Home versus Salon Hair Color, Choosing color shade
The result you achieve from a home hair colour may not be exactly what you expect. A given hair-colour shade actually produces a range of end results, depending on the shade of hair colour you start with. That's why the back panels of most hair-colour packages show you a range of colour swatches so that you can determine your end result based on your starting colour.
Tips on How to color your hair at home
Do an allergy test, also known as a patch test, to determine whether you have any allergies to a given hair colour. At least 2 days before you plan to colour hair, mix a small amount of the colour - you'll find instructions for patch-test mixing included with your box of hair colour. Using a cotton swab, apply a 1-cm (1/2-inch) patch of colour to the inside of your elbow. Leave the area uncovered, unwashed, and undisturbed for 48 hours. Save the remaining mixture for use in the strand test (see below). If no redness or irritation appears after 48 hours, the product is safe to use. If you do experience a reaction, you are allergic to the product so get rid of it.
Do a strand test with the colour you mixed for your patch test. A strand test shows you exactly what colour a home hair-colour product will create on your hair. It will also give you an idea of how long a product takes to treat your hair type. Clip a few strands of hair - you want a sample that is 6 mm (% inch) in diameter and at least 2.5 cm (1 inch) long - preferably from the darkest area of your hair. Bind one end of the strands with tape to keep them together. If the instructions say to apply colour to wet hair, dampen the strands. Otherwise, leave hair dry. Paint the strands with some of the mixed hair-colour solution. then place strands in a plastic container. After about 10 minutes, rinse and dry the strands. If the colour of the strand is not as rich as you would like, reapply the colour solution and check every 5 minutes, up to 20 minutes for grey patches. When the strand is the colour you want, note the amount of time the colour has been on the strand. This indicates the amount of time you should leave the colour on during the overall application.
Gather your supplies. Find some old towels, a second-hand shirt to wear, petroleum jelly or a heavy moisturizer to put around your hairline (this keeps colour from seeping onto skin), and anything else you'll need - you don't want to be wandering through your house with hair colour on your head. Remember, permanent dye really is permanent.