10 Tips for First-Time DIY Hair Coloring

While I prefer getting my hair professionally colored, I understand why many girls turn to home coloring kits to save money. If you’re thinking of purchasing your first DIY hair coloring kit, heed these tips for a fluke-free application.

1. Choose a reputable brand.
When you’re ready to do your own hair coloring at home, you’ll notice that there are many brands of DIY hair coloring kits to choose from. See what your favorite beauty editors, bloggers, and friends have tried and tested.

DIY coloring kit to try: L’Oréal Paris’ Excellence Crème, P495, which comes in 15 shades—purple brown, black, dark brown, brown, dark chocolate brown, red light brown, chocolate brown, mahogany copper brown, light brown, golden dark blonde, golden copper brown, frosted brown, light amber, frosted light brown, and pearly brown.

DIY coloring kit to try: L’Oréal Paris’ Excellence Crème, P399, which comes in 15 workable shades—purple brown, black, dark brown, brown, dark chocolate brown, red light brown, chocolate brown, mahogany copper brown, light brown, golden dark blonde, golden copper brown, frosted brown, light amber, frosted light brown, and pearly brown.

2. Choose a safe color.
If it’s your first time, choose a color that’s only 1-3 shades above or below your original hair color. For example, if you have natural black hair, try a dark to medium brown shade first. For bolder colors like red or blonde, it’s best to leave it to the pros, or do it yourself when you’re in master level. Going too drastic for your first time may result in brassy or ashy hair.

3. Buy more than you need.
With my thick, curly mane, I learned that one box of hair dye is never enough! I often need two boxes to cover my entire mane. It’s best to have backup than to realize you need to buy more in the middle of your coloring session.

It takes 2 boxes of DIY coloring kits to cover my entire mane.

It takes 2 boxes of DIY coloring kits to cover my entire mane.

4. Do a patch test.
Two days before your planned coloring session, apply a small amount of coloring cream on your hand or arm and see if you’ll have an allergic reaction in the next 48 hours. If your skin itches, burns, or gets irritated, then you need to try another brand. Better safe than sorry, Bellas!

5. Protect your hairline.
After dyeing, it’s normal to see color stains on the skin past your hairline—your forehead, neck, and ears. It will fade away after a few days, but it’s quite unsightly! Prevent the seeping stains by applying petroleum jelly or moisturizer right outside your natural hairline around your head. Be careful not to get it in your hair, and don’t forget to also protect the tops and undersides of your ears.

Use this to prevent and get rid of dye stains. 

Use this to prevent and get rid of dye stains.

6. Prep non-metallic materials.
Other items you’ll need that aren’t in the box: black or dark-colored towel (your white towels will get stained if you use them), a dark top to wear during the session (just in case things get messy), plastic rat-tail comb (to help part your hair in sections), and plastic hair clamps. Never use metallic tools and bobby pins when coloring because they may result in unsightly chemical reactions with the hair color.

7. Read the instructions.
With home coloring kits, the instructions are often easy to follow, and the box usually comes with complete tools like protective gloves and applicators. If you’re still unsure, look for videos on YouTube to see how other girls have done it. Check out Valerie Tan’s helpful video below:

8. Wipe off mistakes quickly.
When dye accidentally lands on your face, neck, or other body parts, wipe it off quickly using a cotton ball soaked in warm water. Don’t allow the dye to settle on your skin for over a minute or the stains will be harder to remove.

9. Don’t wash your hair.
I’m talking about before and after coloring. Dye your hair 1-2 days after your last shampoo. It’s best if your scalp is coated with its natural oils, especially if you have sensitive scalp. Don’t use conditioner pre-coloring because the color won’t cling well on conditioned hair. After completing your dye job, do not wash your hair for 1-2 days.

My fellow Beauty Minister Val Tan (middle), BDJ Box Bella Kristine Roces (left), and I attended the recent BDJ Box Beauty Soiree, “Kickstart  Your New Look With L’Oréal Paris.” After attending the hair coloring workshop of Wee Manansala, Matrix Education Manager from L’Oréal Philippines, we were each given our own boxes of L’Oreal Paris Excellence Crème to try at home. Videos coming soon!

My fellow Beauty Minister Val Tan (middle), BDJ Box Bella Kristine Roces (left), and I attended the recent BDJ Box Beauty Soiree, “Kickstart Your New Look With L’Oréal Paris.” After the hair coloring workshop of Wee Manansala, Matrix Education Manager from L’Oréal Philippines, we were each given our own boxes of L’Oreal Paris Excellence Crème to try at home. Videos coming soon!

10. Made a mistake? Use clarifying shampoo.
While disastrous results don’t usually happen when you use safe colors, we’ve all heard of first-timer mishaps. In case you make a mistake and would like to “erase” the dye, use clarifying shampoo for at least a week.

Click here for more after-coloring tips.

For more of Kate’s travel adventures, visit her blog, Kate Was Here, or follow her on Instagram and Twitter.

Beauty Directory:

L’Oréal Paris Available at all leading groceries, drugstores, and department stores nationwide; lorealparis.com; lorealparisexclusif.ph; facebook.com/LOrealParisPhilippines

Kate Alvarez

Kate Alvarez

Writer, editor, and commercial model, Kate is the curl ambassador of BDJBox. She brings a fresh and adventurous perspective on beauty, especially when it comes to curl-friendly hair products! Read about her travel adventures and quirky lifestyle at KateWasHere.com.
Kate Alvarez

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