How To Colour Your Hair At Home According To The Pros

Everything you need to know before reaching for a box of DIY hair colour...

Hair Colour At Home

by Annie Vischer |

Consider this your ultimate guide on what to consider before colouring your hair at home during lockdown. Routine colour appointments can become something of a chore. Until they’re made unavailable, that is. Oh, what we’d give to be back in our beloved swivel chair as our dependable colourist works their magic and sends us strutting out of the salon, all shiny haired and fancy free. A few hours in foils has seemed like the stuff of dreams this year and we've still got a bit of a wait before our favourite hair salons reopen their doors across England on 12th April this year! Between root regrowth, stress-induced greys and the dulling of once vibrant shades that’s happening during Lockdown 3.0, we’re getting ever closer to turning to the DIY box. But at-home hair colouring can be a dicey business, so should we really be giving it a go? Holly Willoughby certainly did during the first bout of lockdown (find out how Holly colours her hair at home here).We asked the experts…

Go For It (But Proceed With Caution)

Hairstylist Michael Douglas has been in the hairdressing business for nearly 30 years and worked with everyone from Kate Moss to Sienna Miller. Needless to say, he knows a thing or two about colour. For him, the real DIY dilemma lies in choosing between a semi-permanent and permanent product. ‘This mainly comes down to the coverage of grey that you want, and your commitment to the colour you choose. Permanent dye delivers 100% grey coverage, but you have to grow it out. Semi-permanent hair colour will only give you around 75% coverage of grey hair and most of the colour will wash out in six weeks.’

What About Bleaching Your Hair At Home?

For renowned hair colourist Josh Wood, covering roots and blending greys at home is doable, but going lighter is a no-no. ‘Don’t attempt to bleach your hair at home. Achieving a natural blend of highlights and balayage is virtually impossible outside of the salon. I believe bleach is best left in the hands of professionals. If you are used to a sophisticated salon result, that’s not something you’re going to be able to manage yourself. Going darker or going warmer is easier. Adding colour in is generally a lot more achievable than trying to remove it. You can cover your roots or blend in greys at home.'

Oribe root touch up

Josh Wood's Top At-Home Hair Colour Tips

'I think the biggest challenge for people is finding the right colour. It's hard to do without an expert around, in the middle of a shopping aisle. If in doubt, go a shade lighter than you think. Get online to learn about technique. There are so many videos and tutorials from people who've been colouring their own hair for years at home. That's key if it's your first time. Remember too, that the smaller the change, the easier it is to do at home. When it comes to root regrowth or simply warming a colour up, that's more achievable than a head of highlights for example. Things are more likely to go wrong when you try and do something like that. When going lighter the lightness of colour is always delivered by a technique. It might involve a mix of highlights, lowlights, babylights. That's virtually impossible to recreate on yourself at home. You need an expert to achieve real subtlety.'

Get Your Partner To Help You Colour Your Hair At Home

If you are attempting a DIY hair dye job at home, why not follow in the footsteps of the celebrity circuit and recruit the help of your partner or housemate. After all, most of us want our colour to be evenly distributed around the back, too. Showing us how it’s done, Cat Deeley recently entrusted her husband, Patrick Kielty, to dye her roots at home. Blake Lively got Ryan Reynolds to give it a go too! Gloved up both Patrick and Ryan looked well prepped for the job. We highly recommend that, if you do recruit help, to make sure they do their research, watch some how-to videos and take note from Patrick and wear protective clothing like an apron!


Celebrities DIY Hair Dye At Home - Grazia 2021

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CREDIT: @catdeeley

Cat Deeley enlisted the help of husband Patrick Kielty when it came to dying her hair at home.

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CREDIT: @catdeeley

Cat Deeley's husband Patrick Kielty wore a protective aprom when dying his wife's hair at home during lockdown.

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CREDIT: @catdeeley

Nearly there! Cat Deeley's DIY hair colour job involved enlisting the help of husband Patrick Kielty.

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CREDIT: @blakelively

Blake Lively took to Instagram to show husband Ryan Reynolds getting friendly with her at-home hair dye kit.

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CREDIT: @blakelively

In her time lapse video Blake Lively shows husband Ryan Reynolds going through the motions of helping her dye her hair at home - now that's love!

Touching Up Your Roots At Home

Over the years, hairstylist and colourist Brittany King has worked with Cameron Diaz, Cara Delevingne and Florence Welch to name just a few. Her position on at-home colour is clear. Avoid. ‘Everyone is feeling the urge to do something with their hair colour at home but, before you do, remember how long you and your colourist have worked together to create this hair colour. You don’t want to ruin your look for the sake of a quick fix. Permanent at-home colour does not give you the picture on the box. The box cannot consult your hair. It cannot see the colour of your natural base shade and create a formula just for you. Only your colourist can do that.’

This doesn’t, however, mean you have to embrace root regrowth and congregating greys for the foreseeable. Brittany is quick to point out that there are other options out there. ‘When it comes to root regrowth, there are all sorts of sprays and powders that you can use. They shampoo out so you won’t ruin your colour in the process. My favourite is the Rita Hazan New York Root Concealer Touch-Up Spray.’ Founder of London based Scandi-chic salon STIL Christel Barron-Hough agrees. 'Whilst grown out roots are fashionable - check Dua Lipa for inspo - they're not for everyone, but reaching for a box of colour brings its own issues, from getting the colour match spot on to potential breakage and damage to the hair if done incorrectly. My all-time favourite root coverup is the Color Wow Root Cover Up as it's so easy to use. Like an eyeshadow you simply paint the colour on and it comes in a variety of shades which you can colour match and even mix different tones together to blend with your own hair colour.'

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READ MORE: Holly Willoughby Reveals How She Gets This Gleaming Hair Colour At Home

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