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Bookmark This: The DIY Girl's Guide To At-Home Hair Coloring Mistakes + How To Fix Them

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Coloring your hair on your own can be a bit tricky, but then it can also feel super rewarding when it comes out looking exactly how you envisioned it! But before you get to your dream hue, there might be some bumps you encounter along the way—especially if it's your first time. You might experience things like brassy locks, uneven or splotchy application, stained ears and hands, and a whole lot more.

Don't worry, we're here to help you out! Below, we list down some of the most common at-home hair coloring mistakes, plus how you can fix them ASAP:

How To Fix At-Home Hair Coloring Mistakes

  1. Your hair color turned out too dark.

    Okay, maybe you weren't expecting such a ~dark~ result when you washed off the dye. If you want to fade your hair color, use a clarifying or anti-dandruff shampoo to strip some of the pigment from your locks. If you're not yet happy with how it turned out, continue to wash your hair with the anti-dandruff shampoo for the next several days until you get your desired result. Also, make sure to use a good deep conditioner after because this method can dry out your tresses.

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    Pro tip: The next time you color your hair, you can dilute the dye to make the pigment less intense by mixing in some conditioner. ;)

  2. Your hair color became brassy.

    If you have black hair and you bleached it for the first time, you might notice that it's a little brassy (AKA it has yellow or orange tones). This is because Asian hair has strong red undertones that show up when the hair is not lifted *enough*. Luckily, there's an easy fix for this: Massage purple shampoo all over your locks and leave it on for 10 to 15 minutes. Do this once or twice a week. 

    The science behind this is simple: The purple pigments in the shampoo will cancel out the yellow and orange tones in your hair because when you look at the color wheel, purple and yellow are direct opposites of each other. Pretty cool, right?

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  3. Your hair color came out splotchy and uneven.

    Uneven application is common in DIY hair coloring. Once you wash off the dye, you'll notice that your roots may be a lighter shade than the rest of your locks. It all boils down to improper bleach application (AKA starting from the roots instead of the ends). This is because the heat of your scalp helps to process the color better, which makes it lighter faster.

    To prevent this from happening the next time you color your hair, make sure to apply the bleach on the rest of your locks first before going in on the roots. This is to ensure that your tresses get processed at the same rate. You'll have a smoother hair coloring experience if you have an even canvas!

  4. Your hair feels dry and brittle.

    ICYDK, your hair goes through *a lot* when you bleach and dye it. What once was glossy and soft locks can become dry and brittle after. Here's the solution: A nourishing and hydrating hair mask. (Check out our top picks here!) After washing your hair with a sulfate-free shampoo, slather the mask all over your tresses and leave it on for 10 minutes. Do this two to three times a week.

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  5. Your hands and ears are stained.

    Even if you try your hardest to avoid staining your hands and ears, it happens anyway—and that's totally okay. Luckily, there's nothing a little soap and water can fix! If you want to avoid washing out the leftover dye on your skin, make sure to smear petroleum jelly on your skin and wear gloves before starting. You may also invest in ear covers if you plan on coloring your hair often.

  6. You hate the outcome.

    Sometimes, you just *really* hate the outcome—that's totally normal, too! We recommend reaching out to your trusted colorist to help you undo the hue and bring your hair back to normal sans the damage. Alternatively, you may also try using a dye remover to help fade away the pigment and bring back your blonde base. (Check out our review of an internet-famous dye remover here!)

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