Top tips for dyeing your hair at home

Whether you're a home hair dye newbie or a seasoned self-colourer, Mumsnetters share their tips on how to perfect your technique (without redecorating your bathroom)

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Stock up on everything you will need

Latex gloves

1. "Buy a spare pair of gloves so you can have a cup of tea without either having to remove the gloves or getting dye on the kettle."

2. "Get a small paintbrush and a clean plastic bowl - a big yoghurt or cream cheese pot works well. Throw it away afterwards, as trying to clean things causes a bigger mess." 

3. "Buy two boxes of dye - you don't want to run out!"

Prepare the area

We need to be ready

"Get everything ready, including a mirror and an old or dark towel to blot up splotches, BEFORE YOU START."

Prepare yourself


1. "Put Vaseline around the hairline before you start to prevent staining the scalp."

2. "Always wear an old T-shirt."

3. "Make yourself a cuppa and plan to stay in the bathroom a while."

Achieve a flawless finish

Combing hair

1. "I've been dyeing my hair for over a decade. Only on my last application did I realise that combing through the dye would help prevent patches in my ridiculously thick hair."

2. "If you have long hair, I recommend buying some big string clips and sectioning it. Then apply the dye to each section, starting with the back."

3. "NEVER use a bobble with metal on it to tie your hair up."

Clean up your post-dye act

1. "Baby wipes remove the dye on your skin" or use "cotton wool soaked in milk."

2. "If you use a dark colour and get stains on your scalp and around the hairline, avoid exfoliating your face for a week or so before dyeing. Then exfoliate straight after."

Use these helpful housekeeping tips

1. "Have a small bowl of cornflour on hand - if you splash any dye on your sanitary ware, you can tip cornflour on it. This dries it, stopping it from staining so easily".

2. "Make sure you have cotton balls and nail polish remover to hand."

Enjoy the process

1. "My partner does mine for me. I usually buy a food magazine, make a cup of tea and slob for a while, whilst he does all the hard work."

2. "Make sure you have something to do to pass the time. I try and catch up on paperwork that I've been putting off or important reading that I need to catch up on."

3. "I actually find it quite a relaxing process rather than the hustle, bustle of a salon - and the hefty price tag which comes with a hairdressers visit ."

Make life easier for yourself next time

Confused man in supermarket

"If you find a colour you love, tear the lid off the box and keep it in your purse for next time - very useful when you're in the chemist looking for your shade amidst 46 other dark browns."

Clairol say: "Colouring your own hair is simple and once you do it, it’s quite empowering. Each of our packs includes a precision applicator making the colour easy to apply and features the exclusive colour Blend Technology for natural-looking tones and highlights."

Last updated: 5 months ago