We sat down with Color&Co’s head colorist Deb Rosenberg to get the inside scoop on what you guys want to know about coloring your own hair!

1. Take us through an at-home hair coloring process — from applying foils, to washing out color?

Coloring your own hair at home can sometimes be a frustrating experience, but it doesn’t have to be. Follow these three simple guidelines to keep it simple:

  • Choose a look that isn’t complicated. Applying foils or adding highlights yourself can get tricky. When coloring at home, it’s best to stick to all-over color applications such as root touch-ups, gray coverage or overall shade changes.
  • Be prepared. Get ready to color your hair by exploring the contents of your kit first. Read the instructions at least once before your application and make sure you have everything you will need at-hand during the process. Protect your work area with towels and wear an old shirt that comes off easily when it’s time to rinse.
  • Recruit a friend. If you can’t get to see a pro for foils or if you have trouble applying color to the back of your head, ask a friend for help.

Luckily, the home hair color experience is getting better. Companies such as Color&Co Personalized Haircolor by L’Oreal provide everything you need to achieve a beautiful, custom result. Licensed colorists are on-call for live video consultations (it’s free!) and provide you with a personalized formula, application step-by-step and colorbox that includes everything you need from preventing & removing hairline stains to extra gloves.

2. How does this process differ if you’ve already colored your hair, have not colored it at all, or if you’re looking to color correct?

Hair color history not only plays a role in what shade can be achieved, but it also plays a role in what type of application should be done. For a uniform end result, hair that has not been color treated has to be evenly saturated.

If you are looking for a slight change or going darker, the application is easy and goes from root to tip. If you are looking for a lighter or vibrant look, the color may have to be applied to the ends before the roots to keep the color from looking uneven. Color&Co provides a premium service just for this scenario (among multiple others) to keep the results even and the application clean & simple.

For hair that has already been color treated, application techniques will differ. To match your roots to the current shade of your colored hair, apply just to the roots and pull the color through only if necessary. To color your hair darker or change the tone, apply first to the roots and then pull through for up to 30 minutes (depending on how much darker you want to be).

Beware – if your hair is already color treated, going lighter is not an option using a traditional hair color. Lightening color treated hair and color correction is best left to the professional colorist. If going to the salon is not an option for you, try consulting with a licensed colorist from Color&Co who could help to suggest alternatives.

3. What’s the trick to dyeing your hair multiple colors at home?

When coloring multiple colors at home, there are two tricks that will help provide you a beautiful end result:

  • Section first, color once. Keeping hair that you want colored separate from hair that you don’t want colored (or colored a different shade) is especially critical. This will help to keep the colors separated and avoid them from ‘bleeding’ together and potentially looking spotty or muddy. If you want an idea of how the color will lay when it’s finished, section the hair that you want colored and place your hand below it. Let the hair drop and you can get a sense of whether or not you need to take more or less hair in your section.
  • Protect the lighter hair. When rinsing two different colors from the hair, try to rinse the darker color first avoiding contact with the lighter color. Rinse the darker color until the water runs clear before releasing and rinsing the lighter hair.

4. Anything else you’d like to add about at home hair coloring?

Home hair coloring can be a gratifying experience as long as expectations are realistic. Following a celebrity change her hair color through a tabloid or social media page does not necessarily tell a realistic story. Chances are good that the changes in hair color were taken over a period of time, include wefts and/or filters. A good rule to follow for best results at home is to stay within 2 levels of your natural shade. If you’re seeing that celebrity lighten her already color treated hair, don’t attempt this at home using a traditional hair color.