How To Dye Your Hair at Home Until You Can Visit The Salon Again

Have you suddenly had the realisation that you were due a trip to the salon in the midst of the Coronavirus lockdown? Don’t panic. Sorting out your own roots can’t be that hard, can it? While dyeing your hair at home has always been a gamble (we’ve all had a nightmare experience with a box dye…), in recent years at-home products have come a long way. While we wouldn’t necessarily recommend dyeing your hair at home, needs must, and if you really can’t hold off until this is all over then we’ve collated a set of tips on how to do this safely and successfully.

Do you really need to dye your hair right now?

Ask yourself this, is it necessary? Anyone who has ever gone to their stylist having box-dyed their hair will know that the general consensus to box-dyeing is one that is often snubbed upon. Professionals generally do not recommend it, and perhaps for good reason. 

Before you reach for the box, check out our handy tips on how to stop your hair dye from fading.

Luckily for us, there are a few substitutes on the market which might just be able to tide you over until you can get back in the salon. The L’OREAL root touch up sprays are a god-send, and a product we frequently use here at Milk + Blush. At the very least, they’ll help disguise your roots for the time being. This is a great quick isolation fix - cheaper, easier, less damaging and much less likely to go wrong than reaching for the dye! Not to mention that going down the touch-up spray route will make the professional’s lives much easier when you go back to the salon. We have all accidentally bought the wrong colour dye, which can sometimes create bands in the hair because of the application of incorrect tones.

In summary, reach for a non-permanent quick fix, rather than a disaster waiting to happen. Check out our blog post on how to remove hair dye stains should you go wrong.

L'OREAL Magic Retouch

Get an over-the-phone consultation

Many salons are starting to offer a phone-in consultation service for advice. In these cases, you can be told the exact shades which they have on file for you, and they’ll likely recommend that you purchase from a salon wholesaler.  Some salons are going even further with this, offering online masterclasses on applying dye and other products, and custom-mixing dyes for delivery or collection from the salon. It’s always worth a call to your stylist, you never know what handy solutions they might have on offer for you. If they are able to offer you guidance, take it! Small, local salons will be looking for creative ways to stay in touch with their clientele while their doors are closed.

See if your salon sells their professional dyes to clients

Most salons have a professional product line as part of their services, allowing you to get salon-quality hair at home. 

Now, more than ever, salon owners will be looking to diversify their business. Check to see if your salon would be open to selling some of their professional products that will prolong your colour or revitalise your hair in-between visits. You could even ask whether you could buy your usual shade of dye to use at home. Reach out to your local salon, they’d be more than happy to help a friendly face! 

This is also a great way to support small businesses during this time. Remember that your favourite local salon may be struggling during this time without being able to reach their clients. Buying product directly from them is most likely very appreciated!

Always do a strand test

Finding the right shade is tricky as there’s no expert advice to help guide you through. As mentioned above, a lot of salons are now offering video consultations. Expert colourist, Josh Wood, has also recently launched a 1 to 1 video consultation to help you select the right colour for you. If in doubt, always go a shade lighter, as going too dark is harder to remove. 

Colourists would always recommend testing the colour first – especially if it’s your first time using a new shade. Essentially, this means colouring a little, unnoticeable part in the back where it won’t be visible. This will ensure you like the result before taking it over your whole head.

Consider your hair texture

Hair texture is a very important factor. If the hair is fine and prone to breakage, leaving colouring in the hands of a professional might be the safest option. But if you’re wanting to DIY, make sure to choose the gentlest options. It’s also worth remembering that coarse, curly or frizzy hair soaks up colour faster, so always consider going for a shade that’s warm, but a little lighter than your natural tone.

Calling all Blondes - make the most of your purple shampoo!

Avoid buying toners or dyes. This is because at-home toners have a multitude of underlying tones in them which might not be right for your hair, something you wouldn’t know without professional consultation. 

These toners also have metallic salts in them which is totally different from the ingredients of a salon-quality toner, which they understandably don’t recommend. For blonde hair which is looking a bit tired, stretching out the use of your purple shampoo for a while longer won’t hurt and will certainly help brighten those dull-looking locks. 

Be careful about what you buy

If you really insist on an at-home dye, whatever you do, don’t instantly trust the picture on the box. Generally speaking, at-home dyes usually come out lighter than the picture. Make use of the colour chart usually found on the top of the box. If you have hair longer than shoulder length, you’ll most likely need more than one box of dye, too. Just imagine the level of eye-roll your stylist will be doing at your next appointment if you’ve only managed to cover half of your head. You’re also going to need to take note of your hair texture. Coarse or frizzy hair will absorb dye faster and in a cooler tone than that with a fine to medium texture.

Check out the L’Oreal Professionnel range as they’re a tried and tested high street brand which offers a professional standard tint. Make sure you check with your stylist before adding your shades to your basket, though.