D.I.Y. Home Hair Color

For all your beauty advice…

One of the questions I get asked the most is this: What are some tips on applying my own hair color, and what brands do you suggest I buy from the grocery store? Well, answering the first part of this question is pretty easy, but I do struggle with suggestions on boxed hair color. I did a test-run about a year ago to report on boxed hair color, and the end result was dry, damaged hair with a color that didn’t look good. It took a long time to get my hair back into shape, so when people ask me what hair color they can buy themselves, I always suggest a trip to Sally Beauty Supply. It’s professional product available to the public, and so much better for you than the box hair color.

So, that’s my struggling answer on what brand to buy. The first part of the question is pretty simple and I am always more than happy to give some how-to tips on doing your hair color yourself. First rule I swear by is this:

Do not wash your hair the day you are coloring your hair. Why? Well, hair color will take to hair that is slightly dirty because shampoo can strip the hair of natural oils, and it’s important to have natural oils present because the color will adhere better to your hair.

Brush your hair good before you start. This is important so you can get all the tangles out of your hair, and brushing will help you distribute the natural oils evenly throughout the hair. BUT…try to stay away from your scalp because if you brush too hard, you can scratch your scalp, and when hair color gets on an open wound of any kind, it’s painful, so be careful.

Apply a barrier. Take Vaseline, or a thick conditioner and apply it right under the hair-line on the forehead, the temples, the tops of the ears, and below your hairline on your neck. Applying a product like this will help keep the hair color from staining your skin. Any color that gets on the product you apply under the hair-line will wipe right off.

Section the hair. You’ll want to do what’s called a “T” part. Take a comb and part in down the center of your hair from forehead to neck, then take the comb and part it in the other direction from the top of one ear, to the top of the other ear. You will have 4 sections of hair now, so pin them up to keep the hair in sections.

Apply the color. Follow directions on the package, whether it’s box color, or pro color, and mix the color. Put on gloves, and apply the hair color to the roots of your hair, focusing on the roots first. The hair at the root is known as “virgin” hair because there are no chemicals on it, so the color has to stay on the roots longer than on the ends. The ends of the hair tend to be drier and the color will adhere faster to the ends. Finish the first section, pin that section back up, and repeat this process on the remaining sections.

Wait. The least fun process, because sitting still waiting for hair to color, is literally like watching paint dry. May I suggest a home pedicure while the color processes? Typically, hair color takes about 15-20 minutes to process. I usually let it process on the roots for 15 minutes and in the remaining 5 minutes, I comb the color to the ends of the hair. This will keep the color even and freshen up the color on the ends of the hair.

Rinse. When it’s time to rinse (try to keep your gloves on for this), some hair colors don’t require a shampoo. In fact, the color itself will lather slightly and then you rinse it out and apply the conditioner provided. That’s usually found in box color. With pro color, it’s ok to gently shampoo and then follow with a light conditioner, but one that’s a good detangler. Either way, make sure you rinse well and get all the hair color off of your hair and scalp.

You’re done! So, now it’s time to either let it air dry and leave it alone, or style your hair like you normally do. You will notice that your hair will feel thicker, look shinier, and style better when you color your hair. It adds a little “oomph” to your hair, and that’s why coloring your hair is so fabulous! Try not to shampoo your hair for at least 24 hours, but try to push it to 48 hours to let the color get into the hair shaft for good, and the top layer of the hair can naturally close. The longer you wait to shampoo, the longer your color should last.

Don’t forget! Wear an old t-shirt, and use old towels, and if you are really messy…put down some newspaper or old towels on the floor so you don’t stain the floors.

Hope these tips help on doing your hair color yourself! Let me know what other D.I.Y. tips you would like!

Email me your questions for Q&A Monday to brookeknowsbeauty@hotmail.com

You’ve Been Beautified!