Quarantined. You never thought you would find yourself here. Distanced from friends, family, neighbors, and most importantly, your hairdresser. We all have to do what we can to feel ‘normal’ during unusual times, and that means, for many of us, coloring our hair at home for the first time. This might be uncharted territory for you, but it is what Color&Co Personalized Haircolor by L’Oreal was made for.
Whether you are just here exploring, stopping by temporarily until your favorite salon re-opens, or looking to make a change, we are here for you. Here are some of our most frequently asked questions about coloring your own hair, answered by Deb, Color&Co’s Head Colorist.

What tools do I need to successfully color my hair at home?

The most important items to have are the color itself, a developer to mix it with, which comes pre-measured in a bottle that can be used for application, and gloves. A Color&Co colorbox also includes extras: a stain block to protect the skin, a reusable small brush for application, a stain removing wipe, a second pair of gloves, and Infuse Replenishing Conditioner. Anything else needed, but not required, is usually already in your home such as a non-metallic bowl, an old towel and shirt, hair clips, and shampoo. With Color&Co everything you need to color your hair is included and is shipped directly to your door.


What’s different about using at-home hair dyes than what’s used in the salon?

At-home hair colors often have a more viscous texture than professional hair colors. The advantage of this is that it makes self-application easier since it is able to spread through the hair faster. Just because you see a professional colorist applying color with a bowl and brush, that doesn’t mean that’s the best method for at-home coloring products. A bottle is your best (and cleanest) bet. Protect the surfaces where you are applying the color with plastic garbage bags and/or towels. Hair color will stain marble and other natural stone surfaces. Also protect your clothes, use an old t-shirt or something that is open around your neck/shoulder area and wrap a towel around your neck. Take small sections of hair to get an even saturation of color to achieve an overall even color result.

Pro Tip
To reach the back of your head (the trickiest part) try using two mirrors so you can see what you’re doing. Don’t have a second mirror? Use the camera on your phone.

How do I apply the hair color?

There is no one-size-fits-all way to apply hair color all over. However, there are ways to apply that will help you get the benefits you are looking for. For example, if the main concern is gray coverage, start the application in the front or where you see the most gray; if you are going darker, start in the back. Going lighter for the first time can be a little tricky. If you’re not careful the ends of your hair will end up darker and drabber than your roots. The best way to avoid this is to consult with a Color&Co colorist who can talk you through the application and provide a special service for Virgin Long Hair.

How can I avoid the hair color from looking flat?

To avoid a flat monochromatic look avoid pulling through your color every time, especially if it’s not necessary, or shorten the processing time.

Pro Tip
Instead of pulling the color through all of your ends, try pulling the color through select sections of the hair and not through other sections.  This will assure a more natural look maintaining variation in tone.

What should I be concerned with when coloring my hair at home?

The condition of the hair plays a huge role in the color result you will get. Hair that is dry, damaged or fragile is considered porous and can take color differently than healthy hair. How do you know if your hair is dry, damaged or fragile? If your hair is past your shoulders or curly, it is likely dry. If you live for your flat iron or curling iron and are seeing split ends it is damaged. If you bleach your hair or find that it breaks easily, it is fragile. When dealing with hair that is porous on any level, timing is key to coloring success. Color left on too long can create ends that are too dark, and color rinsed off too fast can fade quickly. Always follow the recommended instructions you receive for timing, and if you have doubts test a strand of hair before rinsing. Use an old towel and pull a small section of hair from the back or side of the head and gently wipe the color off. Do this every 5 minutes to avoid under or over processing.


How long after bleaching my hair, should I wait to dye it again? 

Bleaching swells the hair fiber and leaves the hair in an alkaline state even after rinsing and shampooing. It is for this reason that follow up colors applied immediately can sometimes take unevenly. If bleach is applied in an off-scalp technique to only select strands of hair (highlights, balayage or ombre) it is possible to follow up with a semi or demi permanent hair color right away since the likelihood of the color processing unevenly is minimal.  However, if you have done a full head on-scalp bleaching and are going for a vivid or pastel fashion shade you should definitely wait for 48 hours or more between applications. The longer, the better. This will help the alkalinity of your hair to stabilize and lessen the possibility of scalp irritation. The more even the alkalinity of the hair strand, the more evenly the color will take.

Are there techniques or colors I should avoid attempting at home?

In general, anything that involves bleach is not a good idea for a color novice without proper advice or guidance. All-over bleaching of your hair is very tricky.  If you do not properly apply the bleach, or if you are applying over compromised or previously chemically treated hair, you run the risk of your hair melting or breaking off.

Another color to avoid is black. The reason being is that it’s very difficult to remove if you want to change it in the future. If you want to try going darker, try a dark brown before making the commitment to black.


How does Color&Co work?

The first step to receiving a personalized hair color recommendation from Color&Co is to visit our website www.colorandco.com . From there you have the option to take a color quiz or to instantly connect to a licensed professional colorist for a one-on-one video consultation. Both options are able to provide a bespoke prescription (including shade, developer strength, timing and application method) based on the information we gather. For customers who are new to home hair color or to what we have to offer, the free video consultation is recommended and provides the most value. Customers can feel assured that their hair is being properly analyzed, they will get the proper recommendation to meet their hair goals, plus they will get personal attention with application tips, tricks and advice that only a pro will know.


Does Color&Co adapt its recommendations for specific hair types? 

All of the hair’s physical and chemical properties are considered before making a prescription. Each of these factors contribute to customizing a formula for each customer from the tone and depth of the shade itself, the strength of oxidant required, the processing time and the application method.

Physical properties include hair density (how thick or thin it is), hair texture (how fine or coarse it is), hair length (how old it is), plus others. Chemical properties include previous color applications, perming or straightening, and any type of bleaching.

Color&Co also considers your lifestyle as a factor before prescribing a shade. During a consultation a colorist can recommend a shade that will complement how you live your life and what’s important for you. For example, are you a busy mom and only have time to color every 8 weeks? We have a demi-permanent option for you. Do you need a hair color that will completely cover your grays without anyone seeing them? We have a 3 week subscription option. Do you swim often or use hot tools every day? We can give you professional tips and advice for how to keep your color looking great.

What if I need help while I’m applying the hair color? Can I connect with a colorist for help?

Yes, you can connect with a colorist while applying the product if you need support. However, most people don’t need it, because here’s what we offer from the get-go:

1) Customized personal instructions that are detailed specifically to the application and processing times you need. There is no one-size-fits-all approach so we

offer multiple application methods.

2) A link to see a step-by-step how-to video for your specific application.

3) Professional advice and tips for how to approach your application as part of each individual consultation.

Have more questions for us? Email us directly at thecollective@colorandco.com