I don't know if you've ever had the urge or guts to try your hand at coloring your hair at home, but every so often I dabble with it. Don't get me wrong, I think professionals do a much better job and I prefer to visit them, but every so often I just want a "quick fix" of color and this comes in a box at the drugstore.
I've tried a few methods over the years. I've made mistakes, I've made messes, and I've learned some tricks for getting the best result with these at-home hair color kits. From not knowing what I was doing and just flopping it on to having my friend (daughter of a hairstylist) comb the color through the hair each tiny section by section in college one night (this method worked well but took the longest) I've come a long way.
So here are my tips for coloring your hair at home :
1. Don't buy permanent color .
"28 washes" is plenty. When you buy permanent color your hair grows out and the color stays on the dyed part of your hair leaving you with two distinct colors separated by a line where the old dye ended. As this gets longer a line has formed in your hair. When you dye over it the next time, the top half (your real color) will dye one color and the bottom half (the leftover permanent color from last time) will dye another color and the line will still be there.
If you use the "28 shampoos" hair color it will begin to slowly fade by 30 washes and by 6-8 weeks it will be your normal hair color and no one will notice. This is much more natural. Lengthen the color by using a shampoo for color treated hair and don't wash your hair every day (hello dry shampoo) and it will last longer then that - trust me. Clairol Natural Instincts is the only brand I've found at my local drug stores that is not permanent. (The shade I used today is 31 Darkest Brown)
2. Be aware of what "W" means on the box if you get a W color
"W" after the number means it will tint it red -warm. (it's a box dye, this will get brassy eventually). I used to like the warm (W) tones but only when a hairstylist does this, my hair turns red tinted quick whenever I get a box with a W on it.
3. Section your hair off
Section your hair into pieces, twist the section around your finger, and stick a bobby pin in it to hold it.
4. Follow a process
Go around the entire hairline first
Next cover the roots so the color is even and you don't forget any pieces- this step is easy because you sectioned your hair off so you can just flip through the sections and massage some color around each part you made.
Now go section by section and cover the length of the hair with color on both sides of your section (front and back), and don't forget the ends - Get the ends full of color!
(side note: you can see some of the "brassy" leftovers from an old box dye - from months ago in the first image below)
Yes, it still looks like a box dye, but that's what I expected and overall this went on easy and evenly!
(BTW I'm moving in a couple weeks and studying for a huge exam - ignore my messy office)