At-Home Hair Coloring Tips

If you’re an at-home hair color virgin, do not attempt before reading these must-know tips from Paul Cucinello, Beauty Expert and Creative Director of the Chris Chase Salon in Chelsea!

Rich Chocolate Brown

AKA The Katie Holmes, a rich brown always calls for a semi-permanent color in a neutral tone. Permanent colors tend to pull too much red because the peroxide in the product brings out the natural warmth in your hair. I suggest trying L’Oreal Healthy Look Crème Gloss Color.

Pro Tip: After applying the color to your roots be sure to refresh your ends. To richen up faded color without over processing (or achieving a darker result than desired) pick up an extra box of color and mix the included deep conditioning treatment into the color and developer mixture. This will dilute the color so it stays sheer and deposits just enough to refine the tone. Apply it to the ends and leave it on for up to ten minutes.

Blonde Bombshell

Blondes can be tricky because most at-home hair colors yield a much more golden result than people are looking for. Don't choose a shade that's too far from your natural color and remember that the color on your roots should be slightly deeper than the ends like Jessica Simpson. Select an ash shade if you want a more neutral result. Unless your natural color is VERY pale, avoid anything that is labeled “Golden” ...chances are you will wind up unhappy.

Pro Tip: Is your blonde feeling "blah"? Brighten up your color with an at home brightening product. It's a great way to kick your color up a notch without frying your ends. It can also soften the look of re-growth. Try John Frieda Go Blonder Controlled Lightening Spray.

Sun Kissed Blonde

Although I rarely suggest attempting highlights at home, even adding a streak here or there can sometimes be the difference between a costly trip to the salon or a great night out! Using a tail comb, try carefully selecting a few pieces around your hairline that are no thicker than a half of a centimeter. To get a highlighted look like Hilary Duff, place the hair in foil and paint your highlighting color on each piece until they are thoroughly saturated. Try using L'Oreal Couleur Experte 8.2 in Iced Meringue.

Pro Tip: Be sure to keep checking your highlights to make sure they get light enough. Here's where most people make mistakes: You can always tone highlights down if they get too light, but if a highlight isn't light enough after you rinse, unfortunately the only way to correct it will be to re-color each piece again.

Dark & Mysterious Black

Kim Kardashian amps up the sex appeal with her signature black mane. It's super shiny and mysterious. This shade is easily achieved on hair that's already dark, so very gentle color should be used to ensure that it doesn't wind up looking like shoe polish. You can select any shade from “dark brown” to “blue black” depending on your skin tone. Try Revlon Colorsilk in Soft Black.

Pro Tip: If you choose to dye your hair black, know this: it's a long road back so make sure you're ready for a long term commitment. I'm a big fan of using gloss to try color on first and then when you're ready for a major commitment and want to bump up the intensity switch to a semi- permanent color.

Flaming Hot Red

Nothing looks worse than a really fake red. Stick with colors that can occur in nature, just like Adele or Florence Welch. Choose natural reds that are more golden or copper (avoid cool, cherry tones). Reds should also be somewhat uniform, so don't be tempted to try adding highlights to a rich red base. If you're a blonde and you want to try copper hues, use a semi-permanent color in strawberry blonde. I suggest trying Couture Color Luxeblend Créme Color in Strawberry Blonde.

Pro Tip: If your hair is naturally dark and you want to achieve a soft, coppery shade, try using a golden blonde permanent color instead of an actual red. The result will be warm and coppery without looking too artificial.

Also, be sure to protect your skin while coloring your hair at-home. Grab your favorite moisturizer and apply a generous amount to your hairline, the tips of your ears and the nape of your neck to avoid staining.

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