Dyeing Your Own Hair

DIY hair dyes are challenging at times, but when you’re taking a piece of advice from the specialist, things may get a lot easier. The celebrity hair colorists Kelly Van Gogh and Sharon Dorram have some tricks up their hand so it’s a good idea to see what they gave to say about dyeing your hair at home. Once you start applying their tips, you may even get the color that you wanted in the first place!

Celebrity colorist Sharon Dorram is very clear on that: “Your natural hair color first determines where to start when you’re choosing your desired shade”. She has a lot of experience as she worked over the years with Kate Hudson, Nicole Kidman and Julia Roberts. If you have warmer base tones, like Emma Stone (a natural blonde, by the way), you can have the leap of faith on trying various colors, as opposed to someone with a cooler starting hue. It’s not a bad idea to ask your hairstylist to help you identify your natural hair color.


  • Don’ dream big

No matter how pumped up you may be about going on a drastic color changing, keep in mind that you’re not going to get impressive results overnight. Celebrity colorist Kelly Van Gogh has a nice piece of advice for us: “The more pronounced the change you attempt, the more likely the results will be brassy, ashy or just plain disappointing”. It’s wiser to go with a subtle shift in the beginning. Take Camilla Belle which went from rich brunet to a pleasant spicy cinnamon- not that impossible to achieve from the comfort of your home!

  • Get more than you think you may need

Last thing you want to end up with is not having enough hair dye when coloring your home. This is why Dorram suggests us to take under consideration several aspects: “Depending on the length and thickness of your hair, you should always buy a few boxes of dye.” If you have below-the-chest strands (Miley Cyrus had it at some point), you may need 3 boxes to completely cover your hair. “It’s better to have too much hair dye, than to realize you need more halfway through” she continues.

  • Don’t hesitate and try on a wig!

If you’re determined to go dramatic when dyeing your hair, (more than three shades darker or lighter than your natural hair color), keep in mind Dorram’s suggestion about trying on a wig first. This little trick doesn’t cost you anything and it’s not permanent either and it’s the best way to see if you really dig the color you plan to have.

  • Get a shade lighter than you want

Ursula Stephens, Rihanna’s colorist, is pretty familiar with the whole hair coloring issue. Hair dye is almost always coming out a bit darker than the image we see on the box. This is why you should keep in mind her piece of advice: “Buy one or two shades lighter than your desired color. It is easier to amp up a color’s intensity than it is to tone it down.”

  • Find the formula that works for you

Find the formulaIf your skin is sensitive, you may want to go with a foam dye as it’s not going to drip onto your face or hairline. Ni’kita Wilson, a cosmetic chemist, suggests that women with curly or thick hair should try instead the gel or liquid formulas. This type of formula is going to ensure complete coverage and are a lot easier to distribute evenly throughout the hair.

  • Have a break from showering

Colorist James Corbett of the James Corbett Studio in New York City is explaining to us why this step is so important for getting better results: “The scalp’s natural oils work as a buffer to prevent irritation”. This is a first, right? Having dirty hair really helps when it comes to dyeing your hair. The colorist continues: “It’s also much easier to section second day hair, which ensures even color distribution”. He also recommends not to use shampoo a day before you are going to color your hair. Wearing a baseball hat may be essential for achieving a nicer color later on.

  • Get another shampoo

Get another shampooThere are some specific types of shampoo (clarifying and dandruff-fighting formulas, for instance), that are stripping away your hair color with the harsh chemicals and sulfates. It’s better to get yourself a color preserving shampoo, which has a gentler formula. You want a lightweight shampoo that is going to create a protective barrier over your hair shafts and maintain the color for a longer period.

  • Get ready for the damage

Applying color is always going to damage your hair in some way, even if you’re going to use a natural hue. Permanent and semi-permanent dyes are formulated with hydrogen peroxide and it’s the agent that actually changes the color of your hair pigment. Tracey Cunningham, a celebrity colorist, advises us to use a hair mask at least once a week, in order to moisturize the dry hair and make the hair radiant again. A good hair mask is going to repair the damaged hair and strengthen the hair strands, minimizing the risk for future damage.

  • Always dye before 7 PM

7 PMNo, it’s not that the color isn’t going to look good if you’re dyeing the hair after 7pm. However, most brands list a 1-800 number on the box which is going to be of great help in case you’re dealing with serious problem. As most of these hotlines are closed after 7PM on weekdays and closed on weekends most of the time, it’s better to dye your hair before 7PM. Worst case scenario, you’re going to get some help with one simple phone call.

  • Stay away from the pool

If you don’t know it by now, here’s some news to you: chlorine strips away the hair cuticle so it lets all the minerals in the water to penetrate your hair shafts and modify your hair color. It’s better to find yourself another way to exercise at least for two weeks after dyeing your hair. Only if you care enough for keeping your new hair color!

Post originally published on instyle.com