10 Tips for Coloring Your Hair at Home:
As my own stylist, I've experienced my fair share of at home color disasters. My hair has been just about every color you can imagine, so I know that at home coloring guides and "rules" (e.g. never go too far past your natural shade) don't always provide relevant information. Here are 10 practical tips that are relevant no matter what color, natural or unnatural, you're dyeing. You probably already have most of the supplies needed for this guide.
1. Dyeing your own hair can get dirty. Be sure to use objects you don't mind losing in the process, like an ex-boyfriend's shirt, hair ties you won't use again, and towels that are almost unusable anyway. Always wear gloves, unless you want your hands to be covered in dark stains for a few days... and smell like dye for even longer.
2. Apply Vaseline or baby oil around your hairline, and on your neck and ears. This will prevent stains. Stains on your scalp aren't as problematic: they're easy to hide and quick to fade. Keep the Vaseline or baby oil around, leave some on a cotton ball to swipe problem areas where dye may fall on your face or neck.
3. If you don't want to spring for clips, you can divide your hair with regular hair ties. I usually divide into layers rather that sections. If you're going lighter, start application with the top layer. If you're going darker, start with the bottom layer. This will make it look more natural. If you don't care, just start with whichever area you want to be most saturated. I usually start with my bangs.
4. The dye will usually make your hair wet. You can use this to your advantage, and "plaster" hair away from your face and neck. This has the added advantage of helping the dye set in. While you're letting the dye sit, be especially careful around fabrics. The stains are near impossible to get out.
5. The way you keep your hair while the dye is setting does make a difference... especially with bleach. A shower cap is a relatively cheap, if unglamorous, way of keeping the dye even. A bun is second best, but the hair inside will become brighter than the hair on top.
6. When you're done applying the dye, always wipe down the area and your face, ears, and neck with Vaseline or baby oil. Sometimes, especially with colors like black, stains that you didn't see will emerge later on.
7. Stains (on tile or similar surfaces) that you didn't immediately wipe off can sometimes be removed. Try using toothpaste with whitening. You can smear the toothpaste over the stain, and leave it for about an hour. Then, if you scrape the toothpaste up, some dye will come up with it. Try this multiple times if it doesn't come up immediately, or, leave it overnight.
8. Wait 24-48 hours after bleaching to dye your hair, especially if you're trying for a blue or green. If you don't wait, the color may not turn out right, or stay in as long.
9. After washing your hair out, blow dry it. Not only is it fun to see your new color, it can help set the dye. Clean your shower immediately if it still has dye in it... it might be stained. You can use surface or shower cleaner.
10. Think about covering your pillow with an old towel, otherwise, the dye may rub off on your sheets.