With plenty of at-home hair color options available for a fraction of what a professional coloring costs, how do you determine when it's right to dye your hair at home or when a trip to the salon is in order?
The hair dye debate
Dyeing your hair can change your whole look instantly. But it can also change your cash flow if your new hue leads to frequent salon visits for maintenance and touch-up treatments. At-home color options are far less expensive, but there are pros and cons beyond money to consider before you decide whether to splurge or save on hair color.
The pros of at-home hair color
You'll spend anywhere from $4 to $20 for an at-home hair-color treatment. At those prices, an entire kit will cost you less money than it will for you to tip your colorist when you head to the salon for your hair color.
No appointment needed, no waiting under a dryer and you can emerge with a fresh batch of color in under an hour -- all from the comfort of your own home.
It's straight forward
At-home hair color kits have simplified the process of coloring hair at home. After you purchase your hair-color kit, all you need to supply is a towel, a few clips, a timer and a place to rinse your hair. The directions are clear and simple to follow, even if you've colored before or are dealing with grays. Many kit providers even offer a help line to call if you have questions along the way.
But before you ditch your colorist, there are a few potential drawbacks to consider before deciding whether to save or splurge on your next dye job.
"If you're aiming for bright blonde this season, start off with highlights and increase towards lighter locks gradually until you've reached your optimal blonde."-- Jennifer Fontana, colorist and owner of Cristophe Salon in Newport Beach, California.
The risks of at-home hair color
You're not a color expert
If coloring at home were foolproof, there wouldn't be a demand (and price) for professional colorists. Though the at-home hair color box can show what "should" happen to your hair color, results aren't guaranteed -- especially if you've colored your hair before or have highlights that are still in the hair shaft. Likewise, the optimal processing time can vary depending on the color and condition of your hair and the way it reacts to the dye itself.
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