Let’s face it, in the grand scheme of things, our hair is far, far down the list of things to worry about right now. That said, looking good helps us to feel good too and any little pick me up in the current circumstances is a welcome relief.
So, many of us now face the somewhat daunting task of colouring our hair at home for the very first time, with our beloved hairdressers being out of bounds for the short term at least. If you’ve never coloured your hair yourself or your only experience with a DIY-dye is helping your sister through her ill-advised goth phase when you were kids, the process can seem somewhat terrifying.
But fear not, we are here to help.
A few weeks ago, we posted a blog about choosing the right type of Naturtint product and picking the right shade if you are new to the brand, so in this blog we are going to share some of our top tips and advice if you will also be colouring your hair yourself for the first time.
We’ll be looking specifically at the Permanent Hair Colours, but many of the processes apply to the Root Retouch or Reflex Semi-Permanent Colours too.
What do I need to do in preparation for colouring my hair?
First and foremost, you need to ensure you have carried out the Skin Sensitivity Test for 48 hours and only proceed to colouring the hair, if you didn’t have any response to the test, however small.
If this is your first time using Naturtint or perhaps you’re trying a new shade, we would also strongly recommend carrying out a Colour Strand Test too – though unlikely, it’s much better to find out you don’t like how the shade develops on a small piece of hair, than after you’ve applied it all over. Think of it like testing a paint on your wall, most of us would test a small area first before we take the plunge and paint the whole living room ‘Elephant’s Breath’ (genuine paint name).
Providing you have done the above and are ok to go ahead with the colour application, next ensure you have read the full instructions at least once before you start so you have no unexpected surprises half way through colouring.
In terms of preparing your hair, it needs to be clean and dry as any build-up of products can affect the colour result – we would recommend colouring your hair a day or two after washing, to allow some of the scalps natural oils to be produced, which will help protect your scalp during the colouring process.
What will I need to colour my hair?
In addition to your chosen colour, you’ll also find it helpful to have an old towel or t-shirt that you can use to cover your shoulders (don’t use anything you don’t want to stain!). You may also wish to protect the immediate surrounding areas such as carpets or fabrics, just in case any mixture is accidentally spilt.
Most people also find it helpful to have some hair clips and a tail comb to hand, but if you don’t have those things don’t worry, it’s still doable.
You’ll need to be able to keep an eye on the time too and if you have a willing (or bribe-able) husband/daughter/housemate that can give you a hand for the trickier parts at the back of your head, rope them in.
If you are just doing a root application or perhaps mixing shades, you will find a mixing brush and bowl set helpful too – you can purchase them here, or if you have a brush already, just use a glass or plastic bowl to mix in. Never use any metal bowls or utensils and avoid ceramic items as they may stain.
Lastly, don’t forget your gloves – in the new Naturtint Permanent packs, you’ll find these attached to the instruction leaflet.
Where do I start on my head?!
Always start with your roots – most people will only need to colour the root regrowth but even if you are doing a full head colour, it is best to start at the roots. We find it easiest to work on sections of the head rather than trying to tackle the whole head in one go, so try splitting the hair into 4 sections by creating a parting from your forehead to the nape of your next and then again from ear to ear. Imagine your head as a hot cross bun! Secure each section with a clip. If you don’t have any clips, simply create a single parting and work your way down one side of the head and then the other.
If you are doing a full head colour, you can simply pour the colourant into the larger developer bottle and shake for 2 minutes. If you are mixing in a bowl, use your tint brush to blend the colourant and developer together for 2 minutes until fully mixed. Don’t be alarmed by the colour of the mixture, this isn’t indicative of the end result!
Then, using the nozzle of the developer bottle, or your tint brush, start painting the roots one section at a time. Using a tail comb or the nozzle of the developer bottle, ensure all your roots are coloured by painting the visible root, then lifting a layer of hair to reveal the roots below and repeating.
Once you have coloured all the roots and the hairline, you can begin timing your development, for a minimum of 20 minutes and a maximum of 40 minutes. At this point if you are doing a full head colour, massage the remaining mixture through the rest of your hair.
- The proportion of colourant to developer should always be 50:50.
- Previously coloured hair will ‘take’ any new colour very easily so if you are doing a full head colour, you will only need to leave it on the previously coloured hair for 5 or 10 minutes.
- If you have stubborn grey or a lot of grey, you will likely need to leave the colour to develop for the full 40 minutes.