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Home hair coloring can be tricky to get right - but by following a few simple tips and tricks, you can get glossy, beautifully colored hair that looks and feels like you've just been to the hair salon. Read on to find out how.

The right hair color can transform the way you look - it can make your skin look brighter, your eyes shinier and can enliven your whole face. But getting your hair color done at a salon can cost a huge amount of money - anywhere from $50 right up to $350 and beyond at the priciest of salons. If you're trying to pinch the pennies at the moment, chances are, your household budget doesn't stretch to a trip to the salon every eight weeks.

But luckily, you can color your hair and get the look of a salon in the comfort of your own home. It's easier than you might think and the results are surprisingly good. Learn how to color your hair at home and how to choose the right hair color with these clever tips.

Choosing the Right Hair Color

If you're coloring your hair at home, follow these tips to choose your hair color:
  • Don't choose a color that's more than three shades darker or lighter than your natural hair color. It'll be difficult to achieve the look you're going for at home if you go too dark or too light. The more of a change you attempt to make, the more likely it is that the end result will be brassy or ashy. Anything more dramatic than this and you should really go to the salon.
  • If you're new to coloring or if you're unsure of which color to use, try a temporary color to "try on" the color before you take the permanent plunge.
  • Choose a formula with multiple highlights and low-lights. Some home colors can look a bit flat, particularly if they're quite cheap, so it's important to look for formulas with built-in tonal highlights and low-lights that will blend with your natural hair color, looking much more natural than a flat color.
  • Choose a formula that suits your skin type. Go for a foam or mousse formula if you have sensitive skin, so that it won't drip onto your skin and irritate.
  • When deciding on the color, make sure you stand in natural light - it's the only way you'll be able to get an accurate idea of your current color.

Things You'll Need

Before you get started, there are some tools you'll need to help you get the job done.

  • Paintbrush (for use with hair dye, found in all pharmacists and good supermarkets) and hair dye bowl to mix the dye in. Unless the dye comes with a special bottle or application system, a bowl and brush is usually much easier to use than a bottle.
  • Vaseline. Use your fingertips to apply the Vaseline around your hair line, around your eyes and on the tips of your ears. It'll stop your skin from getting stained. If any dye does slip through, keep some cleanser (alcohol-based usually works best) to hand to clean up.
  • Two dark towels.
  • Clips and a comb.
  • Timer.
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