According to a USA Today survey, about half of the 1,031 women polled regularly color their hair. On average, those who choose the professional route go to the salon about four times per year, shelling out about $65 to $230 for just hair coloring. That quickly adds up to $265 to $920 per year!
Meanwhile, the typical store-bought dye costs anywhere from $7 to $20, making them an easy and inexpensive way to change up your look. But, it begs the question: Are the savings worth risking a really, really bad hair (gasp) month?
Who Shouldn’t Do It at Home?
According to Becky Sturm, owner of a prominent beauty shop, “Store colors and professional colors are not created equal.” What that means is that you should go to a salon if you plan to go from a dark color to a very light one, or if you plan to dye your hair blond or red. Red pigment is the smallest pigment and fades the quickest, according to Latrice Strader, master stylist and owner of a hair salon and spa, so you’ll probably benefit from a professionally-mixed red formula. Strader also recommends that anyone trying to cover grey get the job done at a salon because grey is somewhat resistant to dye.
Similarly, highlights aren’t just about the color formulation, but also about perfect placement. So, says Nicholas DiGenova, creative director at an upscale hair salon, you need the eye of a stylist for those sun-kissed streaks.
Also, if you’ve already tried to dye your hair at home and dislike the result, don’t keep trying to fix it on your own, as adding more and more chemicals will only make things worse. Go to a salon for the most effective fix.
Who SHOULD Do It at Home?
Brunettes have it easier when it comes to hair dye, especially if they are only going a few shades lighter or darker. Brunette or not, dying at home is safest when you are shifting just a few shades from your natural color.
What Do You Need to Know Before You Jump in?
Have a friend help you dye your hair, especially if it’s longer than six inches. Read the directions carefully and use the conditioner that comes with the hair dye. Word of warning: Prepare yourself for a somewhat funky ammonia smell. Don’t worry, it goes away.
Which Are the Best At-Home Hair Dyes?
These are! We bring you a slide show of the best, expert-recommended brands for drug store dye and a wallet-friendly fix.
Click the first image to begin the slide show.