If you’re itching to color your hair while your go-to salon is currently closed, take heart: with a bit of preparation and the right items, you can give yourself a salon-worthy makeover from the comfort of your own home. Of course, dying your hair at home instead of going to a professional at a salon has a long list of pros and cons, so it’s important to think through the logistics before you begin. On the one hand, it’s affordable and convenient, but on the other hand it can be messy. It can also be difficult to find the perfect hue for your hair, a task usually left to your stylist.
Dying your hair can be a time-consuming process, so make sure you have plenty of time on hand before you start (and change into some around-the-house clothes so you don’t accidentally stain a favorite shirt). Here’s everything you need to ensure a seamless hair-dying experience at home.
Box of Hair Color
While it might be tempting to run to the store and purchase the first box of hair color you see, it’s important to research which shades will actually work for you. Your current hair color, skin tone, and hair thickness will all have an impact on what your freshly dyed locks look like—so take some time to figure out which options would be best for you before you begin. You might even want to ask your regular hair stylist if he or she has any recommendations about which colors would best complement you.
The most important rule of thumb when buying hair dye is to avoid making drastic changes. If you want to dye your hair more than three shades lighter or darker, it’s best to book an appointment with a professional when salons reopen.
Most at-home hair dying kits come with a pair of reusable gloves to keep your hands clean. If yours doesn’t, purchase a box of gloves so you’re always ready for your next hair-dying adventure (we could be in this for a while).
It’s safe to assume you don’t want to dye your skin. Hair only. Before applying the hair dye, rub petroleum jelly (or another type of thick lotion) along your hairline to safeguard against staining your skin.
Comb and Clip
Any basic old comb will do, but you’ll want to have a sturdy one available so you can get any unwanted kinks out of your hair. You’ll also need to invest in a hairdresser clip (the long ones that hairdressers use to hold pieces of your hair up when cutting or styling).
This short paintbrush-style product (which is available both at beauty supply stores and online) is an easier and more efficient alternative to using your hands when applying your chosen hair color. If preferred, you can purchase a hair dye brush to make the process run more smoothly.
If you’re dying your hair red, black, or brown, purchase a bottle of gentle, color-safe conditioner to help preserve your new look for as long as possible.
By purchasing these products, you’ll have everything you need on hand to dye your hair whatever color your heart desires. While coloring your hair at home can be a somewhat time-consuming project, it’s a great way to give yourself a glam makeover during quarantine. (For the perfect finishing touch, put one of these moon clips in your hair.) Not only will you learn a useful new skill, but you’ll also walk away with a sleek new ‘do.
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Prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.
Rebekah Bell is a writer who lives in Los Angeles.