Woman with hair dyed black by herself
Hair Color | Dyeing

Easier than ever: coloring your hair at home

With the right preparation and a couple of tips, coloring your hair at home couldn’t be easier. Whether you’re planning to do it yourself or ask a friend to help, find out everything you need to know to get fantastic results – and also when it’s time to consult a professional


Theoretically, coloring your hair at home has never been easier. As well as the dye, modern hair coloring kits include almost everything else you need to do it. But that doesn’t make you a professional! So read on to find out everything you need to know to ensure perfect results, every time. Ready? Get your color and let’s go!

Preparation for hair coloring

First of all, it’s very important to decide what your natural hair color is, otherwise your DIY hair project is going to end in disappointment. On the product packaging you’ll see pictures of individual strands of hair – use these as a guide. If your natural hair color doesn’t match any of these, you should probably choose a different shade. To be absolutely sure, ask your stylist what your natural hair color is next time you visit the salon.

As a general rule – and particularly if you’re coloring your hair for the first time – you shouldn’t choose a color that’s more than two shades lighter or darker than your natural color. For a complete change – for example from dark brown to blond – it’s best to consult a professional. They’ll analyze your hair structure and advise you how to change the color to best effect.
A tip when you’re buying hair coloring products: for short hair, one pack is enough; for shoulder length and longer, you’ll need two packs to get a nice, even result.

The ends are the oldest part of the hair, and the most damaged. To ensure an even result, have the ends cut before you apply color, otherwise they’ll end up a different shade from the rest of your hair.

Hair coloration – a step-by-step guide

  1. It’s really important to read the instructions before you start coloring your hair. Follow the steps exactly and make sure you carry out the allergy test as instructed 48 hours before using the product.

  2. Set out your utensils. Most retail sets contain a bottle with a nozzle. For some, you’ll also need a dish and a brush. Gloves are always included. To protect your clothes, cover your shoulders with an old towel. Tip: a tail comb makes it easier to divide up the hair.

  3. Before mixing the color, apply a greasy cream (like Vaseline) to your ears and hairline, to act as a barrier. This will prevent your skin from absorbing the color, particularly if this is your first time.

  4. Now the fun starts. Mix the hair color following the instructions and start applying it immediately. The instructions will tell you if the color should be applied to wet or dry hair. In general, the following applies: applying color to unwashed hair is kinder as your scalp is protected by a light layer of sebum.

  5. For an even result, apply the color stand by strand. A tail comb will help you part the hair. It’s easiest to apply the color with a brush, but it’s also really easy using the bottle with a special nozzle which is included in many hair coloring kits. Work strand by strand with this, too, starting at the hairline and then applying color all the way along the hair to the ends. Any color left over when you’ve finished can simply be worked into the hair, as if you were washing it. Make sure that all your hair has been covered evenly.

    If you’re just coloring the roots, apply the color to the roots first and then to the rest of the hair after the recommended time.

  6. Now let the color do its work! Set a timer so you leave it in for exactly the right time, starting from when you finish applying the color.

  7. Work your hair into a lather with a little warm water and then rinse it until the water runs clear. Use lukewarm water rather than hot – it’s kinder to the hair. As dyeing opens the cuticle layer of the hair (that’s how the color pigment is absorbed), it’s important to use the special rinse or treatment that’s included in the pack once you’ve finished washing. This closes the cuticle layer and leaves the freshly colored hair glossy and smooth. 

Remember: colored hair needs an extra care program so use special color protection care products and regularly apply an intensive care treatment. This will keep your colored hair beautiful for longer.

Want to change your hair color? With the help of our Salon Finder, you’ll find a Schwarzkopf Professional hairdresser near to you.

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