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How to Dye Hair at Home

Your Ultimate Guide to Coloring Your Hair At Home

If you're thinking about taking your dye job into your own hands, Real Beauty has tips to get perfect color at home.

Whether you're touching up your roots or doing something drastic, coloring your hair at home is totally doable. To guide you on your way, we hit up some of our most trusted colorists and got the 411 on doing it right yourself.

Related: 6 Tips For Keeping Your Skin Healthy All Summer

Find the Right Mix: Of course it's important to find the right color on the box, but don't be afraid to mix things up at bit, literally. Celebrity colorist and creator of the first luxury at-home hair color Kelly Van Gogh suggests that when going darker over lightened hair (hint hint: getting ready for the Fall), use a dark golden brown or light golden brown in your formula as a "filler" so the color won't grab darker or porous hair. When hiding grays, she advises using more color than developer on your stubborn areas to make sure the color really sticks.


Try Something New: Ombré hair is certainly not new, but Clairol color expert Marie Robinson suggests trying a twist on a popular trend — the reverse ombré. This upside-down spin melts hair color from light into a darker richer tone. It works best on blond to medium brown hair because lighter colors show the contrast more drastically. She suggests choosing two shades from the same Nice 'n Easy Liquid Hair Color ($8) family to dye with. Depending on how drastic you're willing to go, choose a color one to two shades darker than your current, and a second one to two shades darker than the first. Learn how to do the Reverse ombré at home here.

For more hair dye tips and tricks, just keep reading.

Follow the Directions: It is important to follow the directions laid out on the box — that even means even the allergy test 48 hours prior to coloring! Skipping steps in the process could leave you with a less than desirable color, and even worse, damaged hair. Master colorist Vasken Demirjian says the only exception she would make is if you're trying to cover gray hairs, you can leave your color on for an extra five minutes.

Color With Caution: When coloring in your own home, make sure that you're not getting hair dye all over your bathroom. Use dark towels, wear old tees, and cover your bathroom surfaces as best as possible. Many surfaces will absorb the color just like your hair, so try to be as clean and careful as possible.

Emulsify: When you are done applying the color and letting it sit, Demirjian suggests pulling the color to your ends by combing it in the shower. This trick, used by colorists, will help make your color last longer and look fresh.

Moisturize: Make sure that you moisturize beyond what they give you in the box. Splurge on a more luxe moisturizer and use it long after you've colored. It will help your hair keep its shine, as well as its new color. Van Gogh suggests using her Rich & Delicious Masque ($35) at least once a week — she even likes to sleep in it!

Use the Correct Products: No matter who you talk to it's unanimous that using shampoo, conditioner, or even styling products for color-treated hair is a must! Demirjian says that if your hair has been previously colored regular products can lead to more damage and dryness.

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