Photo: Andy Kropa/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
If the thought of missing your next hair appointment makes your stomach turn, but the idea of having to pay a ton of money makes you feel even sicker, don't worry because you do have options. You can color your own hair and make it look just as good, by using the right techniques and doing it at home. You may even want to skip the roots area, if you want a two-tone shade or the look of highlighted hair around the bottom area.
Put on a pair of latex gloves. Especially if this is your first time trying to color your own hair, you're likely to end up getting a bit messy. Most at-home coloring kits come with a pair, but you can always get a pair yourself if you want to make sure you have the right fit -- if you have really small hands you don't want the gloves falling off halfway through -- OK, girlie?
Read the instructions on the box of hair dye and prepare the dye accordingly. Different brands and sometimes even different colors have unique directions, and you need to follow these to a T to make sure you get it right. Don't worry, this isn't rocket science. It usually just involves mixing two cremes together; some dye even comes premixed so you're ready to go right from the box.
Look in a mirror before applying any dye to your head. Since you're new at this and you want to avoid the roots area of your head, you definitely need to see what you're doing. Start applying color to your hair, starting at the highest point on the roots area where you want the dye. Apply color from this point all the way down to the roots of one section of hair -- starting around the front of your head is usually easiest -- and rub the dye into the hair with your fingers. See why those gloves come in so handy?
Move on to another section of hair beside this one, a dry section, and apply dye the same way. Make sure you don't apply it any higher than you did on the first, so you're basically creating a line of color across your hair.
Keep applying the dye this way around your hair, working from one side around the back to the other side until you're done. If you don't have a pal around to help, hold one mirror in front of you with one secured up behind you, so you can see the back of your head while you dye and still keep an eye on what you're doing.
Let the dye soak into your hair for the advised amount of time. With at-home color kits, there are usually different recommendations depending on the starting color of your hair, so use this color shade match to help you decide how long is right for you. After that, rinse your hair out under cool water and condition it to help restore any damage caused from dyeing.
Dye can bleed a bit while it's soaking into your hair, so you should put it just a bit lower than you actually want the dye to show, as it may work its way up and spread upward a bit.