Hair Color: Should I DIY or Go to a Salon?

To DIY, or not to DIY? That is the question.

Everyone is looking to save money by cutting corners where possible. It may seem like a no-brainer to save the costly trip to the salon and color your own hair.

Buyer beware! Your attempt to save money may actually cost you more (plus your dignity!) if you aren’t careful.

Here are some things you should know before you make your decision:

Know Your Starting Level

Before you go buy a box of color, it is important to know what your starting hair level is.

Hair levels correspond to hair lightness or darkness and range from 1 (darkest black) to 10 (lightest blonde). You should never DIY your color if you are trying to go more than two shades in either direction. 

So, if your hair is a level 4, it’s fairly safe to do an all over color ranging from 2 to 6. But if you are a 4 going for a platinum blonde, it is best to leave it to the professionals. You could do serious damage to your hair otherwise.

Undertones & the Color Wheel

Most hair color DIYers choose their new color based solely on the picture on the box. But very rarely does it turn out exactly as they hoped.

This is because everyone has different undertones to their hair, so colors with different base tones will respond differently.

For example, if you are a brunette who always has red tones in your hair, no matter what the color, you can’t just purchase a neutral base and expect the red to disappear. You need to counter the red with its opposite on the color wheel. In this case, green or “ash.” This will neutralize the red.

On the flip side, if you feel that your hair is always “mousy” or dull in tone and want to brighten it up, you can add a color with golden tones to get that sparkle you are looking for.

Love the natural undertones of your hair and just want a color change (within 2 levels, remember)? Feel free to grab a neutral-based color.

What Is the Goal?

You must ask yourself: What is the end goal? Do you want a simple, all-over color? Do you want highlights or balayage? Are you going for a fun color straight from the rainbow?

The level of difficulty should help you decide if you should DIY your color or book an appointment with a professional. Special effects or techniques are difficult to execute on your own at home.

One Size Does Not Fit All

We cannot stress this enough: Box colors will not respond the same on all heads of hair. You really need to have an understanding about colors and undertones and how they mix or contrast. 

You and your friend cannot use the same exact box and get the same exact results. This is why stylists save formulas specific to each client. Like snowflakes, no two heads are exactly alike.

So… DIY or Professional?

It is always safest to consult a professional when it comes to hair color. You may think it’s not in your budget to get your hair professionally colored, but a botched DIY may end up costing you more in the long run. 

Not only do you have to wear the botched color while your hair recuperates before you can get it fixed, but it may take more than one visit to bring it back. 

Quality Hair Coloring Services & More in Frederick, MD

Whether you are looking to cover grays, add some highlights, or go hot pink, the professionals at Stanley Salon can make your hair dreams come true. Our stylists are highly trained in many modern techniques to help you achieve the look you want. We can customize the perfect color formula for you so you leave with consistent results every time!

Call us today to book your hair color appointment!

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