Monday, August 24, 2009

8 Hair Color Tips To Dye Hair At Home

If you've recently started experimenting with at-home color or are thinking about making the switch (in the name of saving cash), use these tips as your guide. With this expert help you can get salon-quality results in the comfort of your bathroom. So go ahead and cheat on your colorist -- with yourself! You and your wallet will be happy you did.

Tip 1:
When selecting at-home hair color, never go more than two shades lighter or darker than your current tone. Jason Backe, co-owner and head colorist at Ted Gibson Salon, warns that if you do break this rule it could lead to disappointing or disastrous results because unlike at the salon, the product is pre-mixed, so it's impossible to control the volume of peroxide.

Tip 2:
Semi-permanent hair color is a great option for color commitment-phobes (try Garnier 100% Color). But Alyson PemouliĆ©, senior colorist at Eva Scrivo Salon, points out that you can’t lift or go lighter with a semi-permanent shade -- you can only go darker or blend grays.

Tip 3:
Having trouble finding the right shade? Most hair color companies offer online guides. L'Oreal Paris has a tool that walks you through the decision-making process and Clairol has a "try it on" feature that allows you to see yourself in a variety of different hair colors. Keep in mind, if the shade you like is entirely different than your natural color (remember tip no. 1?), head to the salon for your first application.

Tip 4:
If you’ve never used at-home color before, it's important to practice. Patty Slattery, assistant vice president of education and technical services at L'Oreal USA, recommends testing your skills the day before you color using gloves, a paint brush (if needed for the box you're using) and conditioner. "This way you can mimic the motion of spreading the product all the way from roots to tips," she says.

Tip 5:
Before highlighting at home for the first time, separate out a quarter-inch section along both sides of your part -- and clip it out of the way. Start your highlights below the clipped section. "It'll hide any errors or spots where the color doesn't make it all the way to your roots," Backe says. Our readers' favorite: L'Oreal Paris Excellence Cremelights.

Tip 6:
There's nothing worse than ruining your clothes and staining your floor in an at-home hair color attempt. "Create a salon at home. Throw on a smock or old shirt and set up a station that includes gloves, a comb and a towel to wipe up spills," Backe says.

Tip 7:
"Swipe a thin layer of petroleum jelly or rich moisturizer on the outermost edge of your hairline," Backe says. This provides a barrier to keep the dye from staining skin. Just make sure you don't get any on your roots or your color application may look uneven or splotchy. If you do stain your skin, pick up a bottle of Roux Clean Touch Haircolor Stain Remover to easily remove it.

Tip 8:
"Hair color can feel tingly and uncomfortable if your scalp is too clean," Slattery says. So always apply hair color to unwashed hair. The natural oils act as a buffer to the product. And don't worry; color is strong enough to penetrate through hairstyling products, no problem!

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