Prepare Your Hair: Tips For At-Home Hair Color

By: Alayna Smith

As things have finally begun to return to normal, people from all over are emerging back into reality like butterflies from a cocoon. And, just as butterflies do, many are coming out more colorful and self-expressive than ever before, namely in their hair. The time spent inside over the last year has been a great opportunity to experiment with different hair styles. Those that have tried learned what works for them or, at the very least, what should be avoided. Here are some tips and tricks, from myself and other experimenters, on how to prepare your hair to stay healthy on your color journey.

Make Sure Your Hair is Healthy To Start

Before you even begin to think about the color, you need to consider what works for your hair. I would only recommend starting the process if your hair is healthy and producing plenty of natural oils, especially if you plan on bleaching it. The oils produced in your hair will not only help to retain moisture in each strand, but also protect your scalp from any potentially dangerous chemicals. Dry, brittle, or unhealthy hair is very vulnerable to hair dye, and has been known to not hold color, or cause breakage.

Decide What’s Best for Your Hair Type

Different natural hair types and colors also hold color differently. People with naturally lighter colors generally, will find that the dye is more effective, compared to those with darker tones. However, if you want a bolder or brighter color, it might be best to consider bleach, even if you have a light hair color. This will open up your cuticles, and allow room for more color.

Match Your Skin tone

When picking a color it is important to take your skin tone into consideration. Those with warmer skin tones might want to stick to colors with more red or orange undertones while people with cool or neutral skin tones should go for colors with blue, green, or violet undertones, to complement their skin.

Find a Good Brand

Most colors come out within a few months, even if they are meticulously cared for, but a better brand ultimately makes all the difference. If you are searching for a bright color I would recommend brands such as Manic Panic, or Arctic Fox, that are known for their variety of semi-permanent, vivid colors. On the same note if you are searching for a darker or more permanent color it might be in your best interest to try L’Oreal’s natural shades. In my experience, I wouldn’t recommend using permanent dye for bright or unnatural colors, as they are very difficult to correct, should you change your mind. 

Prepare Your Hair

The actual hair dye process can be very damaging, to both your hair, and your scalp, if done incorrectly. I mean, we’ve all seen our fair share of quarantine hair fails. This is why it is so important to make sure you start getting ready days in advance. In the days leading up to when you plan to do the dye, do not wash your hair. It cannot be stressed enough, the natural oils produced on your scalp are essential to keeping your head and hair protected. You can still rinse and condition your hair daily, if that’s what you feel comfortable with, but avoid shampoo at all costs. You can also apply coconut oil to your hair if you feel like it may still be dry. Once the day comes make sure your hair is not wet during the dyeing or bleaching process, as this will dilute the dye and your hair will not hold the color.

Hopefully you’re now fully prepared to take your hair to the next level, without frying it too much. From here it’s up to you, I wish you the best!

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