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How to Color Hair at Home


The variety of hair color kits available to the average consumer have made it inexpensive and fairly easy to color your hair home.  Coloring your hair at home can also be daunting if you are new to the process or have had a previous bad experience.  Follow a few simple techniques can help you to achieve better results.

Choose your color: First thing to achieving a perfect color is simply choosing the right shade. Since there are dozens of different colors to select from, have an idea of what you want before arriving at the store. Pay attention to the information on the box about skin tones.

What type of hair dye to use: There are three basic types of hair color: temporary, semi-permanent, and permanent. If you have never colored before or just want to try out a new shade, choose a temporary color. This color generally washes out in 6-12 shampoos. Use a permanent color for a totally different color change, or covering gray hair. Permanent colors wash out in 20-26 shampoos, and can last up to 8 weeks.

Organization: Before getting started, organize all supplies you will need. Simple organization will make the job go much faster and smoother.

The strand test: A strand test is recommended if it is your first time to color, or it’s a new shade. Simply mix the hair color as directed, and then separate a one inch strand of hair. Apply color to the strand, wait the amount of time the instructions suggest, rinse, then check results. If you like the outcome, continue with coloring your whole head.

Apply the color: Experts suggest coloring your hair at least 24 hours after your last shampoo. Apply Vaseline to your hairline to keep color off the skin. Following instructions included with the box, mix the hair colors. Separate your dry hair into 4 sections. Taking a subsection, apply color from the bottle. As you apply, carefully work color through your hair.

Watch the timer: Read the box instructions and wait the allotted time to insure the color works. If you have persistent gray, you can keep the color on 10 more minutes.
Rinse out the color: When the hair has been processed according to the time limit, rinse the color out with cool water. Apply the conditioner included with the hair color kit. To allow hair color to completely infiltrate your hair shaft, wait 48 hours to shampoo your colored hair.



“Hair Dyes and Relaxers” US Food and Drug Administration N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Apr. 2010.<>.

“Best At Home Hair Color” Good Housekeeping Web. 1 Apr. 2010 <>.

Chao, Ning. “Step by Step Tips for Flawless at Home Color.” Marie Claire. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Apr. 2010.

“How to Remove Hair Color.” Marie Claire. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Apr. 2010.

Monsma, Genevieve. “Find Your Best Hair Color.” Marie Claire. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Apr. 2010.


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