Changing up your hair color in your own bathroom is totally possible, but we don’t recommend going for anything that uses bleach (lightening to blonde, ombré, highlighting, etc.) without the help of a professional. But if you’re trying for a shade that’s similar or slightly darker than your current hair, go for it! Here’s how.
Picking a color
Once you know the color you’re trying to achieve, pay close attention to undertones, which are usually described in the color’s name. Words like “cool” and “ash” refer to cooler tones, words like “golden” and “reddish” refer to warmer tones, and words like “natural” and “beige” refer to neutral tones. Again, don’t go more than three shades darker or lighter than your current color without salon help. And remember, rainbow and pastel shades will only show up on very light or pre-lightened hair.
Use the right tools
Even though most store-bought hair color is designed to be mixed and applied using a squeeze bottle, we recommend investing in the same tools a pro would use—a bowl and brush. You may have to hit up a specialty store or the internet to find these, but they’ll make a huge difference in your application process. Also, grab some clips so you can properly separate your hair.
Put on a t-shirt you don’t mind ruining, and wrap a rag or towel around your neck. Divide your hair into four quadrants using clips, and use petroleum jelly to cover your hairline at your neck and forehead as well as your ears to avoid staining. Cover your bathroom counter with a rag (you’ll thank us later), and mix the dye following the instructions. Pour it into your bowl.
Use the brush to apply the dye onto your hair, one section at a time. Start from the root and work down, making sure to fully saturate each strand for even color. You can use a wide-tooth comb to work the color through even more if you’re having trouble or have very textured hair. If you know your hair has trouble taking color, after applying the color, putting a disposable shower cap on and using a blow dryer to apply heat can help.
Wait and rinse
Let the recommended amount of time (see dye instructions) pass before rinsing. The dye can stain light tiles, so be careful where you decide to rinse. Make sure you rinse until the water runs completely clear, as this can take a considerable amount of time, especially for red dyes. Follow with a color-safe conditioner, but no shampoo!
Style as usual
Air dry or blow dry your hair and style to your liking. Even if you usually wash your hair everyday, we recommend waiting at least three days before your first shampoo post-color to help the color last longer and stay vibrant.