Dyeing? Put Your Mind to It! Most Common At-Home Hair Coloring Mistakes

When I was beginning my hair-coloring adventures, I was making lots of stupid mistakes. I didn’t know exactly how to color my hair and ended up with damaged strands. Luckily, I brought it back to life after a long battle and now I know a lot about the harmfulness of wrong coloring.

I’d like to tell you about the most common hair-color mistakes. If you manage to avoid them, you’re more likely to save your hair from the damage I’ve experienced. An extra benefit? You’ll save on hair salon visits cause at-home coloring is much cheaper. Enjoy reading!


Coloring hair at home isn’t as easy as you might think, even with all those instructions on packagings that get richer and fuller descriptions. Even step-by-step directions won’t save us from making mistakes if we don’t know the link between hair structure and its care or styling routine. As a result, at-home coloring doesn’t usually give the salon-coloring effects. Generally speaking, should we compare two treatments done in totally different conditions?

Obviously, coloring treatments should be done by professionals so I encourage you to visit your hairdresser if you dream of a hair color makeover. This option is safer (unless you deal with a pseudo-stylist…). On the other hand, I think the impossible doesn’t exist. You can color your hair at home and get the effect that’s similar to the salon look. How to get round to it?

  1. Match the dye shade to your skin tone and natural hair color.
  2. Nourish your hair and regenerate it before the treatment.
  3. Doing an allergy test is a must!
  4. Don’t color hair when it’s freshly-washed.
  5. After mixing the dye, you’ve got fifteen mins to apply it (then, it’s no longer fit for use).
  6. When the hair is covered with the dye, don’t use any shower caps and don’t treat hair with heat.
  7. Let the dye sit in hair as long as indicated on the packaging to avoid unpleasant surprises.


Lack of the hair dye patch test

No matter the number of people I ask, nobody does the patch test before dyeing. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been using one brand’s products for a long time or your mum has used a particular dye and everything was fine. Sometimes, it’s one ingredient that irritates the skin. You can avoid it.

Coloring damaged hair

The dumbest thing you could do. After coloring, you can have a wrong impression that your hair’s nourished. It’s because of a special conditioner, applied after the treatment, which increases shine and smoothness. Let me remind you – coloring isn’t a repair treatment. The more damaged the hair, the more harmful the coloring is. Besides, in case of damaged hairdos, the color washes off more quickly.

Mixing the dye’s ingredients too soon

After you mix the color solution with the developer, the dye oxidizes very fast. Simply put, it changes its properties and can color your hair a different shade. I didn’t know that either! Before applying the dye, you should get everything prepared, protect the clothes, comb hair out and have everything on hand. Next, you can move on to mixing the components. If your hair’s long, you can mix them twice: the first portion for the roots, the other one for the ends.

Mixing the components wrongly

A fast-oxidizing dye is one thing. The other problem has to do with the precision while mixing the ingredients. Believe it or not, proportions and instructions are included for a reason. The dye won’t work the right way if you mix wrong proportions or leave lumps in the mixture. Key info: never mix the components in a metal bowl cause metal can get into reaction with the developer and ruin the effect.

Not following the time directions

Do you know when the actual coloring begins? Good question, isn’t it? At first, I thought that the suggested time should be measured from the moment of applying the first portion of the dye. I couldn’t be more wrong. 10-15 minutes – this is the time in which you’re supposed to spread the mixture onto hair. The real coloring process starts afterwards. Moreover, the treatment should last as much as suggested on the label.

Too much of a dye

Moderation is advised in case of coloring, too. Hair must be covered with the dye from the roots to tips (unless the method requires something different) but the excess of the dye affects the result. No point in wasting the product.

Mismatched dye color

At-home coloring usually fails to deliver amazing effects because we don’t know how to choose the right color. Drastic changes (e.g. turning from dark to blonde) won’t be done at one sitting; you need a few treatments and still the effect may differ from the one on the packaging. A total makeover isn’t a good idea. I warn you that the at-home coloring will be a success when you change the shade by two tones tops.

Remember – coloring hair at home will never give the salon-treatment effects. The choice is yours.

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