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Hair-Dyeing Hacks for Perfect At-Home Color

Hair-Dyeing Hacks for Perfect At-Home Color

Many women who dye their hair prefer to do it themselves at home rather than getting it done at a salon. Dyeing at home can save you a ton of money, but it can also be tricky, as well as messy! Eliminate the mess and drama of at-home hair dyeing by following these few simple “hacks”.

Hair-Dyeing Hacks for Perfect At-Home Color

Buy Two Boxes

There’s nothing worse than running out of color when you’re halfway done! Plan ahead by buying two boxes of your color. And if you don’t end up using the second one, you can always return it to the store, or save it for next time!

Always Do the “Strand Test”

You never know how your hair is going to react to a new shade or color until you try it. So before committing, dye a small lock of your hair that’s well hidden, preferably in the back somewhere. That way you’ll know about any potential color mishaps before it’s too late!

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Hair-Dyeing Hacks for Perfect At-Home Color

Prep Your Hairline

Minimize the possibility of accidentally dyeing your forehead and neck by applying a balm or salve around your entire hairline. This will make any drips or castoff easy to remove. (Bonus Tip: Rather than using something from a tub, grab a few extra sticks of plain lip balm. It’s much easier to apply around your hairline, and it’s a lot cleaner too!)

Hair-Dyeing Hacks for Perfect At-Home Color

Round Up Your Tools

There are a few tools you should have at the ready (or within arm’s reach) while you’re coloring your hair:

  • Wet Wipes – Keep some sort of wet wipes handy for quickly removing any dye drips or splatters from your skin (or your walls!).
  • Extra Gloves – Most at-home dye kits come with a pair of gloves, but it’s always a good idea to have backups. You can find basic latex gloves in the cleaning aisle of most grocery stores, and they’re an inexpensive way to avoid color-stained hands.
  • Shower Cap – When you’ve applied your color, the instructions usually tell you to let the color sit for a certain amount of time. You can minimize potential messes during this time by putting your hair up into a shower cap.
Hair-Dyeing Hacks for Perfect At-Home Color

Apply Like a Colorist

Most at-home dyes are meant to be applied from the bottle, but this method usually creates a big mess, and can even result in streaky color if not mixed well. But for an extra $5 or so, you can purchase a salon-quality bowl and color brush from most beauty supply shops. (You can also find dyeing kits online that include a brush and bowl together, like this one.) You’ll feel much more in control of the color application!

Another colorist method you should borrow is using clips to section your hair off into 4-6 sections. Working on one smaller section at a time will make applying your color easier and less messy.

Look into Two Mirrors

Coloring your hair by yourself can be tricky, but you can make it a lot easier by positioning a mirror behind you while you’re doing it. You’ll be able to see what you’re doing when working on the back of your head.

Hair-Dyeing Hacks for Perfect At-Home Color

Use the Right Hair Care Products

Once you’ve finished with the dyeing process and have your new, beautiful color, you can help keep it looking shiny and new for longer by using a shampoo designed for colored hair. You can also keep your color fresh by washing it less often.

Do you color your hair at home?

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Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.
I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee

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  • Hi. I’ve been dying my hair myself for several years and would like to try henna. I use a medium brown permanent Clairol dye with a #20 developer. Do I need to do anything to my hair first to get rid of the current dye or can I apply the henna on top of it? I have gray roots that I need to cover. Thank you!

    • You can not apply regular Henna over dyed hair. The only Henna you can use over dyed hair is the Mendhi Henna, the kind used for body art. The Henna you would purchase over the counter contains metallic salts that affect the chemicals in hair dye. I agree with the others. Henna is a safer dye and is way better for your hair.

    • Maggy, there are a variety of shades of henna that you can find one that is close to your color. http://www.earthhenna.com/herbal-and-henna-cosmetics/henna-for-hair/hair-color-charts/
      While I have a friend that applied henna over box colored hair with great success, if you are uncomfortable doing that, you could do just your roots with henna until the box colored hair grows out. Henna does deep condition my hair along with the coconut oil and apple cider vinegar. Henna has the consistency of yogurt, and I have my husband use a coloring brush to ensure he gets good coverage of my roots so he doesn’t miss any of the whites.

  • As a former Cosmetologist, I would recommend trying henna as apposed to regular hair dye. I will be using it, as I am showing more gray than I like. Like Cheryl posted, I believe that hair dye DOES contribute to cancer……………….Just keep in mind, once you use henna, you’ll have to wait til you hair grows out before using hair dye. Anyway, I lost my mother to brain cancer and I don’t want to go that way…………………….Best of luck whichever way you dye your hair…………….

  • You need to be careful about using box color on top of already box colored hair… it can effect the color. And if you have the money just let a hair stylist do it because we need to make a living also!

    • Agreed. Hairstylist need to make a living, too. What the client usually doesn’t realize out of the amount paid, expenses, rent (if renting a chair at a salon), taxes, etc., the hairstylist is really only making half of that amount.

      Also, many clients are afraid or do not bother to tell their colorist/hairstylist they colored their hair using box color. Then when the color doesn’t quite turn out how it was supposed to they wonder why. Box color and professional color sometimes do not get along. At least tell your colorist so no one is surprised in the end.

    • I would never color my hair by myself ever! I used to let my mom do it when I was in high school. Turns out my scalp is so sensitive I blister!! I only go to a professional Salon where I am going to get the best color and care. Box colors can and will streak. They also turn orange or rusty looking. I am a firm believer in you get what you pay for. A professional Stylist can make you look like a million dollars and no tears because your hair is orange. Long live the stylist and their salons!!!!!!

  • I have colored my hair at home for yrs & have learned 2 things: only color the roots & your hair will be healthier & this little trick I taught myself – buy a nice n easy root touch up kit. They go on sale & sometimes you can find coupons where you buy 1 box of hair color & get this free. Now read the directions & use it the 1st time & don’t throw out any of the tools that come in it! You will get a small bowl & a small brush. This is all I ever use now. When my roots need to be done, I measure out 2 teaspoons of activator & 2 teaspoons of color with a plastic spoon & stir gently until thickened. I can get many applications out of 1 box of hair dye doing this!! My hairstylist is still amazed I do this with such good results. She told me not to tell anyone else!

      • Oh forgot, and I did buy a long black hairdressers cape at Sally’s Beauty supply to put over my clothes while dyeing my hair. I think it cost me about $12 dollars, but it is washable in the laundry, and so far it has lasted me about 5 years.

  • I color my hair at home and it saves me a lot of money. When I first started seeing the gray streaks, I plucked them but as they became more numerous I realized I could either make myself bald or I needed to color my hair. I was concerned about hair dyes because of the toxic chemicals in them that are carcinogens, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-18662/Hair-dye-cause-cancer–brunettes-greater-risk.html
    so I did my research and found henna was the safe option for me. I ordered the Light Mountain henna online because the beauty supply store doesn’t carry it. They tried to sell me the stuff that would fry my hair, ummm…no thank you. I got several boxes to get free shipping and my cost was around $4 per kit, much cheaper than the regular box dyes. Based on my experience here are a few tips I would like to share about my henna experience.
    1. Get assistance, a second set of hands helps reach the back and avoids missed spots. I had my husband help me. I told him that being he cuts my hair, coloring it is part of the job. I have him trim my hair every other month to remove the splits and keep the ends neatly groomed. He always does a great job.
    2. Make sure you have all the materials on hand before you start. That way you are not running around looking for something possibly spreading the mess.
    3. I used vaseline on my neckline, ears and forehead to prevent staining my skin.
    4. Do it in good light. my husband put down a drop cloth in the dining room over the hardwood floor by the window where he had good light to see so he would see to avoid missed spots.
    5. I used two kits as my hair is to my elbows, I wanted to make sure we did not run out. We mixed it with apple cider vinegar and coconut oil to condition my hair while the mixture was on my hair.
    6. Some people are allergic to latex, I am one of them so my husband used nitrile gloves. He had a box in the garage he uses to change the oil in our cars, so he was set.
    7. I also picked up a coloring cape as the one he uses when he trims my hair was nylon and the color could seep through. I wore an old T-shirt and sweat pants to avoid staining good clothes.
    8. Schedule enough time. To get good color, henna needs to remain on your head for a couple hours, so plan accordingly. After the henna was applied, I had my husband use the blow dryer to warm the henna on my head, it helps the color set.
    The final results were fantastic. Great color, the shine was amazing and it left my hair soft and silky. I just kept looking at the color and playing with it afterwards. I do a full head henna color every three months and I save the leftover henna we don’t use and freeze it for him to do my root touchup at the six week point. My hair looks so much better than before I colored it and I receive a lot of compliments on it. My husband has noticed that I have fewer split ends when he trims my hair, so I guess the henna actually strengthens my hair. The henna will not lighten your hair color as there is no peroxide or bleach in it, it does come in different shades and the color you get varies based on your original hair color. It does do a fantastic job at covering the gray hairs. My hairs that were gray actually seem to shine more than the hair that is still my original color. So if you are concerned about putting toxic chemicals on your scalp that seem into your body, I encourage you to try henna.

  • If you think you might need two boxed of color, they should be mixed at the same time. The chemical process in hair color is time sensitive. Mixing them even a few minutes apart, is going to leave your hair in different phases of the coloring process.

  • I got a great tip from a retired hair dresser working for Sally’s years ago about the trick to applying color in a bottle. I have applied her knowledge now for years and have never made a mess. The tip is to put the tip of the bottle under the hair against the scalp. NEVER pick the tip of the bottle up and squeeze. It should always be laying right against the skin and move it around starting with the grayest spots first for longer soak in time. Once all the color has been applied. Take your hands ( make sure you have gloves on) and begin to use your finger tips to work the color in and around all up under the hair. The motion is as if you were shampooing your hair. Once you have completed the working in process you can then start to pull in the rest of the hair to do a color all over.
    If you are just coloring the roots than you can stop after the shampooing stage.
    Never have I had a mess to clean up and my color turns out perfect everytime.
    Most people think I go to a salon! But isn’t that what we want them to think!!! :)

  • When I do my hair color I put a little Vaseline around my hairline and areas by my face. Any hairdye oops will come right off this way with a baby wipe. Also it won’t leave a stain on your skin . We’ve had the experience using the same hair dye color on my mom. One time something was a bit off with the dye and it left her hair slightly reddish. It was a mess.

  • I used to get mine dyed at a salon but just can’t afford the hefty price tag. I highly recommend the mail order company e salon. They work with you to get you the perfect color and the formula i
    s similar to salon brands.

  • If you do get any on your skin just rub a little bit of your hair color on your skin before you get it wet to wash out. It acts like an eraser. Just wet the colored skin area with a dab of color from your hair, comes right off. Did this in the salon.

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