Worried about trying a DIY dye job? Our beauty editors tackle your top concerns so you're left with hair color you've always wanted!
Goal: Avoid the mess of an at-home dye job.
Solution: Stock up on cheap, dark-colored towels (hair dye goes through newspaper) and lay them everywhere--the chair, the floor, the counter--before you get started. Be sure to wear something old that you don't particularly care about, a button-front shirt is easiest to take off before you rinse. Consider using a cream or foam formula as opposed to liquid ones since they won't run or drip as much.
Photo Credit: Getty Images/Alain Schroeder
Goal: Cover up regrowth at your roots.
Solution: First, slather conditioner all over--except your roots. This keeps the dye from staining the rest of your hair. Then, using the fine-tipped squeeze bottle that came with your hair-color kit, apply liquid color to just the areas of regrowth. Leave on according to package directions and rinse hair well. If you accidentally dye the tops of your highlights, use a highlighting kit to redo them.
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Goal: Keep hair smooth and hydrated after coloring.
Solution: It's a good idea to give tresses a moisture boost with an at-home deep-conditioning treatment the night before coloring. After dyeing, stick with creamy sulfate-free shampoos, conditioners and masks. Keep hair healthy by spritzing it with a leave-in conditioner after you shower, and use a thermal heat protector before using heated tools like a blow-dryer or iron.
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Goal: Find the right shade of blond witout getting the dreaded--yikes!--orangey color.
Solution: Use the chart on the back or side of the box to see what result you'll achieve with your current color. Keep in mind that if you hair is naturlly blond, you're less likely to wind up with brassiness than a woman with dark hair who tries to go light. Stick to colors within two shades of your natural hair and look for blond shades in the cool category. The exception? If you have warm undertones, in that case a natural shade is the way to go.
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Goal: Know your tone to avoid an adverse color reaction.
Solution: To avoid going purple when you want auburn, look for a golden coppery auburn. Most shades fall into three categories: sandy, for those with cool undertones; natural, for those with cool undertones; and golden, for warm undertones. Look to your skin and eye color for help. Sandy or natural shades of dye are better if your skin is light. If it's dark or olive, go for golden. Ditto if your eyes are golden brown, green or hazel. Pair black or deep-brown eyes with natural tones and gray-blue with cool.
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Goal: Lighten up the natural way (no peroxide, please).
Solution: You need peroxide to lighen your hair, even if your hair isn't dark. Some people still believe lemon juice and sun exposure is a healthier approach, but the truth is that can be just as hard on yor hair in the long run. Bottom line: if you prefer a peroxide-free process, stick with your natural shade or go darker and try a semipermanent dye to enhance your color.
Photo Credit: Getty Images/Rayman