The Beauty Desk
The latest beauty news & views, direct from PRIMPED HQ!
How To: Prevent the at-home hair colour monster from striking.
Tue, 21 September 2010 11:48AM
A few weeks back, I had an epic at-home hair colour disaster. And while it’s something I’d like to forget and never, ever mention again, I feel sharing it with all of you is a smart move. Why? Because if it saves just one of you from the hassle of making beanies look chic when teamed with your work wear, then it will all be worth it. And better yet, it may prevent the at-home hair colour monster from ever striking again.
My disaster story begins with laziness and ends in tragedy. I had a few centimetres of regrowth (nothing that major. My natural colour is a slightly lighter, duller version of my current dark brown hue) and I had been putting off the trek to the hairdressers for reasons that I can only describe as weak. Or even as can’t be arsed-ness. So one quiet Sunday night I decided enough was enough and I whacked an at-home dye through my tresses instead. It was called ‘natural brown’, and considering it was similar to a colour I’d used many times in the past, I thought all would be hunky-dory.
But boy, was I wrong. Upon rinsing the dye and drying off what were meant to be my new shiny, regrowth-free locks, I realised all my regrowth had gone a shade of bright orange. And in my books, dark brown lengths and an orange part isn’t really a sensational look. Eeek. Now I can’t recall if I followed the instructions 100%, so let’s just roll with the fact that I messed up, BIG TIME. Anyway, after a few beanie-wearing days in the office (which thankfully, is nothing too out of the ordinary in our joint) and a trip to La Boutique in Double Bay to visit colour legend Belinda Jeffrey and I’m all fixed. Physically, anyway. The memories however, are still very vivid.
This is me a few weeks back. Yep, I’m a Life Guard in my spare time. Ha!
In an attempt to put an end to all future at-home hair dye disasters, I’ve pinned down some of Belinda’s best tips to ensure you are all equipped with swords and chest armour next time a hair dye war strikes. Oh, and as Clairol Nice ‘n Easy’s ambassador, she’s more than qualified to be dishing out the do’s and the definitely don’ts.
Here they are:
At-home hair dyes are all about maintaining your colour. Or for block colouring. Only use them if you are going 2 or less shades lighter or darker than your natural colour. Any major changes should be put in the hands of your trusty colourist. If you are touching up your ‘do at home, only apply the colour to your regrowth. If you apply it over the regrowth line, you’ll only end up with different shades throughout the lengths of your hair.
You can make your salon colour last a wee bit longer. Just purchase a touch-up product like Clairol Nice ‘n Easy Root Touch Up for easy in-between colour maintenance. The incredibly clever colour-match technology in this product means the colour will match the shade of your existing colour so there is no nasty stripe colour effect. Woot! Belinda says this touch-up product only takes 10 minutes and is thicker than usual dye, which makes it much easier to control.
Never attempt foils at home. Foils may look easy, but they take years to perfect. In fact, it’s a skill best left to the professionals. However, if you’re really keen to attempt at-home highlights, purchase a specific streaking kit that comes with a cap. But be warned: the colour in these is pure peroxide and if done incorrectly, can severely damage your hair. Eeek.
You can cover greys without looking like you’re wearing a mask. Belinda loves Clairol Nice ’n Easy’s colour blend technology as it creates 3 tones within each shade to give your hair a natural looking dimension without that mask-like effect. Oh, and it will still covers the greys, too.
If you have a sensitive scalp, be extra careful. Colouring your hair isn’t totally out of the question, but it is recommended that you do so as in-frequently as possible, and use ammonia-free hair dye. In-between colouring, always use sensitive hair care products, and shampoos and conditioners to balance your scalp.
If you’re hair is damaged, the colour will go darker. Porous hair, caused by heated styling appliances such as tong and straightening irons, will latch onto at-home hair dye colour more readily, which may cause it to go darker than you intended.
Wash your hair with a clarifying shampoo two days before you dye it. This ensures there is limited product build-up, but also means your natural oils will be present once you do dye your hair, allowing them to protect your scalp while the dye is setting.
When applying hair colour at home, ALWAYS follow the instructions. Generally, permanent colours are applied to dry hair, while semi-permanent colours are applied to wet hair. Always leave the colour in for the suggested time limit – any less and it may not work correctly, any longer and you risk the colour coming out darker than you want.
Always prevent the dye from staining your skin. Rub a product like Vaseline around your hairline before applying the hair dye to create a barrier.
Mix the product well. If you’re using an at-home hair dye kit with peroxide in it, be sure to mix the colour and the developer well. If you don’t, your colour may develop on the hair unevenly.
Always begin dying the back sections of your hair first. The front sections tend to naturally be a little lighter, so dying that section first will cause them to go darker than the rest of your hair.
Always wash your hair after using a permanent dye. This is so you stop the colour activation and prevent scalp damage. However, if you’re using a semi-permanent dye, there is no need to wash your hair afterwards, just rinse the dye clean instead.
Got a very unattractive, wig-like band of colour around your hairline? Get rid of this using some perfume on a cotton wool bud, or if you’re feeling brave, use cigarette ash. (No, I didn’t make this up. Promise.) Both will remove it, quick smart.
Invest in a quality moisturising shampoo and conditioner. This will help to maintain the colour, as well and keep your locks in tip-top shape.
Are you a blonde? Yes? Then be sure to cleanse your hair after swimming in the ocean or pools to prevent mineral build-up and the dreaded green-haired monster from attacking. Simple.
Thanks, Belinda. You truly are a gem. And my lovely brunette hair absolutely adores you.
Have you suffered from an at-home hair disaster?
If so, what happened?
Have any of these tips helped clear up any queries you may have had?
Posted by: Cherie Herrmann