How To Avoid Errors When Coloring Hair At Home

If you have ever been in a pinch and need to color your hair from home, this article is for you. It is best to get your hair colored at the salon, but sometimes what is ideal is not possible. Even if you are a person who normally gets your hair dyed professionally and you think that doing it yourself one time won’t cause any problems, you should pay attention. Everything from choosing the wrong color to leaving it in for too long can lead you to needing to correct mistakes later on. If possible, you should schedule a digital consultation with a professional colorist before beginning your self dye-job to ask about what color and application techniques would be best to use. 

Just To Cover Some Grays

If you are simply looking to cover and blend in gray hair with your natural hair color, color matching and choosing the correct color will be an important part of your job. To color match, experts suggest parting your hair down the middle from the crown to the nape, clipping your hair to maintain this part and then taking a photograph of the parted hair in natural light. This is suggested because unparted hair which has been regularly exposed to sunlight can oxidize and appear lighter than your natural color. For this reason, if you choose a color based on hair that is visible without parting your hair, you may choose a color that is too light and will not ultimately cover gray hair well. If you are looking to cover gray hair and change your color, the process will be different but it is still best to check with a professional colorist before committing to a color. 

For A Change Of Color 

If you are not looking to cover gray hair and simply want to change your hair color yourself, there are several things you should keep in mind. The first thing is that most people choose colors that are too dark for the results they are looking for when switching to a new color. This is why experts suggest choosing a color a few shades lighter than what you think you need. Also, it is easier to make your hair darker as opposed to lighter in case you don’t like your initial results. To make hair darker, you can simply get a new box of darker color and repeat the process. To make hair lighter, you will need lightner (bleach) and this process can be trickier, not to mention more damaging, for your hair. As a tip, if you want your hair to look more natural, you can try a semi-permanent gloss which will more closely mimic the dimensions you would get from a salon treatment. 

Accessories To Remember

Hair dye is not the only thing you will be needing if you plan on dyeing your hair at home. You will also want to find an old outfit that you don’t mind staining with dye as well as color-protective shampoo and color protective conditioner, stain barrier cream, extra plastic gloves and hair sectioning clips if you have long hair. Remember, dyeing your hair at home can be very messy. Don’t be surprised if you have extensive clean-up after the fact with respect to your clothes, work area and skin. 

Other Tips To Remember

Some other things you will want to keep in mind when coloring your hair are allergy patch tests and development time. An allergy patch test requires you to put a small amount of new hair dye on your wrist or other area of your skin 24 hours before applying the remainder of the of dye to your hair in order to ensure that you do not react badly to the ammonia present in permanent hair dye or any other ingredients your product may contain. Finally, development time is another important concept to remember as it will change the color results you ultimately get. Leaving dye in for a longer time will result in darker color. Most at home dye kits recommend development time between 30 and 45 minutes.  


While millions of people dye their hair at home, it is still generally best to go to the salon when possible unless you really know what you are doing. Yes, you may save yourself a little money by dyeing your hair at home, but you may get results you are not thrilled about in addition to costing yourself more money in clothes, towels and anything you happen to accidentally ruin with hair dye. Also, if you are looking to lighten your hair, which really needs to be done with bleach as opposed to dye, it is usually necessary to go to the salon. Bleaching is generally done with more advanced techniques such as balayage which are more complicated and it is more likely that you end up with straw-yellow hair as opposed to the beautiful platinum blonde results you are imagining.