Avoid these five home hair colour pitfalls…

You’re bleaching or giving yourself highlights

For the love of all things holy, do not do your own highlights. Don’t bleach your own hair. In fact, don’t even use those pre-lightening treatments unsupervised.

The risks simply outweigh the benefits when it comes to home hair lightening. There are a multitude of factors to consider when lightening hair – your hair type and texture and every single colour application you have on there (it adds up, you don’t just have the visible ‘outer’ colour to deal with) being the most important ones.

Lightening your hair in any way is the one colour process that I would not advise doing at home at all.

And on the other end of the spectrum…

Colouring your hair too dark is a common home dye problem. As we’re not professionals, and chemicals reactions don’t have the exact same results for every head of hair, results tend to vary. And they tend to vary towards the darker end of the spectrum.

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When choosing hair colour, always choose 1-2 shades lighter than the one you’re instinctively aiming for. Not only is the colour more likely to be a good match (just trust me on this one), it’s also likely to look more multi-dimensional as opposed to the dreary ‘flat’ box-dye look.

puhhha – @123rf.com


You don’t know your undertones

It’s easier to choose the right depth of shade if you know which undertone to choose. This unfortunately took me years of bad brown hair to realise back when I was colouring my own hair.

The difference between a cool, warm and neutral undertone is vast, and greatly changes the way not only your hair colour, but also your eyes, skin and makeup translates.

Your application is lazy

Look, I’ve been there. You want your hair coloured, but the actual process is a mission. And you have to get halfway undressed and it just can’t be over quick enough.

Put on some music, grab a comb and some clips and apply your hair colour properly while you’re at it. Depending on the length and thickness of your hair, anything longer than a short bob should be parted and divided into at least six sections.

Use an application brush to meticulously cover each section from root to tip (assuming it’s a first time application) and then comb through the section before you move on to the next. Always work from back to front, except if you’re working with very vibrant colours (reds, plums) that are prone to fading – then work front to back. Always work as fast as you can to ensure an even result.


You don’t follow the instructions

Look, I don’t like to be told what to do either. And I like making my own rules in the beauty department more than any other. But chemical processing is a lot like baking – regular people like us shouldn’t mess with the recipes.

You may think that leaving your colour on for an extra 10 minutes will make it fade resistant for longer, but hair colour stops developing after a certain time anyway, and now we’re just messing with an expertly created formula. This is one case where it’s a good idea to stick to the instructions.