Colour your hair at home

Colouring or highlighting your hair at home has become easier than ever. Because at-home colour can be intimidating, I’ve spoken with Clairol Consulting Colourist Chris Martin to give you the best advice on a D-I-Y hair colouring experience.

For those of you who want a professional look with only a little cash, at-home colour is perfect. But remember a few things:

-Only go two shades lighter than your original colour or it could turn orange or look really unnatural. If you want something drastic you have to do it in stages. Martin recommends colouring every 4 to 6 weeks to transition lighter. If you want to go darker go gradually by choosing one shade darker each week.

-Your hair is like makeup for your face. If you look blotchy or have dark circles, you’ve picked the wrong shade. You need to highlight your face with a warm colour that will highlight your facial features and undertones.

So now, how does one choose the right hair colour?

For Blonds:

Fair Skin- Stick with cooler shades that have a violet or blue undertone. Avoid red, yellow or gold.

Olive Skin- Try a warmer tone as anything with a red will work to play down the green in your skin.

Medium Skin- Use a honey or golden shade for a complimentary colour.

For Browns:

Fair Skin- Avoid anything too coppery and try a cool tone. Red shades can bring out any pink or red undertones in your skin.

Olive Skin- Go dark or go home. Buy a chestnut colour to avoid looking washed out.

Medium Skin- Try a chocolate or golden colour.

For Redheads:

Fair Skin- As with red lipstick for fair skin, go cool. Anything with a blue undertone will compliment your skin.

Olive Skin- Steer clear of super bright oranges or reds and go for a nice auburn.

Medium Skin- Go for medium red shades that are spicy.

* Red hair can be hard to maintain. Try a product with UV protectants so it won’t fade as fast.

Also, invest in a good quality hair dye. Nice’n Easy with Color-blend Technology mixes a variety of tones ‘ it has three complementary tones in each shade that work together to create subtle colour variation so your hair will have dimension and won’t look flat or drab. Also, if you make any flubs the colour variation will help it look more natural.

My favourite is their ColorSeal Conditioning Gloss , a weekly conditioning treatment that you can now buy on its own. It gives your hair great shine, whether you just dyed it or not! (I use this all the time for glossy locks.)

Nice ‘n Easy with Color-blend Technology comes in 35 shades and costs $10.

Visit or call 1-800-CLAIROL (1-800-252-4765) to speak with an Expert Colour Consultant if you have more questions!

And good luck!

– Kate Daley