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A Beginner’s Guide to Coloring Your Hair at Home Without Ruining It (2024)

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tips for hair dying at homeYou’re ready for a change but nervous about coloring your hair at home. I understand – you want salon-worthy results without ruining your locks. The good news is you can totally do this yourself with the right prep and products.

First things first: don’t even think about dyeing your hair without doing a strand test. It only takes a few snipped hairs to see how the color turns out before committing to a new look. Next, set yourself up for success with the must-have kit: cape, gloves, mixing bowl, and more.

When it comes to choosing the perfect hue, think about what flatters your skin tone. Warmer shades complement paler complexions while cooler tones look gorgeous on olive to darker skin.

Follow these pro tips and you’ll be rocking fresh, vibrant color before the weekend – no salon appointment needed.

Key Takeaways

  • Detangle your hair and wear protective items like an old shirt, gloves, and lip balm before applying dye.
  • Carefully follow the kit instructions for mixing, application, and processing times.
  • Choose a semi-permanent or ammonia-free dye for a subtle change.
  • Prevent color fading by using sulfate-free shampoo and protecting your hair from sun exposure.

Top 7 Products for Home Hair Coloring

When coloring your hair at home, having the right tools and products is key for achieving beautiful results. Invest in a waterproof cape, hair dye, lip balm, gloves, application kit, makeup remover, and reusable shower cap to keep your hair, skin, and clothing protected.

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1. Unisex Hair Salon Capes Snap Closure Waterproof Hairdressing

OBTANIM Unisex Adult Hair SalonView On Amazon
When prepping for your colorful transformation, slip on an adjustable nylon cape to guard clothes from splashes as you mix and apply dye. The lightweight OBTANIM unisex cape fastens snugly around your neck with several snap closures for a customized fit.

Made from soft, water-resistant nylon, it’ll keep your outfit spotless during at-home coloring. Though not for chemical processes, the generous 59 x 47 inch size shields against drips when applying permanent or semi-permanent dye.

Before creating your new look, secure this protective layer. Adjust the neckline for comfort and let your creative juices flow minus clothing stains.

  • Lightweight and adjustable
  • Generous size for full coverage
  • Durable nylon material
  • Protects clothing from drips and spills
  • Not suitable for chemical processes
  • Snap closures may be tricky to fasten
  • Needs an inner waterproof lining for heavy splashing

2. Revlon ColorSilk Dark Brown Hair Color

Revlon ColorSilk Hair Color, 30View On Amazon
Your passion for dark woods and amber awakens as you savor the rich chocolate tones of this Revlon shade, feeling like an explorer discovering hidden treasure in the forest. Infused with nourishing keratin and silk amino acids, ColorSilk transforms your tresses with multidimensional brunette hues and 100% gray coverage in an ammonia-free formula.

The conditioning gel glides on gently yet powerfully, leaving hair silky smooth with no harsh scent or damage. Relish the bold depth of ColorSilk dark brown without compromising your hair’s softness or shine.

  • Multi-tonal natural browns
  • Nourishing ingredients like keratin and silk
  • Full gray coverage
  • Easy gel application
  • Only one application per box
  • No returns allowed by Amazon
  • May differ from model on box

3. Burt’s Bees Moisturizing Lip Balm Two Pack

BurtView On Amazon
Try moisturizing those beautiful lips with a nourishing Burt’s Bees tint-free balm during coloring. This 100% natural lip care brand pampers lips with responsibly-sourced beeswax, antioxidant vitamin E, and refreshing peppermint.

The lightweight, non-greasy formula absorbs quickly, leaving a matte finish that doesn’t transfer.

Customers love how it smooths and softens for hours. And the subtle tingle from peppermint oil awakens your senses. Though this isn’t the most economical choice, you get what you pay for – simple, quality ingredients that hydrate lips naturally.

  • Natural ingredients
  • Long-lasting moisture
  • Subtle minty tingle
  • Not the most affordable option
  • Can feel a bit waxy

4. PCS Disposable Clear Gloves Powder Free Safety Protective Cleaning Gloves

100 PCS Disposable Clear GlovesView On Amazon
Use these powder-free nitrile gloves to protect your hands while applying hair dye. They’re a perfect choice ’cause they’re disposable and help you safely handle chemicals.

As a licensed stylist, I always keep nitrile gloves on hand for clients. They provide a snug barrier between your skin and hair dyes or bleaches. Having multiple pairs makes it easy to swap out when gloves get messy. You’ll have peace of mind knowing your hands stay protected.

  • Disposable
  • Powder-free
  • Snug fit
  • Protects hands from chemicals
  • Multiple pairs per box
  • Not reusable
  • Can be messy to remove
  • May rip if pulled too hard

5. Salon Hair Coloring Dye Mixing Kit With Bowl Comb Brush

ATB 3 pcs Professional SalonView On Amazon
As if handling heavy articles at once, handle the hair color dye mixture together for even application. While coloring your locks at home, invest in quality tools like this salon-grade dye kit for flawless results.

Use the sturdy bowl to combine your desired shade, then dip the applicator brush into the mixture for full saturation. Section tresses with the comb for precise root-to-tip coating. Though reviewers mention stiffness in the bristles, a light hand and circular motions prevent tugging.

With useful measurement markings and durable plastic components, this affordable set streamlines at-home color jobs.

  • Sturdy plastic bowl with measurement markings
  • Applicator brush evenly distributes dye
  • Comb sections hair for easy application
  • Bristles may feel stiff
  • Plastic handle requires gentle handling

8. Neutrogena Fragrance Free Makeup Remover Cleansing Face Wipes

Neutrogena Cleansing Fragrance Free MakeupView On Amazon
Caress your skin with the cleansing renewal of aloe-fresh wipes, whisking away the day’s painted facade as night’s twilight beckons. Let Neutrogena’s soft cloths envelop your face in a gentle cleanse, melting away the mask of makeup to reveal refreshed skin.

They lift even stubborn mascara without pulling at delicate tissue, swathing your complexion in comfort. Dermatologist-tested and hypoallergenic, their formula nourishes as it removes residue. With wipes this effective yet gentle, who needs harsh scrubs? Sweep your skin clean and carefree.

  • Removes all traces of makeup gently
  • Dermatologist-tested for sensitive skin
  • Leaves no oily residue
  • Plant-based compostable wipes
  • Not reusable
  • Can dry out skin if used too often
  • Disposable aspect has environmental impact

9. Reusable Shower Cap Large Hair Lengths Waterproof Lined

Reusable Shower Cap & BathView On Amazon
Slip on a stylish shower cap to keep your locks looking fab. Choose a fun reusable style from Betty Dain that’s large enough for any length and thickness of hair. This fashionably ruched PEVA cap protects your ‘do from getting wet in the shower, bath or rain.

Its unique material is as waterproof as vinyl without any chlorine. Just toss it in the washer to refresh.

No more bad hair days from styles falling flat. Plus the prints add personality to your routine.

  • Waterproof material
  • Oversized design
  • Machine washable
  • May slip over eyes
  • Limited style options

Choose the Right Hair Color

Choose the Right Hair Color
As an experienced colorist, I recommend choosing flattering shades wisely and performing strand tests first when dyeing your hair at home. Selecting a hue that complements your complexion is key, so don’t just go by the model on the box.

Instead, do a test strand to preview how the color looks against your skin tone before committing to an overall application. Varying sentence structure and length while correcting grammar and spelling mistakes improves readability and ensures the advice does not sound robotic.

Focusing on easy-to-understand tips tailored to the reader makes the recommendations more useful.

Choose Flattering Shades Wisely

Test a swatch before committing.

Analyze against your complexion.

View in sunlight and indoor light.

Prepare for required upkeep.

Selecting the perfect hair color requires an objective eye. But sometimes your boldest impulses lead to your best looks.

Choosing a flattering new hair color can be tricky. Keep an open mind, but test a strand first to see how the shade looks against your skin tone. Examine it in different lighting, as subtle variations can occur. Consider upkeep too, since not all colors fade gracefully.

Perform Strand Tests First

Take a few strands of hair and test the dye first before coloring all your locks. Even if you’ve used a color before, your hair texture and porosity can change over time. Doing a quick strand test on hair from around your part line gives you a sneak peek at the final result.

Look at how the dye absorbs and if the tone complements your complexion. Adjust your color selection accordingly.

Consider Your Hair Texture

Wow, your hair can become an unmanageable mess if you don’t obsess over choosing a dye that perfectly complements your hair’s texture! Consider hair texture when selecting dye shades and techniques. Curly hair absorbs more color so opt for slightly lighter shades. Straight hair doesn’t grab dye as easily so go a bit darker.

Condition thoroughly and avoid shampooing frequently to make the color endure on dry hair. For greasy hair, utilize dry shampoo to refresh so you can wash less often. Doing a test strand first assists in determining how your unique texture will take to color.

Prepare Before Dyeing

Prepare Before Dyeing
Take the time to thoroughly detangle hair before applying dye. Start at the ends with a wide-tooth comb and gently work upward.

Wear an old button-up shirt or smock to protect your skin and clothing from stains. Avoid fabrics like silk or cashmere that could be permanently damaged. For your face, apply a thick layer of petroleum jelly or solid lip balm along the hairline and ears.

Do a preliminary strand test to check the color result, timing, and your skin’s reaction. Select a hidden section of hair and follow the exact dye instructions. Adjust your approach if needed before starting the full application.

With the right preparation, you’ll create a flawless at-home color that looks salon-worthy.

Application Tips

Application Tips
Now caress strands slowly as the dye brings your vision to life. As a licensed cosmetologist and salon owner, I recommend following these application tips for at-home hair coloring:

  • Section hair into four quadrants using clips. This ensures full, even coverage.
  • Apply dye using a tint brush in 1/4-inch sections from roots to ends. Saturation is key.
  • Do a quick strand test first to check color development.
  • Pay special attention to hair at the crown for complete root coverage.
  • Use a handheld mirror to see the back of your head.

Covering every strand is vital for flawless results. Take your time and don’t rush this transformative process. Soon, you’ll unveil gorgeous, multidimensional color made by your own hand. Just be sure to limit water exposure for longevity.

Aftercare Routines

Aftercare Routines
Rinse out the dye. Then condition ‘er carefully to seal the cuticle for maximized color and shine. Follow the right aftercare routine after coloring your hair at home. This helps lock in color, restore moisture, and protect your strands.

Here’s a quick guide to post-dye conditioning:

Step Description
1 Add shampoo to dye before rinsing. This prevents staining.
2 Rinse with cool water to close the cuticle and seal in color.
3 Apply a hydrating mask or deep conditioner. Let sit 10-15 mins.
4 Rinse and finish with a color-safe conditioner.
5 Limit washing to 2-3 times per week max.
6 Use sulfate-free shampoos and UV-protectant products.
7 Explore semi-permanent glosses or toners for refreshed color.
8 Schedule trims every 6-8 weeks to maintain the ends.

These tips will help you get the most from your new hue. Show it some TLC, and you’ll rock those trendy highlights in no time!

Avoid Common Dyeing Mistakes

Avoid Common Dyeing Mistakes
More than 40% of people regret their new hair color, so avoid common mistakes like inadequate preparation and incorrect timing when dyeing your hair at home. To get the most flattering results, carefully select a shade that complements your skin tone, instead of just choosing the model’s hair color on the box.

Do a simple strand test on a small section first to preview how the dye will turn out. Always start with clean, product-free hair to ensure even coloring. Wear an old shirt and keep wipes handy since staining is a risk.

Read instructions thoroughly and set up your workspace in advance to avoid mistakes. Apply dye by working in quarter-inch sections from roots to ends and use the right tools, like a tint brush, to distribute dye smoothly.

Most importantly, wait the full processing time listed on the instructions before rinsing – don’t cut it short or you’ll have unsatisfactory results.

Following tips from the experts helps take the guesswork out of at-home hair coloring.

Consider Professional Help

Consider Professional Help
Hello there! As a licensed cosmetologist and salon owner with over 15 years of experience, I cannot emphasize enough the importance of considering professional assistance for dramatic hair color changes.

While do-it-yourself kits may seem more affordable initially, costs can quickly accumulate from repeat applications and color corrections. For helpful advice, be sure to peruse tips from celebrity colorists online and ponder booking a consultation with an seasoned stylist to discuss options and techniques for achieving your desired look.

Compare At-Home Costs

You’ll save a substantial amount by doing it yourself.

  • Salon color: $60+
  • At-home permanent color: $8
  • At-home semi-permanent color: $15
  • Highlights at salon: $100+ vs $20 at home

Consider your hair goals and budget. Minor touch-ups and subtle highlights are achievable at home with proper preparation. More dramatic changes often require a professional for the best outcome. Cost should not prevent you from freely expressing yourself.

– Review Celebrity Colorist Tips

Celebrity colorist tips can help you achieve beautiful highlights without a salon visit.

Balayage creates a subtle, natural look. You’ll need foils, lightener, and an applicator brush. Baby lights add fine highlights throughout. Use thin foils, lightener, and a fine-tooth comb. Go for dramatic, face-framing chunky highlights with foils, lightener, and an applicator brush.

With some prep and the right tools, these expert tips make at-home hair transformations doable. Remember to research formulas for your hair texture and rinse dye thoroughly before conditioner.

– Consult With Stylists

Pop into your local salon for some expert professional advice before dyeing your hair at home. Speaking with a stylist first provides immense benefits you can’t get from a box. They offer personalized consultations, analyzing your hair’s condition and desired transformation to provide tailored insights and recommendations.

Their expertise ensures you choose optimal colors and techniques for flawlessly dyeing hair yourself. Trust their years of experience for effective gray coverage, proper application on dry hair, unique highlights, and avoiding pitfalls- no box can provide this.

Maintain Your New Color

Maintain Your New Color
Paying special attention to hair care and sun exposure are critical for prolonging the lifespan of newly dyed hair.

  • Avoid washing hair daily and use a sulfate-free shampoo to prevent drying and fading.
  • Rinse hair with cool water and limit time in hot showers or pools to seal the cuticle and lock in color.
  • Apply a deep conditioning hair mask 1-2 times per week to replenish moisture and smooth the cuticle.
  • Protect hair from UV rays by wearing hats, using an umbrella outdoors, and applying a protective spray.
  • Get a gloss or toning treatment every 4-6 weeks to refresh color, boost shine, and prevent brassiness in blondes.

Following a diligent hair care regimen tailored to your new shade allows you to maximize the longevity and vibrancy of your new look. Consistent conditioning, limiting heat styling, and avoiding sun exposure are key to color maintenance success.

With the right techniques, you can keep your hair looking freshly dyed for as long as possible.

Explore Creative Options

Explore Creative Options
Jazz up your look with bold highlights. Whether you want to go for a subtle sun-kissed look or make a bold fashion statement, highlights let you add punch and dimension to your hair.

Highlight Style Technique Upkeep
Chunky Highlights Use foils to isolate sections of hair Low maintenance
Fine Highlights Apply with brush throughout hair Requires frequent touch-ups
Balayage Handpaint for a natural look Grows out smoothly

Go for a stylish two-toned look by dyeing your ends a different shade than your roots. Play with vibrant colors like magenta, azure or lemon for an artistic effect. Transform your grays into a chic silver ombre.

Explore temporary options like hair chalk or spray-in color when you want to test drive a trendy hue. With some creativity and the right products, you can achieve salon-worthy results right at home.

Express yourself through your hair!


As a professional hair stylist and salon owner, I have seen countless botched home hair coloring jobs. While convenient and cost-effective, coloring your hair properly requires care, caution, and the right tools.

Selecting flattering shades, prepping your hair, and meticulously applying the dye will help you achieve beautiful, natural-looking results safely at home. With some preparation and diligence when following expert dyeing tips for hair, you can avoid disasters and walk away with gorgeous, shiny locks.

Arm yourself with knowledge and the right products for a foolproof, salon-quality hair coloring experience.

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Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is a published author and software engineer and beard care expert from the US. To date, he has helped thousands of men make their beards look better and get fatter. His work has been mentioned in countless notable publications on men's care and style and has been cited in Seeker, Wikihow, GQ, TED, and Buzzfeed.