General procedures for hair coloring at home. Hair-coloring products can cause allergic reactions, damage your hair, or give you an unflattering color if used improperly. If you decide to change your hair color, select a product from a well-known company. Bear in mind that the greater the color change you make, the harsher the chemical process will be; therefore, it’s safer to pick a color only a few shades away from your natural color. Don’t expect the color on the box to be an exact indicator of what you’ll get; results depend on your own hair color.
Never color your hair on the spur of the moment. Buy your kit a few days ahead and read the instructions several times. Collect all materials you will need, including a clock for timing and a smock to protect clothes.
At least 24 hours before you color, do a patch test for allergic reaction, according to the manufacturer’s directions. If redness or itching develops, do not use the product. Return it to the manufacturer for a refund. (Even with a negative allergy test, some people may still develop an allergic reaction during use of the product.) At the same time, do a strand test to see how the color will look on your hair. Snip a strand, set it in the solution, and time it as indicated in the instructions. Note the exact number of minutes it takes to get the color you want. Never use a dye or bleach on an inflamed or cut scalp.
During the coloring process, pay exact attention to the timing. It is critical to the health of your hair and to achieving the color you want. Use rubber gloves to handle the solution.
If you wish to permanent wave or straighten your hair in addition to coloring it, check with a reputable beauty salon as to the advisability.