How to Get A+ Haircolor at Home
It used to be that a do-it-yourself dye job would probably get you an F: for flat, fake-looking, or fried. Not anymore.
Lynn Temepstra in O, the Oprah Magazine
The Goal: Revitalize Color
Lynn Tempesta, 41
Lynn's haircolor history began with salon highlights in her 20s. "But they'd fade so quickly—and cost so much—that I eventually decided just to do them myself," she says. Her method of choice was a hook and cap (you use a hook to poke a hole in a cap and pull through strands of hair to highlight). "My poor husband would have to do the back for me," she says. "Sometimes the results would be great, sometimes they'd look terrible." (This is why Sharon calls the technique "the poke-and-hope.") Then, a couple of years ago, Lynn, a business promoter, decided to take a break and go back to her natural light brown color.

The Lesson Plan

"Lynn's fair skin and light eyes make her an ideal candidate for vibrant red hair," haircoloris Sharon Dorram says. But finding a gorgeous—not brassy, or Bozo—red in a box can be a challenge. To get the right color, don't be afraid to combine two shades. Sharon found the more subdued auburn options too dull but the brighter red colors too fluorescent—so she had Lynn mix L'Oréal Superior Preference in Lightest Auburn ($10, drugstores) and L'Oréal Superior Preference in Intense Red Copper ($10, drugstores). She also chose a highlighting kit, Clairol Nice 'n Easy HairPainting Kit for Light Blonde to Medium Brown Hair ($11, drugstores), so that Lynn could create a few brighter strands around her face. (Caveat emptor: "Highlighting your own hair is no easy feat," says Sharon. "Keep the highlights subtle—no more than six to eight total, and only around the face.") Sharon also notes that while most highlighting kits say they're created for a specific haircolor range, they generally all contain the same combination of active ingredients, and will simply lighten whatever color you start with by two or three shades.

See Lynn's results