Adventures in At-Home Hair Color: In Which I Go Red for Fall

Have you ever tried to color your hair at home? I did. Here's how it went!
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Lucia hair after

Ta da! Again, I took this pic in natural sunlight, no filters, no editing, and the same minimal makeup. Also, it took me about half the number of shots to get it right this time; I seem to have learned something about the art of selfie-taking . In case you want a side-by-side comparison, here you go:

Lucia hair comparison

The light was clearly better the day I took the “before” photo. Oh well.

The verdict? Yes, it’s a little uneven; my application was, shall we say, less than stellar (although I have had a few folks tell me that they like the streaky look, so there’s always that). But I actually really dig the color! April was right—the darker shade (which, by the way, DOES actually look like it does on the box) was a good call. It’s the color I always wished my hair was growing up.

I’m not sure I’d call this particular round a success due to my decidedly inexpert application, but it’s a work in progress. I might even go so far as to say that I’d do it again, although I’d definitely put the following at-home hair color lessons I learned this time round to good use:

1. Bring a friend along for the ride—preferably one who’s willing to get a little hands-on. It DEFINITELY would have helped having an extra set of eyes for those spots I had trouble seeing myself (like the back of my head—contrary to popular belief, I do NOT have eyes in it); I can only imagine how priceless an extra set of hands might have been for separating out hair and working it all through.

2. FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY PUT SOME NEWSPAPER DOWN. Or magazines. Or plastic. Or something. Because you will. Make. A. Mess. And make sure you put it on EVERYTHING—the dye actually came up off the floor pretty easily, but my bathroom sink, alas, was not quite so resilient.

3. When the time comes to rinse the dye out, don’t even bother with the sink. Unless you’ve got one of those nifty salon sinks with a hole for your neck, it’s going to be really tough to rinse in the sink. Yes, even with the hose attachment most kitchen sinks come equipped with. Just strip down and hop in the shower—it’ll be a lot easier in the long run.

4. One word: Swimsuit. If you’re going to be doing this whole thing with the help of a friend AND doing the “rinse” step in the shower, the way to go when it comes to attire is definitely a swimsuit. Unless you’re okay getting naked in front of your friends, in which case don’t even bother.

So there you have it: My first foray into at-home hair color! Have you ever done the DIY dye thing yourself? What was your experience? Tell us about it in the comments!

Lucia Peters is BettyConfidential’s senior editor.

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