Home hair colouring

Lynnette Peck / 26 May 2016

Colouring hair at home does take skill, but with a new generation of hair dye and hair care products available, it has now become a whole lot easier.



Sales of home hair colour products go up each year; in fact, they’ve doubled in the past decade, with more than eight million UK women now colouring their hair at home. This is no surprise as most home kits cost around £5 compared to the £50+ you'll usually find yourself paying in a professional hair salon. 

The hair salon colourist says...

Migena Topciu, owner of Studio MG Hair & Beauty gives us the lowdown on dyeing hair at home:

Is it OK to colour hair at home between salon appointments?

I would recommend seeing your salon colour technician for the most professional result, and its worth remembering that home colouring formulas can be quite different from the products used in the salon. If you want to touch up your roots between appointments, some salons will make up a small quantity of your regular hair colour so you can do a light root tint at home. Apply the product only to the area of regrowth closest to the root to protect your existing colour.

What is your best tip to achieving good colour at home?

Always perform a patch test at least 48 hours in advance. If colouring your hair at home for the first time, keep it simple and choose a natural shade that closely matches your existing colour. Your technician can advise on selecting the right product for your individual hair type.

Are some hair colours easier to self-dye at home than others?

It’s easier to go darker, as it deposits colour into the actual hair shaft, while going lighter can strip hair of its colour and moisture. It’s less damaging to add to your existing colour, whereas removing the colour first is harsher.

What's the best way to cover a significant amount of grey hair when colouring hair at home?

If you’re experienced at colouring your own hair, adding highlights can be an effective way of disguising stubborn grey areas and make the regrowth less visible. You can also apply a semi-permanent colour to the new growth between salon visits. This gives less coverage than a permanent dye and may not completely cover all the grey, but you can also try going lighter to conceal the grey around the roots and parting, and give the impression of highlights. A final tip would be to have someone help you access the hard-to-reach areas like the back of your head and under the neck. Partners often make very good home colourists!

Discover the best make up for grey hair

The blogger says...

Fashion and beauty blogger Kellie Hill says “Coconut oil is great for conditioning undyed hair, but don’t use it on coloured hair as it can remove the dye and make it look ashy. Plus, have your hair cut regularly in a salon and ask your hairdresser to check to see if there is any damage from hair dye - so they can treat it before it become irreparable.”

Do you know about these ten uses for coconut oil?

 Do’s and Don’ts of home hair colouring

  • Always thoroughly read the instructions
  • Do a hair strand test 24 hours before you colour
  • Wash your hair 24 hours before colouring as the natural oils on your scalp built up over that time will make your scalp less sensitive to the chemicals
  • To remove any stains on your skin use a face or body scrub or a dash of fragrance

Hair Saviours: the best products

New generation:

Express Colour - Will colour grey hair in three minutes by using after shampooing like a hair conditioner (£6.99 superdrug.com)

Root Vanish by Kazumi Coloring Brush - Click and cover roots with this clever brush (£30 boots.com)

L’Oreal Paris Magic Retouch - Spray to conceal grey hairs and regrowth at roots (£5.99 boots.com)

Temporary Colour:

Superdrug Colour Effects - Great if you only have a few grey hairs; choose the colour closest to your own (£1.49 superdrug.com)

Semi-Permanent Colour:

L’Oreal Casting Crème Gloss - Perfect if you still have more natural colour than grey (£6.79 boots.com)

Permanent Colour:

Clairol Nice ’N Easy Permanent Hair Colour - Good way to colour grey if you feel competent at home colouring (£5.99 boots.com

Colour Remover:

Colour B4 Hair Colour Remover - These strip permanent and semi-permanent hair colours from the hair, so you can start again (£6.66 superdrug.com)

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.