Hair Dyeing Hacks for At-Home Color

How to make the most of your at-home experience.

When it comes to hair dyeing hacks for at-home color, you’ve probably heard your fair share of warnings, and with good reason: Messing with hair dye at home can lead to some unpleasant results. Whether it’s an unfortunate shade of brassy orange when you were trying for bleach blonde or your hands have become a dyed mess, it seems like everyone has had their own hair dye horror story to share.

To help you out, we’ve compiled a few hair dyeing hacks that have saved us in our times of need, and we’re hoping they help you, too. Read on:

First things first: Choose the color you like best. To do this, consider your skin tone, your base hair tone and the state of your hair. Once chosen, consider the thickness and length. If you have thick and long hair, you will need more dye than someone with short or fine hair.

If you never dyed your hair and your base color is dark, choose a shade or two darker or lighter than your natural hue—that is, no more than two shades apart—for foolproof results. This is a great hair dyeing hack because it helps make sure your color doesn’t end as a complete shock to you, too!

Also, note that the final result may not be exactly the same as what was presented in the box. Therefore, you will have to give yourself some time and then refine the color choice as needed.

While you’re at home, you may want to do a little experimenting, touch up the roots, or slightly change color without subjecting your hair to the damage that dye chemicals cause. Luckily for you, there are many options to pick from.

Coffee to Darken Hair

hair dyeing hacks coffee
Use coffee to help dye your hair darker.

Coffee is not only a great ally to exfoliate the scalp. It also works well if you are looking to darken your hair a bit, cover gray hair or give your dark hair more dimension. Wondering how to dye your hair at home with coffee? First, make a very intense coffee, like espresso, and let it cool. Next, mix it with a cup of treatment cream and 2 tablespoons of coffee beans. Apply it on clean hair and leave it on for approximately 1 hour. You may need to repeat the process to see better results.

Teas for Dark, Light and Red Hair

hair dyeing hacks tea
Use tea to help darken and add a red tint to your strands.

It is worth clarifying first that the tea works best on your natural hair tone. I mean, don’t expect to go from blonde to brown with this ingredient. But there are some teas that darken the hair and others that can lighten it.

Like coffee, black tea is used to darken hair or cover gray hair. However, if your hair is blond, chamomile is the most appropriate, and rooibos tea is the closest to red hair.

The more you let the tea sit, the more visible the result is going to be. The key, again, is to make a well-concentrated tea. Use 3-5 bags for two cups of water. You can apply the cold tea directly to your head or mix it with conditioner. Let the mixture sit on your hair for 1 hour. You can leave it on longer depending on the intensity of color you want.

Lemon to Lighten Hair

hair dyeing hacks lemon
Use lemon to help lighten your hair a little.

Want to naturally lighten your strands? Try the lemon juice. All you need to do is spray your hair with lemon juice, brush through, and sit in the sun. This last step is key, without the sun lemon juice has no lightening effect. If you are blonde, you will notice that your hair is a little lighter. If you have black or brown hair, it will turn reddish.

Beetroot and Carrot

hair dyeing hack beet root
Use beetroot to add more a red tint to your hair.

Beet and carrot juices can add reddish highlights to your natural color. Choose just a beetroot or carrot depending on the tint you are looking for. The process is as simple as applying a cup of juice to your hair. You can mix it with coconut oil or olive oil to condition the hair at the same time.

Henna for Hair

hair dyeing hack henna
Using henna to dye your hair can give you a reddish/orange tint.

Of all the natural ingredients for coloring hair at home, henna is perhaps the most widespread. It is a powder made from the leaves of the henna plant. These leaves have a natural and effective coloring pigment that has been used for hundreds of years to dye hair, nails, and skin.

The best candidates for henna are people with brown or red hair, as natural henna produces a reddish-orange hue. If you come across henna products that promise another color, it’s because the manufacturer mixed it with other ingredients.

To create your own henna tincture, mix one cup of the henna powder with 2 cups of lemon juice. Set aside 4-6 hours until it thickens. Apply on hair and comb to distribute well. Wear a bathing cap and let it sit on your hair for 2 to 3 hours.

hair dyeing hacks red brown hair
This DIY hair coloring plan is more doable than you think.

1. Wash and condition.

Heather Cie of Cie Sparks Salon located in Malibu, CA recommends also using a product targeted to repair and prevent damage. We love TIGI Copyright Custom Create Repair Shampoo and Conditioner. We love this set because of the Keratin, Lipids, and Coconut Oil blend that helps to strengthen bonds within the hair and prevent future damage.

It doesn’t matter if you’re going lighter or darker (or in the salon or at home for that matter), whenever you use hair dye on your strands you’ll want to deep condition your hair, leading up to your treatment. Using Nexxus Scalp Inergy Paraben-Free Leave-In Conditioner is a great way to deeply moisturize your hair and get it prepared it for your color treatment.

2. Phone a friend.

Two heads are better than one, right? Having a friend help you out will infinitely improve your chances of coming out with a look you adore. Even someone with little to no hair dyeing experience will be able to see parts of your head that you can’t and will be able to do a better job. Another plus side is that you can always turn it into a spa night and do each other’s hair. The Nexxus New York Salon Care Humectress Moisture Restoring Masque is the secret to a DIY beauty night that can leave your hair feeling soft and smooth.

3. Plan for some insurance.

Maintain your color post-dye job with TRESemmé Botanique Color Vibrance and Shine Shampoo and Conditioner. This duo provides a glossy finish to keep your recently colored strands looking vibrant,  healthy and those compliments flowing. Plus, the pomegranate and camellia oil blend deeply nourishes your hair to help add an additional glow.

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