Who colors their own hair?

Wise Ones,

I need your advice.

I am forty eleven years old and my lovely brown hair with golden highlights is courtesy of Rachel at the hair salon. However, the more I think about how much I pay Rachel at the hair salon to help me keep my “naturally” brown hair looking so natural, I wonder if I’m just tossing money into the wind to satisfy my own vanity.

So fess up ladies.

Do you color your own hair or does only your hairdresser know for sure?

Really what I want to know is am I wasting my money on the salon and can I turn to L’Oreal and do it myself at home. Is there that much of a difference between getting your hair colored at a salon and doing it at home?

I can think of all sorts of things I could spend my money on instead of going to the salon – you know – food, rent, bills and the like.

But I like the way I look with my hair colored and don’t want to give up just yet.

What do you think, can I do it on my own and get good results?

Thanks in advance for all your input.


My mother colors her own hair at home to cover her gray…she just does your basic brown, no highlights or anything fancy like that. It always looks fine to me. She has done it for so long that I don’t think anyone she works with even knows she should be almost 100% gray.

I have been coloring my hair with a hairdresser for way too may years. I started out coloring it on my own, until I went in to a friends shop and she told me the back of my head had different colored black/brown stripes!:doh: I have not colored on my own since. I would like to though, I just had my hair done finally by someone who I felt they knew what they were doing only to pay $100, I used to pay $125 back in Carlsbad, CA and the shop was 1 block from the ocean. Not sure what I going to do now, those stupid grays are out again:tap:…

A friend of mine does mine with salon quality dye that we purchase at a salon supply store. She does a marvelous job and it only costs me $5 a time! I consider myself very lucky to have a friend that will do that for me!!!

My Mum always does hers, and I occasionally get bored with boring brown and dye mine another colour. I make sure I put Vaseline on my ears and along my hair line. I read the instructions several times and make sure I have everything ready as timing is crucial! I usually take off all my clothes and wrap an old towel around my shoulders as wee drops drip everywhere and you can end up staining your clothes - also the woodwork, towels etc too. I always put on all the dye even if I have short hair at the time. I then comb it through thoroughly as I have very thick hair and it’s too easy to miss bits. It sometimes helps to get another person to check the back at this stage. I then put a plastic bag over the whole lot as it helps cut down the mess. I set the alarm clock for the required time, then I read a book or magazine as wandering half naked around the house dripping dye everywhere is not a good idea and there’s only so much interest to be had in reading the back of shampoo bottles for half an hour! It never looks the right colour when it’s on as it gradually gets darker over time. You wont know the end result until your hair is rinsed and dry. So if you are fussy on the colour do a strand test first - I don’t mind weird colours so long as the result is even.
The only real disaster I had was with peroxide, but it was nearly fixable - lesson learned - don’t try and retouch the roots of your highlights yourself at home - it’s impossible to get it in the same place!

I used to use henna until my hair got too grey,then I went to a salon until I got fed up sitting around for 2 hours,now I use a non permanent colour every 6-8 weeks.It used to be called Loving Care now it’s Natural Instinct.Takes me about 30mins from start to finish and my haircut person asks me if it is my natural colour…and I only use half a bottle so it costs me $3

I hear you!

I used to play with color, but one day, I messed up royally. I was living in an apartment at the time and called my best friend, who lived two floors up, down to see me. I could see her trying not to laugh. She gave me the name of her hairdresser, and I made an emergency appointment. Of course, my son just HAD to get sick the next morning before my appt, so I had to stick a baseball cap on while we went to the doctor. I did make it to the salon, and the guy, who happened to own the place, had to call over his color specialist. I had about ten different colors in the back of my hair. It wound up costing me $200 and two days at the salon to get it fixed.

Ever since then, I’ve never colored it on my own. I did go, for awhile, to get highlights, but in the process of cutting my budget down, I cut this out.

I do not trust myself after my bad experience. So I figure oh well. One of my hairdressers once told me that there is a very small window when coloring your hair. You’ve got to hit it dead on or else you’re sunk.

I stink at guessing games.

Here’s my opinion.

If you can afford to do it, and it makes you feel better about yourself, then indulge. I’m sure you sacrifice other places. We all have some way we spoil ourselves. Consider this your’s.

And try to remember that YOU are probably the only person who’s paying that close attention to your hair. Those around you probably don’t care one iota. We tend to worry way too much about stuff that doesn’t, in the long run, matter.


Everyone in my family colors their own hair. So many of the coloring products available are really good and they don’t make your hair look like you did it yourself, at home. My mom uses a brown dye on her naturally brown hair, to cover the grey and it always looks great. I also color my own hair and have never had any problems at all. And, even though I’ve bleached out my hair like 500 million times (lol) my hair has no damage and isn’t fried and frizzy. I always use a bleach on it first because when I dye my hair I go super blonde (like almost white and I’m naturally dark blonde), or, I’m doing a color like pink or red or blue or purple…lol…Just be sure to condition your hair a lot, and, use the conditioner the dye comes with for the first couple washes. If you’re worried about missing a few spots, have a friend help you, or, use a mirror to see the back of your head. Also, to make sure you don’t leave dye stains on your forehead, neck, and ears, use a thin layer of Vaseline to coat those areas and the dye easily wipes off.

Oh, and if you’re trying to go with a lighter color, I recommend lightening your hair first!

I pay to get it done. I just get partial highlights and my hair is only about an inch past my chin. It doesn’t cost that much. Besides, no matter how hard I tried, I could never get it to look as good when I did it myself.
However, I used to use L’oreal Feria and like it.

I messed mine up once…I dyed it a black with a red tone to it…then tried to cover it up but the red tone wouldn’t go away. I looked like a calico cat and had to go to my hairdresser and say HELP!

Since then I haven’t dyed it been too afraid but I did dye my own about a month ago. Instead of buying a 2.00 box, I bought a more expensive box and it turned out, thankfully! :teehee:

I dye my hair, but it’s really almost the same colour as my natural hair, but a bit brighter and a little blonder. I had my hair dresser tell me that it’s a bit blotchy in the back and I should use a comb when I dye it to even it out a little. I use Natural Match and I really like it. I’ve had my hair professionally dyed too and I found it came out too fast.

I’ve been dyeing mine for quite a while. I could not afford to get it done at a salon. I found someone who cuts my hair really great (which I cannot do) and she is pretty reasonable. I go to Sally Beauty Supply and buy my hair color. It is pretty close to my own color, just slightly lighter. I would love to have someone else do mine once in a while, but that’s out of the question for now.
I think if you pick something close to your natural color, its pretty safe.

[COLOR=“Blue”]I’m a former beautician & have been coloring my own hair with store bought products since the 70’s & have only had one problem. That of course was because I thought I could mix two different colors together & that didn’t work out too well. :mrgreen:

If you have any hint of red in your natural color, stay away from ash colors. Otherwise, just head to Walmart & look for something close to what you want. Take a friend, it helps to get another opinion & have her help the first time or two to check the back. I’ve used Revlon & Clarol for years, but just switched to Garnier Nutrisse & I really like it because of the conditioner & its non-drip formula. Otherwise Revlon, Clarol or something similar is fine.

[I]Keep us posted on what you decide! [/I][/COLOR]

I used to color my own hair with natural instincts but I never could get the color quite right. It looked too red, too black, too flat. Now I have a salon do it. She uses redken shades eq. I do sometimes feel guilty about spending the $$.


I’ve done mine for years. I’ve never had it done professionally, so I don’t have anything to compare it to. Anyway, I started going gray in my early 30’s (which was way to young for my liking! LOL!), so I started then. I used to use Nice 'N Easy back then - non permanent, but great for the few gray strands popping up here and there. As things got grayer and grayer, I went lighter…I don’t like to color any more often than every 4-5 weeks, and the light blond color doesn’t leave quite as much of a “stripe” at the roots as my medium brown would have.

As far as I know, I don’t have any problems with blotches or stripes…but then, I do use a blonde shade and I have no doubt that if I stripped it out I’d be totally gray so it’s probably not as much of an issue given the “lightness” of the hair color.

One of my friends just let hers go gray. She’d been coloring it this gorgeous auburn color, and at first it was auburn on top and gray underneath, then just the very tips were auburn, now it’s all gray. I guess she stripped the color out a little at a time, I don’t really know. It looks nice - I’ll admit it took a bit of getting used to, as this change happened over the course of 1 or 2 weeks - but I haven’t gotten the courage up to let mine go yet. I guess I’m more vain than I thought.:teehee:

Anyway, I think it’s a matter of what color you’re using…and I believe one of the lines just came out with one that is supposed to do it’s own highlighting (can’t remember which one, though). I think the lighter the color the easier it is. Also, if you’ve got long hair, make sure you get 2 boxes in case one doesn’t quite take care of all of your hair.

Have fun!!!

My mother and I go to Sally Beauty Supply to buy dye and developer (she because she wants to cover her gray, I dye my hair to give the red highlights I have a little bit of a “boost.”)

The brand of dye we use is Wella, which is what our hairdresser told us was the brand she used in the salon. I can’t recall off the top of my head the brand of developer, but the dye box should have instructions on what type of developer is called for. And if that fails, the employees of the store will know.

Because the developer and dye is mixed in a 2:1 ratio of equal parts (ie. if you use 2 tablespoons of developer, you’ll want 1 tablespoon of dye. Equally, if you use 3 jiggers of developer, you’ll want 1 1/2 jiggers of dye. 4 shot glasses of developer, 2 shot glasses of dye. You can use anything to measure it out, so long as you’ve got two measurements of developer and one measurement of dye) dying your own hair this way can save a TON of money. Developer and dye can be saved, as long as they’re not mixed. Once they’re mixed, you have to throw away any that’s leftover. Depending on how long your hair is, if you buy L’Oreal or Clairol or whatever, you can mix the whole thing together and end up throwing away half of the mix. I’m not sure what the average price is these days for those products, but last I checked, I know they were in the 10 dollar range.

Yes, I know this is still cheaper than going to a salon, but if you’re going to do it yourself anyway, you might as well go straight to the source and buy the dye and developer yourself. This way a big bottle of developer costs only a few bucks and lasts through many many dyes, and the dye also costs only a couple of bucks and (depending on the length of your hair) can last 2, maybe even 3 dyes.

The technique our hairdresser showed us to actually color our hair (or rather, to touch up the roots, since there’s already color in our hair) is to get an applicator (also at the beauty supply store) that sort of looks like a small paint brush and the handle is long, like a hair pick. Starting at the hairline (at the forehead) use the pick end of the applicator to push forward, towards your forehead, a small chunk of hair (draw the pick through the hair from one side of the head to another in a straight line.) With the brush end of the applicator, apply the dye to the hair that is pushed forward. Basically, you’re applying it to the underside of your hair in small chunks.

This technique works best if you have someone do it for you, but since I’ve moved, my mother has proved she can do it herself.

If you have any questions about what color dye to get, you can ask the store employees, they’re very knowledgeable about the products they sell.

Hope that helps! :slight_smile:

I did pay to get mine done for years, then had to eliminate that from the budget.

Started doing it myself, turned out okay!

Then went to an Aveda Institute school - their highlights / color for my shoulder length hair is only $45! And based on all of the experiences I have had there, they do a FABULOUS job. After all, they are students, getting graded on their job, and they want to learn all they can so they can get out and make “real” money.

I would definitely try it yourself. Get a friend to help. And if something bad happens, you can always get it fixed somehow!

Good luck!

I haven’t had the guts to dye my hair, and at almost 38 I am already going gray. Fortunately most of it is scattered through, and my sisters tell me it doesn’t look bad. I do have one gray spot at my temple, but since my hair is curly it doesn’t show up too much. :slight_smile: But my mom, my dad, and all my grandparents look good with gray hair, so I’m going to give it a try that way. I haven’t reached the point yet where I’ll pay someone to color it for me, and that will come before I color it myself!

I’ve been using Revlon’s Colorsilk (the cheapest brand available) for many years, with great results.

i usually do but my hair is quite fragile and starts to look pretty rough sometimes so I would occasionally pay to get it done but hated that they charge so much for such basic work. Then I discovered the Paul Mitchell school in my county and they charge just 25-35 for student work. I figure they have to be better than me and I’m willing to spend that much to get it done semi-professionally.