The Do's and Don'ts of Dying Your Hair

If your gray strands bother you or you simply long for a change, hair dye is your best bet. But before you take the plunge in a salon or at home, be sure you're armed with information to help prevent unwelcome surprises.

DO start subtle and small. Particularly if this will be a DIY project, start with a minor hue adjustment and consider a temporary or demi-permanent color. This will help you hone hair dying technique and you can get a sense of how your hair will react to the chemicals. A good rule of thumb is to stick within two shades of your natural color.

DON'T go too dark if you're over 50. Your hair loses pigment as you age, so even if your hair didn't gray, it would still be less saturated as you aged—going very dark will likely look unnatural.

DO visit a salon if you're looking for highlights. Doing your own highlights is tricky and can look bad if it's not done well. Minimize costs by doing your own all-over color and ask your stylist to add highlights just around your face.

DON'T hide from your hairdresser if you're going to do it at home. They understand people have budgets and can offer valuable advice on colors and products to use. 

DO choose a color that compliments your skin tone. If you have an olive or golden skin tone, choose a warmer toned dye. Opt for a cool shade if your skin is rosy or pinkish. If you have ivory or peach skin tone, choose a natural tone. Not sure of your skin tone? Go with the natural or cool tones—they tend to suit most people.

DON'T skimp on extra boxes of color. If your hair is long or thick, be sure to have an extra box of color on hand.

DO opt for a demi-permanent color if you have heavily processed hair. These will wash out in 12 to 26 washes but are ultimately not as damaging as permanent dyes. Unfortunately, demi-permanents won't lighten your hair.

DON'T treat colored hair the same way you did pre-treatment. Colored hair is much dryer and more susceptible to damage. Be sure to choose shampoos and conditioners for color-treated hair and try not to dye your hair before six weeks of application.

DO protect your skin from stain and irritation. Patch test according to product directions to ensure that your skin's not sensitive to the dye. Be sure to rub petroleum jelly along your hairline to prevent the dye from staining your skin.

DON'T ignore directions. It sounds obvious, but leave straying from directions to when you're in a car and you disagree with the GPS. When you're dying your hair, if it says "six minutes," or "don't wash your hair the same day you die it," listen!




"Haircolor FAQ's." Garnier Official site. Web. 2011