At-Home Hair Colour Guide: Choosing Colour, Covering Grey + 10 Tips For Success

Let’s be honest, when choosing an at-home hair colour, most of us just look at the model on the box and think that our results will be a carbon copy of hers.

Newsflash: There’s a little more to at-home hair colour chemistry than that. But, thanks to these super simple tips, it’s not nearly as difficult as you might assume.

Buying Your At-Home Hair Colour

Rather than looking at the model, start thinking ‘colour by number.’

L’Oreal Group’s International Numbering System is used in over 150 countries worldwide and it gives the average consumer a better understanding of how the hair colour their buying will work with their existing color.

The system combines two individual numbering scales which are combined to create a myriad of shades.

Firstly, there are base shades which determine how dark or light natural hair or a colourant is. Base shades exist on a scale of 1 through 10 to measure the depth of colour from Black to Very Light Blonde.

Next, there are ‘Reflects’ — these are the pure colour tones that are added to colourants to create on-trend shades and tones. Reflect tones are based on a universal colour wheel and are made up of pure pigments in both primary and secondary colours.

How to Cover Stubborn Grey

10 Tips For At-Home Colour

1. Choose the Right Colour
The end result is determined by your natural colour, so go with a shade within two shades lighter or darker than your own natural colour.

2. Give Yourself Time
This will depend on the product you choose, but in general allow yourself an hour to an hour and a half to ensure you’re not rushing through any step.

3. Prep
Keep old towels handy, wear a pre-loved shirt, and ensure you have everything — gloves, instructions, comb, clips, etc. — by your side when you start.

4. Follow the Instructions!
It sounds obvious, but too many people neglect to read the instructions in their box. Some colours require roots first, while others are mid-length, and others are ends. When covering grey, for example, it’s always best to start at the whitest area first.

5. Ensure Even Coverage
Part the hair into four sections from front to back down the centre, and from ear to ear. Then apply the colour to each quarter section by section.

6. Leaving Colour On
The development time will always be specified on the pack. Don’t risk washing out early or leaving the colour on longer, extensive testing has been done to ensure the colour’s effectiveness!

7. Hair Colour Belongs On The Hair On The Scalp!
Never use your hair colour on brows, eyelashes, or anywhere else.

8. Care For Your Colour
Don’t sleep on the shampoos, conditioners, and treatments that are available for coloured hair. These are specially formulated to include ingredients like UV filters and moisturising agents to help prevent fade, and maintain shine and colour.

9. Don’t Judge the Colour of the Mix
The actual colour of the mix while it is developing is not always an indication of the final result. Use a paper towel to wipe a strand of hair to get a better idea of what’s happening while your colour develops.

10. Don’t Keep Your Mixed Colour
Unused mixed colour should be discarded. The components are packaged separately as they begin to lose their efficiency once mixed.

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