How to Safely Apply Hair Color at Home
The idea of dyeing your hair at home can be scary for some people. Besides being aware of how to properly apply your hair color, you may also worry about how to do it safely. It is perfectly safe to use box dye if you follow the instructions. When it comes to coloring your hair at home, there are a few things you need to remember. Here are 9 tips for safely dying your hair at home.
#1. DO A PATCH TEST
Permanent and semi-permanent hair color products contain potential allergens, which in rare cases some people may develop adverse reactions to. Since hair dyes share similar ingredients, this generally applies to the product categories altogether, regardless of brand or shade.
To help make sure you are not allergic to an ingredient, a preliminary 48-hour skin allergy patch test is generally required by hair dye products. Since body constitution and condition change every day, allergic reactions may occur depending on your constitution on the day of use. This means that even if you had been using certain ingredients without any issues, you may suddenly develop allergies one day. Additionally, reactions to hair dyes are generally delayed, meaning it does not always happen immediately, and can take 1-2 days for the user to start experiencing any symptoms. For these reasons, the patch tests are to be conducted 48 hours before EACH use, even if you have been coloring for years without any problems.
All hair color products with allergens will have warning on the package and will include detailed instructions on how to conduct this preliminary test. Be sure to follow the procedures thoroughly to ensure you are not allergic to the product.
#2 PERFORM A STRAND TEST
Performance of hair dyes can vary depending on various factors including but not limited to amount of gray hair, thickness, and history of previous colors or chemical treatments. It is worth taking the time to do a strand test, to avoid unexpected and unwanted results.
#3. READ & FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS
When using an at-home hair color kit, you should always read and follow the instructions. It is helpful to know how to take care of your hair pre- and post-coloring. It is important to remember that different kits may have different instructions and following the wrong instructions can result in poor performance such as lack of coverage, inconsistent color, and even potentially damaging your hair.
#4. WEAR GLOVES
The gloves that come with your hair color kit are there for a reason. When mixing and applying hair dye, always wear gloves, as they can stain nails and fingers.
#5. SET A TIMER
Hair color should never be left on hair for more than the suggested time. Doing so may lead to over-processing hair color. You can keep track of how long your hair dye is on your hair by setting a timer or using a clock.
#6. CHECK THE CONDITION OF YOUR SCALP
If you are coloring your hair, you should consider the condition of your scalp. You should not dye your hair if your scalp is irritated. You should avoid scratching or brushing your scalp before coloring your hair.
#7. TAKE YOUR TIME
Considering a chemical process like relaxing your hair or getting a perm? If you are planning to color your hair, it is recommended that you perm or relax your hair first, as residues from perms and relaxers may cause problems with fading and/or color changes. Please wait 5 shampoos and 14 days (minimum 5 shampoos) after perming, relaxing, before coloring your hair.
#8. PRODUCTS SHOULD NOT BE MIXED
It might be tempting to mix two hair dyes to create your own custom shade, but dyes do not necessarily work like paint.
Permanent hair dye kits are designed to perform when used as instructed, and mixing colors may lead to undesirable results. Given the unpredictability of how oxidative dyes may react to one other, it is best to pick the exact shade you want from the beginning and not take any risks.
Semi-Permanent dyes are more flexible in their use, and some brands even encourage mixing. Compared to permanent dyes, it is much easier to predict what the results would look like, as they resemble general color theory (Mixing red and blue will create purple). We still recommend that you do a strand test before committing to it for your entire hair; the color of the solution may not exactly resemble what it would look like over your hair, especially if you have undertones that may impact the final results.
#9. AVOID CONTACT WITH EYES, AND BE SURE TO RINSE YOUR HAIR WELL
Avoid contact with eyes during rinsing, as well during application. As your hair dye will sit on your head for a while, it is important to rinse thoroughly afterward. Ensure that you thoroughly rinse your scalp, and that no hair color dye is left.