What is the Best Way to Dye Hair at Home in 2023? The Ultimate Guide

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what is the best way to dye hair at home

1. Necessary Steps for Dyeing Hair at Home

Choosing the Right Hair Dye Color

Before you start dyeing your hair at home, it’s important to choose the right hair dye color that complements your skin tone. The wrong color can make you look washed out or unnatural. To determine the best color for you, consider your skin undertone and eye color. If you have warm undertones (yellow, peachy, or golden), opt for hair dye colors with warm tones like golden blondes, copper reds, or chocolate browns. If you have cool undertones (pink, blue, or red), go for hair dye colors with cool tones like ash blondes, burgundy reds, or espresso browns.

Gather Your Supplies

Before starting the dyeing process at home, make sure you have all the necessary supplies on hand. This includes a hair dye kit (which typically includes gloves, developer, and colorant), an old towel or cape to protect your clothing, a comb or brush for applying the dye evenly, clips to section off your hair, and petroleum jelly to protect your skin from staining.

Perform a Strand Test

Performing a strand test is crucial before applying the hair dye all over your head. This test will help you determine how long to leave the dye on and how the color will turn out on your hair. To perform a strand test, mix a small amount of hair dye according to the instructions and apply it to a hidden section of your hair. Leave it on for the recommended time and rinse it out. Evaluate if you’re happy with the color result before proceeding.

List of necessary steps:

  1. Choose the right hair dye color for your skin tone.
  2. Gather all the necessary supplies.
  3. Perform a strand test to determine the desired outcome.

2. Choosing the Right Hair Dye Color for Your Skin Tone

Understanding Your Skin Undertone

When choosing a hair dye color that complements your skin tone, it’s important to understand your skin undertone. There are three main undertones: cool, warm, and neutral. Cool undertones have hints of pink or blue, warm undertones have hints of yellow or peach, and neutral undertones have a balance of both. To determine your undertone, look at the veins on your wrist – if they appear blue or purple, you likely have cool undertones; if they appear greenish, you likely have warm undertones.

Matching Hair Colors with Undertones

For those with cool undertones, hair colors like platinum blonde, ash brown, and burgundy can complement their complexion. Warm undertones pair well with hair colors like golden blonde, caramel brown, and copper red. If you have a neutral undertone, you can experiment with a wide range of hair colors.

Consider consulting with a professional hairstylist who can help determine the best hair dye color for your specific skin tone and provide personalized recommendations.

3. Recommended Products and Brands for At-Home Hair Dyeing

Finding the Right Hair Dye Brand

When it comes to at-home hair dyeing, choosing the right brand is crucial for achieving desired results. Some popular and trusted brands include L’Oréal Paris Excellence Crème, Clairol Natural Instincts, and Garnier Nutrisse. These brands offer a wide range of shades and formulas suitable for different hair types.

Tips for Choosing the Right Product

Consider factors such as your hair type (e.g., dry or damaged), desired color intensity (permanent or semi-permanent), and any specific concerns you may have (e.g., covering grays or adding highlights). Reading reviews and seeking recommendations from friends or online communities can also help in making an informed decision.

Remember to always follow the instructions provided with the hair dye product and perform a patch test before applying it to your entire head to check for any adverse reactions.

4. Precautions to Take Before Starting the Hair Dyeing Process at Home

Protecting Your Clothing and Surroundings

Before starting the hair dyeing process at home, it’s important to take precautions to protect your clothing and surroundings. Wear old clothes that you don’t mind getting stained and consider using a cape or towel around your shoulders to catch any drips or spills. Cover surfaces like countertops or floors with plastic sheets or towels to prevent staining.

Performing a Strand Test

Performing a strand test is crucial before applying hair dye all over your head. This involves taking a small section of hair, applying the dye, and following the recommended processing time. This will help you determine how the color turns out on your hair and whether any adjustments need to be made.

Additionally, make sure to read and follow all safety instructions provided by the manufacturer, including wearing gloves during application and avoiding contact with eyes or skin.

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5. Tips to Protect Skin and Prevent Staining During the Dyeing Process

Using Petroleum Jelly

One effective way to protect your skin from hair dye stains is by applying petroleum jelly along your hairline, ears, and neck before starting the dyeing process. The thick consistency of petroleum jelly creates a barrier between the dye and your skin, preventing it from seeping in and causing stains. Make sure to apply a generous amount and spread it evenly for maximum protection.

Wearing Protective Gloves

Another crucial tip to prevent staining during the dyeing process is to always wear protective gloves. Hair dyes contain chemicals that can irritate or stain your hands if they come into direct contact with them. By wearing gloves, you not only protect your hands but also ensure that the dye is applied evenly without any accidental smudging or streaks.


  • Choose gloves made of latex or nitrile for better durability and resistance against chemicals.
  • Avoid using gloves made of vinyl as they may tear easily.
  • If you have sensitive skin or allergies, consider using hypoallergenic gloves.

6. Bleaching or Lightening Hair Before Applying Certain Colors of Hair Dye at Home

If you’re planning to achieve vibrant or pastel hair colors at home, it’s important to bleach or lighten your hair beforehand. Bleaching helps remove the natural pigment from your hair, allowing the new color to show up more vividly. However, bleaching can be damaging to your hair if not done correctly, so it’s essential to follow proper instructions and take necessary precautions.

Selecting the Right Bleaching Kit

When choosing a bleaching kit, opt for reputable brands that provide clear instructions and include all the necessary components. Look for kits that contain a bleach powder, developer, and gloves. It’s also advisable to choose a kit with a lower volume developer (around 20 or 30) if you have fine or damaged hair to minimize potential damage.


  • Perform a strand test before applying bleach to your entire head to determine the processing time and potential outcome.
  • Avoid overlapping previously bleached sections to prevent excessive damage.
  • Deep condition your hair regularly after bleaching to restore moisture and minimize damage.

7. Optimal Duration for Leaving the Hair Dye in Your Hair

The duration for leaving hair dye in your hair depends on various factors such as the type of dye, desired color intensity, and your hair’s porosity. It’s essential to follow the instructions provided with the specific hair dye product you’re using. However, as a general guideline:

Semi-Permanent Dyes

Semi-permanent dyes typically need to be left on the hair for around 20-40 minutes. These dyes do not contain harsh chemicals like ammonia or peroxide and gradually fade over time with each wash.

Permanent Dyes

Permanent dyes usually require longer processing times of approximately 30-45 minutes. These dyes contain ammonia or peroxide, which help penetrate the hair shaft and create lasting color changes.


  • Avoid leaving the dye on for longer than recommended as it can lead to over-processing and damage your hair.
  • If you have stubborn grays or resistant hair, consider extending the processing time slightly, but always stay within the recommended range.
  • Use a timer to ensure accurate timing and prevent any potential mishaps.

8. Aftercare Steps to Follow After Dyeing Hair at Home

Proper aftercare is crucial to maintain the vibrancy and health of your newly dyed hair. Here are some essential steps to follow:

Using Color-Safe Shampoo and Conditioner

Invest in a shampoo and conditioner specifically formulated for color-treated hair. These products are designed to be gentle on your hair while preserving the color intensity. Avoid using clarifying or anti-dandruff shampoos as they can strip away the dye faster.

Avoiding Hot Water and Heat Styling

To prevent premature fading, rinse your hair with cool water instead of hot water when washing it. Additionally, minimize heat styling tools such as straighteners or curling irons as excessive heat can cause color fading and damage your hair.


  • Consider using leave-in conditioners or hair masks specifically formulated for colored hair to provide extra moisture and protection.
  • Avoid excessive sun exposure by wearing hats or using UV-protective sprays to shield your colored hair from harmful rays.
  • Schedule regular touch-ups or root touch-ups as needed to maintain consistent color throughout your hair.

9. Common Mistakes to Avoid When Attempting to Dye Your Own Hair at Home

Dyeing your own hair at home can be a cost-effective and convenient option, but it’s important to avoid these common mistakes:

Skipping the Patch Test

Always perform a patch test before applying hair dye to your entire head. This helps identify any potential allergic reactions or adverse effects. Apply a small amount of dye to a discreet area, such as behind your ear, and wait for 24-48 hours to check for any negative reactions.

Not Prepping Your Hair Properly

To achieve optimal results, ensure your hair is clean and free of any styling products or oils before applying the dye. Additionally, if you’re planning to bleach your hair, make sure it’s in good condition and properly hydrated to minimize damage.


  • Follow the instructions provided with the hair dye kit carefully and avoid deviating from the recommended steps.
  • If you’re unsure about a particular step or technique, consider consulting professional hairstylists or watching reputable tutorials online.
  • Have an extra pair of hands available to help with hard-to-reach areas or sections of your hair.

10. Resources and Tutorials for Beginners Looking to Dye Their Hair at Home

If you’re new to dyeing your own hair at home, there are numerous resources and tutorials available online that can provide guidance and inspiration. Here are some recommended platforms:

YouTube Channels

YouTube offers a wide range of channels dedicated to hair dyeing tutorials. Some popular channels include “Brad Mondo,” “Guy Tang,” and “Kayley Melissa.” These channels feature experienced hairstylists who share their expertise, tips, and step-by-step guides on achieving various hair colors at home.

Hair Dyeing Blogs

Blogs such as “The Beauty Department” and “HairCrazy.com” provide detailed articles, product reviews, and user experiences related to home hair dyeing. These blogs often include helpful tips, troubleshooting advice, and inspiration for different hair dyeing techniques.


  • Read reviews and watch tutorials from multiple sources to gather a well-rounded understanding of the process before attempting it yourself.
  • Take note of any specific products or tools recommended by experts in the tutorials to ensure you have everything you need for a successful dyeing experience.
  • Join online forums or communities dedicated to hair dyeing at home to connect with fellow enthusiasts and seek additional advice or support.

In conclusion, the best way to dye hair at home depends on personal preference, hair type, and desired results. It is important to carefully follow instructions, conduct a patch test, and choose high-quality products to achieve satisfactory and professional-looking results. Seeking professional advice or assistance may be beneficial for those with specific concerns or complex coloring techniques.

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