Women (and even men) of all ages enjoy highlighting and dyeing their hair to mask grays or just for fun. If you go to the salon, you can expect to pay $40 or more depending on whether you are getting highlights or over-all dye, and the length of your hair. Although getting your hair done at the salon is an enjoyable splurge, it can quickly become a strain on the budget if you return in the recommended 4-6 weeks to refresh your color. Coloring your own hair at home is a great compromise that can save you between $20-$40 each visit. There are still some tricks and tips on how to make home hair care a great money-saver instead of a personal makeover disaster.
Make sure you get the right color. Picking the right shade for your skin tone is an important step, since there are some colors which will brighten your complexion and others which will clash with your skin or wash you out. A good standard is to note whether your tone is warm or cool. If you are fair-skinned with blonde or light brown hair and blue or green eyes, your complexion is cool. If you have olive or tan skin with brown eyes, your complexion is warm. Look for these words in the descriptions. Here are some other suggestions:
- Try on wigs so you can see what the hair color looks like close to your face.
- Look through magazines for models with a similar complexion.
- Ask tasteful friends for their opinion.
- Don’t do anything crazy. If you’re going one or two shades lighter than your natural hair color, it’s fine to do it at home. If you’re bleaching your hair from dark brown to blonde, however, you might want to consider getting it professionally done so it looks good and saves your hair unnecessary damage (which could cost you more in at-home or salon treatments).
Prepare your hair. A few days before coloring your hair, use a clarifying shampoo to remove all traces of hair product and buildup on your hair so your hair color will stick better. The day, before, however, don’t shampoo your hair so your oils can build up and protect your scalp against the strong chemicals.
Follow the directions and test a small area first. It may seem silly to say ‘follow the directions,’ but even if you’ve colored hair a lot, there may be important information specific to a particular brand or type of color which can affect your results. Most hair color instructions recommend testing a small area of your hair first to not only make sure the color is right, but to see if your hair absorbs the dye faster or slower than the recommended application time.
Take care of your color-treated hair. To preserve your hair color longer, you can purchase shampoos and conditioners designed to enhance and preserve your particular color, and shampoo less frequently. Since color-treated hair is more prone to damage, use plenty of conditioner and limit heat-styling.
If you do it right, coloring your hair at home is an easy way to save hundreds of dollars a year and still look great.