Celebrity colorist Lena Ott told me that if you’re attempting a drastic transformation, you should consider seeing a professional, but if you’re changing your hair color by a shade, you can totally use a box. Regardless, there are a few things you should know, and a lot of that comes with prep.
“Taking a few extra steps prior to coloring your hair at home will make your experience all the better,” says Ott. "Make sure you’re wearing a shirt that you don’t have to pull over your head. Apply Vaseline on your hairline to protect skin from unwanted staining. I also recommend using dark towels during the application. Lastly, always read the directions before you get started.”
In fact, you should really know a few things about how color applies to hair before you choose the shade. For example, if you already have dyed hair, Ott says you cannot lighten your hair with box dye.
"Most people don’t realize that color doesn’t lift color meaning you can’t lighten already dyed hair with at-home color. Example: putting a level 8 blonde over a dyed level 6 brown will not make your 6 an 8. Only your regrowth (virgin hair) will get lighter. If this is a change you’re trying to make, you’ll want to visit a colorist,” she explains.
Box dye is also getting something of a makeover itself. Revlon just launched ColorSilk Buttercream, which is a formula that is free of ammonia and is packed with nourishing argan oil, as well as mango, shea, and coconut butter. Garnier’s Olia is also free of ammonia and actually uses oils as a vehicle to moisturize and to penetrate the color into the hair follicle.
But of course, if you’re not feeling totally comfortable, permanent hair dye isn’t your only option. Coloring your hair at home can be a very tricky obstacle with unexpected results. There are other options such as temporary color that usually lasts a few washes.
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