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.


Conclusion:

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!

  • JK

    September 10th, 2010

    Reply

    As someone who has been an “at home colorer (is that a word??)” for years using both Ion and “boxed” colors I will agree – the first time can be scary! But never fear – it is easy and what a great demo you gave! Thinks for the tips!!
    As a side note – Ion Color lasts so much longer and has much less fading than your typical “box” color. And the color combos are ENDLESS!

    Keep up with the blogs – I love the tips and ideas!!

  • Jen

    September 10th, 2010

    Reply

    I use the Ion Demi Permanent since I’m not changing my color, The Demi Permanent is great for refreshing faded length & ends instead of pulling permanent color all the way through. The ammonia in permament color plus the higher volume developers can be drying to longer hair.

  • LR

    September 12th, 2010

    Reply

    Your product looks just like my professional’s. Since I color every two weeks (yes, that’s true!), I can’t wait to try this and see if my hair looks as good as yours and saves me the time and expense of going into a salon! Thanks for the demo!

  • L. Foster

    September 23rd, 2010

    Reply

    I totally get your “being afraid of coloring your own hair.” Girl, I have been doing my hair for 15 years now, my mom taught me and now I save hundreds, if not thousands of dollars by doing it by myself. I do admit sometimes I get a little help to get the back done so that it all looks even. We all enjoy looking good, right? Nothing wrong with that! Remember, BEAUTY hurts…but it doesn’t have to hurt the wallet. Have fun.

  • D. Boggs

    September 23rd, 2010

    Reply

    Thank you for the demo on coloring with Ion products. I have used the store bought boxes before with mixed results but it sounds like the Ion color might be a better choice and longer lasting. Can’t wait to try them!

  • Audrey Rud

    September 23rd, 2010

    Reply

    I too color my hair at home and love the money I can save. It is not hare either. I will think about trying Ion color now.

  • Annie Brooks

    September 23rd, 2010

    Reply

    This is great show me how to color my hair.Now maybe the fear of doing it will be gone..

  • Colorful

    September 23rd, 2010

    Reply

    Wow, what a great blog. I love how to’s, and will be back looking for more awesome information on products & tips.

  • vicke belt

    September 23rd, 2010

    Reply

    I always use two very close but different shades and alternate them with more of the lighter shades framing the face. I find this gives me a more natural look. I look forward to trying the Ion Color Brilliance After Color Treatment to see if it keeps my hair shiny for longer.

  • Debra Miller

    September 23rd, 2010

    Reply

    Thank God for Ion Color Brilliance Demi hair color! I just used Dark Copper Blonde again today with spectacular red results….. a shiny natural red that makes my long hair look fuller and shinier than it ever did when i was in my 20′s! (and I am a graying 56 now!) I’ve gotten compliments everywhere I go! Thanks so much for such a great product……not to mention it’s so much cheaper and more reliable than a salon color- which I gave up on! Thanks again!!!!!

  • Debra M. Tuott

    September 23rd, 2010

    Reply

    I too have followed the box directions with mixed results ( including one memorable time when my hair went orange). I think I will give your way a try. Here’s hoping for beter results.

  • Rosa Del Toro

    September 23rd, 2010

    Reply

    very helpful, im going to treat the after color treatment!!

  • Mary D. Williams

    September 23rd, 2010

    Reply

    I colored my hair at home for years until recently when I decided to end my war with the stray strands of gray that are slowing invading my head. I would color one day then the next couple of days/weeks I would find another new gray nemesis.

  • Robin Meadows

    September 23rd, 2010

    Reply

    Thanks for the hair coloring demo. I also have depended on the drug store box version of hair dye because of fear of trying the professional type. My hair now is falling out….old age or abused? I will definitely try the Ion coloring system next time.

  • kathy gebler

    September 23rd, 2010

    Reply

    I sure can relate, but since i got over my fears i’m sure i’ve saved over $450. another free gift basket of $450 sure would be nice.

  • kathy gebler

    September 23rd, 2010

    Reply

    I sure can relate to your fears. since I’ve overcome my hesitations, I’m sure I’ve saved well over $450.Winning another $450. basket sure would be terrific.

  • Karen

    September 23rd, 2010

    Reply

    I recently started coloring my hair again after many years of letting it go naturally gray/silver, and I love it! I have gotten soooooo many compliments. I started with Ion Color by recommendation of a colorist and if definitely does work better than any I have used in the past. I too look forward to trying the Ion Color Brilliance After Color Treatment to see if it keeps my hair shiny and healthier longer. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  • Sarah

    September 24th, 2010

    Reply

    I used to dye my hair myself during college – buying any super-intense red from the local Sally Beauty (Clairol Torrids was my favorite – and, sigh, it looks like it’s being discontinued!). Even used the Jazzing, which turned my hair fuchsia – worked for a while, I guess…Eventually I got sick of coloring it constantly and dyed it black (I’m naturally dark, dark brown, and my hair was long). However, now, many, many, many (ugh) years later, with a super-short pixie, I’m back with the wild reds, and back with Sally! I do have two Clairol Torrids stocked up, but I found that the L’oreal HiColor Red HiLights in Red is AWESOME (especially mixed w/Clairol Red Color Complements – sadly not in stock online :-( ) So, I have some of that and now some of the HiColor Red just-regular dye. Also an ION dye, I forget which one, lol.

    I also have been using from the very beginning the pre- and post ION treatments – I think they’re great. Oh, and I *blush* use the ION 40-volume toner for sensitive skin, but my hair is still so soft!

    I use a bottle rather than a bowl; with my hair SO short, it’s much easier for me. But if you want some bright reds, these are definitely the way to go; I get compliments constantly and I tell everyone to go to Sally’s and get what I got – even my hairdresser!!!

    So, Lindsey, congratulations! And your hair looks fabulous!!!

    :-)

  • Tina

    September 25th, 2010

    Reply

    Love the demo and the Ion product line. I have been coloring at home for a few years now and get great results. Especially since I found the Ion demi-perm color. I love the rich color and lovely shine! My only issue has been staining of the skin around the hair line. I see that you used a stain remover. I will look for that next time. Thanks again for a great demo!

  • YE

    October 7th, 2010

    Reply

    You should add a Color Trak Remover Wipe to your list. It’s great for when you accidently color your ears! They also make a really great kit with everything you need if you want to apply with a bottle. You look fabulous, by the way!!

  • robie

    January 8th, 2013

    Reply

    I use Colorado brilliance 4g and love it but am considering highlights…would 7n be a good choice?how long do I wait in between coloring and highlighting?Will this damage my hair or give a weird tint?

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