How to Get A+ Haircolor at Home
Lynn Tempesta, 41
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
Gloria Boyce-Charles, 54
The Lesson PlanGloria is correct: "Relaxed hair is definitely more susceptible to damage," says Sharon. "You can dye it at home, but to be safe, use a demipermanent formula, which contains no ammonia and much less peroxide." For Gloria, Sharon chose Clairol Natural Instincts in Nutmeg Dark Brown ($10, drugstores). "I wanted to lighten Gloria's hair a shade or two to bring out the warm tones in her complexion—going darker would look unnaturally monotone and be too severe against her skin," she says. And Gloria doesn't need highlights to enhance her color: The dye won't stain her grays quite as much as the rest of her hair, creating natural dimension.
See Gloria's results
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Irina Belkovskaya, 26
The Lesson Plan"Going lighter at home can be a little tricky because in order to get an even blonde from roots to ends, you can't use the same color all over," says Sharon. That's because when you're going lighter, the heat from your scalp causes the color to process more quickly near the roots. Sharon had Irina use one color through the midlength of her hair (L'Oréal Superior Preference in Light Ash Blonde, $9, drugstores) and then go a shade lighter (L'Oréal Superior Preference in Lightest Ash Blonde, $9, drugstores) on the ends.
See Irina's results
Your Home Haircolor Tool Kit