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It’s coronavirus-quarantine-whatever-week-we’re-on, and our roots. are. no. joke. Our hairstylist will have her hands full once we’re able to return to our regular salon appointments. (Fingers crossed the roots fade to a beautiful ombré effect, but we’re not banking on that.) So we’ve decided to brave DIY hair colouring. Because COVID-19 may be making us self-isolate, but it’s not going to make us forget about self-care.

What You Need for At-Home Hair Touch Ups

  • A protective cover you don’t mind getting stained. An old shirt, cape, maybe a towel to wrap around your shoulders (tuck into your shirt collar if you don’t have a clip).
  • An old sheet or towel to protect your sink, tub or bathroom floor
  • A mixing bowl and colour brush (preferably like the ones hairstylists use at salons).
    • Many experts suggest disregarding the bottle applicator that comes with most boxes of hair dye. Opt for a colour brush for more natural-looking, precise results.
  • 4 hair clips for sectioning
  • The colour itself. And you have options!
    • A prepackaged kit is perfect for beginners and typically comes stocked with essentials (instructions, pre-colour treatment, developer cream, protective gloves, after-care conditioning treatment and the like). We recommend Clairol Natural Instincts Semi-Permanent Hair Color and L’Oreal Paris Feria Hair Color.
    • Or search online for colouring options. There are amazing sites like that provide custom at-home hair colour delivered to your door.
    • Reach out and see if your stylist suggests a product or formula. Or, if he/she is willing to whip up your usual formula (most likely they have it on file), so you can pick it up.

Helpful Tips for Touch Ups

  1. When buying boxed hair colour, purchase not one, but two—especially if a.) your locks are thick or b.) cascade past your shoulders.
  2. So many colours …which dye to choose? Here’s a fantastic hair tip from Allure: Those with frizzy or curly hair should pick warm hues like golden, copper or bronze—but one that’s a little bit lighter than your natural hair color. Those sporting fine or straight hair should select cooler hues (champagne, beige) that are a tad darker than your natural colour. (Definitely don’t try anything drastic like a complete colour change—leave the experimenting to the salon professional.
  3. Swipe a thin coat of Vaseline along your hairline to stop the dye from staining your skin. Fresh, brightened up tresses: Perfection. A stained forehead: Not cute.
  4. Your hairline should be clean…your hair not so much. Dye unwashed hair only. Why? Natural oils act as a protectant against irritation, plus, clean hair doesn’t hold colour as well.
  5. Brush hair to rid it of tangles. (And if you’re highlighting hair, run a comb through it to create its natural part.)
  6. Divide hair into four sections for accuracy (especially in the back where areas can be easily missed). This goes for both all-over-colour and highlights. This Madison Reed video provides a good tutorial:

Final Thoughts

  • Ace the strand test. Before you go full-on hair dye happy, apply colour to a tiny section of your locks to a.) see how the colour reacts and b.) to determine the proper timing.
  • Looking for natural, subtle highlights? A (clean) toothbrush or a paintbrush does the trick if you don’t have a salon-style colour brush.
  • Deep condition hair immediately upon rinsing the dye to seal the colour. Good luck!