You’ve no doubt heard by now the meme ‘we’re only weeks away from learning everyone’s true hair colour’. Make you smile?
It may be tempting to ‘let ourselves go’ in our isolation (oh dear, it’s noon and I still haven’t brushed my teeth!), but maintaining regular grooming habits will go a long way in keeping us sane with some semblance of normality. And, let’s face it, whilst wearing pyjama bottoms on Zoom calls is rather lovely, the camera is still focused on every detail from the shoulders up.
Temporarily cut off from our beloved salons and stylists, hair care is going in-house. Colouring, cuts, blowouts…if you haven’t already googled the ‘HOW TOs’, this blog may serve as a good starting point.
But, word of caution: It may be awhile before your stylist can sort out any bungled work so proceed with care!
HOW TO PROPERLY DYE YOUR HAIR AT HOME
With the huge array of hair colour products, shade options, and techniques available to order online it's hard to know how to get it right when it comes to dyeing your hair at home. Before you start, there are a few things that you should keep in mind.
If you are looking to go from brown to auburn, or light blonde to a warmer blonde, you’re good. If you are tempted to transition from black to platinum blonde hair, think again. According to celebrity hairstylist Kari Hill, “when dyeing your hair yourself, stay within two shades, lighter or darker, of your current colour.”
Drastic colour changes require multiple salon visits so, for now, the idea will need to be kicked into the long grass. Professional stylists and colourists know how to assess colours and minimise hair damage. They use high-quality products, which is why their services can be expensive, but worth it. So, in this case, we advise you DON’T TRY THIS AT HOME!
Mixing chemical processing and dyeing is a no-no
Do not dye hair that’s been relaxed or permed. These chemical processes will have already caused damage. It is advised to only dye natural hair, but if you must do both processes, wait a few weeks in between. Relaxing, perming, or bleaching can cause hair to become brittle and dry. Be conscious of the moisture your hair will need after that process.
Buy two boxes
That last thing you’ll want to happen is to run out of dye before covering your full head. If your hair is past your shoulders or thick, we recommend you have an extra box on hand just in case.
Do a patch test
You have no idea whether your skin is going to react to the dye chemicals or not, so you must always do a patch test. Seriously, now is not a good time for a medical emergency.
Always perform a strand test
Test the dye on a few strands of hair you’ve cut off to see how they take to the dye. No one going for blonde wants to end up with a full head of orange.
Prep your hairline with vaseline
Dye lingering on one’s forehead is never a good look. Rather than rub your skin red trying to get rid of it, prep with a salve like vaseline before you start. Make sure to get across your forehead and around your ears. After dyeing, use a cleansing wipe to clean any areas you may have missed.
Do not custom mix box dye
Combining different shades of box dye is a no-no when dyeing your hair at home - you’re not mixing paint pots! There is no guarantee that the colour you envision will be the color you will get. If you are adamant about creating a custom colour, you’ll just have to wait to book a salon visit and allow a professional colourist to assist you.
Work your way down
Begin applying the dye at the roots since they will need the most colour and processing time. Then, comb the dye through the rest of your hair to evenly distribute it. It’s helpful to divide your hair into four to six sections, securing each with a hair clip.
Just doing your roots? Select a colour closest to your current hair colour and just apply the formula to your roots.
Easy way to do highlights
Highlights can be achieved at home using a toothbrush to apply dye. Brush in the dye where the sun would naturally hit your hair. If a toothbrush seems intimidating you can use a plastic highlighting cap. The cap has holes that you can pull strands of hair through to easily apply the dye. Check out this how-to video we found on YouTube.
Seal with a shower cap
Once you’ve completed your dye job, cover your hair with a disposable shower cap. This will prevent drippage while allowing you to get on with other things while the dye processes.
Go with shampoos designed for colour-treated hair
Switch your old shampoo for one that has the phrase “colour protect” or “for colour-treated hair”. Using hair products that are designed for coloured hair will help to preserve your dye job and extend the life of your new colour.
HOW TO CUT YOUR HAIR AT HOME
As with colouring, drastic hair cuts should be left to salon professionals. There are a lot of things that can go wrong when you decide to cut your hair at home.
But if you need a quick fringe trim or you can’t stand your split ends, follow these simple tips to successfully cut your hair in the comfort of your own bathroom.
Do NOT use kitchen scissors
Kitchen scissors can potentially give you even more split ends. Never use them to cut your hair! Stick with a trusty pair of styling shears. Take your time when trimming or cutting and air on the longer side. You can always cut off more hair, but you can’t reattach what you’ve cut.
Wet or dry
Most do-it-yourself haircut tutorials recommend that your hair be wet when cutting it, but this doesn’t work for all hair-types.
If you have straight hair, you’ll want to keep your hair wet so that you can get each snip perfectly even. However, curly hair can look entirely different when it’s wet than when it’s dry due to shrinkage, so it’s often safer to cut it dry, in its natural state.
If you’re not sure whether to cut your hair wet or dry, just copy what your regular hairdresser does at the salon.
With a fringe on top?
It’s hard to cover up a botched fringe job so tread, or snip, lightly here. It may seem counterintuitive but avoid cutting horizontally. This will help prevent a sloping cut with one side being shorter than the other.
Cutting horizontally can also leave a heavier looking frame. Instead, take small sections and snip into the ends vertically, causing some strands to be slightly longer and some shorter, but looking the same length overall.
This technique also makes evening out any sloping easier.Don’t be afraid to use this same approach if also trimming your layers.
It’s best for those with thick, curly hair, to section your layers and make minor cuts to your ends for healthier hair in between professional trips to the salon. If you’re familiar with two-strand twists, trim any dead ends of each twist. This technique is called “dusting.”
It’s a micro-trim that will ensure you’re not cutting too much hair and will allow you to only trim a little at a time.
Long layers for straight hair
For this one, put your hair in a ponytail, centered in the middle of the top of your head. Make sure the ponytail is smooth and tight.
Looking in a mirror, hold the ponytail straight up, and cut across the ends. Let your hair down and check out your blended, even, pretty long layers.
HOW TO BLOW-OUT AT HOME
Salon grade blowouts can be hard to achieve at home, but with a bit of skill, you can manage a decent result.
Start by rough drying. Running your fingers through your hair instead of a brush, blow dry your hair until it’s about 80% dry. Then, section by section, pull a round brush through while applying the blow dryer with increased heat. Begin with the bottom layers and work your way up using clips to section off hair.
Be sure to point the dryer’s nozzle downward to help smooth hair. Air blown in any other direction than root to end will lift the cuticle, the tile-like outer layer of the hair shaft. This, along with the abrasiveness of the brush and high heat needed, promotes frizz and causes damage.
Using a RevAir, reverse-air dryer, will probably be your best bet for a fabulous blow-out look. You get the closest thing to salon grade results - fast, healthy and easy.
DIY CAN BE TRICKY SO PROCEED WITH CARE
Performing salon services yourself may be a necessity right now, but it can be tricky. If you are not a professional, do as much research as possible, whether it’s calling up your hairstylist for advice or watching 20 Youtube videos. Preparation, focus, following instructions and a RevAir in your arsenal is a recipe for success.