Any of you who color your own hair.....

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by timer lady, Jun 18, 2010.

  1. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    It's gotten to the point fiscally that I cannot afford the over $100 every 3 months to keep my hair the color I love.

    So, if you color your own hair, what product do you use for the least amount of damage. How is the upkeep? I'm actually thinking of going back to the salon & going back to my original color with highlights or lowlights.

    Ideas or suggestions anyone.
  2. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Any of the major brands are usually good. I tend to go for what is on sale. Anything that uses bleach to lighten your color will be rough on your hair but darkening isn't too bad as long as you don't do it too often. (I stay pretty true to my own color as I like it and I'm just covering up my gray. It's great when I don't have time/money because I don't get 'roots').

    Is there a beauty school near you? They can usually do a basic all-over color for $30-40.
  3. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I did my own when it was short, but it still was not the same. Highlights are a must for me - LOL! They hide some of the grey as it grows in.
  4. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Linda, one of the types I like is the semi-permanent. It fades slowly with each wash, so it tends to look more natural.

    Strangely enough, when I came to Cleveland last summer I had used permanent color - for the first time in about 15 years. I'm almost back to my natural blonde now...
  5. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    I agree with finding a beauty school - very inexpensive!

    Most of the top named brands use less harsh ingredients these days with reasonably nice results. Hit up your local pharmacy and read the boxes. Even the less expensive products are very good these days.
  6. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    The semi-permanent is not such a good choice if you have a lot of grey. Also the red tones are the last ones to wash out (if ever) and my hairdresser (I've just begun seeing a hairdresser after decades of doing my on hair) says that the red tones are ageing, look unnatural and are a problem with my hair. HOWEVER - I can use a purple shampoo to tone out the orange.

    It's because my hair especially, tends to 'grab' the red tones.

    Other things to remember - go for a shade or two lighter than your natural colour, as you get older and greyer.

    I found that if I switched around too much between different brands, I risked a 'wrong' shade. One time a shade which should have been lighter (described as medium brown) came out almost black and it made me look awful; I had to buy a dye stripper which turned my hair patchy orange. After that, I stuck to my usual brand.

    I would use a permanent colour all the time, but sometimes put a semi-permanent over it to mask the skunk stripe for a while. I also began to treat roots with only half the mix. That meant I kept the nozzle bottle from the previous treatment (after I washed it out thoroughly) and next time, to use only half, I carefully measured out half of each pack (the liquid, then the squeezy tube) and that way I still had half the pack unmixed to keep until next time. Just to do my roots. I found it was more than enough and cut my hair colour costs in half.

  7. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Thanks ladies ~ I'm calling my hairdresser. He said that if I could no longer afford the coloring process he'd let me know what color & type of dye to choose. Marg, my hair had always been strawberry blond; my mum was a redhead & I have her exact skin tone. I went red last fall & have never regretted it - it looks so good. I may be playing with fire here or it may turn out well. I just cannot justify the cost at this time.

    Who knows? After this weekend we'll see if my hair survives.
  8. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Linda, I am mostly grey in front with a light salting interspersed in the back. Since late last summer I've been doing my own color for the same reasons you're switching :) I've been using the Clairol brand and have been very pleased with the results. I usually leave the color on an extended amount of time (they recommend up to 45 minutes for stubborn grey) and that seems to work well for covering the new growth. I've found, though, that my ends are looking darker, so the next time I do this, I may just concentrate on the roots for the majority of the time and then work it in to the ends for the last 15 minutes or so... I'lll have to let you know how that goes! I also really like the 6-week supply of conditioner that comes in the box.

    They also have a help line and were very nice in guiding me with color choices and correcting procedures when I made a mistake with a very old bottle of color and made myself look like a pumpkin! ;)
  9. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I also stopped going to the salon, although I loved it, because of the cost. I loved the highlights because they helped to "mask" the grey as it was coming in. I now use the Nice 'n Easy brand for color and root touchup. Their root touch up is great! I color my hair half as much as I used to because I can go almost twice as long with the root touch up kit they sell in between colors. On the side of the box, it tells you which color number from all the major brands that particular box will work with.

    There's nothing like going to the salon for pampering, but $150 every 8-10 weeks was just too steep for me. Now I spend $15 every 10 weeks!

    Another tip - I had a hair stylist that worked out of her home. I used to go to the beauty supply store with her to get product. Now those stores, many of them, are open to the public. You can actually get the color and toner number from your hairstylist and buy it there for much less. The toner comes in a big bottle that will probably last a year (just make sure you know the "lift" number). The color comes in either tubes or little bottles that you mix. I had forgotten about that. I'm actually going to look into that this weekend!

  10. muttmeister

    muttmeister Well-Known Member

    I've been doing my own for years. Lately, I've been using L'Oreal Feria. I'm happy with it. My har stays in good condition, although I do wear it short so any damage gets cut off (I trim my own between professional cuts too).
    As far as red being ageing, I think it depends on your skin tones. I have natural red in my (was once) brown and right now I use a pretty violent red. I figure, at my age, everybody knows my hair is gray anyway so I might as well go for something fun. I used to be a bottle blonde and that go to the point that it really aged me. Since I've been short, red, and spiky, I have complete strangers tell me they like my hair almost everytime I go someplace. For somebody who has had problem hair most of my life, it is a new (pleasant) experience.
    I like the idea of getting advice from your hairdresser. He probably has a lot of insights the rest of us lack.
  11. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Red is ageing? Oh no. I'm toast, then. I like red. The more "not-found-in-nature" it is, the better...
  12. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    If you like the highlights and trust a friend who is in the same spot, you can buy your color/brand and do each other's weaves. Just be sure that it's someone you trust enough to not miss a big spot at the back of your head, and to not open the bottle of wine until you're done!;)
  13. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I swear by Loreal's dyes. They are easier on your hair than many other brands. I do not like the 10 minute ones because they look rather harsh from what I have seen. I cannot color my hair anymore because skin problems, but used to have great results from the Excellence line. I usually got two boxes because my hair is super thick and super coarse and super grey. Usually I bought two different colors in the same family (both reddish or golden shades) and mixed them. The result was a much more natural color. This brand comes with a really good conditioner to use as a deep treatment weekly. It makes a difference.

    Once I was used to that I started going to Sally's Beauty Supply. I stayed with the Loreal Excellence but got the professional version. You have to buy the developer separately, same with gloves and the bottle. I re-used the same bottle many times with no problem. The professional version was even easier on my hair but it didn't come with the conditioner.

    Walmart periodically carries a funny looking bottle in the hair color aisle. Instead of the one nozzle on the top it has a row of nozzles. It cost about $4 when I got it and was a good investment. When you go to re-color your hair in 6 weeks this bottle helps you get an even amount all through the roots. It was a HUGE help given my coordination issues and might be helpful if you happen to see one.

    By all means ask your hair stylist what he recommends. He may not have a good grasp of the available products though. Most stylists don't have a clue what is available to the home coloring crowd.

    Just be SURE not to mix an ash tone with a golden tone or a red tone. It is best to look at the letter with the color (at least in Loreal's line) and if you are mixing colors make sure they both have a G or an R or whatever. That tells the tone. The number is how dark the color is.
  14. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Buying the same brand of haircolor is important. There is variation between lines and if you stick with a brand you will have more consistent results. Many techniques are actually quite simple to do. Many of the products are designed to be fairly foolproof. Most major brands have help lines you can call.

    If you are up in the middle of the night it is NOT time to try to color your hair for the first time. Make sure the help line is open when you finish. It gives you a safety net!

    Do NOT color your hair the day before a big event. Most haircolor would be fine, but it is inevitable that if you dye just before a big event then you WILL have problems.

    If KT is cooperative about this kind of thing then make sure she is available in case you need help.

    Do not jump into high and low lights right away. Wait a couple of weeks after you color to try that. It is better for your hair.

    The easiest highlights are done using products from Sally's Beauty Supply or another beauty supply. You will want a kit with a cap, a hook (like a plastic crochet hook), and then the solutions to mix. Make sure you have a plastic bowl, spoon and brush for this step. The brush is a worthwhile purchase at the beauty supply. You can get away with any plastic bowl you can dedicate to this or throw away. Use plastic spoons. It is easier.

    Then have Kt help you with the highlights. Follow the directions and it will be fine. The cap has holes and will guide the process.

    NEVER use hair color that seems old. Sale items are OK but NOT closeout sales. Those items may have been sitting for quite a while and the color is not reliable.



    Make sure you have a box of gloves on hand before you start. It will save a lot of mess.

    When you rinse the color out it may stain your tub. Be SURE to rinse all the color off of the tub before you leave the bathroom. It wouldn't hurt to wipe down the tub or shower when you are done (or have kt help? LOL!).

    Remember that the hair color companies have helpful websites!!
  15. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    I've been doing mine for awhile now as I was getting tired of the grey colonies. I use Garnier Nutrisse and it really seems to leave my hair in good shape. It has a conditioning packet that you use after the color and that seems to make a big difference. The color I use (according to the box) is #53 CHESTNUT Medium Golden Brown. The picture shows more of a rich brown but on me it turns out almost a reddish brown and ....brighter than the picture. If you remember Cleveland at all, that was my natural color ...unless there were highlights. I honestly can't remember! LOL

    If you use a home kit, I would agree with the others....have Kt or someone help. It makes it much easier to do and leaves your hands free to hold a towel to your face if the fumes bother you.
  16. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    I've colored mine at home for years - I never could afford to have it done in the salon. I've always used the Nice & Easy permanent color and have been very pleased with it. I get it in the Dollar Store or at Walmart and for $7, you can't beat it! And the Nice & Easy comes with a tube of wonderful conditioner that makes your hair feel like silk. I have to use the color fairly often because my hair grows really fast, and if anything, I think my hair is in better condition now than it was before I started coloring it, and there are no fumes!

    When I first started coloring it, I was maybe only 5-10% gray and I might have left it alone if it was a pretty shade but it was the most butt-ugly shade of steel gray you've ever seen! I started out with a shade that matched my natural dark brown shade. But over the years it has lightened to where it would be a solid light gray all over if I grew it out. I wanted it a bit lighter but my hairdresser suggested not doing it all at once because it might not come out well. She said I should buy one shade lighter and just do the roots with the lighter shade and the rest, if I don't put color on it, will lighten a bit on it's own. I thought you'd be able to tell that the roots were one shade lighter but it blended very well. It took a while but by doing this it is now two full shades lighter than it was and in a few months I'm going to go still another shade lighter.
  17. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I don't think that red is necessarily ageing, it's just that in MY hair, it 'grabs' the red a lot and looks wrong, especially with my dark skin. Linda, if your hair was pale and reddish to begin with, it will probably work out well for you. You're paler than I am, and with paler hair, the grey isn't so obvious. A semi-permanent might tide you over any rough patches.