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Dying hair at home. Photo: Makeup

How to Pick the Right Hair Color

The first step to choosing your perfect color is to identify your current shade. With a wealth of hair dye colors to choose from, this can seem like an endless task! To fool-proof choosing your perfect color, a color-level number has been assigned to each shade of our Precision Foam Color Collection. A level 2 represents our darkest black color and a level 10 represents our lightest blonde shade. When choosing your color, we would recommend staying within two shade levels from your current color for natural-looking results, according to JohnFrieda.

How Often Should You Dye Your Hair?

How often you should dye your hair depends on the condition of your hair and how much maintenance is involved with achieving your perfect shade. However, we recommend dyeing your hair every 4 to 6 weeks to keep your color looking fresh. If you’re going for a bold shade, like unicorn hair, or coloring your hair to get rid of greys, you may need to dye your hair more often to maintain your color.

In between colorings, take time to revitalize your hair with color-safe conditioners and hair masks to keep your hair feeling healthy and smooth. If your hair is dry and damaged from coloring, you may want to take a break from dyeing your hair. Instead, try a root touch up to cover your roots without having to dye all of your hair.

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Photo: Marie Claire

Step by step: how to dye your hair at home

1. Perform A Skin Test

Plan ahead, since this step needs to happen at least 48 hours before you dye your hair. Although it's tempting to skip the skin test, you'll be so glad you didn't if you happen to have allergies or a negative reaction to the dye you're planning to use.

Clean a small area of skin, such as on the bend of your elbow. Place a quarter-sized amount of color mixed with developer on the inner elbow area, and leave it for 48 hours. Read the skin-allergy test instructions on the insert that came with your dye, and monitor the area of skin closely over the next 48 hours. If you experience any of the reactions described on the insert, do not color your hair without checking with your doctor.

2. Prep Your Area

For best results, apply your dye on dry, unwashed hair. When you're ready to start, put on an old dark colored T-shirt or an outfit that you won't mind getting stained if things happen to get messy. Drape an old dark colored towel over your shoulders, and secure it with a hair clip.

Put on the gloves provided in the hair color kit, and mix up the colorant and developer according to the instructions. Shake the mixture well, making sure to cover the bottle tip with your finger, to mix all the components together thoroughly.

3. Dye Away

For full head application:

1. Squeeze colorant cream tube into developer bottle and shake well.

2.Apply onto root area with bottle.

Spread the remaining mixture evenly through hair.

For root touch-up application:

1. Squeeze colorant cream tube into developer bottle and shake well.

2. Use the tip of the bottle to section hair and apply directly to roots.

3. Spread the mixture evenly over root area.

When you're finished, leave the mixture on for the processing time per the package instructions.

4. Rinse And Condition

Rinse your hair, using your hands to separate sections and work apart any tangles, until the water runs completely clear. Your kit comes with a bottle of color-protecting conditioner, apply the conditioner to your hair, and wait for two minutes before rinsing it off. Your hair should feel soft, silky and strong.

After that, you're good to go! Towel dry (with an old or dark colored towel), style, and rock your new shade with confidence.

Understand Your Natural Hair Color

"Before attempting to color your roots at home, it’s important that you understand what color your starting hair color is," celebrity colorist Nikki Lee advises. "Are you a medium warm brown, a light cool blonde? Once you understand that, you can work on selecting your color. Most at-home color boxes will have detailed instructions. It definitely varies depending on the technique. I would keep it simple and start with basic root touch-ups. You don’t want to try new colors and techniques at home just because you’re bored."

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