The Essential Guide to Dying Your Hair at Home

Maybe you’re looking to take a few years off of your face? Or you’re looking to make a dramatic change, perhaps to impress someone? Whatever your reason for wanting to color your hair, we live in an era where dying it frequently and in a range of colors is often celebrated. But if sitting in a salon chair for hours or money, are some of the reasons you chose to dye it yourself then we can help. At Workman’s Friend, some of us dye our own hair (though not while at work). That’s why we’ve compiled a list of a few tips and tricks to make your at-home procedure go smoothly and successfully.

Don’t trust her

Don’t trust the woman on the box, at least not her hair color. She might have raven-black looking hair, but that’s not necessarily what you’ll end up with. The color always ends up lighter on you than the model because one of the products found in the at-home dyes is stronger than the salon version.  That means it lifts your own hair color and makes it lighter than what you see on the model.  If you want to get a more accurate impression of what your final color will look like, refer to the chart on the top of the box. It will give you a better idea.

Always buy more

If you’ve got hair that is either shoulder length or longer than buy two boxes of the color, to ensure full coverage. The last thing you want is to finish a box of hair dye only to realize half of your head is colored but the other half is not. Remember, you can always return unused boxes of hair dye. Also, don’t forget to mix the dye in a plastic or glass bowl. If you choose to mix it in a metal bowl it could change the color of the dye.

Section it out

You want to avoid the patchy look that is often the result of dying your hair at home. That’s why, start by creating a middle part that runs from the front to the back of your head. Then split your head into four sections, two in front and two in back. Begin applying the dye at the back of your head and then slowly work your way to the front. By doing so, the dye will sit on the back of your hair which is the darkest, the longest.


Do not put dye on the ends of your hair. In its place, three minutes before you’re scheduled to rinse the color out, add two squirts of shampoo into the dye left in the bottle. Shake it and apply this mixture to your ends. This will ensure that they still get a little bit of the color without being overly saturated with it.

One condition

Unless you condition, your hair’s cuticle will remain open and the color will keep working. Don’t throw out the conditioner that comes with the box of color. Instead, once you’ve rinsed your hair, apply it and follow the instructions.

Fine-Tune the Results

Once your hair is dry, take a very careful look at the color. If you find it too loud or harsh, you can soften it by adding a deep conditioner to damp hair. When complete, wrap your head in a bag or in a hot damp towel. Leave it on for 20 minutes then do your regular shampoo and conditioner routine. The result will be a much more subdued color.

To dye for

If this is your first attempt at coloring your hair at home, follow closely the instructions on the box of dye. Remember, the goal of dying your hair at home is more than simply saving money or spending less time in a salon, it’s also about having fun. If you’re not one to do things by yourself, invited a friend over and dye your hair together. Not only will it be a fun activity between friends, it will also provide you with extra support as you color your hair for the first time. So get the plastic gloves and towels out, and start coloring.


Workman’s Friend Barrier Skin Cream is a light-weight and odorless hand cream perfect for anyone dying their hair at home. A simple application of our non-toxic formula will keep your hands moisturized throughout the dying process. When you’re finished a simple wipe and they’ll be clean. Check out our website at

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