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How can I dye my hair at home?

Answer:  Dyeing your hair from a box can seem pretty scary — and some of us may have had a pretty disastrous episode at one time or another, but we’ve compiled a list with tips and tricks to help your new dye job look as lovely as possible:

1. Don’t wash right before you dye

Instead, shower a day or two in advance so that your hair has produced some of it’s natural oils — this will help the dye grab onto your hair more effectively. Shampooing prevents natural oils from doing their thing.

2. Do the patch test

Many boxes of hair color suggest that you test the hair color on an inconspicuous section of hair before coloring to make sure the color turns out the way you like, and that you don’t have an allergic reaction to the dye. As annoying as this step may sound — do it! Trust us: it’s much better to test a small section of hair rather than coloring your whole head.

3. Stay natural

If you want to make the big leap from brunette to bleach blonde, go just a few shades lighter than your natural color. If you’re loving the lightness, then gradually work your way up to an even lighter shade. Sometimes different skin tones don’t agree with certain colors, and it’s best to slowly make that transition and avoid a color catastrophe.

4. Protect

No one wants their skin dyed along with their hair, so put some Vaseline on your skin right around the hair line and your ears.

5. Section by section

As tempting as it may be to just douse your whole entire head in the dye, make sure to work in small sections to cover each and every strand of hair.

6. Start at the roots

After putting your gloves on, work the color in by starting at the roots and pulling down throughout the hair. If you’d like, you can use a brush instead. Patchy roots are never a good look on anyone, so be sure to get deep in those babies.

7. Condition, condition, condition

Definitely utilize the tube of conditioner that comes with the box, or your own favorite color-specific conditioner after you’ve rinsed your hair. Hair can be very straw-like after it’s colored, and the best way to nourish your hair and help the color last is to condition every time you shower — which shouldn’t be every day, by the way. You want to preserve your new color.

8. Embrace color-friendly shampoos

Don’t use that old bottle of shampoo that’s been lying around to wash your newly colored hair. Invest in a good quality color shampoo. I’ve had great results with drugstore color shampoos, but everyone has different preferences.