How to dye your hair at home | The easy guide for beginners.

Those pesky greys are poking through, your roots are glowing or you’re thinking about dyeing your hair an awesome new colour? Don’t have the time, the money or inclination to visit the salon? At times like these, you want to know how to dye your hair at home, by yourself, like a pro.

You’ve got a great new look in mind, but you can’t get to the salon right away. Maybe it’s your busy schedule or maybe you just don’t want to spend a lot of money on getting your hair dyed in a professional setting.

The good news is that there are plenty of ways for you to dye your hair at home, by yourself and save some time and money while doing so. But how do you know what will work best? Or if it’ll turn out looking like the picture from Pinterest? How much product should I use? What colour should I choose? These are all questions that we’re going to answer today!

We’re going to go through everything from choosing the right hair dye for beginners, through mixing them together correctly and applying them safely so that when its done, not only will your hair be coloured exactly as planned but also healthy and shiny too!

Here we are with everything you need to know about what you can do and how to get salon-fabulous hair at home!

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How can I color my hair at home?

If you’re looking to change your hair colour, but aren’t sure where or how do it or even what products would work best for the desired effect, then keep reading!

Like most things in life, there are many different ways of achieving a certain result. So if doing something yourself sounds like fun and gives results that meet or even exceed those obtained through professional means – go ahead with whatever suits YOURSELF best.

We’ll cover some basics here, like the best tools to use, what hair dye you need to colour your hair at home and tips and techniques for getting it right. But really, practice makes perfect!

How can I dye my hair at home like a pro?

If you want to dye your hair at home like a pro, you need the right tools and a lot of patience.


  • Use a tint brush to apply the hair dye – especially for your roots and hairline.
  • Use barrier cream – and cover all bathroom surfaces around you.
  • Take your time. Don’t rush any stage of the process or you’ll end up with patchy coverage.
  • Follow the instructions carefully – leaving hair dye on for longer is not always a great idea.
  • Keep checking your colour – wash it off if it starts to go darker than planned.

How to dye your hair at home.

What you need.

  • Clarifying shampoo to remove dirt, debris and styling products from your hair. 
  • A hair dye kit that will give you all the tools you need to apply it like a pro.
  • A hairdressers cape to protect your clothes. Towels will get stained and keep falling off.
  • A barrier cream to prevent the colour getting on your skin. (Vaseline will do!)
  • A wide toothed comb to separate your hair and comb through the dye.
  • An excellent colour-safe shampoo.
  • And excellent colour-safe conditioner.
  • A heat protection spray to protect your colour before drying.
  • An excellent hair dryer that’s suitable for coloured hair.

And your hair dye of choice!

hair dye tools

How do you dye your hair step by step?

Set the scene.

24-48 hours before you plan to dye your hair, shampoo your hair TWICE to make sure all dirt and debris is removed. This makes sure the hair dye can really penetrate your hair but also gives you hair a chance to build up natural oils that will protect it.

On the day, you’re going to need to set aside anywhere between 1-1.5 hours to colour your hair at home from start to finish.

Whatever dye you choose contains magic-making chemicals that work wonders on colouring your hair, but whiff a bit too. So make sure you apply it in a well ventilated room.

It’s better to dye your hair when it’s dry, rather than wet, to let the hair colour penetrate your hair without any barriers.

Don’t skip the strand test. Especially if you are new to hair dyeing! Follow the instructions on the box of hair dye to test for any allergic reactions or colour dodginess.

Put on your hairdresser’s cape to protect your clothes, crack out your hair dye kit and your chosen box of hair dye, cover any surface around you that might get dye on it and put newspapers on the floor.


Step one: Apply barrier cream.

Coat your hairline, ears and neck with your barrier cream before applying dye to your hair. Applying this coating will make and hair dye easier to rinse off and it won’t stain your skin.

Open up your hair dye and mix the colour and developer together as instructed. Pour the mixture into your hair dye bowl from your hair dye kit.

how to dye your hair at home

Step two: Section your hair.

Use your comb to separate your hair into 4-8 sections, depending on thickness. Clip each section with using your clips from the hair dye kit.

how to dye your hair at home

Step three: Apply the hair dye.

Using your brush, work the hair dye into your hair depending on what you’re wanting to achieve:

  • For previously dyed hair – work the dye into your roots first. Follow the guidance on your hair dye instructions.
  • For hair that isn’t already dyed (virgin hair) – work the dye into the whole of your hair, starting at the roots and painting down to the tips, making sure the hair is totally saturated.
how to dye your hair at home

Step four: Let it develop.

Pop your hair up in a shower cap to prevent it from touching and staining anything. You can also wrap your hair in a towel to contain heat which will help the colour to process.

Leave the dye in for the amount of time specified on the box hair dye instructions.

If you have particularly stubborn greys to cover, you can leave the hair dye in 10 minutes longer to ensure it really takes.

If you feel any burning or itching – rinse it off straight away!

how to dye your hair at home

Step five: Rinse.

Once your time is up, rinse your hair with warm water in the shower or over the sink. Keep rinsing until the water runs clear.

Don’t panic if you see a lot of colour rinsing out – it’s all part of the process!

Wash your hair twice with and condition your hair. Leave it in for 5 minutes to really set your colour.

Your hair is wet, so the colour will appear darker at first. Time to dry it!

how to dye your hair at home

Step six: Style and dry!

Spritz your hair with your hair heat protection spray to protect your colour before drying. Make sure you do this every time you dry your hair or use heated styling products from now on.

Dry your hair as usual and admire your new coloured locks!!

rose gold hair dye Instagram post
copper color Instagram post
chocolate color Instagram post

Watch and learn. How the professionals do it.

Hairdressers Guide To Coloring Your Own Hair And Not Ruining It

How to dye your hair at home FAQS

Can I dye my hair at home by myself?

If you’re new to colouring your own hair, you may be wondering how to dye your hair by yourself.

The good news is that off the shelf box dyes have come a long way and, provided you follow all the top tips in our guide, it’s easy to colour your own hair at home!

The main tricky bits to reach are the back of your hair. That’s why using a good hair dye kit that contains all the tools you need to make your life easier is essential. Or you can simply ask a friend to help you out.

Is it OK to dye hair at home?

It’s OK to dye your own hair at home if you’re well prepared and know what you’re doing.

There’s always going to be an element of risk or worry that you’ve done it wrong or chosen the wrong colour.

If you want to go for a drastic change, it’s best to head to your local salon for at least a consultation.

Your hairdresser can assess the condition of your hair as well as things like your skin tones and natural colouring. They can also work out what colours suit you and if your hair condition is up for it.

But it is easy enough to learn how to dye your own hair. Knowing what colour you can dye your hair at home is the first part of getting it right!

What colours are best to dye my hair at home?

Although dyeing your hair at home is perfectly do-able, you’ll want to save any major hair colour changes for the salon. 

Changing your hair colour from one colour family to another – say from ash brown to platinum blonde – can require multiple processes, which are best left to a professional colourist.

When dyeing your hair yourself, stay within two shades lighter or two shades darker, of your current colour.

If you have dark hair, you’ll need to be extra careful in choosing your colours – you can’t lighten colour with colour!

Check out the latest Hair colour ideas for ideas and inspiration!

hair color ideas pinterest board

What hair colour suits me?

Finding out how to dye your hair involves knowing which hair colours suit you. This means thinking about what suits your skin tone, pigment, the condition of your hair and even how brave you are!

Luckily we have a quiz for that! Take our quiz to find out the type of colours that will suit you! Just click the image below!

which hair colour suits me

You can also try on some virtual hair colours with the Best hair colour changing apps you need to use in 2022!

Should I choose permanent or semi-permanent hair dye?

We have a great guide here that tells you about all the different types of hair dye you can choose for your home hair dye job, depending the colour results you’re after – from permanent, semi-permanent, even demi-permanent and temporary.

The main differences between permanent and semi-permanent are:


  • Is a slight tonal change
  • Covers and coats your hair
  • Can cover greys
  • Contains no peroxide
  • Last for about 10-12 washes


  • More coverage
  • More change
  • Absorbs into your hair
  • Contains peroxide
  • Fades gradually

Which brand of hair dye should I use?

Which brand or product you choose depends on the colour you want your shimmering locks to be, and the colour your hair is now.

For thicker/longer hair.

We love John Frieda’s Precision Foam colour range of hair dyes. The foam means less mess and really penetrates your hair. You’ll need two boxes for an all over colour if your hair is any longer than chin length. John Frieda Precision Foam is particularly good for darker colours and reds with a great variety of long-lasting hair dye colours.

For finer/shorter hair.

Garnier Nutrisse has great reviews for moisturising and plumping hair to make it appear glossier and thicker. Sounds good to us! This brand is particularly good for blonde and lighter hair colours because of their fantastic range of lighter shades.

For bright colours.

Schwartzkopf Live has an immense range of bold, bright colours. Some of which also lighten your hair if you want to go a shade or two lighter. Great for on-trend, bold metallics like Silver and Blue.

For pastel colours.

L’Oreal Colorista has the best range around for pastel shades. From semi-permanent, permanent, temporary washouts and hair make up. Every colour you need to experiment with is catered for. You can have a lot of fun!

For natural hair colours.

Nice n Easy have a hair-raising selection of beautiful natural hair colours is every shade and tone. Nice n Easy is particularly good for brunette shades with all colours and hues you’ll ever need on the beautiful brown hair spectrum.

Best hair dye brands at a glance.

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Is it best to colour dirty hair?

It’s best to wash your hair before you dye it so that the colour can give an even coverage to the whole of your hair without leaving any patches.

Leavins a couple of days in between washing your hair and dyeing it is really only recommended when bleaching your hair.

This is because the natural oils that build up on your scalp protect it from the hydrogen peroxide in bleach that can irritate your scalp.

If you’re just grabbing a box dye and pepping up your colour, only clean hair will do!

What happens if I shampoo my hair after dyeing?

There was a time when it wasn’t recommended to shampoo. your hair straight away.

Nowadays, as long as your using a colour-safe shampoo, it’s totally ok to shampoo your hair straight away.

In fact, it’s a good idea to do it to really rinse out all the colour pigment that’s left over and sitting on your hair.

When the water runs clear, you’re done!

What happens if I don’t like my new hair colour?!

Firstly, don’t panic!

Head over to our brilliant guide How to remove hair dye at home to take care of it. You have options.

How do I care for my coloured hair?

Once you have the gorgeous, coloured hair that you love, you need to look after it to keep the colour lasting and luscious. Normal shampoos will strip your colour. Use sulphate-free shampoos to keep your colour locked in.

The same goes for using specially formulated coloured hair conditioners which are gently on your colour. Once a week, use a good deep conditioner to really moisturise and nourish your hair.

And always follow our great advice in How to keep look after coloured hair and keep it luscious for longer.

Is it a good idea to dye your hair at home?

We believe in you! You can do it yourself at home and we’re here to help.

It’s all about how to get great results with your DIY hair colour experience – from choosing the right colours and products, through to styling techniques that will make your locks look amazing even after a few washes.

We know what we’re doing (we’ve been honing these skills forever) so we know that YOU can do it!

The only question left is… are you ready to dye your hair at home?