What To Know Before You Dye Your Hair At Home, According To A Pro

What To Know Before You Dye Your Hair At Home, According To A Pro

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What To Know Before You Dye Your Hair At Home, According To A Pro

Colouring your hair at home can be a convenient and affordable alternative to a salon visit. To ensure the best results, we consulted a pro for the lowdown on at-home hair dyes.

If you’ve ever passed the hair dye aisle of the pharmacy and wondered if you could really do it yourself, the answer is a resounding yes—you just need to follow some guidelines set by the hair-care pros.

These are the must-know tips to achieve your perfect colour from the comfort of your own home.


Are at-home hair dyes worse for your hair than the professional products used in salons?

The short answer: no, as long as you’re using the product correctly.

“Ready-to-use hair dyes aren’t bad products,” says Kevins-Kyle Lambert, a Quebec-based hairstylist. “It’s important to remember that the companies that manufacture professional products also manufacture the dyes you can find in pharmacies.” However, the techniques you use when applying hair dye can have a huge impact on the final result. “Errors most often occur in the handling of products, not due to the products themselves,” Lambert says. He recommends reading the instructions on the box from beginning to end before diving in and following them to the letter. This includes the recommended allergy patch test before beginning the process, even if it isn’t your first time dyeing your hair. It’s worth the extra time and effort to make sure your skin can tolerate the ingredients before you apply the product to your entire head. 


How do I find the right shade for me?

When taking dyeing your hair into your own hands, the safest route is to avoid drastic colour changes. Instead, reach for a tint that’s one or two shades away from your current colour—for example, going from a light brown to a dark blond. These types of changes don’t require bleaching and can be achieved by beginners.

Don’t forget to consider your skin’s undertones when picking a boxed dye, which will ensure that your new colour best complements your skin. Undertones can be warm, cool or neutral, and an easy tip to give you an idea of yours is to look at the colour of the veins on the inside of your wrist. Blue or purple veins indicate a cool tone, which would look great with platinum blond, ash brown and jet black. Green veins mean you are most likely warm-toned and will shine in shades like honey blond, coppery red and caramel brown. Those with a neutral tone can rock just about anything. Most importantly, pick the colour that makes you feel most confident, and you’re sure to look fabulous. 


How do you ensure uniform colouring?

Using the right tools is essential. “The applicator included in the box can be difficult to use,” says Lambert, who suggests investing in a better brush, which can last for years and make it much easier to apply colour. Another essential is a pair of gloves: most boxed dyes come with them, but if you need a better fit, then purchase a pair separately because you don’t want to be dyeing your hands along with your locks! To keep the skin on your face, ears and neck from staining, especially in the case of dark shades, apply some petroleum jelly to those areas, being careful to avoid your hair. 

Proper technique can make your next at-home dye job much easier and quicker, while producing a more professional-looking result. Using a comb, section your hair into four parts crosswise (from front to back, then ear to ear) and apply the product in thin sections with your brush. “Don’t massage the dye in like shampoo,” says Lambert. 


Are there any treatments best left to the pros?

As soon as you want to make drastic changes, it’s time to book an appointment with your salon; for example, when you’re looking to lighten your locks by several shades, a service that requires bleaching. “When we bleach, we completely remove molecules from the hair cortex,” says Lambert. This is a complex chemical process that requires the technical know-how 
of a trained professional. The same goes for achieving balayage or all-over highlights. It may be tempting to save money by attempting these techniques yourself, but if you end up with an unwanted shade or uneven colour, you’ll be in for a much more expensive colour-correction appointment at the salon as well as unnecessary damage to your tresses. 




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What To Know Before You Dye Your Hair At Home, According To A Pro