Let’s talk about the dos and don’ts of home hair colour. I’ve also got a video tutorial showing you exactly what to do, with my lovely mum being my beauty guinea pig.
Home hair colour is a polarising topic.
When I ask my hairdresser friends about box colour, they tell me it’s how they make their most money:
Everyone has a story about a home hair colour that went wrong.
But when I walk in to Priceline or a supermarket, I see aisles and aisles of products, so someone must be buying it and using it pretty successfully.
So let’s talk honestly about home hair colour – and a big thanks to my mum for letting a very inexperienced stylist (me!) apply her colour at home.
Why home hair colour isn’t for me
I already colour my hair and it’s significantly different to my normal hair colour. In fact, I’m not even really sure what my natural hair colour is anymore.
I’ve been a very light blonde for years and so I’m not a good candidate for home hair colour.
Who is home hair colour for?
My mum, on the other hand, has been using home hair colour for years with visits to a hair salon in between.
Home hair colour is best suited to matching your natural hair colour or going one to two shades lighter or darker. It’s also great for easy grey coverage to match your natural hair colour.
Check out my mum’s hair transformation in our video below and keep reading for my home hair colour dos and don’ts.
How to DIY home hair colour / box color – my mum lets me dye her hair!
Click here if you can’t see the video above
Home Hair Colour Dos
1. Always call the advice line before you colour your hair
The advice line is there to help you and make sure that you’ve chosen the right colour and have enough product to finish the job.
Although they say everything comes in the box, it’s so much easier when you purchase a bowl, a brush and gloves that fit. Keep walking the down the aisle and purchase the extra supplies.
You can also buy a cape but a big old towel will also do the job just fine.
2. Always read the instructions completely before you start
I’m terrible at this but it’s really important to make sure that you know all the steps before your begin.
3. Do an allergy test
You don’t want to find out when the product’s just applied to your scalp that you’re having a reaction, so apply first the colour cream to the inside of your arm at least 48 hours before you colour your hair. There are full details on the instructions, of course.
4. Do a strand test
If you’re using a product for the first time or changing your hair colour, it’s a really good idea to do a strand test.
Take a piece of hair at the back of your head (underneath where it’s hidden). Mix up a teaspoon of the colour and apply it to your hair. This will allow you to get a true colour match and work out exactly how much time you need to process your hair.
5. Do set a timer
Always set a timer when you’re colouring your hair – don’t just rely on when you think you started.
6. Do apply colour to the regrowth section only
If this is the second time you’re colouring, you want to apply the colour just to the new hair. See the don’ts section for why.
7. Do get a friend to help
If you can ask a friend over to help you, it’s so much easier for them to apply the colour evenly to the back of your head.
And do have fun! Remember it’s just hair and it’s okay to experiment with your colour and try something new.
Home Hair Colour Don’ts
1. Don’t try a colour because of the picture on the front of the box
Always look at the side or back of the box to see the true colour prediction based on what your hair colour is.
2. Don’t stray too far from your natural colour
It’s easier when you’re going darker but be careful when going lighter. Make sure you check with the advice line to know how it’s going to work.
I’d also suggest doing a strand test if going dramatically different from your natural hair colour.
3. Don’t rush
Make sure you read all the instructions and check with the advice line if you have any concerns.
4. Don’t start colouring your hair late at night
It’s never a good idea as the advice line is closed, and so are the shops if you need to get more product.
5. Don’t apply the colour over colour
Remember colour over colour always goes darker.
If you apply another box over existing colour, you’re going to find that your ends become darker and darker over time. It’s also very difficult to lighten this hair later and so you can get stuck with dull, dark hair.
And don’t stress if it goes wrong. It’s only hair and there’s always a way to fix it, even if that means a new haircut.
I want to open up the conversation around home hair colour, because I don’t want people to feel embarrassed about using it and I’ve seen some really great result from it. I’m so happy with how my mum’s hair colour turned out.
I’ve been working with Schwarzkopf over the last few years and I used a product that they launched last year, the Colour Specialist range.
Now this isn’t a sponsored post, I just really wanted to try it myself.
I’ve seen how good the Colour Specialist range is when I used it on some of my readers but I’d never applied it myself. I really couldn’t believe how much thicker Mum’s hair felt and looked. The condition of her hair was fantastic after we coloured it. I am so impressed!
There was one point I was nervous, and I thought we’d gone too dark. But once we washed it out and dried it, I was really happy with the result.
I’d love to open up the conversation up around the home hair colour and find out, do you use it? And why?
If you’ve got a good story, I’d love to hear it and I also love to hear a hair disaster story, so share away in the comments.
I use the Live Colours, which are basically a rinse that washes out after about 3-4 washes for me [even though the packet says 8 washes] but I don’t mind because it gives me the chance to try out different highlights in my hair. The colour placement for me is critical because I need to be able to put my hair in a bun or french roll and have most of the colour disappear, especially when I use pink!