Use these hair color ideas and tricks to score salon-worthy locks at home.
It's fall, and you're craving a new hair color to go with your autumn wardrobe—but who has time to sit in a salon chair for hours on end when there's cider to be sipped and fall parties to attend? Luckily, going dark is on-trend this season, and getting salon results at home is easier than you think. With these tips, tricks, and hair color ideas, you can skip the salon and get to that pumpkin spice latte even faster.
Step One: Gather Your Supplies
Before you start applying color to your hair, make sure you have everything on hand for a smooth process—after all, you don't want to be left scrambling for something that could potentially affect your color outcome. First, choose your color: are you looking for subtle highlights or are you going for an all-over color reset? The best fall colors are rich and multi-tonal, so try a deep caramel or a dark tone with some pep like Revlon's Colorsilk Permanent Color in Dark Auburn. If you aren't ready to make a big change but want to try something new, add some highlights to the underside of your hair with L'Oreal's Colorista Semi Permanent hair color in purple or red.
Once you've purchased your color, assemble everything in your bathroom so it's on hand and easy to access. We recommend:
- An old towel
- A wide-tooth comb
- Large hair clips, like Conair Styling Essentials Clips
- Your hair dye
- Any products or tools that come in the box
Lay out your supplies on your bathroom counter and you won't have to stop coloring or disrupt your processing time while searching for your stuff.
Step Two: Protect Against Stains
Fall color is all about deeper, richer tones, but that can also mean staining. Whether you're going for the perfect brunette shade or you want to rock a rich red, hair color is notorious for staining clothes and skin. Always change into an old shirt ahead of time. Choose something that buttons down the front so you don't have to pull it over your head when it comes time for showering. Then, create a barrier between your skin and your hair color by applying a little petroleum jelly around your hairline. Once your color has been applied, simply wipe the jelly away, and you'll stay stain free.
Step Three: Take Your Time
One of the biggest mistakes at-home hairdressers make is rushing through the coloring process. Take your time and you'll see much better results. First, use the wide-tooth comb to untangle your strands and then separate your hair into four sections by combing back to front down your part and then sectioning each side of your hair into two. Twist and secure with your hair clips so you can work on one section at a time. Doing so keeps your color coverage even.
Start at the roots and apply color, blending out toward your ends. As you finish one section, uncoil the next and repeat the process until your head is adequately covered. Then, grab a shower cap, like the Conair Styling Essentials Shower Cap, and slip it gently over your locks to avoid drips and stains while you wait for your color to process.
Step Four: Add Heat
If your hair is resistant to color, or you're undergoing a significant change, a little heat can go a long way. You don't need to be aggressive—just turn your shower on and sit in your warm bathroom, or use a hairdryer with a diffuser attachment (set to the lowest setting) and apply a little heat for up to 10 minutes during the processing period. Heat allows the hair to become more porous, so you'll get truer, more vibrant, salon-quality results.
Step Five: Rinse and Condition
For best results, rinse out the dye based on the manufacturer instructions. Hop in the shower (color can be messy, and trying to rinse in the sink is likely to leave you with dye splashed around your bathroom). Once rinsed, apply a good conditioner to help combat the drying effects of the dye and add some glossiness to your locks.
See? You don't need to head to the salon to get the fall hair color of your dreams—whether it's a few subtle highlights or a rich, all-over update. The right tools, hair color tips, and some patience will help you score gorgeous results without the time and expense a trip to the salon costs you. With your new 'do, you'll be ready to take on hay rides, hot chocolate, and whatever else cooler weather has in store for you.
By Jae Curtis