Archive for September, 2010

Facing My Fears

I’ll admit it. I’m a total scaredy-cat when it comes to coloring my own hair. It’s not like I’ve ever had a bad experience, so I don’t know why the thought of dyeing my own hair makes my palms sweat. Well, I take that back. There was the unfortunate Highlighting Incident of 2003 that we will not speak of. But, I didn’t do that to myself so I don’t think it counts.

Anyway, as someone who has been getting their hair colored regularly since they were 14, and works for one of the largest beauty suppliers in the world, being scared of a little at-home color is sort of ridiculous. Our customers color their hair all the time! So, I decided it was time to face my fear and guess what? It turned out really really great! My color is even and shiny, and my hair actually feels healthier. Plus, it wasn’t scary at all!

I’ve outlined my steps for those who are looking to try coloring at home. Just to let you know what I started with, I had brown, reddish hair that had faded to a brassy red at the ends, and about an inch and a half of brown roots.

(The hair color comes with full instructions and recommended processing times – follow them closely! Perform a strand test on a few select strands of your hair to preview your own results. Details are included in the directions.)

Step 1: Cast of Characters

* Color Trak Tint Bowl
* Color Trak Extra Wide Tint Brush
* Ion Sensitive Scalp Developer 20 Volume 8 oz.
* Ion Color Brilliance Permanent Creme Hair Color 4G Medium Golden Brown
* Ion Color Brilliance Stain Remover
* Ion Color Brilliance After Color Treatment
* Color Trak Measuring Beaker
* Salon Care Disposable Vinyl Gloves

I know it sounds like a lot of stuff but everything, except for the tube of color, is reusable.

Step 2:

I mixed 4 oz of color with 4 oz of volume 20 developer. I ended up having WAY too much color left over, but since this was my first time I was playing it safe. Better to have too much than too little in this case.

Step 3:

Make sure the color and developer are completely mixed together. Doesn’t it look like frosting?

Step 4:

I began by painting the color on my roots, in small sections. Full disclosure: After about 2 minutes of doing it myself I got frustrated with my lack of coordination and called for reinforcements. The fact that my hair was feeling like cotton candy (i.e. sticky, clumpy mess) due to the crazy humidity didn’t help matters. I think next time I’ll be a lot more confident in my skills and will try to do my whole head myself.

Step 5:

I let the color process on my roots for 15 minutes. Tick tock. Tick tock.

Step 6:

After 15 minutes on my roots, I (read: my helper) pulled the color through the rest of the shaft, but left it off the very tips. I let that sit for 10 minutes and then applied color to the ends for 5 more minutes. My ends are pretty porous so I knew they would suck up color faster, hence the difference in timing. Porous ends are pretty common since over time they’ve been exposed to more heat styling and coloring.

Step 7:

After I shampooed out the color, I applied the Ion Color Brilliance After Color Treatment to close the cuticle and seal in color. It also removes any oxidizing agents and restores pH levels. Nifty! I left this on for about 3 minutes.


Pretty, shiny hair. Consider me an at-home coloring convert. FEAR, BEGONE!

Do any of you have any tips to share with this coloring newbie? Please share in the comments!