be intimidating to some, it remains a popular category in the beauty world despite its challenges.
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Modern Salon reports, "According to a 2005 P&G Beauty Survey among 2,000 women aged 15-75, 65 percent had colored their hair in the past 12 months. Of that 65 percent, 52 percent said they exclusively color their hair at home."
Despite its popularity with consumers, at-home hair color is not without its challenges. We spoke with celebrity hairstylist Linet K. to find out how to stop making some common mistakes.
Not Having Realistic Expectations
"People read light blonde on the box and think that their brown hair will turn light blonde like the photo of the girl on the box. No, that is impossible! Hair color is all chemistry. Understanding that is key to getting the best color possible," advises Linet K. Instead of picking a drastic color change, maybe go for a shade closer to your current hair color.
If you want to make a drastic change without the drama, try a service like eSalon. On their website, you can build a profile sharing your goal hair color, and then you will be connected to a professional colorist who will make a product recommendation based on your hair color wishes. After you meet, a custom hair color box is delivered to you. It allows you to get salon quality advice in the comfort of your own home.
Taking the Photo on the Box at Face Value
"Don’t be fooled by the photo on the box, especially if you are trying to dye your hair blonde. Your color will not come out the same shade of blonde as the photo. The only time you will get a similar look is if you are going for a brown or a black shade. It is much more difficult to attempt lighter colors at home," K. warns.
For the at-home aficionados, try a darker shade on for size. We love this rosey brown shade to ring in spring. If you are set on blonde, prepare to be flexible with the way the color turns out.
Not Protecting Your Hair
Coloring your hair is a great opportunity to try a new trend or give your look a much needed update. However, coloring your hair also means damaging it. Instead of sitting back and bracing yourself for inevitable split ends, take action. "Use a conditioning or hydrating mask before your next wash and try to use masks every other week to keep hair soft, shiny and healthy," recommends Linet K.
Currently our staff is loving Coco and Eve Like a Virgin Hair Mask ($50; urbanoutfitters.com). Filled with nourishing super foods like coconut, argan oil, and shea butter, this mask makes your hair softer than you've felt in years.
Not Preventing Mess
Unfortunately coloring your hair at home usually is synonymous with mess. Thankfully, it doesn't have to be. Linet K recommends taking a proactive approach. "Prevent it from happening! Put on Vaseline ($4; target.com) on your hair line so the color won’t get on your skin. If you do get some on your skin, try soap and water or vinegar with a cotton ball to remove it."
Being Afraid to Ask For Help
Sometimes, despite our best DIY beauty efforts, things don't always go according to plan. The most important thing to remember is: Don't panic. The second most important thing to remember is that professionals are here for a reason. Linet K. advises you to see a professional when things go wrong. "Preferably a color specialist who can help you understand realistic color goals and help you achieve them."