Your First-Time Coloring Guide

choosing your hair color

If you have never tried to dye your hair before, coloring your hair can seem a little intimidating. There is a reason why salon appointments can be so expensive – a lot of skills, science, and art are factored into coloring your hair. If you are determined to color your hair at home, here are some things you should consider before your D.I.Y:

Decide on Your Color

Before you jump into dyeing your hair, you first need to decide on a color which you like. Do note that certain color changes will not happen overnight (e.g. going bright blonde to black or vice versa), and will require multiple dyeing sessions unless you want your hair to turn brittle and thin. It is essential to be realistic about your color goal so that you will not be disappointed with your choice of color.

Next, think about how the hair color will fit with your lifestyle. Some permanent hair color changes require maintenance every few weeks. Ensure that you will be committed to the hair coloring process and the upkeep that goes along with it.

Decide on Your Dye Type

Now that you are committed to coloring your hair, it is time to figure out what type of dye you want to use. You can either go for something completely permanent, or opt for a dye that will wash out after a certain number of times.

  1. Semi-Permanent Color: This is the perfect dye to use if you are not committed to a color. It allows you to try out a color for a short period, and it washes out between 8-12 shampoo cycles. Semi-permanent hair colors are less damaging than permanent hair dyes, and they help to refresh your color, blend grays, or even go darker.

  2. Permanent Hair Color: If you are looking for a permanent change, this is going to be your best choice. Permanent hair colors are perfect for completely coloring and changing your hair, including pesky gray hair. Permanent hair dyes last longer than semi-permanent ones. However, you will still need to touch up your roots every 4-6 weeks.

Pick Your Developer

Choosing a developer for your hair is an essential step as it will determine your ultimate hair color. Developers come either in liquid or crème form, the difference being the developer’s consistency. Crème developer will ensure no spillage since it is thicker, while liquid developer is thinner but provides better coverage. To know what color developer to choose, you need to first understand your natural hair color and the end results you’d like to achieve:

  • Light hair: 20, 30, or 40 volume developer should be used to lighten your hair to a higher shade than your natural hair color.
  • Gray Hair: 30 volume developer should be used on your gray hair if more than 50% of your hair is gray.
  • Dark Hair: No lift developer is needed if you are going darker than your natural hair color.

Perform a Strand Test

It is essential to perform a strand test before you dye your hair. A strand test ensures that your hair will react well before you dye all your hair. If you are not familiar with the color or have never colored your hair, this is especially critical since you have no idea what your hair will look like if you do not give it a test.

Apply Your Dye

You will need to have on-hand a few different items to dye your hair – comb, clips and gloves, tint bowl and brush, and applicator bottle. Put a towel around your neck, so you don’t get any dye on your neck or clothing. Follow the instructions on your color box. Not reading and following the instructions is one of the biggest mistakes often made with home dyeing. You may also need more than one package of dye to finish all your hair, so make sure you have a backup.

Coloring Your Hair

Dyeing your hair is not necessarily complicated. If you are careful with your color choice, developer, and application, you are sure to see the results you’re looking for.