There are some of us who are pros when it comes to at-home hair color, with all the tools and mixing bowls any balayage could ever desire, and then there are some of us who have our professional colorist on speed dial (unofficially, at least). But everyone has that one story—you know the one, when you got all idealistic and changed your hair color—only to regret shortly thereafter. It’s like someone who finally decides to go blonde—but after pulling the trigger, the golden-spun silk vision turned into a more of an orange-tinged one—an orange tone, frankly, that’s not unlike the Cheetos bronzer.
But regardless of whether you’ve been an at-home hair color pro for some time now or have never even tried a single-shampoo dye, don’t worry—we got you. In fact, we actually crunched the numbers and what we were immediately able to gather was that all women have one thing in common: We take our hair color very, very seriously.
The percentage of women would give up wine for a year in exchange for beautiful hair color every day for a year, according to research from L’Oréal Paris
The average age at which women go gray. We get the urge to take a pair of tweezers to your newly gray hair, but don’t: The wild, wiry re-growth will only look worse.
How long you should wait between shampooing your hair and applying at-home hair color
When you’re coloring your hair, lightly greasy hair may actually work in your favor. The natural oils will protect your hair from any harsh chemicals. Plus, a good layer of grime on your scalp minimizes irritation there, too.
The number of at-home shades you should buy for a single-color process at home.
Purchase a shade that’s exactly one level lighter than your usual color so you can apply it around your hairline. The hair around your hairline—like those baby hairs—is finer than the rest, partly because of wear-and-tear from pulling your hair back and scrubbing your face. Since it’s so fine, it picks up color faster than the rest of your hair—and can therefore look darker once you rinse it out. So, by applying a formula that is slightly lighter around the front of your hair, everything will deposit the same color.
Once a week:
How often you should use a scalp scrub.
You usually never rinse as thoroughly at home as when someone does it in a salon, so there’s always some residue left. That residue could build up and make your scalp itch (no, thanks). Washing your hair with a salt scrub removes it without harming the color.
The number of seconds you should wait before applying at-home hair color to your ends.
You can apply the color formula to your hair as directed but hold off on brushing it through the ends of your hair. Hair that’s subtly lighter on the ends looks real and more modern. Waiting a minute between distributing the color on your ends creates the 2017 version of ombré.
How many women first colored their hair at-home instead of at a salon.
Raise your hand if you did this in your dorm room. Raise your other hand if you ruined your towels in the process.
The amount of time a DIY hair gloss needs to sit on hair.
And don’t toss the unused color once you’ve applied what you need. Save it until your color starts to look a little dull and faded. Then, water it down with conditioner and apply the mixture to wet hair. After letting it sit, shampoo and condition well. It’ll restore the shine and vibrancy to your hair color, extending its lifespan.