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6 Common At-Home Hair Colouring Mistakes You Can Easily Prevent

Avoid common hair colouring errors by using these home hair dye tips for applying hair products with care and expertise.

Applying at-home hair colour is actually super-simple, as long as you follow a few pro rules. Use these tips for how to dye hair to ensure that you’re not making some of the most common mistakes out there.

Mistake #1: Choosing a hair colour shade based on the model’s hair on the box

The photos on the boxes of home hair dye at your drugstore showcase one possible outcome of choosing that shade. You will only achieve the exact same colour if your hair’s base hue and damage level are the same as the model’s. So use the photos as a general guide only, and then look at the side of the hair product box for more info. It will usually display the range of shades possible depending on your base colour.

Mistake #2: Ignoring the directions

Even if you think you know how to dye your own hair and have done at-home hair colouring many times, you should always read through the instructions when trying a new brand or line. Each formula is unique and may have different recommendations for how to colour hair—like how long you should leave the hair products on your roots, ends or full length and how to mix, apply and rinse the hair dye. For the best results, always do a strand test first to make sure you aren’t allergic to any of the ingredients and to see how long to leave the colour in to achieve the shade you desire.

Mistake #3: Staining your skin when dyeing hair

If you’re kind of messy when you dye your hair (like the rest of us!), you’ll want to rub a layer of petroleum jelly on your skin along your hairline and over your ears to prevent stains. If you forget this hair technique before dyeing your mane and end up with coloured patches on your face, neck or ears, you can rub your skin with a lemon wedge, rubbing alcohol on a cotton pad or apple cider vinegar mixed with baking soda for up to five minutes until the stains fade. Do you find that these methods are too harsh for your skin? Then simply wash and exfoliate your face and neck morning and night and the hair products stains will disappear in a day or two.

Mistake #4: Dyeing your hair too dark (or too light)

The further you stray from your natural hair colour, the greater the risk that the shade won’t flatter your skin tone or look natural, so try to stick to hair product that are two shades lighter or darker than your base colour. (Of course, if a natural look isn’t what you’re after, then go wild—especially with L’Oréal Paris Colorista’s super-playful semi-permanent hair colours!) Women also sometimes dye their hair darker than they intend because they leave the hair dye on too long. So, as mentioned in Mistake 2, always read the instructions. If you find that the hair colour is still too dark even though you left the dye on for the correct length of time, this could mean that your have damaged hair (probably from past dye jobs or the regular use of hot tools). Wash your hair with a clarifying shampoo to help fade the colour, and leave the hair dye on for a shorter time at your next colour session.

To ensure even coverage, try L’Oréal Paris Excellence Crème Triple Protection Colour —a rich permanent hair colour that covers stubborn greys and includes a pre-colour hair treatment that primes hair for even results.

Mistake #5: Missing spots when colouring hair at home

One of the biggest challenges of at-home hair colouring is the fact that you can’t see the back of your own head. The quickest fix is to get a friend or loved one to help, but if no one’s available, make sure you have two mirrors (one large and one hand-held) so you can do your own quality check. Look for missed spots as soon as your hair product application is complete. Also, hang on to your leftover hair dye until you’ve rinsed and dried your hair, and then check your roots for missed patches—especially along the hairline and at the nape of your neck. You can do touch-ups as needed with the extra dye.

If you notice an error later, try L’Oréal Paris Magic Root Cover Up to temporarily blend away visible roots or uncoloured patches.

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