Because people are bored in the house and they're in the house bored.

By Christina Oehler
April 20, 2020
Advertisement

With so many of us stuck at home—and some of us quarantined alone—people are looking for ways to stay entertained. Unsurprisingly, some are starting to experiment with their looks.

If you've been passing the time on social media, you have probably noticed that everyone—including celebrities like Hilary Duff, Taraji P. Henson, and Dua Lipa—is dyeing their hair right now. And if you've become addicted to TikTok during isolation like the rest of us, you've probably come across a video or two of at-home hair dye gone right, like this platinum blonde to red transition or this DIY ombré.

Well, it's seemingly the perfect window of opportunity to introduce sun-kissed highlights, deepen your brown tresses, go red, or add some edge with hot pink or electric blue. But before you break open that box dye, here's what stylists want you to know.

Kali Ferrara, a senior colorist at The Salon Project by Joel Warren at Saks Fifth Avenue in New York City, says that while she wouldn't normally recommend an at-home dye job, she knows that you can't make it to your salon due to social distancing and state-mandated stay-at-home orders. Ferrara advises to proceed with caution to avoid damaging your hair or getting unwanted color.

If you are a brunette, one of the biggest mistakes is choosing your shade based on the hair color of the model on the dye box, says Ferrara. While it might look like your desired effect, it most often will come out too dark, she adds. Rather, always skew on the lighter side of your desired shade. "If you think you’re a medium brown, chances are, you’re a light brown or dark blonde. Always pick a shade lighter—some lines have half shades—to avoid an inky appearance," she explains.

For blondes, Ferrera recommends avoiding permanent colors when touching up roots. Instead, she suggests using semi-permanent dye that's a shade darker than your current color. This will give you a polished, natural look (no one will even know it's a box job!) that also won't be super harsh or damaging to your strands while you wait for your next hair appointment.

Just looking to cover up any grays that have popped up over the last few weeks? Concentrate on the roots first. If any ends need a touch-up, wet your hair and allow the dye to emulsify for the last 3 minutes of your processing time, Ferrera says.

And if you're interested in something a bit more bold or colorful—like bubblegum pink or mermaid-inspired teal—you might want to hold off and book a treatment with a colorist. "Please leave this to a professional," says Ferrera. "There are reasons we have all gone to school, apprenticed for years, and continue our education. Hair color isn’t as easy as being ‘out of a box.'"

Celebrity colorist Giselle, of the Pierre Michel Salon in New York City, agrees that people should wait until they can get to a salon to make any major changes. "[People] will have much more upkeep maintenance," Giselle says. "And they will possibly need a color correction in the future, which is a bit pricey in a hair salon."

While the specific coloring techniques can vary by hair color, there are a few universal dos and don'ts to follow when dyeing hair at home, which can help ensure your don't end up with a disaster on your hands. Be sure to read the box instructions thoroughly; use Vaseline around the hairline to avoid staining your skin; and focus on the areas that are most visible (translation: your hairline and part), says Giselle. Another pro tip: Use the tint bottle, and not a hair color brush when applying the color, she adds.

As much as we're all bored and itching for a change, this is also the perfect time to detox your hair, lay off the hot tools, and rock your natural texture, points out Giselle. However, if you are determined to refresh your color or want to experiment with a new hue, check out the below hair inspiration, courtesy of A-listers and influencers. (Spoiler: Pink seems to be the color of quarantine!) Whether you're going for a full transition or you're just bored at home, just be sure to follow box instructions and do your research before you take the plunge.

To get our top stories delivered to your inbox, sign up for the Healthy Living newsletter