Beauty: The art of dying your hair at home

2/04/2010 11:23:00 AM Ashley 13 Comments

This is totally text heavy! But I swear there are pictures to be had!

It was time for a freshening up of my hair color. It's been time for well over a month or so, but I kept putting it off. Dying my hair at home is a love/hate relationship. I love being able to change my color quickly and cheaply in my own home. I hate how much dye my hair needs and how long it takes me to get the dye in my hair (read, tired arms).

I do get my hair professionally colored and I love it, when I actually have a great colorist. If you color your hair, you know how hard finding someone who is good at color can be. In fact it's been a nightmare for me recently. We've been in our current location for three years and I have been to four different stylists. All four messed up my hair in some way (some were worse than others). I'd like to share those stories, so bear with me if you will.

When we first moved here I had no idea where to go for my hair, I ended up going to a popular local spa and salon. Lets just say that my hair experience wasn't my only disaster there, but back to the hair. I got a walk-in hair cut appointment and was quickly shown my to my stylist. At the time I had long hair that flowed to the back strap of my bra. I was tired of it and wanted some of the length gone. I asked for a cut that would sit just below my collarbone. What I got was a cut that was well above my shoulders. How did this happen? Oh you know I got the stylist who openly admitted to me that "once I get scissors in my hands, sometimes I just have a hard time stopping". You heard me right...she was cut happy. Awesome. I tried not to panic, because grows. I tried to work with her and asked her to show me how to get that pretty loose wave...I left whit hot dog style curls all over my head, thus making my short hair even shorter. I will say though...that 2 days later I had awesome loose waves.

The second hairstylist I went to was right before our wedding in October. I went in a month before the wedding to get both color and cut, that way everything would have a chance to grow out and be perfect. The haircut was fine, but really I didn't let her cut much (just a healthy trim) and really the color turned out great. The issue was how she applied the color. I looked like a 5 year old had attacked my head with the hair color. If any of you have ever gone red, you know it's a dark color when applied and that is stains everything it comes in contact with. A good colorist will keep that to a minimum, this stylist did not. I was covered in red dye, as was my shirt. It was bad enough that I couldn't easily cover it up with foundation. Yeah...I'll pass on being colored along with my hair.

After that, I went to a new place. I wanted red/auburn hair per usual. What I got was brownish/auburn hair with red highlights. Now when I say red, I mean stops sign red. Now, do understand, I love messing around with my hair. I have tried almost every (normal) color under the sun and back. I have even played with lengths and cuts. I did not ask for random red highlights, I asked for red/auburn hair. If he had said...hey what do you think about stop sign red highlights, I might have talked to him about it. He just went for it and to that I say bad stylist, listen to your client.

The last place wasn't that bad at all, she just went a little crazy with my new bangs. I already had bangs and needed a trim. I had done the blunt cut bang, where they were all the same length straight across. She cut some crazy texture into them, which created a lot of fly-aways and not the smooth look I was going for.

I have since stopped looking for a stylist here. I gave up. Don't you worry though...I have an amazing stylist in Denver, CO. She did my hair for the wedding and I loved her, so whenever we go back up to Colorado to visit I call to schedule an appointment. Not only does she do great cuts (I got my bangs from her), she is an amazing colorist. She talks to me about what I want and what she thinks will work for me. Sadly though, the last time I saw her was this past October. Whit no plans of seeing her anytime soon, that means no color or cut. Bad I know, because that means I haven't had a hair cut in close to 4 months. Though my hair is doing pretty well right now, I am working on growing out the bangs. I liked them a lot, but until I am in a place that has a great stylist, I am going to hold off on trying to keeping up with them.

I also plan on just coloring my hair at home until we move and I hopefully can find a great stylist!

Okay wow...I'm sorry for that wall of text. Oops. If you've stuck with me this far, thank you and here are some pictures...finally!

This was my current color that I received in October (picture taken New Years Eve). For red, it was holding up amazingly well.

Here you can see the fun chunks of copper that my stylist added (yes she asked me). I really loved how they peaked out of my hair.

I went for another auburn, go figure (the color is "very rich auburn"). I really love working with Feria as well as Garnier Nutrisse. When my hair is as long as it is, I always have to buy two boxes of color. My hair sucks it up like crazy. Every time I get it done in a salon they always have to go make a second batch to finish my hair off.

Everything waiting and ready to go.

My towel for when I have my hair dyed (be it at home or in a salon). Red takes awhile to wash out and dyes everything it comes into contact with. Thus I bought a dark colored towel that is solely for my freshly colored hair.

My final color! Try not to pay attention to the frazzled looking hair. I had just finished blow drying it and was about to go to bed, so no product went into it.

If you look closely you can see where the copper chunk in my hair was (far right in my hair).

Overall I am very happy with the outcome. It will hold me over till I can get a real coloring in.

Do you color your hair at home? If so what are your favorite products? What are your hair horror stories? We all have them and I'd love to hear yours!


  1. WOW! Your hair colour is amazing. I can see why you go back to the same stylist in Denver!

  2. Oh my God your hair is amazingly gorgeous!! I love the first picture, with a bit of a wave :)

  3. I'm a home colorer. In fact, I've never had a pro-dye-job. Really. Then again, I've also had every color of the rainbow, every natural color, plus some. It's always fum with my hair. I'm even thinking about emerald green for the wedding!

  4. I've thought of coloring my hair before, but never have. If I did ever do it though, I'd definitely get help and advice from you!

  5. Kate: Thank you! I'll be really excited to get back to Denver. She did such an amazing job. It's hard to keep red looking that good for that long!

    Lucie: Aww thank you! I lucked out a bit, I ave super straight hair (as you can see in the lase pictures), but it will hold a decent curl if I whisper sweet nothings to it (and use the right product).

  6. I would love to know who your stylist is in Denver, I need one really bad.

  7. Becca: I go to Grand Salon (in LoDo) and see Andrea.

    If you go, let me know how it goes!

  8. I haven't a clue how you get away with dyeing with Feria. You're very lucky...everytime I've attempted to dye with them my hair has broken to the point of no repair. Maybe I was doing something wrong and maybe they've changed some of their formula components but at the time (probably 2002) it reeked of amonia and peroxide.
    I've been coloring at the salon since because of my fear. The color looks awesome on you though :)

  9. your hair is soo gorgeous. wow! very healthy and thick looking! so jealous :)

  10. I noticed you needed a colorist in Albuquerque, like you I had issues finding someone here but I finally found a colorist at Santuary Salon. It's by Coronado mall. I see Mark Douglas and he is amazing. I won't let anyone else cut my hair now.

  11. Anon: Thank you so much for the recommendation! Trying to find a good stylist here has been enough to make me want to pull my hair out. I will definitely look into the salon.

  12. Wow, your hair is beautiful! I love the auburn, and think the home color turned out really nicely. I've been through 3 stylists in the last 3 years and it's frustrating. I've ended up with every single one, them not wanting to listen to what I have to say or what I want. It's not like I'm new to coloring or cutting my hair, and I'm not saying they don't know how to do it, I just happen to know what works best for me. I've colored my hair at home the last two times and even though it's turned out well (I used Perfect 10) I don't really want to be a brunette anymore. I miss my blonde and can't for the life of me find anyone to do it well. My hair is also so insanely damaged. But such is life, and we'll keep trying right? I'm glad I'm not the only one who has dealt with disaster!

  13. Cassie: I agree that it's annoying when the stylists don't listen to you. I fully understand that it's their job and they usually know what they are doing, but it's also your hair and you deal with it every day. I hope you are able to find someone who can help take you back to blonde.