Hair color is our identity and when we change it, we can become a different person. You may want to go lighter, because you instantly feel an urge to be in the spotlight, or you may wish to go darker because you want to try out the look of a fatal beauty. Some people are just not afraid of radically changing their look and trying out the most unusual and adventurous colors to feel like a beautiful bird. Sometimes, we want to experiment without leaving our homes and, for us, nothing seems impossible.

We at Enlighten have collected some tips to help people play with their look and only have a good experience when dyeing their hair at home.

1. Buy a home hair dye kit.

A basic hair dye kit includes:

  • Color brush

  • Latex-free disposable gloves

  • A thin hair comb

  • Moisturizing creme for protecting skin

Don’t use metal equipment for mixing and storing the coloring substance, only plastic. Metal bowls or metal clips can oxidize the dye and the color may not show up at all. Also, using metal equipment may lead to hazardous chemical reactions.

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Always wear gloves to avoid stains on your skin, which are hard to remove.

2. When buying hair dye, don’t trust the model on the box.

Of course the model on the box looks beautiful, but this is just a picture to turn your attention toward the brand. Your real friend is the color chart on the reverse side or on the bottom of the box. Also, the number on the box is helpful, as each color has its own code, consisting of the main tone and a hue combined together. The first number ranges from 1-12, with 1 being the darkest black, and 12 being the lightest blonde. The second number stands for the hue. For example:

3 Gold

4 Copper

6 Red

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The developer in at-home permanent dyes is very strong — stronger than the ones used in the salon and usually 20-30% — so it lifts the color and makes it lighter than what you see on the box. Be sure you choose vol 10 developer if you don’t want to get lighter than one shade and vol 20 developer to lift 1-2 shades.

You can find the level of the developer either on hair dye box or on the bottle with developer inside the box. Each hair dye box usually has a “contents” section on it, where all things inside the box are listed. The “developer” point always states the percentage or the volume of the developer. You can also purchase the developer separately.

3. Buy 2 boxes of hair dye.

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If your hair is medium length or longer, you will need at least 2 boxes of hair dye. Also, if you have roots to deal with, you will need more substance to ensure better coverage and an even color afterward. Besides, there’s nothing worse than running out halfway through.

4. Always perform an allergy test 48 hours before dyeing your hair.

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To avoid any repercussions to your health, you should always perform a patch test before using any color dye. Ignoring this important rule may lead to severe consequences.

5. Stick to your same color family.

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Going 3 shades darker or lighter is your critical margin for a DIY hair dye job. Everything that is beyond that is risky business and may lead to damaged hair and unpredictable results.

6. Don’t skip the strand test.

bashthisbeauty / RedditMegzerrato / Reddit

Though bypassing this step is tempting, the strand test is key, especially when trying out a new shade. Color a few trimmed or hidden hairs first, then look at the result before you commit. A common horror story from women who didn’t do this: hair that turned green or hot pink.

If your skin gets colored after a hair dye procedure, use baking soda or toothpaste that contains baking soda, mix it with water, and rub lightly.

7. Don’t be in a hurry to apply your hair dye immediately. Evaluate your hair condition first.

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Damaged hair needs to be carefully treated before dyeing. You need to spend a few weeks babying your hair and strengthening it with hair masks and conditioners.

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If your hair is bleached and you have the yellow tone on your roots, the end color after you dye your hair may be uneven and the yellow will still be visible. Look at your hair in childhood photos. This will help you determine how your hair will react to certain colors. If your hair was a warmer color (honey blonde or similar), your hair will likely react with a warmer color now. Similarly, if your hair was a cooler color (ash blonde, brunette), your hair will likely have cooler undertones when you dye it now.

8. Evaluate your current hair color before coloring.

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If you want to rev up your bleached ends, you can try a dip dye method. It is very easy to be done at home, you just dip the ends of your hair into your dye mixture.

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If your hair is bleached, you can try a vivid semi-permanent tone to change your image without damaging your hair (compared to a permanent hair dye treatment).

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If your roots are already visible and make a huge contrast, both demi-permanent and semi-permanent won’t do, as they contain little to no peroxide and cannot lift the hair color.

9. Your hair color will look different in different lighting.

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Under artificial light your hair color may look more vibrant and the hues will be more exposed. Under natural light your color will be less vivid and the hues will not appear that bright. Remember this when choosing the tone of your hair color.

If you choose your hair dye by reading reviews on the internet, make your choice based on photos the users take under different lightning to be able to picture the result completely.

10. Don’t experiment with radical changes in your color at home.

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Going from brunette to blonde may require several procedures of bleaching, which will severely damage your hair.

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If you already have some unwanted orange after bleaching, you can use it to your advantage and tone it over with some vibrant ginger pigmented semi-permanent hair dye.

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Instead of bleaching, you can add tone to your brunette hair with a semi-permanent dye that will not damage your hair.

11. Never use 40 vol developer at home.

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You can safely use 10, 20, or 30 vol developers at home together with your hair dye. Using 40 vol developer is dangerous, and you may burn your scalp. Only a professional can use it on your hair without severe consequences.

12. When combining colors, choose complementary tones from the same brand.

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Mix colors that are alike — Cool and Cool, Warm and Warm.

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Do not mix Warm and Cool colors. They will counteract each other. Do not apply a cool tone to bleached hair which has an orange tone. Orange + cool tone cannot be combined.

There’s a color-mixer tool that blends colors. You can choose a color to start with and a second color to end with and the mixer will do the rest. You can also use a built-in color-picker for both colors. The color-picker includes the entire RGB color spectrum which boasts 16,777,216 unique colors! This way, you’ll be able to see which hue can be obtained after mixing 2 colors.

13. Use a purple shampoo to get rid of any yellow tones in your blonde hair.

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Sun, hard water, or heat styling may cause a yellow pigment to show up in your precious blonde hair. Purple neutralizes yellow shades and brassiness, thus helping your noble blonde stay longer without a need to bleach it or treat it with peroxide.

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You can also tone your hair with watercolor shampoo to change your image and add a mild pastel tone.

14. If you’re longing for summer, you can do rainbow hair.

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You can try a paste which requires no bleaching, will not damage your hair in any way, and will wash out quickly, leaving you room for further experiments.

15. Half and half, or split hair, may come handy for bleached hair and refresh your look.

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Before doing split hair think about the makeup you’re going to wear afterward, since it may be a real challenge to match both colors of your hair.

16. If you’ve gotten an unpredictable or unwanted hair color, don’t panic.

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  • Use a deep-cleansing shampoo. It penetrates into the hair and washes out the pigment quicker than ordinary shampoo.
  • Use an anti-dandruff shampoo, that’s high in sulfates (SLS). Sulfates wash out the pigment quickly, which is why you can use this shampoo to fade your unwanted color.
  • Add Vitamin C tablets to your shampoo. Acid is a natural color remover, it lightens the hair and helps fade color in a natural way.
  • Use 3 tablespoons of ground cinnamon mixed with your conditioner. This is a natural method that will not damage your hair follicle like some other methods, and it is best used on darker hair colors.

17. Moisturize your hair and fill it in with keratin after dyeing.

Dyed hair becomes dry and fizzy in most cases. In order to restore it, use:

  • A moisturizing mask to intensely nourish the scalp and restore the capillary structure of the hair.
  • Keratin treatments to refill the hair fiber, add more nutrition to the hair, and make it robust.
  • Lipid treatments for weak unruly hair to fight against hair breakage, and leave it feeling soft and moisturized.
  • Argan oil as a natural hair rejuvenator, restoring vitamins and moisture back into the hair, for younger, shiner, healthier looking hair.
  • Essential oils for damaged ends to strengthen hair and help prevent damage to the ends.
  • Leave-in conditioner to fight frizz and give brightness to your hair.

18. Be prepared that UV hair color will have a different tone and effect under natural light.

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UV reactive hair dye can be applied over natural colors or on bleached hair, but looks especially striking when a range of colors is used, or when the hair is braided. Your hair will have to be exposed to natural light for a while before it will glow in the dark. The longer you expose the hair in natural light, the brighter it will glow in the dark. You need to be under a UV light for the UV colors to show up. The glowing effect will show up under black light, however, the coverage and the color under natural light may be different. The daylight tone will look less electric and more pastel.

If you still want some neon effect on your hair during the daytime, you will need to choose a neon hair dye, which will have neon effect under the daylight.

19. Diluting hair dye with conditioner may help you achieve a more pastel and less aggressive tone.

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If you mix dye with conditioner, you can lighten the color of the dye a bit and make it smoother. But this will only work with some types of dyes. Mixing hair dye with conditioner only makes fantasy colors end up softer.

20. Dye virgin long hair on the ends to give it a try.

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If you have long hair that you have never dyed before, and the temptation to dye is very high, don’t cover all of your hair, try balayage first. Use demi-permanent hair dye, it’ll allow you to experiment with colors with no hair damage. Don’t bleach or color all of your hair, because if the result turns out to be unsatisfactory, the only way out will be to grow it out again forever.

Which of these tips do you find to be the most useful and will you likely try when doing at-home color? Do you have your own tips and tricks to create a masterpiece with your hair?