Picking the perfect hair color shade for your complexion is essential. But the truth is, getting your best color starts even before you open your hair color box. Here are a few handy tips to keep in mind before you color hair at home.
Read the labels carefully
Pay special attention to the type of application listed on the box. Is it your first-time coloring? Choose an “all-over” application. If you’re at it again, choose a “root touch-up” application to take care of any regrowth. This will prevent color from being too dark at your ends and help prevent over-processing. That’s important to get the best result!
For longer hair, buy two boxes
If your hair is longer than shoulder length or very thick and you’re making an all-over application, you may need two boxes to fully saturate your hair. Also, keep in mind that the ends of long hair tend to absorb more color, so you may need to trim your processing time to prevent color from getting too dark.
Set up your coloring station
Gather your supplies: an old shirt, dark towels, a timer, a comb, plastic hair clips, and petroleum jelly (apply to the hairline to prevent staining!). Lay the contents out in the numeric order on the containers. Take out the gloves and directions and read them carefully. You’ll want to make sure you’re mixing the right products and what the timing should be.
Coarse hair generally takes more time to absorb color, so it requires a longer timing. Fine hair takes less time to absorb color, so it requires a shorter timing. Hair that's dry or permed may absorb color quickly as well. To play it safe, we recommend a strand test – it's an excellent way to predict how long you’ll need to let the color process.
Cut or perm before coloring
Cutting your hair before you color will ensure you’re able to see the full effect of your color. And your color will enhance your cut. The same goes for perms. Perm first to ensure that the perming process will not interfere with your newly applied color. If you're using a permanent hair color (lasts until your hair grows out or you recolor), wait for 7 – 10 days and shampoo at least once before coloring.
Some semi-permanent and demi-permanent hair colors can be used the same day as your perm – as long as your scalp is not irritated and is in good condition. Check the package instructions to be sure. Either way, make sure you do a strand test before coloring your hair. Perms and relaxers can leave hair more porous and allow the color to absorb faster.
Don’t shampoo right before coloring
You generally shouldn't shampoo immediately before coloring, because this will remove the natural oils that help protect your scalp during the coloring process. It's best to shampoo 12 - 24 hours before coloring when using semi-permanent or demi-permanent hair color. Shampoo 24 hours before using permanent color.
Start your timer
As soon as you’ve finished applying your hair color, set your timer for the amount of time indicated on the box. Remember, that setting it any earlier could affect your color result.
Use a proper conditioner
It's best to use the conditioner that comes with your hair color. It has been specifically designed for use with that hair color to help create softness and shine.
Prepare for recoloring
Demi-permanent hair color will last up to 28 shampoos – if you wash your hair every day, that's about 4 weeks. Permanent hair color (lasts until your hair grows out or you recolor) should be refreshed when your roots start to show, after about 4 – 6 weeks.
Go with step by step tutorial
For application tips, type your box name in the search bar above, and when you get to the product page, scroll to “How to use” for a step-by-step tutorial. Happy coloring!