How to Color Your Own Hair Like a Pro in 2023: Expert Tips & Tricks

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how to color my own hair

Basic Steps for Coloring Your Own Hair

Coloring your own hair at home can be a fun and cost-effective way to change up your look. However, it’s important to follow the proper steps to ensure a successful outcome. Here are some basic steps to help you color your own hair:

Gather all necessary supplies:

  • Hair color kit: Choose a hair color that suits your desired shade and skin tone.
  • Gloves: Protect your hands from staining.
  • Applicator brush or bottle: Use an applicator that allows for precise application.
  • Sectioning clips: Divide your hair into manageable sections for easier application.
  • Old towel or cape: Prevent stains on your clothes or furniture.
  • Vaseline or petroleum jelly: Apply around the hairline to prevent staining of the skin.

Perform a patch test:

Before applying the hair color all over, it’s important to do a patch test. Apply a small amount of the dye mixture behind your ear or on the inside of your elbow. Leave it on for the recommended time and check for any allergic reactions or irritation. If there is no adverse reaction after 24 hours, it should be safe to proceed with coloring your entire head of hair.

Prepare your hair:

Prior to coloring, make sure your hair is clean and dry. Avoid using any styling products like hairspray or gel as they can interfere with the coloring process. If you have recently used any chemical treatments on your hair, such as relaxers or perms, wait at least two weeks before coloring to prevent damage.


If you have never colored your hair before or are making a drastic change in color, it’s advisable to seek professional help to achieve the desired result. They can provide guidance and expertise to ensure a successful outcome.

Recommended Hair Coloring Products for Beginners

When it comes to choosing hair coloring products for beginners, it’s important to opt for options that are easy to use and provide reliable results. One highly recommended product is the L’Oréal Paris Excellence Crème. This at-home hair color kit comes with a detailed instruction manual, making it perfect for beginners who may be new to the process. Additionally, the kit includes a conditioning treatment that helps nourish and protect your hair during and after coloring.

Another great option for beginners is the Clairol Natural Instincts Semi-Permanent Hair Color. This product is ammonia-free, which means it is less damaging to your hair compared to other permanent dyes. It also provides a natural-looking color that gradually fades over time, allowing you to experiment without the commitment of long-lasting results.


  • Read reviews and do research before purchasing any hair coloring product.
  • Always perform a patch test before applying color all over your hair.
  • Follow the instructions provided with the product carefully for best results.

Choosing the Right Shade of Hair Color for Your Skin Tone

Selecting the right shade of hair color can make a significant difference in how well it complements your skin tone. If you have warm undertones in your skin, such as yellow or golden hues, opt for hair colors with warm tones like golden blondes or rich browns. On the other hand, if you have cool undertones with pink or blue hues in your skin, consider shades like ash blonde or cool-toned browns.

Hair colorists often recommend using online tools or consulting with professionals to determine your skin tone accurately. Additionally, keep in mind that certain shades may require more maintenance and upkeep, so consider your lifestyle and commitment to hair care before making a decision.


  • Experiment with temporary or semi-permanent hair colors before committing to a permanent change.
  • Consider your eye color as well when choosing a hair color that complements your overall appearance.

Tips for Preparing Your Hair Before Coloring at Home

Properly preparing your hair before coloring is essential for achieving the best results. Start by washing your hair with a clarifying shampoo to remove any product buildup or residue. This will help the color adhere evenly to your strands. Avoid using conditioner before coloring, as it can create a barrier that prevents the color from penetrating effectively.

If you have previously colored or chemically treated hair, it’s crucial to perform a strand test to ensure compatibility with the new color. Additionally, trim any split ends or damaged sections of your hair beforehand for an even application and better overall appearance.


  • Avoid washing your hair immediately before coloring, as natural oils can help protect the scalp during the process.
  • Protect your clothing and surroundings by wearing an old shirt and placing towels or newspaper on surfaces.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Coloring Your Own Hair

While coloring your own hair can be convenient and cost-effective, there are several common mistakes that beginners should avoid. One mistake is leaving the color on for too long, which can result in overly saturated or unnatural-looking results. Always follow the recommended timing provided with the product.

Another mistake is failing to section off your hair properly during application. This can lead to uneven distribution of color and patchy results. Take your time and divide your hair into manageable sections using clips or hair ties.


  • Start with a shade that is close to your natural hair color for a more seamless transition.
  • If you’re unsure about the process, consider seeking guidance from a professional hairstylist.

Techniques and Tools for Professional-Looking Results at Home

To achieve professional-looking results when coloring your own hair at home, it’s important to use the right techniques and tools. One technique is backcombing, also known as teasing, which can create dimension and prevent harsh lines. This is particularly useful when applying highlights or balayage techniques.

Investing in quality tools such as a wide-toothed comb, color brush, and mixing bowl can also make a significant difference in the application process. These tools allow for precise application and help ensure even distribution of color.


  • Follow tutorials or seek guidance from professionals to learn different coloring techniques.
  • Use foils or plastic wrap to isolate sections of hair for more controlled highlighting or lowlighting.

Timing: How Long to Leave Hair Color on Before Rinsing

The timing of leaving hair color on before rinsing varies depending on the product and desired result. It’s crucial to follow the instructions provided with the specific hair coloring product you are using. Leaving the color on for too short a time may result in a lighter shade than intended, while leaving it on for too long can lead to overly dark or unnatural-looking results.

In general, most permanent hair colors require around 30-45 minutes of processing time. However, always refer to the instructions for accurate timing. If you’re unsure, it’s better to err on the side of caution and rinse a few minutes earlier rather than risking over-processing.


  • Set a timer or use a stopwatch to ensure accurate timing.
  • Consider using a color-safe shampoo and conditioner after rinsing to maintain the vibrancy of your newly colored hair.

Maintaining and Prolonging Vibrancy of Colored Hair

After coloring your hair, proper maintenance is crucial for keeping the color vibrant and long-lasting. One important tip is to use color-safe shampoos and conditioners specifically formulated for colored hair. These products help prevent fading and keep your hair looking fresh.

Avoid excessive heat styling, as high temperatures can cause color to fade more quickly. When using heat tools, always apply a heat protectant spray beforehand. Additionally, limiting exposure to chlorine in swimming pools and protecting your hair from UV rays can also help maintain color vibrancy.


  • Avoid washing your hair every day, as this can strip away color more quickly.
  • <li- Use leave-in treatments or serums designed for colored hair to provide extra nourishment and protection.

Natural and DIY Alternatives to Commercial Hair Dyes

If you prefer natural or DIY alternatives to commercial hair dyes, there are several options available. Henna is a popular natural dye that provides rich red tones without harsh chemicals. It also acts as a conditioning treatment for the hair. However, keep in mind that henna may not be suitable for all hair types or colors.

You can also experiment with homemade concoctions using ingredients like coffee, tea, or beet juice to darken or add subtle highlights to your hair. These natural alternatives may not provide drastic color changes but can enhance your hair’s natural tones in a gentle way.


  • Do a patch test with any natural or DIY alternative before applying it all over your hair.
  • Research and follow reliable recipes and instructions for best results.

Reliable Resources and Tutorials for Beginner Hair Colorists

If you’re a beginner looking for reliable resources and tutorials to improve your hair coloring skills, there are several options available online. YouTube is a great platform for finding step-by-step tutorials from experienced hairstylists. Look for channels dedicated to hair coloring techniques and tips.

Websites such as Allure, Byrdie, and Cosmopolitan also offer comprehensive guides and articles on various aspects of hair coloring. These resources often include expert advice, product recommendations, and before-and-after transformations to inspire and educate beginners.


  • Join online forums or communities where you can connect with other hair color enthusiasts and seek advice.
  • Bookmark helpful websites or create a Pinterest board to save tutorials and inspiration for future reference.

In conclusion, learning how to color your own hair can be a cost-effective and empowering way to express your personal style. With the right tools, techniques, and precautions, you can achieve professional-looking results from the comfort of your own home.

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