The Telltale Sign That You Colored Your Hair at Home

The Telltale Sign That You Colored Your Hair at Home

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Dyeing your hair at home is aВ cost-saving measure for many. But likeВ any beauty procedure performed by nonprofessionals, the degree to which you can pass off a self-job as the work of an expert is a source of anxiety.В WeВ wanted to know if there's one thing that enablesВ professional hairstylists to spot a DIY dye job from a mile away-so we went straight to the source.В Is there a dead giveaway that someone skipped the salon? Ahead,В fourВ top celebrity colorists tell us the answer. Keep scrolling to see what they have to say!

Byrdie Imaxtree

The dead giveaway that you color your hair at home?В The colorists we spoke to unanimously stated that blotchy color is theВ telltale sign of a DIY dye job. Across the board, regardless of the colorВ (be it blond, brunette, or red), "ifВ the color is blotchy, you can tell it wasn't applied professionally," says Rita Hazan, celebrity colorist and owner of Rita Hazan Salon in NYC. (Hazan alsoВ just happens to be the color expert who gave BeyoncГ©-yeah, that BeyoncГ©-her utterly epic blondВ hue for this year's Met Gala, so she knows a thing or two about hair color.)


Additionally, anytime the shade is orange,В "that means you didn't pick the right color," says Hazan. "Especially for redheads, if you have gray hair and dye it red, and it has a pink or an orange tone, you can tell it is from an at-home box dye."В Echoing this,В colorist Emily MottВ from cult-favoriteВ Los AngelesВ salonВ Spoke and WealВ says, "When you see too much orange in the hairВ or too much unrefined yellow, you can tell it's box color. It's not refined color.В The reflection of the tone doesn't lookВ purposeful and luxurious."В Famed colorist Sharon Dorram, who co-owns an eponymous color salon atВ Sally Hershberger, agrees that color that looks too artificially "pink" or orange for redheads is a giveaway of box color.


When it comes to brunettes and/or dyeing hair darker, we unanimously heard thatВ colorВ that's tooВ dark and looks "shoe polish-y" is the giveaway.В "With people going darker, sometimes it looks like shoe polish," explainsВ Mott.В "You can tell because it looks like dark hair that's too saturated. Box color gives you one-dimensional, flat color, and it often lacks shine. It doesn't lookВ reflective and toned. It should look shiny and richВ and haveВ depth and dimension," she says.


When it comes to going lighter, legendary colorist Kim Vo-who does the blondВ color on Goldie Hawn, Kate Hudson, Britney Spears, and Katherine Heigl (i.e., is a blondВ maestro)-says the giveaway is what he calls "hot roots,"В which is when the roots look lighter than the rest of the hair. Additionally, anything tooВ stripy forВ highlights, and when theВ highlightsВ themselves areВ too whiteВ or, conversely, too brassy," he says.

But don't worry-we also got a ton of great advice from these color pros on how you can avoid these mishaps at home,В so keep scrolling!

The Fix

First and foremost, always do a strand test, recommends Dorram. Both Mot and Hazan advise notВ going tooВ light at home, as going lighter is trickier than covering grays and going darker. Hazan also says not toВ use a hue too far from yourВ original hair color: "Stay within one to twoВ shades from your original color," she says.В "If you are a redhead, pick a color that is more natural, like auburns and coppers, instead of intense vibrant colors."

For application, "never apply the color all at once," says Vo. "Apply itВ to the roots first and then ends." Hazan's advice is toВ make sure you rub it in so that it is more of a uniform color, even if you have to overlap sections as you work your way from front to back. "You can also keep color looking vibrant and shiny at home by using a gloss like myВ Ultimate Shine Color Glosses," she says.

If you darken to cover white hair, Mott advises only coloringВ the new growth. "Don't put the color on the ends. It will look over-processed."

Lastly, we love Vo's adorable and usefulВ suggestion to "think like a pro and build an at-home color kitВ for yourselfВ that includes a timer, professional plastic gloves, petroleum jelly (for skin protection), conditioner (to apply to the ends of hair), and a robe (so you can jump in the shower to rinse out the color)." Genius!

Do you color your hair at home? Keep scrolling to shop five box colors we love!

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