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Tips For Dying Your Hair At Home

The right hair color can give you a whole new look, but going to a salon can be costly.  Doing your own can be daunting, but with a few tips and tricks, you can get salon quality results in your own home.  Modern hair color technology has improved dramatically in the half-century since the first product hit the market.  Some things to keep in mind before you start:

  • Stay within a couple of shades of your natural color.
  • Get a friend to make sure you don’t miss a spot.
  • Use natural light.
  • Deep conditioning after dyeing, then once a week after that will help protect the color.
  • After your first dye job, protect your hair from being damaged by only dyeing roots and combing it through to the ends just a few minutes before you rinse it out.

Before you dye your hair, you’ll need to have a few things on hand:

  • A 1½-2 inch wide paintbrush makes the product easier to apply.
Dying Your Hair At Home

With some tricks and tips you can get salon quality when dying your hair.

  • A bowl to mix the dye and dip the brush
  • Clips hold hair back so you can work in sections.
  • A comb with a pointed handle you can use to divide hair into section and comb the dye through.
  • A dark towel to drape over your shoulders and another to clean up drips.
  • Alcohol-based facial toner can remove product from skin and surfaces before it stains.
  • Use a timer to get the right amount of exposure.

The strand test

Coloring your hair is not a good project to jump straight into.  A strand test will let you test the color and figure out how long to leave the product on.  Select a section of hair about half an inch wide just above your ear.  Apply the dye, wait half the time recommended in the instructions and remove with a damp cloth.  blot the section dry and check the color in natural light.  If you like the color, you know how much time you need.  If not, reapply, wait the rest of the time, and check the color again before committing to the color.

If your skin is:

  • Light – Avoid deep browns and black.  Pale skin can look ruddy and dark hair may emphasize redness.  Try light auburn or honey blond.
  • Medium – Avoid red or copper, these can make you look orange.  Consider mahogany with golden highlights.
  • Dark – Don’t go too light, you may end up with hair that looks brassy.  Try caramel or cinnamon highlights.

Gray hair:

Healthy white hair looks gorgeous with any skin.  Try a violet-tinted shampoo for gray hair and avoid products containing alcohol.  Silicone serum can be smoothed over dry hair for extra shine.

The process:

  1. Decide what you want.  Permanent dye to cover gray or touch up.  Semipermanent dye for a subtle change.
  2. Choose a color no more than two shades from your natural color
  3. Apply vaseline to hairline, ears and back of neck to prevent staining.
  4. Apply dye to dry hair for permanent, damp hair for semipermanent.  If you’re going darker, start in front, to lighten up, start in back.
  5. Remember the strand test?  Leave the dye on exactly as long as you determined you need and not another minute.

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