How to correctly dye your hair at home | The Complete Guide

How to correctly dye your hair at home | The Complete Guide

There are two solutions for this: at the salon or at home by yourself. Of course, some of us also have skilled friends, but the goal of this post is to present a complete guide for those of you who want to learn to take care of your hair on your own or want to improve the knowledge you already have.

If it’s the first time you’re dyeing your hair, you’re lucky because by reading this article carefully, you will find out what the steps are to dye your hair correctly at home and how to maintain dyed hair. In the end, you will realize that it is possible for there to be no difference between the appearance of dyed hair at home and that arranged at the salon. A key element is the hair dyes used and the care of the hair before and after the change.

If we were used to dyeing our hair at the salon, it is not at all easy to do this on our own at home. It is easier if we have a uniform hair colour that just needs to be refreshed to hide white strands. However, if you want to dye your hair at home in the balayage, highlights or ombre style, the situation becomes more difficult.

Why dye your hair?

Let’s talk first about our motivation to include hair colouring in hair care. I think you’ve also happened to be sure one day that you want to dye your hair and then give up in the week when you had the appointment either because you didn’t have time to get there, or because you realized you weren’t ready for change, or maybe a dream dictionary gave you bad premonitions, or your daily horoscope didn’t encourage you at all.

But here it seems that it’s the right moment! We’re in the middle of a warm, mild winter, Mercury is retrograde, and for an extra dose of inspiration, I suggest you look at the colours of January to definitely attract all eyes!

Let’s see what the main reasons are for choosing to dye our hair.

  • To feel attractive!

Yes, my natural hair can be wonderful, but sometimes I just need a refresh, a restart. I love to look in the mirror and see my hair shiny and full of vitality.

  • To mark an important change in our lives

A new colour, a new beginning. Whether you’ve gone through a breakup or, on the contrary, you’re in a beautiful relationship and you want the happiness in your heart to be reflected in your hair, or maybe you’ve just become a mother, changing hair colour is a bold way to send yourself and those around you a message. It’s a way of living in the present.

  • To stand out

Hair dyed in shades of red or blonde will attract all eyes! Red is a colour that transmits independence, freedom, and power. Blonde helps you not to blend in with the crowd, to shine.

  • To be in fashion

Do you remember the year when hair dyes in shades of pink were in fashion? That was a star style!

  • Some women choose to dye their hair instead of cutting it

If we’re part of the category of women who always feel the need to change something in our appearance, we probably choose to dye our hair instead of cutting it, because the result is more visible and more immediate.

  • To hide the grey hair

Another reason why we choose to dye our hair is to hide the grey hair. Grey hair can make you look older than you are, and in some cases, can affect your self-esteem. Dyeing your hair can help you feel more confident and younger.

Choosing the colour/shade and dyes

This stage is very important and it’s worth taking time and even asking for the opinion of friends or a specialist. It’s okay to try a bolder colour, but it’s vital to choose a shade that suits you. You can convey the same message if you choose a different colour because you find out that the one you wanted doesn’t suit you. There is a synergy between the colour of your hair, the shade of your skin (including its undertone) and even the clothes you wear most often.

Choosing the colour and shade

This task is heavily influenced by skin tone. Also, it’s best to buy dyes in a shade as close as possible to the natural shade of your hair.

The colour of the hair is measured in terms of level and shade. The colour levels, on a scale of 1 to 10 are: 1 is the darkest, and 10 is the lightest.

Starting from these colours, we distinguish the following pigments: red-brown or black-brown, yellow pigments for blond hair, and red pigments for dark hair. At the middle level of pigmentation, it contains a mixture of orange, red or/and yellow, but this does not necessarily mean that bold colours cannot be chosen.

A visit to the salon can help you make the right choice if you want to adopt a bolder colour!

The skin tone is composed of pigments similar to those of the hair strand. Therefore, people with naturally dark hair have more red, orange or brown pigments. People who have a natural shade of blond, have blue, pink or green pigments.

For darker hair, stylists recommend choosing warm pigments, and for blond hair, choose cooler pigments.

If the skin has warm tones, the perfect colour is golden blond. But if it is complemented by a cooler undertone, you can choose grey or even black.

Therefore, dark-skinned people have the following hair colouring options:

  • if you want to become a redhead, you can choose a deep, dramatic maroon. Under no circumstances should you buy a red shade with orange pigments. Also, if your skin has a warm tone, it is essential to use a brown pigment dye.
  • olive skin is privileged because it has a wide range of options. For the best result, you need to know your skin tone very well.

Tips & Tricks:

  • if red is the shade of your dreams, go for deep copper, maroon or purple. Women with brown or green eyes can safely choose these shades of red. For green eyes, shiny chestnut is perfect. Avoid light blond because it will fade the colour of your eyes.
  • very common among brunettes are a medium skin tone and brown or slightly pale olive eyes. If your natural hair is black, go for the ombre style that leaves the roots dark and opens up as it descends to the tips until a caramel blond.

Fair-skinned people have the following options for changing their hair colour:

● the general rule is: the fairer the skin, the more light colours can be applied to the hair.

● for warm undertones, we recommend colouring the hair in shades like honey, strawberry blonde, and caramel. You will see that the skin radiates due to the gentle shine of these colours!

● for cool undertones, we opt to colour the hair in shades based on blue, such as platinum or champagne blonde.

Neutral skin tone and hair dyes that suit it

If you have a neutral skin tone, it means that your skin is lighter in colour during the cold months, and you tan during the summer.

Just as you adjust your makeup according to this aspect, the same will happen with hair colouring.

If you don’t want to spend a lot of money on a complete colour change every 6 months, there are solutions.

  • Highlights are one of them. You can choose a hair colour for tanned skin and suitable highlights for the changes in your skin tone depending on the season. The stylist can place highlights in a light blond shade throughout the hair while making the base a richer shade.

Choosing the dye

First and foremost, you need to decide whether you want a temporary or permanent change.

For a temporary change, there are two options: semi-permanent dye and demi-permanent dye. There is also a difference between colouring and decolorizing.

Keep in mind that a semi-permanent dye will only cover the hair with another shade, but will not take hold of dark brown hair. Therefore, if you have dark blonde hair and want it pink, you will need to decolourize it first.

The semi-permanent dye lasts about 6-8 weeks.

To change the colour of the hair strand, choose permanent dye. Although it will fade, it will not come out completely. Also, keep in mind that you will need to dye the roots and refresh the colour of the hair on the length.

Ammonia – enemy or not?

Hair dyes that contain ammonia are not more harmful than those without ammonia. The smell makes the difference. Its role is to open the cuticle so that the pigment can be printed in the structure of the hair strand. We can say at most that ammonia is an allergenic product, but not an aggressive one.

However, the best dyes are those based on oil. This causes the cuticle to open and the colour to penetrate by exerting pressure on the hair strand.

Properly Dying Your Hair at Home

In the following, we will talk about the steps of efficient home hair dyeing, in order to maintain healthy and beautiful hair and to know the secrets of hair care after dyeing. Also, just as we take care of our skin by applying various creams and masks, we must also pay attention to the scalp, and in the next lines, we will find out exactly how to do this.

Preparing your hair before dyeing ∞ Do not wash your hair two days before applying the dye as the sebum will act as a protective barrier, preventing irritation. This advice comes directly from Kiyah Wright, celebrity hairstylist and two-time Emmy award winner.

∞ First of all, do an allergy test. Do not ignore this step!

To do it correctly:

In a bowl, mix a small amount (the size of a penny) of colour activator and colour. Use a Q-tip to apply a small amount behind your ear. Leave it there for 48 hours and make sure not to touch the area with water. Tip: Make sure to properly seal the bottle after opening it for the allergy test. If you’re not careful, the products can oxidize and the active ingredients will lose their properties. If you have any reaction, wash the area immediately and do not use that dye. If you have no reaction, read on to find out how to get the best result! ∞ We start with a test on a strand of hair from the back. This will help you realize the action time of the dye, but also if the new dye will take on your current hair colour as desired.

Fine and thin hair will bleach faster, so you will have to shorten the recommended time in the instructions by about 5-10 minutes.

If you have dry and rough hair, you can follow the instructions as is.

How to do the test:

Put on a pair of protective gloves. Choose a strand of hair. It is best to be one from underneath so it will not be seen. Separate the rest of the hair using plastic clips, so that the strand does not touch any other hairs. Then apply the hair dye. Wait 24 hours. If you like the colour, continue the process. ∞ Spread some lip balm along the hairline, where you do not want the dye to reach. This way, your skin will not be stained by the dye (which usually washes off in a few days!).

This is one of the most important tips for women who dye their hair at home, especially for those who have sensitive skin.

∞ Brush your hair before you begin. Even the smallest knot can cause a big problem!

∞ Make sure your hair is 100% dry. Otherwise, the dye will be diluted. Also, do not soften your hair in coconut oil (as suggested frequently in news articles read on the Internet). It has no effect, and the dye will absorb it anyway. All it will do is create a heavy, unkempt and oily texture of the hair strand.

What are the basic rules for dyeing hair correctly at home (including for bleaching) Now that we know how to prepare ourselves before dyeing our hair at home by ourselves, let’s see how to obtain the desired shade. At the same time, we will also present the steps for correctly bleaching hair at home!

Follow the instructions on the box, with one exception Do not apply the dye from roots to tips! Start applying the hair dye about 3 cm away from the scalp and continue along the entire length of the hair, because the scalp emits heat that will create a very big difference in colour intensity at the roots and on the rest of the hair.

The same rule applies when using hair bleach. After applying the dye to the middle of the hair strands and the ends, wait 10-15 minutes until the dye starts to take hold/open up (in the case of hair dye) and then apply it to the roots. If you have dark hair and some areas that are darker than others, start with those areas. However, keep in mind not to start with the roots, no matter what!

Cover everything around you

Cover the floor/tile, chair, table, and, of course, yourself! Choose a room where you feel most comfortable and where you can ensure a mirror in front and one in the back.

Separating the hair

With the help of hair clips, divide it into four sections. First, make a middle part and divide the hair into two sections. Then, divide each section into two more, as follows: find the highest point on your head (apex) “feeling” the scalp with the comb and make a section starting from the apex to behind the ears.

Application method

It’s okay if you don’t use an application brush as long as you know how to use your hands properly. Don’t forget to use latex gloves to protect your hands. Mix the product. While applying the hair dye, use a comb to make sure it penetrates each hair strand. Start from the back and when you finish, apply the hair dye on the front. If you’re lightening, cover your hair with a shower cap and spray a little water inside the cap, tie it tightly. The water will turn into steam and keep the moisture while the lightener works. Never let it dry out! A common mistake in applying lightener is to use the same method as shampooing. Also, don’t comb/brush your hair when you have a lightener on it because it’s very fragile. How long do we leave the hair dye/lightener on the hair? As for hair dye, leave it on for as long as specified in the instructions.

Also, take into account the above tips as well. Regarding the lightener, it’s more complicated. If you’re using it for the first time at home, you can leave it on for between 45 minutes and an hour. After an hour, it doesn’t have any effect anymore, it just dries.

If you want to achieve a platinum blonde, leave it on the hair until it looks white, then rinse it off.


It is recommended to start from the back, wait 10 minutes and then rinse the front as well. Use warm water, never cold water because it will be a shock for your hair. Do not scrub the scalp because it is very fragile at this moment. Do not use nails, just gently massage with the tips of your fingers.

If you have used bleach, you need two washes to remove it completely. A maintenance mask for dyed hair would be good.

Th key element

In order to properly dye your hair at home by yourself, you need to be constantly very attentive to everything that happens to your hair throughout the entire process. To ensure that the dye or bleach is okay, you can take a few hairs from the back and spread them a bit, pull them slightly and if nothing breaks, if it does not stretch oddly, your hair is fine and you can let the hair dyes work a little more.

Next steps for bleaching If you have resorted to bleaching, the next step is NOT to apply a permanent dye because it would mean applying too many strong chemical solutions to your hair and scalp. We want to be beautiful, but we also need to take into account the care of our hair. Instead, you will use a toner. This attaches to the surface of the hair strand. Do not use a toner with a volume greater than or less than 10. It would be best to choose one that also has a toner developer.

So use a level 10 toner or a grey one that also has a toner developer.

Only in this way will you not subject your hair to even more stress, on the contrary, there is a good chance that the shock applied so far will be reduced.

Choose a toner that is at the same level as your hair or one that is darker. You cannot lighten your hair colour with the toner. You have already done that in the bleaching process. To know what level your hair colour is now, consult the picture above and the colour wheel. Look closely and see how orange your hair is. If you have reached level 8 of colour, draw an imaginary line from that orange to the colour that complements it. As in the picture below. You will see that you need a blue base to remove the orange tint and have a natural level 8 shade.

It is very important to remember: purple shampoo is not a toner! Its role is to maintain the colour from the salon or home-dyed hair as much as possible. If you use it as a toner, you will only get spots.

Also, be careful to apply the toner very quickly after decolorizing and leave it on only as long as it says on the package.

If you want to achieve that natural aspect of the hair that is darker at the roots and lighter at the tips, you can apply a darker toner at the roots and a lighter one on the length of the hair. That is a level 8 tone at the roots and a level 10 at the tips. Keep in mind that this is a procedure for women with more experience. Usually done at the salon to create a natural appearance of the hair.

Tips for care and long-lasting colour!

Now that we know how to dye our hair at home so that we look fabulous, here are some tips for caring for dyed hair.

Maintain hydrated hair

It is like a magic mantra! Keep your hair as hydrated as possible, as it tends to become dry and brittle after colouring.

Applying a very good conditioner helps your hair keep its hydration, making it soft and shiny.

How many days after colouring do we wash our hair?

After colouring your hair, wait 72 hours before applying shampoo to it. Ammonia present in the dye opens the hair cuticles so that the colour can penetrate deep into the hair strand. It takes up to three days for the cuticles to close completely.

Apply frequent touch-ups

If your hair grows quickly, the roots may return to their natural colour or simply look discoloured. The quickest solution would be to visit the salon for this type of touch-up.

Use a sulfate-free shampoo

Sodium Laureth sulfate is one of the most common ingredients found in shampoos. Using sulfates in the care of dyed hair can discolour and dehydrate the hair.

If you want to ensure that your hair will look freshly dyed for as long as possible, use a sulfate-free shampoo, specially designed for freshly dyed hair.

A good alternative is an organic shampoo, made from natural ingredients because it is gentle on the hair.

Add a touch of dye

Whenever you apply conditioner, add a touch of dye to it. This contributes to refreshing the colour that fades due to shampooing.

This tip works best for hair dyed pink, blue or violet.

Check the water temperature

Although a hot shower may be very relaxing, it is best to avoid washing your hair with hot water. This removes the natural oils of the hair and fades the colour significantly.

Avoid washing your hair daily

One of the best ways to maintain the colour of your hair is to avoid washing it daily. 2-3 times a week should be sufficient.

Protect your hair from heat If you want your hair to always look freshly dyed, avoid using the hair dryer, iron, and electric brush as much as possible. If you really have to use them, invest in a good heat protection spray.

Make hair masks your best friend

It is indicated for both dyed and natural hair. A hair mask acts like a very strong conditioner and can significantly improve hair health. You can buy one from the store or make one at home using natural ingredients such as aloe vera and coconut oil.

Protect your hair while swimming

Pool water has chlorine in it to eliminate bacteria, so it’s important to protect your hair before entering the pool by applying either a conditioner or oil or using a swimming cap. After the swimming session, be sure to rinse your hair thoroughly with clean water. For complete hydration, apply a leave-in treatment after rinsing.

Why you should dye your hair at a professional hair salon!

Imagine this: you’re sitting in your favourite hairstylist’s chair, with a cup of coffee or tea in hand, flipping through a magazine for inspiration on your new celebrity style, while they gently run their fingers through your hair.

♥ A professional will know how to recommend the best technique (maybe highlights, maybe balayage) to bring out your facial features and haircut shape.

♥ They will take into consideration your hair’s history, current condition, texture, and colour and know how to give you the best maintenance plan after colouring, including any special needs for your scalp and hair.

♥ Your hairstylist has the necessary experience to quickly tell you the best options for you based on all the factors mentioned above (colour level, skin tone, undertone, eye colour).

♥ You’ll get the best results for covering grey or white hair that’s scattered all over your head at a salon. Often, when you colour your hair at home, you’ll realize that the grey or white hair wasn’t really covered (usually this is visible in a maximum of two weeks). At the salon, you’ll have the best techniques, which will ultimately help you save a lot of time and money. The stylist also knows the right shade to cover grey hair and avoid making it beige.

♥ You can make any change you want!

♥ Uniform coverage of the hair due to the use of a very wide range of shades, which can be combined with other materials to achieve a multidimensional colour.

♥ Secondary effects of bleaching are reduced due to the experience of professionals in the field and the products used. They have many options so they will choose exactly the right products for your hair type, for the level of scalp sensitivity.

♥ If you don’t get the desired result by colouring your hair at home, it will cost you much more than if you had gone to a salon from the start. It is possible that you may damage your hair or end up with a shade that will be hard to change. Also, keep in mind that you should leave some time between the colouring sessions.

So, colouring your hair at home can be a real “adventure”, which offers very limited options, and the harmful effects on your hair may be very hard to fix.

The best thing is to put yourself first and give yourself a moment of attention, joy, and relaxation by visiting a beauty salon. If you live in Poole or Bournemouth, you will have a wonderful experience at the Beauty Cuts hair salon on Ashley Road, Parkstone. Besides hair care at the highest standards, an enviable colour, and a lot of inspiration sources for hair colours that you may not have even thought of, you will also enjoy a pleasant conversation 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *