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Off Topic :
Coloring hair at home


 zebra25 (original poster member #29431) posted at 2:35 PM on Wednesday, July 13th, 2022

Does anyone color their hair themselves? I used to be blonde but my hair has darkened and now has a fair amount of gray. I was getting it colored at a salon for the past 15-20 years and my hairdresser retired. I have digestive issues that are very unpredictable and make those long appointments very stressful.

Is it possible to do this at home without ruining my hair?


"Don't let anyone who hasn't been in your shoes tell you how to tie your laces."

D-day April 2010

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annb ( member #22386) posted at 3:54 PM on Wednesday, July 13th, 2022

I color my hair at home. Didn't like being in the salon for two hours or paying an exorbitant amount just to repeat 7 or so weeks later. Same here, I had it done for probably 12 years or so.

The key is to use GOOD hair dye. I think I had tried Clairol? on sale and some of my hair started to fall out because of the harshness.

You might have to experiment a couple of times for a shade you like.

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 zebra25 (original poster member #29431) posted at 6:06 PM on Wednesday, July 13th, 2022

Thank you annb. It is quite expensive isn't it? My roots would start looking bad after four weeks and I would need to be done in five weeks, six was really pushing it.

Do you have a brand you would recommend? I get a little overwhelmed with all the choices and information. I've also read lightening hair is a bit harder to do?

"Don't let anyone who hasn't been in your shoes tell you how to tie your laces."

D-day April 2010

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lieshurt ( Moderator #14003) posted at 6:11 PM on Wednesday, July 13th, 2022

I color my hair at home too. Never had a problem. I do have a cape to help protect my clothes and not get dye all over me. I also apply Vaseline on my skin around the hair line to keep from staining my skin. I like Olia, Garnier Nutrisse, or Schwarzkopf.

No one changes unless they want to. Not if you beg them. Not if you shame them. Not if you use reason, emotion, or tough love. There is only one thing that makes someone change: their own realization that they need to.

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 zebra25 (original poster member #29431) posted at 7:16 PM on Wednesday, July 13th, 2022

Thanks lieshurt. Good idea to get a cape. Thanks for the brand recommendations!!!

"Don't let anyone who hasn't been in your shoes tell you how to tie your laces."

D-day April 2010

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doninvaun ( member #75329) posted at 8:56 PM on Wednesday, July 13th, 2022

I suggest Bigen which only needs 5 minutes of wait time after applying, works really well.

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 zebra25 (original poster member #29431) posted at 9:04 PM on Wednesday, July 13th, 2022

Thank you!!!

Do you know how it works using a light color?

"Don't let anyone who hasn't been in your shoes tell you how to tie your laces."

D-day April 2010

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2ManyMigraines ( member #61851) posted at 9:30 PM on Wednesday, July 13th, 2022

I have been coloring my hair at home for years. I usually use Clairol Nice & Easy. My dark roots (and stubborn gray!) grow in and then I dye it blonde again. The way I keep my hair healthy which was suggested to me by a couple of different professional stylists is Matrix Biolage shampoo and conditioner. Before I started using that, my hair was like straw. Now it's healthy.

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Jeaniegirl ( member #6370) posted at 10:51 PM on Wednesday, July 13th, 2022

I'm a natural blond but my hair tends to dull and fade sometimes. I've started using the purple shampoo and conditioner. Another trick I have always used is lemon juice and sunshine - being outside in the sun - and it brightens it. Since you are blond, you might try these things. My Mom was also blond and in her later years, her hair turned a beautiful silver color.

"Because I deserve better"

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 zebra25 (original poster member #29431) posted at 2:41 AM on Thursday, July 14th, 2022

Thank you. I'm glad to hear you had good results with blonde hair. My hair was like straw a few years ago. Good shampoo does seem to help and also not washing it every day.

How do you pick the right shade?

Jeannie, I think silver hair and salt and pepper looks beautiful. Mine has darkened with a fair amount of gray thrown in there. I'm not sure anything but coloring will help at this point. laugh You're fortunate to have kept your natural blonde. Coloring is not something I enjoy.

"Don't let anyone who hasn't been in your shoes tell you how to tie your laces."

D-day April 2010

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FireandWater ( member #80084) posted at 3:55 AM on Thursday, July 14th, 2022

I've been coloring my own hair for many years. I can't advise on getting a good blonde shade since I'm a brunette. A regular medium brown shade works well for me. I would recommend investing in a mixing bowl and brush set like stylists use. You can get them on Amazon. I much prefer applying color with a brush rather than a bottle. The main thing is to section your hair by pinning it up and apply color to each section. It's easier to cover all the roots that way. Also, my stylist said to only color my roots rather than layering more color on my hair each month. I would love to get my hair professionally colored and highlighted now and then, but I also like to get keratin treatments which are pricey. I've decided I can afford keratin or color but not both. My hair is naturally wavy and out of control, so I choose to get my professional keratin treatments and do the color myself.

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 zebra25 (original poster member #29431) posted at 4:08 AM on Thursday, July 14th, 2022

Thanks fireandwater. That's helpful. Would I put the color on the length of my hair and not just the roots the first time I do it? When I had it done at the salon my stylist would just do my roots like you said and sometime she would put something else on when washing it. She was using the same formula each time but when I do it the first time the color/formula will be different.

Can you tell I am afraid of having orange hair or my hair falling out? I might be over thinking this. duh laugh

I really appreciate all your helpful replies!!!

"Don't let anyone who hasn't been in your shoes tell you how to tie your laces."

D-day April 2010

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MIgander ( member #71285) posted at 2:28 PM on Thursday, July 14th, 2022

First time color needs application to the whole hair. Also, that thing they apply after the wash is a bit of color to tone back the bleach. The bleach removes all the color and the toner neutralizes the blonde and brings it back to a shade that completments you better. That's about all I know.

I'm brown with a few highlights. I went completely blond a while ago and learned that I can either be blonde or have long hair- not both.

As for getting blonde at home with a box kit, do you have to bleach it first? I haven't had my highlights done since March and am in desperate need of a little lightening. I've seen it done so often with the foil and bailage that I think I can try it myself at home. That and I need only a few here and there on my upper layers. What kits do you use? Do they have a bleach step? I've only ever done all over hair dye to a brown a bit darker than my own before.

I'd love a keratin treatment! They have at home kits I want to try too.

Oh, and when bleaching, my stylist would check it multiple times during my treatment. She told me that it's better to bleach too little than to bleach too much.

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EvenKeel ( member #24210) posted at 3:06 PM on Thursday, July 14th, 2022

I do have a cape to help protect my clothes and not get dye all over me.

I do it naked. laugh

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BraveSirRobin ( Guide #69242) posted at 3:47 PM on Thursday, July 14th, 2022

I have naturally brunette hair. If I attempt a single process blonde dye, it turns orange. The only way I was able to be blonde was with salon highlights.

I'd have said that the problem was just cheap dye, but one time, I let a new stylist convince me to single process my hair a lighter color, and she turned it orange, too. Then she said she could soften the brassiness with highlights. I ended up with orange hair with platinum stripes. I ran home and dyed it brown.

In recent years, I've let my brown grow in because I'm not graying yet. Some women in my mother's family never go gray. Mom is 82 and has just a few gray strands. Her grandmother died without any gray at 70. IDK if that has anything to do with why my hair reacts badly to single process bleaching.

[This message edited by BraveSirRobin at 3:49 PM, Thursday, July 14th]


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WhatsRight ( member #35417) posted at 7:05 PM on Friday, July 15th, 2022

Interesting to hear that going blonde AND long hair aren’t usually doable.

I grew up with blonde / almost white hair. Kept the blonde color till about 10 or so years ago. Now it is a horrible brassy brown color. I HATE it. And I look terrible with it.

Also, my hair is to the bottom of my bottom 😊. But very thin.

I’m dying to be somewhat blonde again. But at 69, I’m also tempted to just do grey.

Haven’t decided about the length yet.

The lemon juice with direct sunlight also helped keep my hair blonde longer, as I was a lifeguard / aquatic director and was in the sun lots and lots.

I did dilute the lemon juice cuz my hair was so fine. (Fine 😢 not fine🙌🏽)

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NorthernMSB ( member #69725) posted at 1:47 PM on Saturday, July 16th, 2022

I used to get my hair done and then color it myself alternating because I always seemed to screw it up at home and then need to get it fixed. I started colouring at about 18 and have been all colors. My natural color seemed pretty dark but I really only saw it when my roots came in VERY quickly and then they started looking VERY grey.

About 3 years ago I just stopped colouring it because I was sick of doing it. The growing out period was brutal but I am turning 54 next week and have mostly bright silver hair except in the very back and underneath where it is more salt and pepper. It is now halfway down my back too, so I have a head of hair! People stop me on the street and ask if it is natural and how pretty it is.

I guess what I'm trying to say is color it if it makes you feel good, or let it come in naturally if THAT makes you feel good. I never had good luck colouring at home and often needed two boxes because my hair is thick and on occasion long (although not as long as now). The color was always patchy and my hair didn't feel great. PLUS, my hair pulls red, always. So, no matter what I tried to do, it was never what I wanted and always faded very brassy.

If you are going to do it, get some help with the back so you have great coverage, wear a cape, do the vaseline thing on your hairline (front and back) and your ears. And as stated here already, get a very good quality dye. Pay a little more, its worth it. If you can, do the test piece too. I found anytime I snipped off a wee bit underneath and did a test, my results were better and for me, I had to leave it on the longest recommended time.

I feel like saying the Drag Race RuPaul catch phrase as a wee bit of a joke, but don't know you, so don't want to offend. grin

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homewrecked2011 ( member #34678) posted at 4:34 AM on Tuesday, July 19th, 2022

I am extremely happy with Clairol root touch up.

I forgot it was for roots only and after I did my roots I put it all over my hair. I’m getting a lot of complements on the color. I think I got ash brown (cuts out red). It’s very easy. It doesn’t come with a conditioner, so have one available. You mix this stuff up in a tray with a brush and they are both in the box. Also, now the highlights I had done about 8 weeks ago are starting to show thru and it looks good.,

I’m always looking for a good conditioner. I’m using Nexxus currently.

If you get CHI oil, it’s tames my hair after washing and before blow drying. It makes it extremely shiny.

[This message edited by homewrecked2011 at 4:36 AM, Tuesday, July 19th]

Sometimes He calms the storm. Sometimes He lets the storm rage, but calms His child. Dday 12/19/11I went to an attorney and had him served. Shocked the hell out of him, with D papers, I'm proud to say!D final10/30/2012Me-55

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Pizzatheaction ( member #71506) posted at 10:04 AM on Tuesday, July 19th, 2022

If your hairdresser has been bleaching then toning your hair, that could be pretty difficult to replicate at home, as hairdressers have a range of bleach strengths available to them. There are some really good people on Insta who show how it's done - Jack Martin being the most famous - he goes wild for K18, a treatment you can get for at home quite cheap (similar to Olaplex). I follow a lady who is a hairdresser who also has good advice and demos on bleach and tone she does on her own hair

OR - would you consider a darker shade that doesn't require prelightening?

OR - grow it out! I had mine cut into a short pixie. I have been grey since thirty, by 55 had enough - and I don't regret at all, mine is between chin/shoulder length. Do you colour because you think that shade suits you - or because you think it's giving in not to?

@Jackmartincolourist Insta
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Good luck!

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 zebra25 (original poster member #29431) posted at 7:16 PM on Friday, August 12th, 2022

Thanks for all the replies.

I have been busy getting ready for a house reno and moving out. I finally got around to researching and ordering my color. My sister helped me put it on last night. I'm mostly happy with the results. Nothing horrible happened so that's a plus. laugh I went a few weeks longer than usual between coloring so my roots were quite a bit darker than the rest of my hair. It allowed me to see what my natural color was now and how much gray I have. shocked

There is still a little bit of a visible line where my roots had grown in that came out darker than the rest of my hair. Hopefully that will correct the next time I color. I'm mostly happy with the color. I loved not having to sit at the salon for 2-3 hours!!!!!!!!! It is so much cheaper even using a more expensive at home color!!

I'm not quite ready to ditch the coloring yet and I'm sure growing it out must be awful.

Thanks again for all the helpful information and tips!!

"Don't let anyone who hasn't been in your shoes tell you how to tie your laces."

D-day April 2010

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