young model with pink dyed hair peering over sunglasses

Are your roots giving the game away that you’re not a natural blonde? Or maybe you fancy a big change but don’t want to part with a small fortune at the hairdressers? Whatever the reason you’re reaching for that bottle of hair dye, don’t slap it on and hope for the best. We take you through the pro tips that’ll give you ultimate hair goals in the comfort of your own home.

group of young models with colourful hair

How to dye your hair at home like a pro

If you want salon-quality from your at-home hair dye job, then you need to a teeny bit more than the box instructions.

Upgrade your tools

You’ll never see you hairdresser applying colour from a bottle or using their fingertips – so why should you? Invest in a mixing bowl and hair dye brush so that you can whizz up the perfect shade and evenly distribute the colour.  

Superdrug Superdrug Hair Dye Brush £1.99 Buy Now

Target the right areas

Do you just chuck it on and hope for the best? Stop! Even if you’re applying the same colour all over, you should section your hair into 4 (2 in the front of your ears and 2 at the back) and go from the back to the front.

Also, if you’re redying your hair and only need to top up on your roots, then don’t get carried away and dye your hair from root to tip.  The ends of the hair take to colour really easily, so often when you wash off dye from your roots that’s almost enough to spread the colour to the ends!

Don’t wash and go

Time is money, we know we know. Everyone is too busy for their own good these days, but there are no shortcuts to hair dying at home unfortunately. Even if you’re time-strapped, always finish with an application of conditioner. If you skip the conditioner after dying, the colour may develop and darken as you leave your hair cuticles open. Oo-er. Moral of the story? Always use the mini conditioner in the box.

Have enough product

It might seem obvious, but always make sure you have enough hair dye for the job. There’s nothing worse than running out halfway through (please don’t spread it over and hope for the best!). If you’re going for an all-over dye job then you’re likely to need at least 2 boxes of hair colour – 3 if you have long hair – so stock up before you start slapping it on.

Superdrug Superdrug Performance Natural Dark Brown 4 £3.99 Buy Now

Don’t tie it up

When waiting for your hair colour dye to take, it’s tempting to tie back your hair so you have better view of that binge-worthy TV show, right? Wrong! Sweeping hair into a bun or pony can cause uneven colour, so always leave your hair down when the colour is developing.

How to pick the right type of hair dye

There’s a hair dye for every job, but what’s the difference between all the options? We thought you’d never ask…

young model with rose gold hair

Permanent hair dye

As the name would suggest, there’s not really much going back when you opt for a permanent colour – so you need to be committed to the shade. If you’re trialling a colour for the first time, you might want to start with a semi-permanent dye.

In a permanent hair dye kit, you’ll usually have to mix two parts together – an oxidizer and ammonia with the colouring agent – before you apply them to your hair. Permanent dyes can be more damaging to your locks as the chemicals are stronger than those used in temporary hair colours, but results will last longer.

Pick & Mix Superdrug Pick & Mix Permanent Colour Copper Gold £4.99 Buy Now

Semi-permanent hair dye

Also referred to as temporary hair dye, semi-permanent hair dye is a lot easier to use than permanent because they don’t require any mixing, they can be used straight from the box. However, the final colour will gradually fade and they only tend to last around six weeks depending on how often you wash it. It’s also worth noting that temporary dyes don’t contain any bleach so you won’t be able to make your hair any lighter – only darker. 

L'Oreal Paris Casting Crème Gloss Casting 323 Dark Chocolate Brown Semi Permanent Hair Dye £6.79 Buy Now

Wash in, wash out dye

If you want a temporary hair colour (like a one-night-only kind of deal) then your best bet is going for a wash in wash out colour or a colour hairspray. This is perfect if you want to channel unicorn vibes on the weekend, but still need to look totes profesh come Monday in the office.

Pick & Mix Superdrug Pick & Mix Hair Colour Neon Pink 125ml £4.99 Buy Now

Toner

When you go to the salon for colour, odds are they are using a toner. It’s often the final process of the dying application and can make blonde tones less brassy red/brunette tones more glossy with a touch of copper. Add one into your routine at-home to get the perfect result and if you want a quick refresh in-between dying then incorporate a toner shampoo/conditioner into your haircare regime once a week. This can help maximise your colour.

Balayage / highlight kits

Want to take on one of the biggest haircare trends? Try a balayage or highlights hair kit. Find out how to balayage at home with our step-by-step tutorial.

Bleach London Bleach London Beach Lights Kit £7.99 Buy Now
young model with pink dyed hair peering over sunglasses

How to care for coloured hair

If you want to maximise the vibrancy and life of your new ‘do, then these top tips will help you retain your colour for longer.

  • Use a sulphate-free shampoo/conditioner to extend the life of your dyed hair as it won’t strip out the colour. And look out for hair products that are formulated specifically for dyed hair.

  • You might have heard experts harping on about how much colour can damage the hair. Well, yes it can dehydrate your locks but you can combat these effects by hydrating with intensive hair masks and leave-in conditioner treatments.

  • Try to keep your hair out of the sun as this can cause your colour to fade. So even in the peak of summer or on your hols, keep your hair protected by a sun hat or cap.

  • Calling all new redheads. When you’ve first dyed your hair, wait at least 48 hours before you wash it for the first time – this will help lock in the colour. Thereafter, try and only wash your hair up to three times a week. Red is such a vibrant colour so the more you shampoo it, the more it’ll fade. We also recommending washing with cool water – when you wash hair with water that’s too hot, it opens up the hair follicles and major colour fade happens.

How to choose the right hair colour for you

Whether you’re dying your hair for the first time or having second thoughts about that dramatic colour change, no one wants to live with hair dying regret. So, before you start mixing up your colour check out our expert tips on how to decide if a hair colour will suit you.