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Fancy changing up your hair but don’t want to fork out on an expensive salon job? Then a DIY home color could be your answer. While it’s essential to follow the instructions on the box (and don’t scrimp on that patch test unless you want to risk a nasty reaction), you may still have reservations before you go ahead with the change. Check out these commonly asked hair coloring questions before you begin.

Do I Really Need To Change My Shampoo?

While you may be wondering if it’s really necessary to switch up your shampoo and conditioner when you dye your hair, if you want your color to stay vibrant, you need to tailor the products you use. Anti-dandruff formulas or shampoos containing sulfates can strip away color. Switch to a shampoo and condition specially formulated for color-treated hair to help your color last longer.

Should I Wash My Hair Before Coloring?

Don’t wash your hair a day or two before dyeing it. The scalp’s natural oils help protect against irritation and second day old hair is easy to section, making it easier to distribute the dye more evenly.

How Do I Know Which Shade To Buy?

It can be confusing when faced with endless boxes of dye in the drugstore, but as a general rule, most hair dyes come out a shade or two darker than the color on the box. Select a dye a shade lighter than you want to go. After all, it’s easier to boost the color than it is to tone it down.

How Long Should I Wait Before Swimming?

Thinking about give your color a refresh right before your vacation – don’t! Chlorine from pool water penetrates the hair shaft and can alter color, turning blondes a brassy shade of orange or green. Instead, color your hair at least two weeks before you go swimming. When you do, apply hair oil to your strands before taking a dip to create a barrier between your hair and the chlorinated water.

Which Type of Dye Should I Buy?

If your hair is super-thick or curly, go for a liquid or gel formula. These runny liquids make it easier to coat all of the hair. If you have particularly sensitive skin, opt for a mousse formula as it’s less likely to drop down the forehead or along the hairline.

Will a Box of Dye Be Enough?

If you have a pixie or bob, one box of hair dye is likely to be enough. If you have shoulder-length hair, you’ll need two boxes and for long hair that’s past your bra strap, you’ll need three boxes to achieve full coverage. Be sure you have enough boxes before you begin, it’s better to have too much dye than realize you don’t have enough after you’ve started.


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