Coloring your hair at home can make a big impact on both your appearance and your budget. There’s a substantial price difference between at-home color kits and stylist rates. As luxurious as getting your hair colored in the salon can be, it’s not exactly easy on your wallet — or your time. Plus, if you’re coloring your hair at home, you have the bonus of being able to multitask while waiting for your color to set.
While it’s true that many hairstylists advise against going the DIY route, that’s not always practical. At-home color can also help tide you over (a.k.a. vanish gray roots) if you’ve been too busy, away traveling or trying to save money. We get it! When taking matters into your own hands, here are seven mistakes to avoid.
Ignoring Your Skin Tone
When picking a hair color, it’s best to choose a tone that suits you and to stay within one to two shades of your natural color. Cool skin tones work best with cool hair tones, just as warm hair colors look good with warm skin tones. (Neutral skin tones get to enjoy the best of both worlds.)
Not sure what’s right for you? Flip over your wrist. If you see the majority of your veins are blue, your skin probably has a cool undertone. Mostly green alludes to a warm undertone and if you spot both blue and green, you probably fall under neutral.
Skipping Over The Instructions
Yes, even if you’re a DIY hair color wiz, you do need to read the directions and abide by the suggested color time. This is especially true if it’s your first time dyeing the full length of your hair, or if you’re only covering the roots. It’s also crucial when you’re switching brands.
Not Buying Two Kits
If you have long or thick hair, having extra product on hand can be a godsend. The last thing you want is to run out of color part-way through. The only exception to this rule is if you have a super short pixie cut.
Bypassing A Deep Clean
While it’s not necessary to wash hair the day you’re dyeing it (natural oils can help ward off irritation), using a clarifying shampoo at least 24 hours ahead of time can help you start with a clean slate, so to speak. This will remove buildup and even the hair’s porosity. Afterward, follow with a good conditioner to replenish any lost moisture.
Not Thoroughly Examining Your Work
As you work the color into your hair in various sections, it’s helpful to examine your progress, especially when you’re working on those hard-to-reach back sections. Check your progress in the bathroom mirror or hold up a hand-held mirror to see more angles. Wipe off any excess dye that’s gathered around the edge of your face or the top of your ears.
Forgetting To Use Shampoo And Conditioner Designed For Color-treated Hair
Some shampoo formulas will strip hair color too quickly, just like hot water can, leaving you with lackluster strands. Check your shampoo and conditioner bottles to make sure both are compatible with color-treated hair.
Not Giving Yourself A Blowout
When all is said and done, take the time to thoroughly blow dry and style your hair. Not only will this let you see how evenly the color turned out, but it also lets you appreciate your beautiful locks. Just be sure to turn down the heat to the lowest setting. Lastly, finish with hair oil to add a nourishing sheen. A good blowout with the proper tools can last for days. Think of it as time well spent at the get-go that saves you time every additional morning.
Don’t rush your at-home hair coloring process, and instead, use it as a way to provide self-care. Consider stacking other beauty treatments along with it, like giving yourself a manicure or facial when you’re finished.
This story originally appeared on Don't Waste Your Money. Checkout Don't Waste Your Money for product reviews and other great ideas to save and make money.