Color Your Hair At Home
In the wake of the economic recession, we're all challenged with finding ways to scale back on all but the necessities. For many of us, coloring our hair qualifies as one of those necessities. Salon dye jobs can cost upwards of $50, and for good reason. Dying your own hair can be a pain and yield varying results, but with a few simple tips it is possible to achieve salon quality color at home for a fraction of the cost.
Use Vaseline on your hairline and ears to create a barrier so the dye can't soak into your skin. Your hair may look amazing, but if you've got a purple widow's peak, people aren't going to notice.
Just about every major brand makes them nowadays, and they're much easier to apply than traditional color, especially for those of us with longer hair. One of the major difficulties with coloring at home is that it's hard to get even coverage all over, especially when applying color yourself. It mimicks the consistency of a foamy shampoo and all you have to do is lather your entire head, making it much easier to ensure that every strand is covered.
Be sure your hair is completely combed and tangle free before you apply the dye. My best recommendation is to straighten the hair a day or two before applying the dye for an easier application. If your hair is wavy/curly like mine, the twists and kinks can make it much harder to apply color evenly. However, you don't want to color too soon after straightening so the shaft won't be completely flattened. Not to mention both coloring and straightening can be damaging to the hair, so it's best to avoid doing one right after the other.
It's not a widely proliferated tip by professional hairdressers because, after all, who wants to be messing around with someone else's greasy hair? But if you're coloring at home, you should try waiting to color your hair until it's got at least a couple of days worth of oil. The oil not only protects your hair shaft from damage but helps the dye take better, too.
Hold off on washing
I know it feels gross, but resist the temptation to shampoo after you dye. Instead, thoroughly rinse all the dye out with lukewarm water until the water runs clear. Then, slather on a thick, hydrating conditioner to replenish moisture to your locks. The conditioner actually does provide a cleansing agent, and the process of washing your hair solely with conditioner is a practice known in the hair world as co-washing. You should wait as long as possible (within reason, of course!) to wash your hair with shampoo after you dye. Co-washing is a good way to keep clean while still retaining moisture and to keep from stripping off your new dye job with the abrasive surfactants and sulfates found in most shampoos.
Save money by avoiding the salon chair.
I recommend waiting at least a week after you've dyed your tresses to start abusing them with heat. There are plenty of ways to style without heat, no matter what look you're going for: curly, wavy or straight. Heat doesn't necessarily affect how well the dye holds to your hair, but it does cause damage and even the best dyes do some mild damage to your hair, so give it ample time to recover!
Numerous companies now sell high quality organic dies that are not only better for the environment but for your hair and scalp as well. Lush's dye bars are an amazing color substitute. I recommend the red and brown shades, as they seem to work best in the darker range but go ahead and give the others a shot! If you want highlights without the harsh stripping properties of bleach, consider a more natural product, like Sun-In or, to go truly old school, lemon juice.