Your ultimate guide to colouring your hair at home to ensure minimal screw-ups
Pick up that DIY hair colour kit
Your favourite celeb just changed her hair colour. The influencer who has great style just switched up her hair. And your Instagram feed is flooded with hair colour inspiration. But you can’t squeeze in a three-hour salon appointment into your busy schedule. So what do you do? You reach for one of those DIY hair dye kits, of course!
We’re not talking about the traditional hair colouring kits which are messy and difficult to work. We’re talking about the new breakthrough technologies in DIY hair dye kits that make it a breeze to colour our hair at home. Not only are these kits able to provide root-to-tip coverage, there are also variations available now to “tone” your hair colour, cut out brassiness, temporarily let you try out pastel hair without the commitment, as well as mask your grey roots with a touch-up spray. Click through the gallery to find out the best five tricks to know to achieve pro-like results and the DIY hair dyes to try.
Before you begin, you should test a tiny bit of the hair dye on your skin. This allows you to find out if you will develop any allergic reaction to it, and is especially important if you have sensitive skin (and sensitive scalp). All you have to do is apply a tiny amount of hair dye on the back of your ears and leave it on overnight. If there’s no itching or stinging sensation, that means you can go ahead and use the hair dye according to the instructions written on the label. If you observe any allergic reaction, wipe it off immediately and toss out the hair dye.
In addition, you should also test out how the dye will look on your hair. Sure the box comes with labels on how the dye will look on different hair colours, but there’s no way to guarantee it’ll work the same way for your hair. To do this, pick out a small section from an area where you can conceal, or trim off a small portion, and then apply the dye. Leave it on overnight, and if you like the way the colour develops, go ahead and use it.
Dyeing one’s own hair is not the easiest thing to do when you’re not dextrous like a pro. Which is why it’s inevitable that many of us end up getting brown patches dyed onto the skin around our hair line or on our ears. However, this can be easily prevented by prepping your skin right with Vaseline. Before you start applying the hair dye, spread a generous layer of Vaseline or a thick and emollient lip balm along the hair line and on your ears. This forms a protective layer over the skin so that the hair dye doesn’t come in direct contact with it.
The last thing you need to worry about while you’re halfway through reaching to the back of your head in order to spread hair dye evenly is to be scrambling for tools that you need. Which is why it’s super important to have everything you need within reach so you can easily access them. Some tools to prep include gloves, fine-tooth comb (preferably with a sharp end to make sectioning your hair easy), protective ear cups, a plastic sheet or old towel to cover your clothing, a brush to apply hair dye, hair clips, rollers, mixing bowls and a damp cloth.
Remember how your colourist always sections your hair into four to six parts before applying the hair dye? They have a reason for that. This is to ensure that hair dye is evenly distributed throughout all your hair so that the colour doesn’t not end up looking patchy and uneven. It also means you only have a smaller section of hair to deal with at any time so that you have better control over your application.
In addition, you should also start by applying hair dye at the front of your head as it takes a longer period of time for the colour to develop at the roots. So if you start at the front of your head and focus on the roots first, the effect of your DIY dye job will be more even.
While it’s easy to find DIY hair dye kits that come in various formats, each claiming to make the process of self-application easier and more effortless, if it’s a professional result that you’re after, stick to using a mixing bowl and a brush to apply your hair dye.
You can use any unwanted or old plastic bowl, and simply empty the contents of your hair dye kit, mix well before applying onto your hair. This method also enables you to control the amount of product that’s distributed on the different sections of your hair for the most even results.
Now that you know what it takes to master this in the comfort of your own home, click through to find hair dyes that can help cover grey hair, touch up your roots or take away brassiness.
Best For Cover Greys: Phyto Phytocolor in 6AC Dark Coppery Mahogany Blond, $35
Boasting a combination of cutting-edge technology and years of botanical research, this plant-based hair dye covers grey hair and colours hair with vegetal pigments. In addition, the formula is also fortified with nourishing botanical extracts to deeply condition hair and scalp, ensuring that their optimum health is maintained. Expect shiny, healthy and soft locks.
Best For Root Touch-Ups: Rita Hazan Root Concealer Touch-Up Spray for Temporary Gray Coverage, $37
This travel-friendly spray deposits pigments right at the root of your hair to cover up grey hair for an instant fix. With a pinpoint dispenser, you can precisely apply only onto areas where it is needed. Best part? It has a waterproof and transfer-proof formula so you can have a peace of mind even as you perspire throughout the day.
Best For Semi-Permanent Colour: Christophe Robin Temporary Colour Gel, $57
Expect nothing short of luxury even as you dye your own hair using this Christophe Robin kit. Made of 92 per cent natural-origin ingredients, this gentle formula is also fortified with pure pigments and protective plant actives to soothe, protect and condition your hair and scalp. Free of ammonia, resorcinol, PPD, SLS and other potentially irritating ingredients, it is gentle to the scalp and doesn’t have a pungent odour. Choose between four shades for a full-coverage result that gradually washes out in five to seven shampoo sessions.
Best For Sensitive Scalp: Natur Vital Coloursafe Permanent Hair Colour, $29.90
Formulated to ensure high skin tolerance, this hair dye doesn’t contain PPD, ammonia, parabens, resorcinol and mineral oils, and is even proven to be hypoallergenic. Instead, it uses 100 per cent natural ingredients to impart a lustrous look that is also long-lasting. Also enclosed in a shampoo and mask set which contains replenishing botanicals to fortify, nourish and protect hair against dryness.
Best For Bold Colours: Aprilskin Turn Up Color Cream, $15 each
If you’re looking at experimenting with bold shades, try these bright hair dyes from K-beauty brand, Aprilskin. Available in a wide range of trendy pastel shades, each is infused with natural flower oils for an ultra-conditioning effect while providing full coverage, vibrant and long-lasting results.
Best For Temporary Colour: L’Oreal Paris Colorista 1 Day Spray, $16.90
Suitable for dark or blonde hair, this temporary hair dye is perfect for anyone who wants to experiment with bold hair colours without making the commitment. Containing spray-on rose-gold pigments, all you have to do is direct the nozzle at your hair and spritz on. For greater colour intensity, simply spray on more. They’re made of ultra-lightweight micronised powder that clings onto your hair shaft and lasts all day until you shampoo it off. Bonus points go to the ammonia- and peroxide-free formula so it remains gentle on your hair and scalp.
Best For Toning Blonde/Silver/Violet Hair: IGK Mixed Feelings Leave-In Blonde Toning Drops, $43
The most annoying thing about dyeing your hair blonde, silver, or violet is having to deal with it gradually becoming brassy and yellowish. Instead of running to the salon or a toning treatment, maintain an icy cool effect at home with this Toning Drops from IGK. Containing concentrated purple pigments, you can use them with your favourite styling product, shampoo, or conditioner to gently infuse colour pigments back into your hair. This neutralises any brassiness so your hair colour stays true. It even contains precious prickly pear extract to soften your tresses and enhance its shine.