A Beginner’s Guide to At-Home Color

Ask any lead in a rom-com, a new hair color equals a new lease on life. Salon color treatments are gorgeous but they can be expensive and near inaccessible these days. So if you’re reaching for the dye box here are some things you need to know to make your at-home color a success. 

Don’t Go Nuts

Your very first time trying at-home color is NOT the time to go full She’s All That. Make little changes slowly. Most Pros suggest deviating only about two shades lighter or darker than your natural shade. 

Manage Expectations

When you visit your favorite Pro, they’ll often use their own mix of several colors to achieve your perfect hue. Dyes that come from the box are one-size-fits-all deals, so expect to get a less nuanced result. Also, don’t trust the model on the box, nothing against the gal, but those images are often not good indicators of how the color will look IRL. Imagine a combination of the picture on the package and your natural shade, that’ll give you a clearer idea of what you’re actually going to get. 

Grab 2 Boxes

Depending on the length of your locks, you might need more than one box of color to get the job done. Two boxes should be enough to start with, and even if you don’t use both completely you’ll have some left over to clean up mistakes. 

Make Sure Your Hair is Ready

Coloring at home is perfectly safe, but most experts recommend holding off if you’ve recently permed or relaxed your hair. Adding color on top of that can cause dryness or breakage. 

Other than that, it’s a good idea to dye hair that’s gone 3 days without washing. This means that your scalp’s natural oils are sitting right there, waiting to protect your head from box dye’s potentially harsh chemicals. 

Take a Test Dye

When it comes to DIY coloring, only fools rush in. Take a second to try the dye out on a few trimmed strands of hair or on a section that’s easily hidden. That way if you make a mistake it’s not a full-head of hair fail. 

Set Boundaries

Hair dye gets everywhere, and dyed foreheads or necks are less than chic. Use a barrier cream on those areas before you get started to avoid stains. Clear lip balm will also work in a pinch. It’s a good idea to keep wet wipes on hand to make sure you don’t dye your surfaces either. 

Take Good After-Care

Once you’re done coloring, make sure to find a way to condition your hair. Even if you’re avoiding washing to make your coif last longer, it’s important to keep your hair moisturized to avoid damaging it. Ask your hair Pro what they suggest in the way of post-dye pampering. 

If all this still seems a little daunting, schedule a virtual color consultation with your favorite Pro. They’ll have the expert insight you need to rock a new hue!

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