How to Dye Your Hair At Home (For Lazy Girls)

My hair has been driving me nuts recently: the roots are growing in…grays are popping up all over the place…it’s been a disaster. I thought I’d save some money by waiting to visit my colorist Amanda George at Neil George Salon after the holidays…but today, I decided I could wait no longer. It was time for a personal color intervention.

I went to Walgreens, picked up some L’Oreal Superior Preference in Extra Light Ash Blonde, and went to town.

In the name of vanity, I’m going to show you the “after” photo first. Yay, blonde!


Newly blonde hair courtesy of L'Oreal Preference Light Ash Blonde

And here’s the very scary “before” picture!


Taken only an hour before the photo above. Who says hair and makeup don't make a difference?! (Vastly improved skin courtesy of Bare Escentuals bareMinerals Matte foundation)

As mentioned, I used L’Oreal Superior Preference Blondissimes in Extra Light Ash Blonde. Since I really only wanted to treat my roots, and didn’t want to mess with the rest of the color–Amanda is always super patient, but I know I’m just giving her a bigger problem to deal with later!–I followed these steps:

1) Pick a shade within 3 shades of your existing color (remember that box hair-dye doesn’t work miracles, so be realistic and expect only a slight color lift) and then prep: brush hair, put on gloves, mix solution, apply conditioner to hairline to prevent skin discoloration.

2) Apply solution to roots, beginning with the hair surrounding the face. This is the hair people see first (and notice most), so a little extra TLC here will make the dye-job look more professional than it really is.

3) Working from the hair above one ear, across the top of the head, and then down to the hair above the other ear, part into one-inch sections and apply the solution to the roots. Work it down an inch or two of your hair as you would shampoo.

4) Don’t forget the roots at the crown/back of the top of your head. Apply solution, as well, to the roots at the underneath-back of your head, so that if you put your hair in a ponytail, you’re covered, so to speak.


L'Oreal Superior Preference Les Blondissimes Extra Light Ash Blonde

5) Pay attention to the directions; each hair dye kit requires a different length of time. L’Oreal Superior Preference takes (count’ em!) 40 minutes, but some brands work in as little as 10 minutes. Personally, I find that the longer the dye takes, the better the end result usually is. Do not wash out the dye before the alloted time: this will result in orange or dull color. (Conversely, leaving the dye in for too long–but we’re talking way too long–will result in brassy hair.)

6) Add the remaining solution in the bottle to the rest of hair, paying attention to the hair in the front of the face. Work it down the length of hair, so that the new color blends with the old, and leave on as directed. (I left on the L’Oreal Superior Preference for an additional 10 minutes, after applying to my roots for 30 minutes.)

7) Wash out, rinsing hair until the water runs clear and you’ve removed all the dye.

8 ) Apply gobs and gobs of the special conditioner that comes in the box. This stuff is gold, so enjoy it!

9) Don’t shampoo hair for at least 24 hours. When you do shampoo, use a color-safe shampoo–I personally use either LiQWD Hydrating Shampoo or LiQWD Volumizing Shampoo, which are both color-safe.

10) Enjoy your fresh hair color–but if you go to a professional colorist, be prepared for a little bit of head-shaking and sighing upon your next visit!

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