How to Color Your Hair (Properly) at Home

2. Be realistic with your expectations.

We've just hit the third month of the community quarantine. And we know for sure that you've been through some gnarly hairstyles throughout that period. If you haven't sorted that out yet, here's our guide on how to give yourself a quarantine haircut.

Aside from a haircut, however, another great way to refresh your look is with some color. Normally, we'd tell you to steer clear of box dyes, but desperate times call for desperate measures. Whether you're looking to hide those white strands or to explore a new color out of boredom, there's definitely a need to know the proper way to use and apply hair dye like a pro. So, here are some tips on how to color your hair at home.

More: Here's an Easy-to-Follow DIY Haircut Video That Will Make You Look Human Again

Start prepping days before.

Unless you're a licensed cosmetologist, chances are, you're using some box dye. Now, box dyes have a bad rep in the beauty industry for being harsh and strong since they have to fit various hair textures and kinds. But, as long as you start prepping days before you should be good. By prep, we mean avoiding washing your hair or at least skipping shampoo and conditioner for two days or more if you're planning on using bleach. This way, the natural oils on your scalp can act as a barrier against the chemicals you're about to slather on your head.

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Be realistic with your expectations.

If you plan on being adventurous and trying a new color, determine whether your hair will actually survive another coloring session first. Look at how far the current color of your hair is from your desired shade. Take a look back into your hair coloring or treatment history. Finally, do a strand test to be sure.


You should also know a hair color job at home is never going to compare to a professional salon job—especially if you're doing it alone. You're probably not going to cover every hair surface, and you're definitely not going to get the exact shade you want. Don't give up yet, though. It's probably going to look okay or passable at the very least. Pro tip: Don't try one of those trendy coloring jobs on Instagram by yourself. Which brings us to our next step...

More: All the Questions About Coloring Hair That Men Are Afraid to Ask Out Loud

Save the big coloring jobs for later.

We're not saying it's impossible to get the crazy color you desire on your head, but it's going to be a long and hard process. There are plenty of home bleaching cautionary tales all over the internet if you want more proof.

Proper techniques and tools are key.


There are a bunch of tools hair colorists use but you should at least have a barber cape, tint brush, and gloves. Now, for some professional techniques. It may seem like a no-brainer but read the instructions as not all box dyes are the same. Apply lip balm or petroleum jelly on hairline to avoid color stains on your skin. Another tip is to section your hair for a better and more efficient technique. From there, it's as easy as applying the color evenly.

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Wash your hair the proper way.

The first thing most people do is to jump straight to rinsing the dye out. Professional colorists, however, say that you should sprinkle little water on your head and massage it first. And definitely don't shampoo your hair immediately unless you're using a sulphate-free shampoo. What you should do instead is apply conditioner to close your hair cuticle and seal the color in.


Make sure your hair color lasts.

As we said, box dyes are harsher than the usual chemical mix, so a little aftercare is needed for your hair and scalp. Just remember to wait a week or so until the color settles before you use masks, treatments, and the like. Other than hair care, it would be good to invest in some sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner for every time you wash your hair.


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About The Author
Paolo Chua
Paolo Chua is the Associate Style Editor of Esquire Philippines.
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