Photo: © Jason Kempin/Getty Images
Don’t be scared of coloring your hair at home–it’s a budget-friendly, easy way to make your locks look fresh and healthy. To minimize mistakes and maximize your color results, we went to Marcy Cona, Clairol’s Creative Director for Color & Style, to get her top tips for achieving flawless hair color at home.
Know Your Goal
“It’s critical to establish a goal and know what you are trying to accomplish–that’s the most important thing,” says Marcy. Before you even head to the store, know exactly what kind of color you want. It’s easy to be in the hair color aisle and be tempted by a color that’s completely wrong for you, just because you like the picture on the box.
Find Your Shade
Finding the right shade can be challenging–what looks good on the model won’t necessarily look right on you. “If you are ever in doubt, remember that permanent hair color can lighten your hair up to two levels or deposit darker up to two levels,” says Marcy. Use the handy charts on the back of the box to determine how each shade will affect your current color.
Customize Your Application
Remember that when it comes to application, one size does not fit all. Depending on what your current hair color situation is, you might need to apply color to certain areas longer than others. “Are you covering gray? Are you addressing a lightening or outgrowth or root area? When you apply the color, go to that area first, wait a few minutes, then apply to the rest of your hair,” says Marcy.
Most hair color kits include a super-hydrating conditioner, which you should use immediately–it will make your color last longer and maintain its radiance. “As soon as you are done coloring, use that in-box conditioner. That’s the most opportune time to deeply condition your hair and really help to close up that cuticle and hold in that tonality,” says Marcy. Her favorite? Clairol’s Nice ‘n Easy ColorSeal Conditioning Gloss, which she also recommends as a weekly treatment for all color-treated hair.
Color More Often
Not coloring your hair often enough can lead to roots that look less than fabulous. Get yourself on a regular color schedule to avoid color outgrowth. “Every 6 weeks, treat yourself and color your hair,” says Marcy.
See how you’d look with a new hair color in the Makeover Studio!