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How To Safely Colour/Dye Your Hair At Home

I have coloured my hair myself several times in the last decade and I have done it wrong quite a number of times. The results of such mistakes include but are not limited to dry, brittle hair, excessive breakage and frizz. In the last year however, I have coloured my hair twice and my mane has been flourishing which led me to write this post.

Colouring your hair at home is not a very hard process but it is a careful process that should not be rushed. Taking the precautions I list in this post will definitely help you maintain the health of your hair even after the colouring process.

Sit down and think

Lol. This may sound silly but you honestly need to do this before you go and change your entire look. Consider what colour you want to change to and how to go about it. If you want to go from dark brown to platinum blonde or any pastel shade, please go to a salon so a professional can do that work because such drastic change can hardly be done safely at home and it requires several salon visits; if any salon attendant agrees to colour your hair more than a few shades lighter in one visit, please run away from such a fellow. However if you only want to go a few shades lighter or darker, you can do it at home successfully with proper care.

Picking the right hair dye

The very first thing to do obviously is to select the dye to use. I suggest selecting a good and reknown brand like Revlon, Adore, Wella, L’oreal, Clairol, Garnier and others. Please, do not cut costs when purchasing a hair colour. If you see a dye you like at a store, do a quick Google search to make sure the brand has a good reputation. Another tip will be to only use semi-permanent hair dye as they only coat the hair cuticle and will not penetrate the hair shaft; of course this means the colour won’t last forever. Don’t get carried away by the colour on the box, remember that the way the colour will show up on you depends on the present colour of your hair; so the darker your hair, the less vivid the colour will look. Most supermarkets carry good hair colour options, you can also find them at Beauty supply shops (that's where my mum got mine) or online at Jumia (Revlon, Clairol, Adore).

This is the dye I used. It's a gel colour that needs to be mixed with a developer 

Invest in some pre-colour hair care

You should never just colour your hair without a few days of preparation. For my last colouring session, I did a hot oil treatment for a few hours before I washed and deep conditioned my hair two days before I was going to colour my hair. Especially since I have kinky coily hair that is prone to tangles and frizz, I took every precaution possible to make sure my hair was strengthened, moisturised, clean and ready to receive the colour. After I washed, I did not apply any product to my hair and I let it air-dry. I did apply a little leave in conditioner to my hair right before I applied the dye.

Use gloves!

I strongly advice that you buy gloves before you colour your hair, some box dyes actually have gloves in them so that’s great. I used gloves when I coloured my hair last year but when I did it again some weeks ago, I didn’t use gloves and I regretted it; my fingers got stained and I got paranoid that the dye was eating into my skin, I washed my hands with soap for 10 minutes. Don’t be like me.

Do a patch test

This simply means applying the dye to a small section of hair for the allotted time prior to colouring the entire hair. A patch test is very important because it helps you know what your hair will actually look like after colouring; it also helps you know how long the dye should stay in your hair.

I used a plastic spoon as my measuring tool for my portions

Follow the instructions on the box

So now your hair is clean and moisturised, you have done the patch test and you love the results; first thing to do is open your windows because the fumes from most hair dyes can be unpleasant and even toxic. If your hair dye requires for you to mix the colour with a developer (the one I used had to be mixed), please mix it in the right proportions. If the box says you should only use plastic utensils to mix the products, please do it. If your hair colour is already mixed and just requires you to apply directly to your hair, perfect. To avoid stains on your skin, apply Vaseline around the perimeters of your hair and on your ears. Use gloves and apply the colour from ends to root; never apply the colour on your scalp. Applying the colour from the ends means the ends will be processed for a longer time than the roots creating a gradient colour that looks natural. I will also advice that you apply the colour in sections so that every strand gets the dye and you don’t have weird patches of hair without colour; my hair was in about 8-10 twists. If the box says you should leave the colour on for 30-40 minutes, you should adhere to it except you noticed that your hair did not achieve the desired result within that time frame during your patch test, then you should leave it on for a little longer.

Ensure you wash off all the dye

You may decide to cover your hair during the colouring process, I typically don’t. I advise that you wash the dye off without it running down your body either by bending just your head over the tub or placing just your head over the shower. Make sure you loosen each section and rinse with cold water until the water runs clear; you don’t want any dye left in your hair.

About 8 months after my first coloring, my hair looks glorious under the sun 😁

Invest in post-colour hair care

Immediately after rinsing the dye off, I applied a moisturising conditioner to my hair for 20-30 minutes to replace all the moisture and natural oils it lost during the process. After rinsing off the conditioner, I let my hair air-dry and I styled it for the week.
Avoid washing your hair with hot water as it may cause you to lose some colour. Also avoid using sulphate shampoos often as they can strip your hair of the colour, opt for a moisturising shampoo like this one. Take extra care of your ends as they are most prone to breakage.

My current colour is a brick/terracotta red and I am obsessed with it 

I have been enjoying my new colour immensely and I hope you enjoy yours too after applying these tips.

If you could have any hair colour, what would it be? Mine would definitely be a midnight blue. Leave a comment.

I hope you enjoyed this post. See you in my next post.

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God has shown you his grace in many different ways. So be good servants and use whatever gift he has given you in a way that will best serve each other.

1 Peter 4:10 ERV

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