We get it—dyeing your hair at home can be scary. Aside from mastering how to apply your hair color, you may be worried about how to safely apply that hair color. Is box dye a good idea? Good news for DIYers: Box dye is perfectly safe when you follow the directions. There are certain precautions you should take when it comes to coloring your hair at home, and once you know them, you can become a do-it-yourself dye job pro. Want to learn more? Below, we’ve rounded up 10 useful tips on how to safely dye your hair from home.
TIP #1. DO A PATCH TEST
You should always do a patch test, also known as a skin allergy test, be it with skin care products or box hair dye. The Cleveland Clinic states that testing hair dye on a patch of skin prior to applying the dye to your hair can help prevent possible allergic reactions. Do this 48 hours before coloring your strands to make sure you don’t experience a reaction to the dye.
TIP #2. FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS
You should always follow the instructions included with your at-home hair color kit. This is key for your pre- and post-dye care. Keep in mind that different kits may have different instructions, and following the wrong ones can turn using what is supposed to be a safe hair dye into something that isn't good for you or your hair.
TIP #3. AVOID YOUR EYES
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) not only advises keeping dyes away from your eyes but to also avoid coloring your lashes or brows at home. This could damage your vision, resulting in potential blindness. If you want safe hair color for your lashes and brows, seek out a professional.
TIP #4. ALWAYS WEAR GLOVES
Those gloves come with your hair color kit for a reason! You should always wear gloves when applying and mixing hair dye, per the Cleveland Clinic.
TIP #5. USE A TIMER
Remember how we talked about following the directions? That includes the amount of time you leave the dye on your hair! You should never leave hair color on your strands longer than directed. The FDA recommends using a clock or timer to keep track of how long your hair dye is on your hair.
TIP #6. CONSIDER YOUR SCALP
The condition of your scalp is something to take into account when coloring your strands. If your scalp is irritated, sunburned, or damaged, you should not dye your hair, per the FDA. The FDA also states that you should avoid scratching or brushing your scalp three days prior to using box dye.
TIP #7. CHECK THE INGREDIENTS
As with any beauty product, it’s a good idea to read the ingredient label. The FDA suggests keeping an eye out for ingredients that may have caused you issues in the past.
TIP #8. WAIT IT OUT
Are you bleaching your hair? Or thinking about trying another chemical process like relaxing your hair or getting a perm? Make sure to wait at least 14 days before having another chemical service done to your mane, per the FDA.
TIP #9. DON’T MIX
You may be tempted to get crafty and mix two hair dyes to create your own custom shade, but this is a no-no! According to the Cleveland Clinic, you should never mix different hair color formulas. Two safe hair color products may not be safe to use once their formulas interact, so you want to play it safe.
TIP #10. RINSE WELL
Of course, your hair dye will be sitting on your head for a bit of time, which means it’s important to rinse thoroughly when time is up. The Cleveland Clinic advises paying particular attention to rinsing your scalp.
BONUS TIP: OPT FOR TEMPORARY HAIR COLOR
If you’re nervous about coloring your strands at home, we don’t blame you. Coloring your own hair can be intimidating! To test the waters, consider giving a temporary hair color, like those in the L’Oréal Paris Colorista Hair Makeup Temporary 1-Day Hair Color Spray and L’Oréal Paris Colorista Hair Makeup Temporary 1-Day Hair Color lines, a try. Our temporary dyes can be a good hair color option, since they can easily be washed out in just one shampoo, so you don’t have to stress over a permanent mane change gone wrong.
Next up: Now that you’re familiar with how to color your strands at home the safe way, perhaps you’d like to learn more about the proper measures you can take to maintain a safe hair coloring routine—even if you’re expecting. Head over to our article, Is It Safe to Dye Your Hair While Pregnant?, to do just that.