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10 Lessons Learned From Coloring My Hair at Home

Updated on July 28, 2015
Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannie has been writing for HubPages for over 7 years. She covers a wide variety of topics—anything from hamsters to office work.


Hair Color at Home

I am a rather frugal person and I also enjoy art projects. When you combine those two things together, you get a person that likes to do her own hair at home. I like to highlight, color, dye, and cut my own hair. I even do the same for others if they ask nicely. I consider it an adventure.

Through the years of trial and error, I've learned many things while coloring my own hair and I'd like to share them with you. Of course, some of these lessons are not even really helpful tips. They are just simply the basic truths of Home Hair Color 101.

10 Lessons I've Learned:

1. If you clear away everything you own out of the bathroom and only use old towels, not a single drop of hair color will drip anywhere. If you don't bother to move anything before the process begins, you will dump huge blobs of hair color on your favorite bathroom rug and new towels. It is just a fact of life.

2. The hair conditioner included in the box with the hair color will be the greatest conditioner you've ever used in your life. Not only is the quality incredible, the scent is the most amazing smell you've ever experienced in your life. You will never find that hair conditioner on the shelves of any store, no matter how hard you look for it.

3. The lady that is on the front of the box is just there to fool you. Look on the back of the box to learn what the hair color will actually look like once it is applied to your hair.

4. When trying a new hair color at home, you win some and you lose some. If you are just simply coloring your hair for fun, it will probably turn out great. If you are going to a major event in less than a week, your hair will probably end up purple when you wanted it to be red.

5. Sometimes being cheap pays off. When your hair looks just as nice as your friend's hair, but she paid $80 and you paid $4 because you had a coupon, you don't just look pretty... you look smart, too.

6. People will tell you hair color can only do so much. Only bleach can lighten your hair; hair color only works if you want to make it darker. I laugh at those people as I brush my hair that is a couple of shades lighter than its natural color due to hair color.

7. Your phone can be silent for hours, but as soon as you apply hair color to your head, it will ring. And chances are, someone will knock on the door, too.

8. Grey hairs somehow know when you are coloring your hair and tend to magically pop out as soon as your are done with the coloring process.

9. It doesn't matter what the instructions say, wrap some plastic around your head to make the color work better. You may look like a total idiot, but the plastic heats up your hair and makes the process go much better. Look like a fool for 15 minutes, but hair great hair for at least a month!

10. Even if you go with a drastic hair color change, at least one person close to you will never realize you did anything with your hair. When that person is your significant other, remember that no one in jail will appreciate your beautiful hair if you get arrested for smacking your clueless partner around while screaming, "I was a blonde yesterday and today I am a brunette! You seriously never noticed?"

Copyright ©2015 Jeannieinabottle

Real Tips From Your Pal, Jeannie

1. If you've never colored your hair before, don't do anything too drastic for your 1st try. Try a couple of shades lighter or a couple of shades darker.

2. If you are using any type of bright hair dye or color, such as red, you should be extra careful when rinsing it. It tends to splash everywhere and it will ruin counters, towels, curtains, etc.

3. Be careful when using red. If "magenta" is mentioned anywhere in the description, it is likely to look purple on some hair types.

4. Remove all towels, rugs, and anything else from the area before coloring your hair. Just trust me.

5. It is usually OK to leave the color on your hair a few extra minutes that the directions indicate, but don't leave it on too long. It can damage your hair.


Submit a Comment

  • Jeannieinabottle profile image

    Jeannie InABottle 2 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    FlourishAnyway, that sounds really bad. I am sorry about your hardwood floors. It really does get on everything. Thanks for the votes and for your comment.

    Efficient Admin, that sounds really good. I might give it a try since it also does not sound too expensive either. Thanks for letting me know!

  • Efficient Admin profile image

    Efficient Admin 2 years ago from Charlotte, NC

    I received the eSalon kit and used it. I really like the customized color and it covered the grey roots really well. It comes with instructions, gloves, shampoo/conditioner samples, stain guard, stain removers, and a brush to paint the color on if you wish. It was $10 plus s/h. It was easy to use - pour one bottle into the other and shake it real well. I most likely will use them again. I got the permanent so am expecting it to last until the roots grow back out.

  • FlourishAnyway profile image

    FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

    Soooo true that the stuff gets everywhere. After I threw the dye container out my husband dumped the bathroom garbage can not realizing he had dipped overflowing hair color from the garbage on our hardwood floors. Now there are permanent dots on the floor, darkest brown of course. Voted up and more. I like your plastic wrap tip.

  • Jeannieinabottle profile image

    Jeannie InABottle 2 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    bravewarrior, thanks for the tip. I had heard Vaseline helped prevent getting the color on skin, but I have a feeling the conditioner would smell much nicer. Seems more practical, too!

    DzyMsLizzy, sometimes red can turn really really wrong! I know what you mean about the towels, too. I have my own special "hair color" towels I use for hair color situations. It is red that is the major problem. Blonde never stains, which is nice. Black or dark brain are usually a problem, too, but never as bad as red. Thanks for the votes!

    Efficient Admin, thank you. I am curious to hear about eSalon. I am open to new hair color options.

  • Efficient Admin profile image

    Efficient Admin 2 years ago from Charlotte, NC

    I'll come back and post how the eSalon product turned out.

  • DzyMsLizzy profile image

    Liz Elias 2 years ago from Oakley, CA


    I've colored my hair a few times--went with a reddish shade, because I have a few red highlights in my natural color (kind of mousey-brown), that show up when I am in direct sunlight. A great-grandfather of mine was said to have had red hair--so--why not?! ;-)

    One time, they were out of the color I normally got, and I tried a different one..boy, was THAT ever RED! hee hee hee...

    Also--beware of using towels you care about for a couple of weeks after, as the color will continue to bleed out a bit, as my daughter discovered to her dismay when I went to visit her with newly-colored hair, and she had white towels....

    I don't worry about splashes when rinsing it out, as I have determined that is a task best done in the shower. Problem solved.

    Voted up, interesting, useful and funny.

  • bravewarrior profile image

    Shauna L Bowling 2 years ago from Central Florida

    I stopped coloring my hair three years ago. I like the gray and silver highlights mixed in my my (what used to be) dark hair. When I did color I used Loreal and joined their club. After five purchases you get a coupon for a free box. Pretty cool.

    A tip I'd like to offer is this: take the conditioner (yes, it smells great!) and put some around your hairline before you color. Be sure to get the forehead, around your ears, and the back of the neck. This repels any color that may - and invariably does - drip onto your skin. Also keep a damp washcloth handy to dab any dye that does find your face or neck. If you wipe it off immediately, it won't stain.

  • Jeannieinabottle profile image

    Jeannie InABottle 2 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    fpherj48, the conditioner is always amazing in those boxes. I've tried several conditioners from the same brand, and I still can't find the one in the box. I would buy it in gallons if I could. Thanks for the vote up!

    lambservant, I may allow myself to go completely grey one day, but I am not ready to do it yet. I still like to experiment with different colors, possibly even pink soon! My favorite brand is Natural Instincts, although I learned the hard way that black never washes out the way they say it does. Thanks for your comment!

    Efficient Admin, ah, the mystery hair color drip... I've been there before. Sometimes you find it the next day and wonder how it happened. I have not heard of Esalon before, but perhaps I will give it a try myself. It sure beats going to the salon! Thanks for the info.

    drbj, the back of the box is always so much more informative. Even then, there are always some surprises when trying a new color. Thanks for checking out my hub and for the comment!

  • drbj profile image

    drbj and sherry 2 years ago from south Florida

    What great tips for home hair coloring. I especially like the one about looking at the back of the box to learn what the hair coloring really looks like.

  • Efficient Admin profile image

    Efficient Admin 2 years ago from Charlotte, NC

    So true. My bathroom rug has a dark spot on it and I don't even remember dripping hair color there. I splurged and ordered custom color from Esalon and will try it this weekend. No way will I pay $80.00+ for a salon color. It's not in my budget, plus I have found a bottle of $6.00 Clairol looks good too.

  • lambservant profile image

    Lori Colbo 2 years ago from Pacific Northwest

    You nailed it from start to finish. I laughed at number one. That is one of the main reasons I quit coloring and went gray (which I get constant compliments on). I hated the messy process, whether at home or in the shop. And the hair conditioner is amazing indeed. I like that you're frugal and share it with us from time to time.

    My favorite brand was Preference by L'Oreal.

  • fpherj48 profile image

    Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Jeannie.......100% accurate! I have learned all of those same things through the years of "covering my grey.".....I Especially DITTO what you claim about the conditioner!! WOW.....I get an entire tube with my hair color.....and it lasts & lasts because you need only a small dab each time you shampoo!! It's great stuff ......RINSE out well!

    My natural hair is dark chestnut brown.....I never had problems when I cover my all blends beautifully. I don't have to do it very often and I use an herbal color that's gentle on my hair.

    Thanks for passing this on to everyone who colors their hair and may not know these few facts!!...UP++


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