(Better) Hair Coloring at Home

Contrary to popular belief, just because your spouse has an MD after his or her name does not mean you have a large amount of monetary funds to throw around you’re rich (there, I said it). In fact, especially during residency, a budget is key to affording groceries/rent and saving for things like a house or a baby (no, Mom, still no babies in our very near future). We try to account for everything in our budget – from dog food to wedding gifts to hair cuts. Which brings me to our DIY today! Coloring your hair at home, with results that you’ll actually like!

Face it – getting your hair colored at a salon is EX-PEN-SIVE! I know as a blonde if I want to go lighter, the best way is a full set of highlights. But that wasn’t really in the budget, so I started doing some research about the best way to color at home. I wanted some all over lightening that wasn’t too far from my natural medium blonde hair.

Here’s a round up of everything I’ve unearthed about hair coloring on the interwebs:

1. Mix two boxes together: this is how the pros get that unique not-too-brassy-not-too-ashy color
2. Use the same brand: don’t mix brands as they use different chemicals and you don’t want your head to turn into a chemistry experiment gone wrong (I used Clairol Nice N’ Easy)
3. Only mix colors in the same level or within 1 level of each other: Self explanatory. Mixing a level 7 + 8 will get you a 7.5 (I used a mix of 8-Ash and 8-Natural)
4. Avoid “golden” tones: Yes, they sound lovely, but when it comes to home hair color, golden = brassy red tones
5. If you’re going to mix tones choose an “ash” and a “natural.” Never mix an “ash” and a “golden”
6. Don’t go by the model’s hair color on the box, use the swatches on the back to determine what color you’re going for

With all these tips in mind – let’s get coloring!
(always start with a strand test)
1. Mix your colors individually as directed
2. If you’re using two different levels, apply the lighter of the two to the hair framing your face fist
3. Mix the entire contents of each individual bottle in a plastic bowl (not metal or glass!)
4. Apply your new mixed color to your roots first, then the rest of your hair
5. Cover with a shower cap and process for the time indicated on the box, checking the color periodically
6. Rinse and style!

I failed to take a before picture, but take a gander through the Tremblant post for my lovely grown out highlights

After: Blonde again!

After: Blonde again!

After: No highlights were used I swear!

After: No highlights were used I swear!

After: You can color at home!

After: You can color at home!


Happy Hair Coloring!



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