I’ve been coloring my hair for more than a decade (I think I started with highlights/lowlights when I was about 18). I’ve gone blonde, to red, to brown, to blonde, to blonder, to blondest, and everything in between. This has added up to …. a LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOT of money spent on hair. Terrible.
Lately I’ve been going darker, letting the sun bleach out all the color and letting my roots grow in. HOT.
I’m not entirely sure what my “natural” hair color is, but when left alone my hair usually grows out in a dark blonde-ish color with darker roots. I went dark chocolate brown (loved it!) back in March and …… 2 weeks later I went to the Caribbean (stupid) and the color got totally bleached out and I hadn’t touched it since.
I have a wedding coming up and as hot as dark roots and super blonde tips would look in photos, I just wanted to even out my hair and blend into one color. Call me crazy, I know.
On Saturday night my hair looked like this (it’s gross so prepare yourselves):
Seriously Jenny … there’s this totally crazy invention – it’s called “a brush”. Try it out some time.
By Sunday afternoon, I had thrown in some dye (and found my hairbrush apparently) and got this result (I included a couple of CLASSY pics so you can check out the depth you get from going with my method):
How to dye your hair at home without ruining your look:
1.) Do not even think about dying your hair on your own if you want to change your hair more than 3 shades in either direction. And even then, I don’t recommend going lighter yourself. You could end up with orange hair and then what? You’re in a salon paying to fix it. Some things are worth good money for – highlights? blonde? GO TO A PROFESSIONAL. If you have dark blonde, light brown or medium brown/red and want to go darker – you may proceed.
2.) If this is your first time, go for a semi-permanent option. If you hate it, the color will wash out in 12-28 shampoos (depending on the level) and if you love it, next time you can opt for a permanent dye.
3.) Know what you’re buying. Pay attention to words like “warm” “cool” and “neutral” and know what that means when coordinating with your skin tone. There are usually keys on the box (“If your hair is currently light brown the following shades will work well…”). Pay attention to them. Also pay attention to the kind of dye you’re buying and what is in it. I recommend avoiding ammonium and peroxide. Leave the heavy duty chemicals to the professionals.
4.) Don’t pick one box, buy it and go. The key to a more natural looking dye job is to mix colors. That’s what they do in a salon and it’s what you should do at home. But stay with one product line – if you go with Garnier, buy both shades in the Garnier family. For this dye job, I chose a color ONE shade darker than my own and mixed it with the darker color I was going for (about 3 shades darker than my current color). It’ll cost you double — but home hair dye? Is like $5/box. Cough up the extra $5. It’s worth it.
5.) Don’t wash your hair. If you plan on dying your hair on Monday, wash it 24 hours before on Sunday and keep it free of styling product build up. Do not wash your hair right before coloring your hair — your hair produces oils that you need to protect your tresses from the dye.
6.) Open up both boxes, lay out all the bottles and READ THE DIRECTIONS. Some dyes call for dry hair to start, others for damp hair. Some you leave on longer than others, some for as little as 5-7 minutes. Some are creams that you need to lather, some you brush through. Know what you’re getting yourself into. As for the mixing part – I mixed the individual colors in their applicator bottles, poured both into one bowl, mixed together, then put that mixture back into the applicator bottles and shook the heck out of it to mix it thoroughly.
7.) Take the time to apply it right. No one wants a streaky dye job (that’s why it’s important to have your hair free of styling product build up – you want even coverage). Make sure you apply and coat your hair evenly from root to tip. It’s easier to do hair in small sections and then go around for a second time on your whole head and make sure everything is coated evenly.
8.) Post-coloring: Condition, Condition, Condition. Hopefully you laid on the dye, let it sit, rinsed, dried and got the color of your dreams! But your work is not finished. Your dye kit probably came with a weekly conditioning treatment – use it. Use that heavy duty conditioner once a week, and buy a “color protecting” conditioner for every day use. It will keep your hair soft, shiny and protected after this dye job and in good shape for future colorings.
I have to say for this particular dye job (a simple brown mix), I really don’t think I’ll ever need to cough up $100+ at a salon ever again. Obviously for those times I feel like blondes have more fun, I’ll definitely shell out the extra dough. I’m not messing with that. But for simple dye jobs and maintenance? This is the way to go!
Ok your turn. Go have fun and good luck!