How can I colour my hair myself?

Sep 11 2020Anne

How can I colour my hair myself?

It’s always a treat to have your hair professionally coloured at a salon but sometimes it can be an expensive endeavour. That’s why in recent decades so many of us have painstakingly learned how to colour our hair from the comfort of our own homes but if you’re new to this process, it can be quite daunting. That’s why today I’m going to talk a little bit about how to approach colouring your hair at home and what you should be doing to get the best possible results. 

When can you colour your hair at home

Whether or not you can dye your hair at home depends on a number of factors but it mainly boils down to your hair type and colour. If you’re looking to simply cover up greys or dye your hair a shade darker then this is completely achievable from the comfort of your bathroom but, if you’re aiming to achieve a vibrant ombre effect (think unicorn or mermaid hair) you may need professional guidance.

The type of hair you have also matters too – if your hair is usually quite healthy, then dyeing your hair shouldn’t be a problem but, if it’s damaged or prone to breakages, again you may need a little bit of extra support!

How should you prepare?

Okay, so you’re quite happy that you can create your ideal do at home. Great! But don’t go diving in just yet – there are a number of things you need to consider before getting down to the nitty-gritty. 

Firstly, think for a moment about the shade of dye you’re going to be using. If you’re going for something that’s radically different from your usual style then this shouldn’t apply too much but, if you’re aiming for something that’s closer to your original hair try to avoid going more than two shades lighter or darker. Don’t always trust the model on the front of the packaging either – sometimes the hair dye here can appear darker than what it actually is.

Do a strand test. Not many people take the time out to do a strand test but, in the long run, it could end up saving you a lot of money and pain. There’s nothing worse than finding out that the dye you’ve been after for so long actually doesn’t suit your look so, to avoid this fate, test a small section on the under part of your hair first!

To wash or not to wash? There’s a lot of contradictory information out there when it comes to whether or not you should wash your hair before using dye. Generally, if your hair and scalp are a bit sensitive, it might be worth postponing your usual shampoo and condition for at least a day before applying your dye. This way your scalps natural oils may help to protect your hair, preventing it from becoming too dry or damaged.

Protect your skin. Light chestnut or golden blonde might sound like appealing colours for your hair but you really don’t want this dye to make contact with your skin. Not only could it potentially cause irritation, you could be there scrubbing at your forehead for ages, trying to get the autumnal tones of sunset auburn off your skin. That’s why many recommend rubbing some Vaseline or lip balm along your hairline to prevent any leakages!

What should you do during the process?

If you’re completely satisfied with the colour of your dye and are ready to get going – brilliant! But where should you start? Well, I’d try to get familiar with the tools you’re going to be using for the job and read the instruction thoroughly. Thankfully most of these should be fairly straightforward so, if you’re satisfied you know what you need to get going you can begin! 

Section your hair and use a mixing bowl. A lot of people like to go ahead and apply the dye straight from the bottle using their fingers. However, this can sometimes mean that the colour isn’t dispersed evenly so you’re better taking the more methodical approach. Create a middle pattern with your hair and divide it into four sections – this will allow you to make sure that no strand is missed and ensure that the coverage of dye is nice and even. Once you’ve done this mix the dye in a bowl and use a colour brush to apply it.

Work top to bottom. The golden rule whenever you’re applying hair dye is to work from the top of your head to the bottom. This is because the roots of your hair may need longer to soak in the new colour compared to the ends

Rinse but don’t shampoo. Once you’ve combed the dye through all the sections of your hair, you may need to give it a while to permeate each strand of hair. Once this initial waiting period is over though, it’s time to hit the shower. Here you may wish to use lukewarm water as hot water can encourage your hair cuticle to open, allowing the dye to leach out. When you’re satisfied with the temperature of your water there’s one crucial thing to remember – DO NOT SHAMPOO! Shampooing your hair can reduce the quality of your dye so please bypass this stage and move straight to the conditioner.

After you’ve dyed your hair

Once you’ve dyed your hair hopefully you’ll be happy with the results. However you then have to tackle caring for colour-treated hair – after all, hair that’s been coloured can be more susceptible to damage and the colour may start to fade if not cared for properly.

That’s why I’d highly recommend reading my colleague Sam’s blog, ‘How do I keep my dyed hair from fading?’ Here Sam from our Stewarton Store goes over some tips to help you enhance the longevity of your hair dye and keep your colour treated hair in tip top condition.