How to dye your own hair at home (and avoid a disaster)

These tips and tricks will make sure it looks like you’ve just come from the salon, every time

Not everyone has the time to visit the hair salon, let alone sit in the stylists chair for a good two or three hours getting their hair dyed. Sometimes box color is the only option, which is why it’s super important to know how to dye hair at home properly.

You might not be able to create expert dip dye, ombre hair, or balayage yourself, but there are rules to follow when doing your roots or going for a completely new color.

There’s a reason why being a ‘hair colourist’ is an actual profession – it’s all about getting the right formula to get the exact shade you want. So if you are thinking about drastically changing your color, we’d recommend visiting a specialist with a few hair color ideas in hand.

But, if you’re thinking about covering up your grays, going a few shades darker or adding blonde highlights to frame your face, here a few tips and tricks will help you get salon results at home.

How to dye your hair at home

1. Buy two boxes

Imagine getting halfway and realizing you’ve run out. If your hair is past your shoulders, or short and thick, we recommend you will need two boxes to cover your full head.

2nd Do a patch test

You have no idea whether you’re skin is going to react to the chemicals from the hair dye or not, so you must always do a patch test. It’s better to find out now, rather than later …

3. Do a strand test

We know you’re excited about change, but you need to do this properly. You need to check that your current hair color reacts well with the formula, because if the change resembles something more like swamp water, you won’t be so happy. (Keep scrolling with our tips on exactly how to do both a patch and strand test.)

3rd Keep your hairline clean

Swipe some lip balm along your hairline where you don’t want any dye to go. This will stop it from dying your skin, which can take days to get off. It’s one of the biggest tips on how to dye your hair.

4th Brush your hair

Make sure your hair is untangled before you begin, even the smallest knot can cause a big problem.

5. Section your hair

Professionals always section hair into four parts – down the middle, and then from ear to ear across the crown. Dye the front sections first because these are the most visible, so need the full processing time.

6. Don’t use the bottle

Yes, that’s what’s normally provided in the box, but squeezing dye straight onto your hair won’t give you a salon finish. Instead, play colorist and use a mixing bowl and a color brush to apply the dye.

7. Use a toothbrush

If you just want to add some highlights, use a clean toothbrush or mascara wand and apply where the sun would normally lighten your hair (i.e., around your face and on the tips). This will give you natural looking highlights.

8th. Start from the top

Always start at your roots when dyeing your whole head a different color – this area will need longer to develop the color – then comb through to the ends.

9. Wash your hair properly

Don’t shampoo immediately after dyeing your hair, just rinse out with water initially. When you do shampoo your hair, make sure it’s sulfate-free Sulphates cause your hair shaft to swell and encourage the color to leach out.

The best hair dye

Josh Wood Color Permanent Hair Dye, £ 10, boots

how to dye your own hair

Hair connoisseur Josh Wood released his own line of professional haircare for consumers to use at-home. The range includes shampoos, conditioners, root touch-up brushes and a ‘color shot’ toning mask.

The hair dye is exceptional, easily blending through your whole head of hair to cover all outgrown roots without painstakingly combing through paper-thin layers. It’s easy to use, with the results you’d get in the chair.

Going that one step further, you can pop onto his website, answer a few questions about your hair’s needs and you’ll be directed to the products that you need. Am you can even pop onto YouTube for extra tips and tricks from the man himself.

Buy now

The first at-home color with ‘omegaplex’ anti-breakage technology. Complete with a serum shot, repair sealer and repair reviver, the product is designed to protect the hair bonds, seal color and even repair the hair after three weeks. Think less breakage and a choice of 15 shades of vibrant color, from blonde to black.

Buy now

Bleach London

If you’re feeling adventurous and, rather than muted brunette, you would rather bright yellow or punchy blue tresses, then there really is no other brand to consider.

Bleach London are the kings and queens of alternative color and their completely vegan range is available in Boots, starting at the deliciously low price of £ 6. Incidentally, these are the colors that are used in their salons as well.

With names like Awkward Peach, The Big Pink and Washed Up Mermaid these colors aren’t for the feint-harted, but you might just be tempted once you take a look at their Instagram…

Bleach London Washed Up Mermaid Super Cool Color, £ 6 boots

how to dye your own hair Bleach London

Buy now

How to do a patch test

Here are Josh Wood’s tips on how to do a patch test:

1. Mix a coin-sized amount of the color activator and the color together in a bowl.

2nd Use a cotton bud to apply a small amount behind your ear.

3rd Leave it on for 48 hours, you shouldn’t even notice it’s there. Try not to wash it off within this time frame.

4th Tip: It’s very important to fasten the caps on the bottles tightly after you have opened them for the patch test. If you do not, the products may oxidize, and the active ingredients will not work.

5. If you have any signs of reaction to the patch test, wash it off immediately and do not use the color.

6. If you show no signs of reaction to the dye, go ahead and use the color as instructed.

How to do a beach test

You may have heard of a strand test, but still be asking yourself, what the heck is it? A strand test is a preliminary test of the hair. It determines its suitability for processing, aka dyeing. Here’s how to do a strand test:

Do a strand test on a section of hair about 1/4 inch thick (choose from underneath so you can hide it) to see if your hair will pick up the color you’re aiming for.

1. Put on protective gloves.

2nd Choose a strand of hair to test.

3rd Separate the rest of your hair away using plastic clips so that the strand does not touch the rest of the hair after the hair color is applied. Then dye that strand.

4th Wait 24 hours to make sure you are happy with the hair color results.

5. If you are happy with the color, go forth and dye away.

How to dye your hair blonde

It’s a lot easier to go a darker color because you’re adding pigment to your hair; with blonde, it’s more difficult because you’re taking pigment out. First, you should have an idea of ​​the blonde hairstyles you like the look of. Secondly, read up on everything you need to know about going blonde.

The key to getting a great blonde shade is to work with the natural color on the parting to allow for an organic texture that doesn’t look stripy. If your hair is naturally a more ashy tone, go for an ashy blonde. Similarly, if your roots have a touch of redness, go for a champagne hue.

And remember, you might have to dye your hair more than once to get the blonde you want. The best thing you can do for your hair is an Olaplex hair treatment to improve the quality of hair in between these sessions, as this will stop it form going brittle, and to use one of the best purple shampoos when washing your hair to keep brassiness at bay.

How to dye your hair silver

Many of the same rules apply to dyeing your hair silver, or any other lighter colors like pink and blue. The key is to ensure your hair is bleached beforehand. Once this is done, you can then apply your silver rinse.

First, don’t wash your hair for 48 hours. The natural oil will help protect your scalp against any bleaching irritation. Apply a purple toner first to take out any yellowness from your bleached hair. Then, apply your dye as per the steps above. Once you have the desired color, maintain it by shampooing with the best sulphate-free shampoo.

And there you have it, the complete guide on how to dye your hair at home.

Take your time, follow our instructions and your hair will look good as new in no time.


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