Pro Tips on how to colour your hair at home. 

If you are living in Australia right now there is a good chance you are in lockdown and with our beloved salons closed there is just as big a chance you are considering colouring your hair at home. The huge array of hair colouring products and shade options available can definitely make choosing the right colour a little confusing. 

Whether you are aiming to cover greys, tone blonde or refresh a fading colour we have some pro tips to help you get the colour you are looking for.

1. Save major colour changes for the salon… 

The biggest home colour mistakes are usually made trying to go from one colour family to another such as dark brown to blonde. These types of changes usually take multiple processes and are best left to the experts who can assess tones on the spot. 

2. How to choose a colour...

For best home colouring results, we recommend staying within 2 shades lighter or darker of your current colour. Most brands use a number system; the first number is for the base shade.  Use the following guide to choose the colour closest to what you are trying to achieve- 

1 = Black

2 = Darkest brown (almost black)

3 = Very dark brown

4 = Dark brown

5 = Brown

6 = Light brown

7 = Dark blonde

8 = Medium blonde

9 = Blonde

10 = Light blonde


The second and/ or third number is the tone as most brands have their own way of doing this the best way is to use the description rather than the number for 6.1 can be described as light ash brown so this light brown with ash tone. The box will show a colour swatch for you to get an idea of how the tone looks. 

3. Choose one shade lighter than you are thinking...

Most home colours tend to be a bit darker than expected. Choosing a shade one lighter than the one you’re thinking of is a good way to avoid this.

4. Buy 2 boxes...

If you have long or thick hair buy 2 boxes so there is no risk of running out halfway through your application. You can always use it next time of you don’t need it. 

5. Don’t mix shades...

Home hair colours have been formulated to give you the best chance of success. Leave the custom colours to the professionals

6. Do a strand test...

It is very tempting to give this step a miss, but it is the one way to avoid a colour disaster. Colour a few hidden or trimmed hairs and see the result before you commit.

7. Cover up...

Wear easy to remove clothing and use an old towel as a cover up. Remember you are likely to get colour on it and it won’t wash out. Use something you can easily throw out such as a garbage bag or newspaper to cover the floor or any surfaces you want to protect. 

8. Don’t use the squeeze bottle...

Squeezing the colour out and spreading it all over your hair may seem like the easier option however it is messy and not very precise. Use a bowl and brush like your stylist uses. Most pharmacies will sell a tinting brush for less than $5. 

9. Section your hair...

Part your hair down the middle from your forehead to your nape and from ear to ear. This will give you four easy sections to work with rather than trying to deal with all your hair at once. 

10. Start at the roots...

You want to avoid applying colour over colour as it will build up and get darker and leave your hair dry and hard to manage. 

Use the brush to apply to your regrowth first. This is new hair so needs the most processing time. Leave the colour on the roots for the recommended time in the instructions then apply the colour to the rest of the hair; this only needs to be left on for 5 minutes 10 at the most.

11. Emulsify with water for easy removal...

You can rinse your colour over the sink or in the shower. If you choose the shower option, just put your head under until the colour is removed. Add some water to your hair and massage, being sure to gently rub your scalp and hairline this will help remove colour stains. Repeat this process with more water until the colour is rinsed out. Shampoo and Condition your hair as normal. 


Many salons are offering at home kits or will help you with your shade selection so reach out to your stylist if you are unsure.  A little bit of patience and attention to detail and possibly a little bit of luck is all you need to get a good result and be feeling back to your normal self.

Oh and don’t forget to tell your stylist how much you love them when you finally get to visit them again…