Beauty

9 At-Home Hair Color Kits to Keep Your Strands Looking Gorgeous When You Can’t Visit the Salon

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Since we’re stuck at home in quarantine for the foreseeable future, it’s understandable if you’re missing your hair stylist extra hard these days — especially as the weeks pass and your grays start peeking through.

Fear not, though, because hiding your roots and getting gorgeous color in the comfort of your own home has never been easier. Thanks to the many great at-home hair dye products out there — most of which are easy to use and wallet-friendly — you can keep your strands looking fresh as you not-so-patiently wait for the green light to book face time with your stylist.

Whether you want to cover up gray hair (although we fully endorse embracing your grays!) or you want to go for a subtle shade switch-up, not all at-home dyes are created equal. We enlisted the help of Melissa Trujillo, a stylist at the Los Angeles-based Nine Zero One salon, for tips and tricks to get your dream color without leaving the house.

How to choose the best at-home hair color for you:

Whether you’re an at-home hair pro or a first-timer, you’ll want to stick to subtle changes — now is not the time to take your jet black hair to platinum blonde. “If you make a mistake at home, it will cost a lot more money and time in the salon to fix it than a normal appointment would,” explained Trujillo. And with most salons closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, you might be stuck wearing a hat for longer than you’d like.

Trujillo recommends consulting with your go-to pro before picking out a shade, but generally, you’ll want to stay within two shades (lighter or darker) of your current color. “If you are choosing a root color, I would recommend choosing one that is the closest to your natural color. If you are in between colors, you can buy two colors and mix them half and half,” Trujillo told Woman’s World.

Generally, you’ll want to keep it simple — skip toners, glosses, and highlights, and avoid henna dye, which contains metallic salts that sit on the shaft of the hair and are much harder to remove should you decide you don’t love your new look.

Definitely stock up on more dye than you think you need, no matter the length or thickness of your hair. Running out of dye mid-processing is not ideal, so splurge on multiple boxes that you can return or save for later if you don’t use them.

How to apply at-home hair color:

Once you’ve chosen your color, you’ll want to make sure you’ve got everything you need at your disposal to prevent any messes. Be sure to wear an old shirt — preferably a button-down for easy changing — while also tossing an old towel around your neck before you begin.

Lay other old towels, garbage bags, or newspaper layers around your work area, and have an extra pair of gloves on hand to protect your hands. “To avoid staining your skin, apply Vaseline, or some form of cream or lotion to your skin around your hairline to act as a protective barrier,” added Trujillo. Even clear lip balm works in a pinch!

Place two mirrors at the front and back of your head for a complete view, and don’t skip the strand test. Test your dye on a few hidden hairs first, letting it fully process before you commit to an all-over color change.

Then, it’s go time: “To apply at-home color, make sure your hair is properly combed through and apply root color with a bowl and tint brush,” said Trujillo. This will offer a more precise application. She recommends beginning at the hairline and roots, since they require the most color and processing time.

“If applying an all-over color, apply on damp hair, working in sections to make sure all the hair is fully saturated. Comb through” to ensure full coverage. And follow the listed instructions or those given by your stylist to avoid over-processing, which isn’t safe for the health of your hair. Leaving it on too long can damage your strands or alter the color you’re after, so patience is a virtue here.

Lastly, wear a shower cap to keep dye from dripping while it processes, and voilà! Ready to switch things up? Keep scrolling to see Woman’s World’s picks for the best at-home hair color.

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