How to Dye Hair at Home Successfully
Q: Is it OK to dye your hair at home?
A: The answer is absolutely YES! I also dyed my hair at home by myself! Just read the following tips and tricks before you dye your hair at home!
The main thing about getting a successful home hair dye is to learn the rules and follow them carefully! We all get that sudden desire for a hair color change, and that’s a fun feeling. But if you rush into it, thinking it’s just a matter of putting bleach, or a box of hair dye on your hair, and it will be the color you’re dreaming of, read this first:
Pre-bleaching to go lighter
- You cannot lighten your hair with a box-dye. If you want to go lighter than your natural color, you need to bleach your hair at home to lighten it to the same level as the box-dye you’ve chosen. And then add a toner or a box-dye.
- If your hair is brunette and you bleach it, it is quite likely to go orange; this is normal for brown hair. So buy a special blue powder bleach product to help counteract the orange tones. Then add a toner with an ashy or neutral-beige base to cover the orange.
- Follow the instructions on the bleach pack very carefully. It’s far better to under-bleach the first time you try, than to over-bleach and end up with clumps of damaged hair just dropping out.
- Once you get your bleached hair to the right level, you can then add the box-dye blonde or lighter-brown color. And a trendy ash or beige blonde hair dye will counteract the orange tones.
- Remember that your hair is in two different states:
- The fresh, healthy roots which have more heat whilst the bleach works and will go lighter quickest.
- The middle and end sections of your hair, which go lighter slower than the roots.
- Therefore, you need to apply bleach to your hair in a set pattern: Middle and Ends first – avoiding the roots. And after you’ve done that all round the head, then do the roots, so you get even lightening. Never apply the bleach in an all-over application at one time, as you will get a very varied color result. Make a minimum of 4 sections in your hair. That would be 2 made from the top hair, and 2 made from the lower part of your hair.
- Remember, bleach isn’t meant to be applied like a shampoo and it does not foam up. So you must not rub it, or comb it through, because hair with bleach on it is very fragile. Always section your hair and apply the bleach or dye with a professional hair-dye brush, for the best color coverage.
Mousse, box dye & ‘toner’ hair dyes
Mousse colors are less solid-looking and are good for changing your hair color a couple of tones. They produce a translucent addition of warm or cool color over your natural shade. But if you have plenty of gray to cover, or want a big color change, a liquid color will give you more color pigment and a stronger color.
I’ve just switched to using a toner color with home bleach, which you can easily buy from a hair dye products store. You’ll find that it’s kinder to your hair than a box-dye. You have to buy the correct vol. of bleach to use with the toner and mix them together at home, but they come out a lot cheaper than a box-dye. And the quality of color and condition is excellent. I use 20 % volume which is a gentle bleaching action, but it all depends on the final color you’re seeking. The higher the volume number, the stronger the bleach.
I know that box-dyes are all saying that they now don’t contain ammonia, which is quite harsh on your hair. But they don’t tell you that they use other chemicals instead, which are equally harsh on your hair, to get the dye process to work. And if you use the milder option of toners from the same brand, you can mix different shades together to get exactly the color you want!
Choosing a flattering color
This is the most important part of any hair dye operation. Check whether you have cool, or warm, skin undertones before you make any color decision. You can do this by looking at the inside of your wrists to see whether your arteries appear green or blue. Green means warm and blue means cool. And your eye color also helps you see which hair color type you can wear successfully. Blue eyes or gray eyes usually have cool undertones, so you should wear ash shades.
Hazel or brown eyes usually occur with warm skin undertones, so choose a beige, caramel or honey tone. If you’re going to use a box hair dye, look closely at the eye and skin tone of the model on the front of the box. If you have the same or similar natural eye and skin coloring, then this is a color you can wear successfully.
Preparing your hair for a box-dye
Always do the strand test 48 hours before you plan to do the hair-dye. This is essential to check that you don’t have an allergy to the dye. And even if you have used the exact same product before, you still need to check for allergic reaction every time.
And I usually collect hair from my hair brush and keep it in a safe place, so I can do a color strand test if I am using a new color. It’s the only way to really know what the end result color will be. And sometimes when I expected to lighten my hair, it has gone darker, which I didn’t want! So I saved myself from dyeing my whole head the wrong color with that little tip!
Wash or don’t wash
If your hair contains a lot of styling product, wash it at least 24 hours before you apply the dye. I always use baby shampoo, as it’s the only shampoo on the market in which manufacturers are not allowed to add chemicals.
If your hair isn’t completely covered in styling products, then there’s no need to wash your hair just before you dye it. In fact, it is recommended that you don’t wash your hair just before applying dye. This could cause scalp irritation, so let your natural scalp oils do their job as protection of your skin. Apply hair dye to dry hair.
The most popular hair dye brands
No matter you dye your hair at home or in a salon, please remember using the following brands:
And finally, whatever type of hair color project you’re planning, make sure that each strand of hair is completely covered in the hair dye or bleaching agent! Always use plenty of conditioner on dry hair and remember a weekly olive-oil deep conditioning treatment is the gold-standard of home hair-dye success!