How to Color your Hair at Home  - Top Gorgeous Hair Color Trends
Dye hair at home. Photo:

Roughly 43 million women in the U.S. have dyed their hair in the past six months, according to research from Nexxus. But with the huge array of hair color products, shade options, and techniques available, it's hard to know how to get it right when it comes to dyeing your hair at home.

Whether you're thinking balayage, dark brown, auburn, blonde, highlights, or beyond, read on this article for getting (and keeping) the head-turning hair color of your dreams.

Is it safe to color your hair at home?

Yes, it is generally safe to color your hair at home as long as you follow the directions on the product's packaging. A few exceptions: You should skip a DIY dye job if you've recently relaxed or permed your hair since both processes can cause damage. If you can't get to a salon, "wait at least seven days after a perm or other process to apply color," reported Sarah Schlosser, manager of Clairol Consumer Relations. "And remember that treated hair will process color more quickly, so you don't want to leave it on as long."

What You Need to Know Before You Color Your Hair at Home

Don't trust the model on the box

Sure, the woman smiling on the front of the box looks beautiful, but the color of her hair is a fantasy. "The color always ends up lighter than the model's hair on the packaging," according to colorist Dana Ionato of the Sally Hershberger Downtown salon in New York City. "The developer in at-home permanent dyes is very strong — stronger than the ones we use in the salon — so it lifts the color and makes it lighter than what you see on the box." A better estimate of how the color will end up is the chart on the top of the box, which shows you the final color you get from a range of different hair-color shades.

Find your perfect shade

Start by taking the Color Quiz. That’s an online tool that asks you questions about your current hair color and what you are looking to achieve the first time you color your hair at home, then helps determine your just-right shade.

How to Color your Hair at Home  - Top Gorgeous Hair Color Trends

Hair Texture. Photo:

Consider your hair texture.

Hair texture matters just as much when dyeing your hair as it does when cutting it. "Coarse, curly, frizzy, or unruly hair sucks up color faster and will become cooler-toned when you dye it, so it will look ashier, or slightly bluish," says Ionato. "Fine to medium hair textures don't absorb color as easily and will become a slightly warmer tone when you add dye, meaning it will have orange, red, or copper undertones."

If your hair is frizzy or curly, pick a color that's warm (golden, copper, bronze), but a little lighter than your natural hair color; if your hair is fine and straight, choose cooler shades (champagne, beige) that are slightly darker than your natural color.

What you'll need

• The boxed hair color

• Color brush and bowl

• Makeup removing wipes

• Disposable shower cap

• Handheld mirror

• Latex-free disposable gloves

• Clear solid lip balm

How to dye your hair all over

How to Color your Hair at Home  - Top Gorgeous Hair Color Trends

Step 1: Don't wash your hair for two days before you dye it.

Step 2: Do a strand test first by applying color on a small section. This will help you work out the timing. Your hair texture will factor in here: The finer it is, the faster it'll lighten—you may need 5 to 10 minutes less than the box says; if you have coarse or dry hair, you can go by the recommended time.

Step 3: Read, reread, and follow the box instructions to a T. (Exception: Don't apply color from roots to ends in one go; see step 4.)

Step 4: This tip helps get even color every time when you're dyeing your whole head: “First, apply dye a half-inch away from your scalp and work toward ends—the heat from your head makes the color develop faster at the root,” says Wright. “Then, halfway through the processing time, go back, and cover your roots.” When applying the dye, use a color brush to get more professional, precise results.

How often can you dye your hair?

There are three main factors that affect your hair dyeing frequency.

The first one is the color that you dye for the first time. If you have natural black or dark brown hair, your color you choose is blonde or white or others that need bleaching, you should extend space between your color sessions since your hair is already damaged and need more time to recover.

The second factor is the number of damaged strands. No matter what color you choose, once you dye your hair, it will get damaged. If your hair just gets minimal damage, you can dye your hair more frequently. If your hair gets seriously damaged, try to put off dying as much as possible.

Last but not least, take into consideration which brand you use to color your hair. The quality of hair color is the most important factor that decides the final result. It also affects directly your hair’s quality eventually. Therefore, choose the high-quality color products to protect your hair and shorten the time of the next coloring.

What should you do 24 - 48 hours before coloring?

KnowInsiders highly recommend you do a sensitivity test 48 hours before you begin coloring your hair at home. Wash your hair 24 hours in advance—next-day hair is best for coloring. Right before you start, be sure you have everything you need in front of you. Our checklist: an old towel (in case of spills), hair ties or clips (for sectioning), wide-tooth comb (to pull color through), an old button-down or smock (wear anything you don't mind staining).

Trendy colors for hair

Smoky blue

How to color your hair at home?

Oliver Adams, Clairol professional and Wella Colorcharm top artist, says smokey hues. "Keep the fun and exotic hair color trend going but to ashier, smoky tones like charcoal and blue," Adams tells Health. This look works best with wavy hair, bringing out subtle dimension and color that doesn't overpower, Health reported.

Metallic gold

How to color your hair at home?

Master hairstylist Frédéric Fekkai is loving metallic gold, especially fo curly girls and guys. He tells Health the color will warm up the face and make curl definition pop. A little blond, a little red, a little glossy—talk to your stylist about the best shade that works with your skin tone.

Wine red highlights

How to color your hair at home?

Wine lovers, rejoice: Full-bodied red is on trend. Adams is obsessed with "rich sultry reds, such as black cherry and merlot, with burgundy hints." Whether you're a natural redhead or a brunette looking to experiment, "the reds will definitely be bringing sexy back!" says Adams.

Platinum blonde

How to color your hair at home?

Fekkai encourages those with short hair to play around with platinum blonde this coming year. This classic cool girl color truly never goes out of style, and it's a fun way to play up any strands of silver hair you might decide you don't want to see. Fun accessories like clips and headbands can spice up the look. For those with longer hair, Adams recommends a mix of babylights and balayage to keep your platinum blonde low-maintenance.

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