Tips for hair dyeing at home – The big Dos and Don’ts.

Here at Coloured Hair Care, we believe that having our hair coloured by the professionals beats dyeing our hair at home and doing it ourselves any day.

Not only are they trained experts in what works best, but we love a trip to the salon for a chat, a cuppa, a bit of people watching and a few top hair tips while they’re beautifying our do’s. 

two sinks salon 2

Should I dye my hair at home?

HOWEVER, just like painting our nails, de-fuzzing our legs and tweezing our eyebrows, there are always going to be times where we just have to roll our sleeves up, get our gloves on and start dyeing our hair at home.

Maybe it’s cost, maybe it’s time. Maybe it’s just to try out a new colour, touch up our roots or make a dramatic change. Using an off-the-shelf dye is no bad thing if you can master the basic do’s and don’ts of DIY. 

Here are our top tips and Do’s and Dont’s of dyeing your hair at home.

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Do prepare your hair.

A few days before you plan to crack open your box, strengthen your hair with a a good oil treatment. Leave it in for as long as possible to really let the oils really get to work.

A couple of days before you plan to dye your hair at home, wash your hair with a top clarifying shampoo for coloured hair to really cleanse it and remove all the product build up. This also gives your hair a chance to produce natural oils to protect it during colouring.

Do pick the right shade for you.

One top tip for dyeing your hair at home is don’t just focus on what colour you WANT to be. Think about what colour your hair is now and how the colour you choose will blend with it.

Also think about your skin tone. The basic rule is to choose warmer colours for paler skin tones and cooler colours for darker skin.

Take our quiz What hair colour suits me? to find out more!

which hair colour suits me

Do follow the hair dye instructions.

It sounds simple but following the instructions that come with the dye is crucial to getting the best results when you’re using hair dye at home.

Especially if you’re touching up your roots. Make sure you ONLY do your roots for the first 30-40 mins (you can leave it longer if you’re covering stubborn greys).

If you do dye your hair at home a lot, it’s worth getting these touch up brushes to do your roots like a pro.

The rest of your hair should be on for 10 mins max before you rinse it off. Use just warm water- no shampoo! 

Tools for keratin treatment. brush, bowl and hair dye in tubes top view

Do use the little conditioner!

Don’t forget the little bottle of conditioner that comes in the box! It’s usually a rich little softener for your hair after the treatment that smooths the hair shaft and helps the colour to shine. Forget it and your hair could be rough and straw like. Ew. 


Don’t over-process your hair.

If your hair has been relaxed, bleached, or highlighted, you’ll need to check the side of the hair dye box for any special instructions.

You’ll see safety warnings to assess your colouring wait time and shade compatibility. For instance, if your hair has been dyed with henna, dyeing your hair is not a good idea.

To strengthen and repair your bonds, invest in the little miracle potion that is Olaplex No 3 Hair Perfector.

Also consider doing an at home keratin treatment to restore the condition of your hair and smooth your damaged hair shafts. Find out how in How to do at keratin treatment at home.

How to do a keratin treatment at home.

Don’t layer the dye.

The worse thing you can do is ignore the instructions and lather the dye all over your hair, wait 45 mins and wash it off. 

You’ll end up with different coloured roots and after a few times of doing this, you’ll find your colour will start to get darker. And you’ll need an expensive trip to the salon to strip all the colour off. 

This is because you can’t lighten colour with colour. Only darken. Here’s the science to explain it. Why can’t I lighten my hair colour?

Don’t wash your hair for at least two days.

Shampoo is marvellous at cleaning hair but also strips away some of the colour in the process. Give you hair at least two days before you wash it to let the colour set in. Then wash with one of our top recommends here:

Don’t use too many styling products.

Try not to smother your hair too much in serums, oils and hairspray etc. The build up of too many products will dull the shine and colour and means you’ll be tempted to wash your hair more often.

Use a deep conditioning mask like this one we love from Coco & Eve to keep your hair moisturised, strong and sleek.

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What if you don’t like your new colour?

Yikes! If your new colour hasn’t worked out the way you dreamed of, don’t panic! Follow our instructions in How to remove hair dye at home to take it off.

How can you care your coloured hair?

Follow our tips in How to look after your coloured hair and keep it looking luscious for longer to keep your hair looking fabulous.