Should you colour your own hair?

By on December 30, 2011
Photo © Elena Derevtsova
Out of curiosity, some people experiment with a hair dye at home to change their look or darken grey hair. This is fine except for DIY highlights which can be tricky and would best be done by a certified Pro.

The quality of do-it-yourself  home kit sold at stores today has much improved compared to the first hair dye kit introduced by Clairol 50 years ago.  Hair Colour products today come in better hues, have more tolerable smell and are less damaging to the hair.

Choosing your formula:

Before you head out to the store, ask yourself  – “What do I want to achieve?”  Then pick out a formula that will do just that.   Here’s what you should know.
Semi-permanent:  The colour fades or is washed away after 10-15 shampooing.  It contains neither ammonia nor peroxide.  To make application easier from roots to ends, it is recommended to shampoo first, skip the conditioner and air dry before dyeing.

Demi-permanent: This formula contains peroxide and a lower level of ammonia but can go up two shades lighter too. Apply it first from the roots onto the ends if the ends need less work.

Permanent (tint):  A drastic colour change can be expected from a permanent formula which should last until the hair grows out or trimmed. Do not shampoo your hair for 2 days before applying the dye in order for the natural oils to protect scalp from possible irritation or itchiness.  Applying from the roots is recommended.


Don’t choose the colour based on what appears on the hair dye box because you will discover that the effect varies.

Do make sure that the formula you are buying is a genuine semi, demi or permanent.  Be careful because some products out there may have misleading labels.  Some package reads semi or demi but is actually a permanent!

My advice is for you to stay as close as possible to your natural hair colour!

You need:

Paintbrush: No more than 2 inches wide.
Bowl: Must be made of plastic and not metal type.
Tail comb:  For hair parting and sectioning
Hair clips: To hold sections as you apply the hair dye.
Timer: Depending on the formula, the time it takes for colour to develop is anywhere between  20 to 40 minutes. Be careful not to let the application stay any longer than the directions on the package.

Helpful tips:

You want to rub a small amount of Vaseline oil around the hairline and the earlobe areas for stain protection. No Vaseline?  Cigarette ash works!
If you are a newbie to this, invite over a friend who can give  you a hand with the
roots to ends area.
Use a pair of hand gloves that usually comes with the pack.

Home hair colouring is undeniably less expensive than going to a professional colorist.  But once you mess it up, you’ll end up paying for both the cost of the home coloring AND the professional colourist’s fee.  Make no mistake:  The cost to fix hair colour gone wrong is more expensive than a regular dye work.

Free consultation available @ Sin Den
Fabio Alfano
Director, Sin Den

About Fabio Alfano

Fabio is the owner of Fabio Alfano Hairdressing located in 3-8-39 Nishino Bldg. 4F,
Minamiaoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo.