How to Dye Your Hair at Home

It’s time to get real for a minute, as much as we’d like to go to our favourite colourist for a fresh new hair colour or to cover troublesome greys, the cost that comes along with it isn’t as great. Not to mention, sometimes it’s just not possible to get to the salon. That’s where colouring your hair at home comes in. Don’t worry, we get it. Applying permanent hair colour to your own hair can be a bit nerve-wracking but when you’ve got the best at-home hair colour kit at your side there’s no reason to shy away. Need some expert advice to boost your confidence first? Look no further! Whether applying a full head of hair colour, or a root application, keep reading for our simple and easy guide on how to dye your hair at home. Once you’re armed with a few hints from our L’Oreal Paris experts you’ll be rocking salon fresh hair colour in no time.

Step #1: Choosing your hair colour kit

First and foremost, a key step to find the best at home hair dye kit for your hair is choosing the right shade and formula. When making your decision it’s important to not only consider the natural shade of your hair but also what type of hair dye is the right one for you.

If you’re looking for a semi-permanent hair colour that will keep your shine and enhance your natural colour with many washes to come, we recommend a shade from the L’Oréal Paris Casting Creme Gloss Semi-Permanent Hair Colour range. Given its liquid formula, distributing colour throughout all your strands will be much easier than gel counterparts. For a permanent hair colour with 100% grey coverage, choose L'Oréal Paris Excellence Permanent Hair Colour. The protective colouring cream is enriched with Pro-Keratin for strengthened hair with long lasting colour.

Once you have found the right formula, find the right shade for your with our guide to finding the right hair colour for your skin tone. Try your new shade before you apply with our Virtual Try On technology for a real time preview of your new look from the comfort of home.

Step #2: Grab those instructions and get prepped

No matter the dye you choose, each comes with an instruction leaflet. Follow the instructions when mixing your colour to ensure you get the best results.

No matter your colouring kit, the instructions are going to be your holy grail. Before applying your chosen dye to your hair, the first thing step is to do an all-important skin allergy test. To do this mix one-part colour and one-part developer, then apply to skin on your arm with a cotton swab. After 48 hours if you’re allergic reaction free, it’s time to get stuck in.

To protect your clothes from any hair dye, drape an old towel around your shoulders, though we don’t recommend wearing anything special! Now it’s time to grab your gloves and prep your formula. Preparing most hair colours will involve twisting the top off the developer and pouring in the colour gel. Once the lid is back on the developer ensure your finger is firmly over the top of the bottle then shake well to mix. Every hair colour kit will include instructions to prepare your hair dye, which should be followed carefully for best results.

Step #3: Section your hair

Before you start loading the hair dye on, it’s time to section your hair. While it’s tempting to jump straight in and apply the dye, parting your hair into neat sections will make it easier to get even colour all over and give you more control. To prepare, you will need a comb, and some hair clips to keep your sections in place.

Starting at the forehead part your hair down the middle and continue all the way to the very back of your head, dividing your hair into two separate sides. Use a hair clip to keep the right half of your hair in place. On the left, pace your comb about midway down your part, and divide the first section in half, running from the top of your head and down to the back of your ear, and then to your ends. Essentially, you’ll have your left section divided in half. Clip those sections out of the way and do the same on the right. Once finished you should have four even sections secured by hair clips. For neat sections, use a handheld mirror while sectioning your hair to get a view of your parts from all angles.

Step #4: Get to work

Now it’s time for the fun part! Apply a pair of gloves – all hair colour kits from L’Oreal Paris include gloves to protect your hands. Then begin by removing the clip from one of your front sections of hair.

Your hairline is one of the first things someone will notice about, so it’s important to pay special attention to it and ensure your application is careful and even. Hold the hair back and take your time applying hair colour directly to your hairline and the part between the two front sections of your hair, blend using your gloved hands to ensure consistent application.

Step #5: Finish your hairline

Let down the remaining front section and apply the dye to your hairline and part just as you did in the previous step. Take care to saturate your part to ensure every inch is covered! Be sure to revisit your hairline and part on both sections and gently pat the colour to make sure the hair dye is evenly distributed, and that you are covering any missed spots.

This first step acts as a border of colour application around the front sections you have created, before you move on to saturating the entire section with colour.

Step #6: Work on your part

After you have applied colour to your entire hair line, leave both front sections hanging free. Then begin to create sections down your part that are about a centimetre thick, running parallel to your hair line. Along the newly created part, apply the colour directly at the root then spread with your thumb, and fold that section of hair to the other side. Moving back through the section towards the crown of your head, repeat this step as many times as necessary until you reach your ear. Flip your hair back over, then repeat this process on the other side of your part. Once the roots of front sections are saturated with colour, clip them out of the way to make it easier to move onto the next steps.

Hint: Got a bit of hair dye on your forehead? Don’t panic! Simply grab a dry towel to wipe it off before it sets. If you are bleaching your hair at home, remember that the colour will also bleach any fabrics, so use an older towel.

Step #7: Get started on the back

Remove the clip from one of the sections at the back and begin by colouring along the remaining half of your part. Don’t be scared to add a little extra dye to ensure you’ve really covered it! If you’re working solo, this is where the hand mirror you used while sectioning your hair will come in handy.

Take a diagonal section starting at the top of your back section. This should be almost at the centre of your part. Colour right on the root, spread it out using your thumb, and continue down the back until you've done a third of the section. Clip the strands you have coloured out of the way. For the back, you can take slightly larger sections as you’ll be over-saturating to ensure full coverage.  Remember, you are still only targeting the roots. Repeat on the other back section, clipping it out of the way once done.

Step #8: Repeat

Continue colouring your roots at the back of your head, sectioning diagonally and alternating between the left and right sides. Make sure you pay extra attention to the hairline along the nape of your neck, you don’t want to miss any sections that will be on full display when your hair is up!

Step #9: Colour your length

The hard part is done! Applying hair colour to your roots can often be the trickiest step, so once that’s out of the way, you’ve essentially mastered how to colour your hair. If your goal was a root touch up, your application is complete, and you can skip over to the next step. On the other hand, if you’re colouring your hair for the first time or looking for an all-over hue, now it's time to focus on colouring the rest of your mane. 

To do so, work with sections that are around four centimetres one by one. Apply the colour and spread from root to tip using your fingers before moving onto the next section. Make sure to start at the front and work your way backwards. Continue to do this until the entire length of your hair is saturated. Do not be scared of applying too much hair colour, the goal is to ensure full saturation of your hair to ensure even, all over coverage.

Step #10: The waiting game

Refer back to the hair colour instructions of your chosen formula and let the dye process for the recommended time. Be sure to set a timer to keep track of how long your hair has been processing – this isn’t something to approximate! When the time’s up, jump in the shower and rinse your hair with water until it runs clear. Shampoo to remove any hair dye residue then continue with the conditioner included in your colour kit and let it sit for 5 minutes and rinse out again, no shampoo needed. Either let your hair air dry or blow dry to reveal your results! 

When it comes to caring for your coloured hair, choose a colour-safe product, specially formulated to keep your dyed hair healthy and prolong your brand new shine infused colour. Our pick is the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Colour Protect Shampoo and Conditioner

Who needs the salon to get salon fresh hair dye? Now you officially know how to dye hair just like a pro, it’s time to get colouring at home!