6 things to know before colouring your hair at home

If you are dying your hair at home, these are some must-read hacks.

Getting your hair coloured in the salon can be a time-consuming and costly undertaking. But dyeing your hair at home can cause a whole lot of issues.

Here’s how to fix them:

Problem: You’ve stained your face and neck

Solution: It’s all about prevention. Before you even open the hair colour packet get some Vaseline and put a thick layer around your hairline, outer ears and neck. This acts as a barrier to prevent your skin from soaking up the dye. If you fail to do this and find some part of your body stained then try rubbing the area gently with a little olive oil. This should soften the skin and work to break up the colour.

Problem: Your hair isn’t as light as you wanted

Solution: There are a few natural ways to lighten your hair – and the sun plays a big part. Global hair colourist for L’Oréal, Christophe Robin, says lemon juice could work. “Lemon juice mixed with a little vodka lifts the natural hair colour when exposed to the sun,” he says. Be careful though; this concoction will also dry out your hair.

Problem: Your hair is too dark

Solution: Get out the shampoo and start washing the darkest areas of your hair. Do this several times and make sure you don’t use a shampoo that is made for colour-treated hair. An everyday supermarket brand will do just fine It should help fade the colour.

Bad hair day

Problem: Post-dye your hair has lost its shine

Solution: Put some vinegar in it. Robin says: “It’s the best way to lock the cuticles of your hair, which will enhance the shine”. He suggests putting just a few drops of apple cider vinegar in a bowl of cold water and giving your hair its last rinse with it.

Problem: You absolutely hate your new colour

Solution: This is a tough one and it might be worth going to see a professional. Alternatively you can try My Hairdresser Permanent Hair Colour Remover, $34. Like its name suggests, this product will remove any existing permanent hair colour in just 20 minutes – without using bleach. Keep in mind though, while it works for most permanent colour, it won’t work on any dye that uses colour lock capabilities.

Highlighting at home

For most of us, highlighting our own hair at home is out of the question. It’s usually a block colour, or nothing. But these days there are loads of DIY products that allow you to expertly highlight your own locks, so you can create ombré, sombré and balayage hair whenever you want.

It might seem frightening, but Robin believes doing your own highlights could work in your favour.

“Hair colourists can get stuck on very technical applications. But these days, girls know exactly what they want and where they want the highlights to be placed,” he says.

If you’re keen to give it a go try:

John Frieda Go Blonder Controlled Lightening Spray, $20. Here’s one that helps you get gradually blonder by the day. Simply spray on the citrus and chamomile formula and by day five you should notice some visibly lightened locks.

L’Oréal Paris Préférence Glam Lights, $18. This formulation lifts the base colour while at the same time controlling the lightening effect. As a result, you have the perfect shade between brunette and blond – lovely caramel tones known as ‘bronde’.

L’Oréal Paris Préférence Wild Ombrés, $18. The specially designed brush applicator allows you to get the perfect two-tone ombré look for your hair by brushing through the lightening cream to the desired area. Available in four shades.

Schwarzkopf Brilliance Fashion Lights, $16. Whether you want to dip dye or highlight, this is the product for you. Using the specially designed brush, you can streak the formula through the hair to get your desired look.

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