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How To Hair Care - Home Hair Color Tips

How To Hair Care - Home Hair Color Tips

Actress Blake Lively told Billy Bush of Access Hollywood back in April that she dyed her hair brunette to co-star in the movie "Green Lantern" because her bodyguard told her she had to.

Why?  Because comic book fans around the world would have been very upset if the actress played the beloved role of Carol Ferris as a blonde instead of as a brunette, which is how Carol was portrayed in the comic book series.

(Image of Blake Lively as brunette beauty Carol Ferris from Green Lantern - DC Comics - All Rights Reserved)

Blake had the help of a celebrity hair colorist to transition from blonde to brunette.   While it's always best to have a professional hair coloristhelp you achieve new hues, sometimes it's not possible and you need to color your hair at home.

If you need or prefer to color your hair at home listed below are some general how to home hair color tips:

Consult With Your Hairdresser When Possible

When Ashlee Simpson went from blonde to raven black her professional hair colorist actually suggested the home hair color formula she should use.

If you have financial constraints or some other reason for wishing to color at home and have a long time hairdresser, you might discuss your hair coloring plans with them to get their input and advice.   Many are very willing to help a long time client with suggestions.Do Patch Tests

More and more hair consumers are developing serious if not life threatening allergies to hair color formulations.  To avoid developing painful scalp welts and blisters be sure to always do a patch test on a small amount of hair before applying the formula to all of your hair.

Even if you've never had a problem before always do a sensitivity test because your may develop an allergic reaction after ongoing use of a hair color product.

Color Test

Once you have determined the product is safe for your scalp be sure to do a color test on a hidden strand to determine if the final color is what you are hoping for.  Some people simply apply home hair color without first testing the outcome.  Many are also shocked at the unwanted hues which result.

Proceed With Caution When Applying Color To Chemically Treated Hair

If your hair has recently been chemically relaxed, straightened or colored you may get unpredictable results.  When in doubt contact the color manufacturer's hotline to make sure it's safe to color your hair on top of other chemical treatments.

Protect Your Hair Before And After You Color

Apply a deep conditioning treatment or similar three days before coloring and 8-10 days after.  The pre-conditioning will protect hair during coloring process and will help to restore moisture after.  Hair coloring can sometimes leave hair dry and in need of moisture.

Apply Color To  Dry Hair

It's best to apply hair color to tresses which are bone dry and aged at least 24 hours.  Hair color takes better when natural oils have been allowed to build up at least 24 hours and helps the color to stick to the strands.

Guard Your Clothes Against Stains When Your Color

To avoid staining your clothes, towels or bathroom tiles be sure to wear old t-shirts that won't stain and cover any areas that might stain with dark towels or rags.

It also may help to put on a dark or black shirt until your hair is completely dry. For best results opt for a shine-enhancing formula.

Protect Hairline From Color Stains

Before applying hair color be sure to protect your hairline, face, neck and ears from getting hair color strains. Although petroleum jelly is often recommended, it can be greasy and hard to remove.

Try cold cream instead or petroleum jelly which is easier to remove.

Always Wear Gloves

Hair color can stain fingernail, cuticles and hands.  Always wear the gloves included in the hair color kit.  If you prefer, buy reusable rubber gloves and use them instead.  Whatever you do, protect hands and nails from color stains which can be very difficult to remove.

Track Your Time

Use a kitchen timer or similar to keep track of the amount of time the color is on your hair.   Although it's not necessarily dangerous to leave hair color on longer than recommended in the instructions since the processing will automatically shut off, it's best to remove hair color when suggested.

Separate Strands Systematically To Achieve Best Coverage

If you've had your hair professionally colored you may have noticed your professional hair colorist separates your hair into precise and uniform sections before apply foils or painting on color.  When you color at home, whether doing root touch-up or full head color, separate hair into workable sections.  Avoid twisting hair since it may cause breakage.

Be Creative By Using Alternative Tools

Buy an inexpensive food basting brush to apply color to the back of your hair. Basting brushes work great for painting in highlights and low lights instead of coloring your whole head!  You may also prefer to buy a small brush used for home handicrafts.

Create At-Home Natural Glaze

To instantly glaze your hair at home combine your home hair color with equal parts of deep moisturizing shampoo.To achieve similar results as a salon glaze select a color a few shades lighter than your starting color to add natural-looking shine.  Or select at at-home clear glaze product which will help preserve new color while adding shine.

Prevent Hair Color From Fading

When rinsing out hair color consider washing hair with cool water to avoid color from fading.  To protect hair color from fading long term it's always best to cleanse hair in lukewarm water or cool water.

Cold water is not as effective since it closes the cuticle and may not allow cleansing products to be effectively rinsed out.


Other at-home coloring tips include:

1.  Be sure to read all of the product use instructions carefully before beginning.  When in doubt ask questions by contacting the manufacturer.

2.  Avoid product overlap when touching up the roots.  This means not applying color to the rest of the strands.

3.  Never attempt to color hair more than two hues lighter or darker than your natural hair color.

4.  To add natural dimension consider buying a different dye than your primary color which a shade lighter.  Use a thin brush and paint tiny 1/8"  to 1/16" strands of hair around hairline after you finish your primary color.  You may even wish to paint a few lighter strands around the crown for a very natural dimensional look. 

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