If you’ve ever had your hair colored at the salon or used boxed hair color before, you probably know the hair dye basics: apply, let develop and then rinse out. But what makes the difference between just-slapped-on hair dye and fresh, radiant, vivid color? A handful of simple, easy extra steps that add just a few more minutes onto your color application.
Not only will your hair color last longer, but you’ll be able to cover grays better and get an all-round better result. No advanced hair color knowledge needed here; these expert hair color tips make it easy for you to get salon quality hair at home.
Time Your Color Application Correctly
Clients often mistakenly think that leaving their hair dye on for longer will give them a longer-lasting result, says eSalon Color Director, Estelle Baumhauer. “Instead, leaving color for longer than the specified processing time will just leave you with a dull or darker than desired finish.”
Moisturize, But Don’t Clean Your Hair
A little bit of (natural) oil goes a long way before coloring your hair at home. “Don’t shampoo beforehand,” says Estelle. “It can strip some of your scalp’s natural protective oils, leaving you prone to possible sensitivity.” Feeling a little dry or damaged? (here’s how to know the difference). Estelle says to use a deep conditioning treatment like eSalon Deeply Invested Nourishing Mask the day before your application.
Choose a Hair Shade That Flatters You
Select shades that are going to complement your all-over self, not just your hair. “Take into account other things, like your skin tone, eye color, hair cut and overall fashion style,” says Estelle.
Get Help With Your Hair Color
It doesn’t have to be DIY! “Get your partner or a friend to apply your home hair color if you need help with any tricky spots or just want the feel of an at-home salon,” says Estelle.
Treat Roots and Ends Separately
Depending on their porosity, your roots and ends can process hair color differently. “This is why eSalon formulations will come with either 1 or 2 bottles of color dye,” says Estelle. “If needed, 1 bottle is for root touch-ups or short hair, whereas 2 bottles are often needed for long lengths, changing color or adding extra tone to revive the color on your ends.”
Apply Hair Dye Correctly
Ever ended up with hot roots? It can happen if you don’t follow instructions. “Hot roots happen when you apply color onto the areas that have already been color-treated,” says Estelle. “Overlapping can lead to a dull, dark finish in these parts.”
Don’t Settle for Off-the-Shelf Boxed Hair Color!
“They tend to provide an expected end result, regardless of what type of hair you have and leave it up to you to select a shade without any support,” says Estelle. Sometimes, she explains, just a touch more or less of a specific color or pigment will make all the difference to your hair. “We make sure you achieve the perfect color and outcome just like you’re in a salon, and when the right formulation is found, you can keep it for life.”