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 Tip Thursday: Home Hair Colour

I’m a budget savvy gal – more from necessity than choice, but all the same, I like to do things as cheaply as possible. While certain things are easy to cut back on, like fresh vegetables or dental care, others are harder to eliminate from a modern lifestyle. Hair colouring, for instance.

My natural hair colour falls between “deer mouse” and “dish water” on the colour scale, and once you add in some grey at the roots, and it’s a bit of a horror show.  I haven’t bought make-up in months, and still use a roll-on deodorant, but I will fight gray hair with the strength and conviction of an army from someplace that has a really strong and convinced army.

Legal salons run by qualified staff can charge upwards of $100 for a good hair colour. If you’re like me, and instead think of all the Pearl Jam iTunes downloads you could buy with $100, then home hair colouring is for you.

But if you’re going to do it, you might as well do it right. So use my experience, and take my advice. The public will thank you.

  • First, put the booze away. Failed wine pairing? Cabernet Sauvignon and home hair colour.
  • Don’t pick a shade after a breakup or other major life change. You’ll be tempted to go Midnight Black when you’re a natural blonde, or vice versa. If you must make a big decision to mark this new phase in your life, choose something without consequence, like quitting your job or adopting a baby.
  • Pick a colour that sounds like something you’d either eat or sleep with. If possible, try for both. Example: Rich Chocolate Mousse? Check! Dark Mystery? Check! Yellow Puddles? Nooo.
  • Don’t forget to do the back. Hey, it happens.
  • Wear appropriate clothing, because you are going to drip. I like to wear the dress from my first wedding. If you’re happily married and love your wedding dress, wear it anyway. You’ll be extra careful because of the obstacle and probably won’t spill a drop.
  • Plan ahead and buy a funky hat. Or a pretty hat. Or a crocheted beer can hat. You’ve saved at least $100 colouring your hair at home, so go on; treat yourself!
  • Do not buy your hair colour from the drug store discount rack or a garage sale. Anyone who has 14 boxes of Clairol “Big Red” 344 on a folding table in their driveway had less than appropriate plans for it and you don’t need that karma on your head. Literally.
  • If possible, colour your hair in natural light. I prefer the front porch. This also allows me to yell at neighbourhood children, and garner colour opinions from passerby. That’s called “multi-tasking” and that’s why I am awesome at giving tips. You’re welcome.
  • Like any fun at-home activity, rubber gloves and Vaseline are a must.
  • Double check that your timer works. I had to live with bright orange hair for a weekend once when I accidentally pressed “Side of Beef” instead of “Popcorn” on the microwave timer.
  • Rinse your hair well. A fast food restaurant Pokémon cup and the kitchen tap aren’t going to cut it here. Let your kids use the garden hose; if you’re following my advice you’re already outside anyway.

Now go show off your new colour to the world! If you’ve observed my tips then you’re wearing a pretty dress and have a new beer can hat, so you’re pretty much set for any occasion.

  • http://fadedginger.wordpress.com Ginger Kay

    You’ve taken me back to my childhood, squirting noxious home perm solutions on my mom’s head.

  • http://www.smacksy.con Lisa Rae @smacksy

    Fab. Next can you do tips about home-highlights with the showercap/crochet hook method?

  • http://www.erthsongs.blogspot.com Robin Nowak

    well, you took me from a raving lunatic (I’ll do the dishes, after all, I’m the MAID and that’s why I’M HERE because you know it just takes 5 MINUTES to do THE DISHES but since I don’t HAVE A JOB I’ll DO THE DISHES and SWEEP THE FLOOR because THAT’S WHAT THE HELP DOES…. ) to giggling at your helpful coloring tips.
    Just last week I was thinking out loud to friends about perhaps doing something a little different to my hair–like coloring it. Just the tips. Just a few shades lighter….
    thanks for the giggles!!!

  • Kat

    You have no fear. Should I ever feel such bravery these tips will be helpful, particularly the wine pairing and garage sale ones.

  • http://dirtyrottenparenting.wordpress.com dirtyrottenparenting

    If home hair coloring was an olympic event, I would be a gold medalist! I’ve been coloring my hair at home since high school and you’ve got all the top tips down! I like to wear one of my countless “free” t-shirts. You know those one size fits none shirts with corporate logos that you’d never wear anywhere but to the gym or bed? Those are the best shirts for home hair coloring!

  • http://thelandy.wordpress.com The Landy

    Laughing out loudly, my colleagues asked why? Now we’re all laughing loudly…

  • http://gravatar.com/wherewiller Emma

    Ha. Have a box ready to go. Now to dig out the never-cleaned wedding dress. Might as well dirty it up some more.

  • http://www.mamanongrata.com mamanongrata

    Do you have any tips for resistant greys?

  • http://rasjacobson.com Renée A. Schuls-Jacobson

    I just tried straightening at home this week. I’m at day 1 with doing it myself. This will only last 30 days, but it took an emergency call to my neighbor to have her finish the back with the hot iron. Seriously, you have to make sure that you have another set of hands — just in case!

    Fun post!

    And I’m here from #writeonedge, and I have a post up there. Come check it out for a chance to win a coveted place in my November sidebar. ;-)


  • http://ineedaplaydate.blogspot.com mryjhnsn

    OMG I love you! I pee’d when I got to the end of the second one because they are both so very true! Thank the heavens I don’t have to dye me hair yet and when I do I am going to follow your advice. Especially about doing it outside and having the kids hose me off.

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