The one where I dye my own hair

Some might call me a frugal gal.
Others might call me cheap.
Either way, with my roots getting worse by the minute and salon dye jobs starting at $120 (but usually about $200), I just couldn’t do it this month. 
So I gave it a shot doing my own hair.

I used to do my own hair.
Until about sophomore year of college when I discovered the magic of a salon dye job.
They are just so much better.
And ever since I’ve gone about once every 4 months for a full highlight.
But with the puppy coming, I just couldn’t justify it this month.
(Side note: I talk about the puppy like I’m having a baby. Just go with it. I’m basically becoming a Mom.)

Here’s what my roots looked like before:

As you can tell, they weren’t looking too good.
My mom suggested I try Sally Beauty Supply and get professional color.
I bought Clairol Professionals in 8A (Medium Neutral Blonde) and a 30 developer (no idea what that means).
It’s pretty clear that if I needed to google what the developer levels were, maybe I shouldn’t risk it.
But I pressed on.

It mixed well and was a nice cream/gold color.

I applied it to my whole head and waited the suggested 30 minutes. I never know, is it 30 minutes from the time you finish applying or from when you started? Probably a good thing to clarify before you throw this stuff on your head, like I did.

The color of the gunk on my hair actually changed to an orange/pink color which terrified me. This prompted an anxious call to my mom, who assured me that it’s just the dye and no, my hair was not turning orange. She was mostly right.

The results:

My dirty blonde roots are definitely gone but in place are some strawberry blonde, not so nice roots. It didn’t look horrible, but it definitely wasn’t the best my hair has ever looked. Obviously this stressed me out and for two days all I thought about was what my roots looked like in every type of lighting.

Location: movie theater bathroom
Roots: horrible and bright red

Location: outside, natural light
Roots: decent, only slightly brassy

I gave violet shampoo a shot to see if that would tone it down a bit but it didn’t do too much. After much deliberation about whether I should risk it myself or go to a salon, I tried L’Oreal Brass Banisher.

Here’s the end result:

I think it toned down the red/gold just a little bit, but not much. I was nervous to put it just on my roots but I think that would have been a good idea. I pulled it through all of my hair and I definitely think my hair overall is a cooler tone (definitely not ash though) but my roots are still warmer than I’d like.

My overall review of the product: 
Mehh. It was just okay. If I’d left it on longer I might feel differently.

Dollars spent: 
Clairol Professional Color and Developer (enough for multiple applications): $9
L’Oreal Brass Banisher (Ulta): $9.50 w/ 20% off coupon, $7.60
Total: $16.60 for mediocre looking hair
Dollars saved by not getting a $200 dye job: $183.40

Any advice on how to take more of the warmth out just at the roots?
Every time I look at myself in the mirror I just have to keep thinking,
You want a puppy more than you want amazing hair.
You want a savings account more than you want amazing hair.
You want to pay your student loans off fast, more than you want amazing hair.

It’s kind of working.
Kind of not.

  • hey sweets, we have all been there. well mostly me. I used to have my fiance dye my hair. Because some months when the roots are too much to handle, the funds are low low low.

    But in all honesty, I would just hang on and let the hair just be. I know so bad you want to do more to it, but I think it looks good. Soon enough you will the money to get it professionally fixed OR it will just tone down itself. AKA grow out.

    Good luck!

  • Regardless of the price, I think it looks great!!! And think of all the money you’re saving. I love the glaze kits you can buy at target and use those when I need a refresher on my hair when I can’t afford the salon!

  • This happened to me once (but much much worse, yours actually looks just fine.) But apparently our hair pulls red so you need to use blue toned dye? I am not an expert but I went out and got a blue based ash blonde and re-did it and it got rid of some of the orange.


  • I have heard that if your hair pulls red then stay away from any color that has ash in it. But every hair styleist I talk to says different things so who knows

  • LOL I’m stopping by your blog for the first time and I love how you talk about getting a puppy like having a baby. That cracked me up. I think it looks pretty good now but I know when its your own hair, its hard to look past what you see. I have no tips on home dying hair at all (that’s a DIY I’m terrified of) but I know I wouldn’t pay $120 for someone to do that for me when you pretttty much achieved it on your own! 🙂


  • ohhhh I feel your pain! My roots are so bad that it looks like I have an “ombre” hair style. Doesn’t my hair realize we’re “natural” blondes?!

    You did an awesome job!! I think it looks great and what you see as red/gold I think just looks like low lights! Being a stay at home mom now, getting my hair done is on the lower end of the “musts” list. My cousin does it, but even the $40 I give her is usually needed for something else.

    I’m so glad you posted this, its making me think that maybe I can do it! Maybe. AH!

  • I do my own hair, too, and your color is a lot like mine! 30 vol means it lifts the color of your hair 3 levels. When you use permanent color your are lifting your natural color, then depositing new color-the 8 you chose. I would definitely only color your roots and leave the rest of your hair alone next time-adding another layer of color to already colored hair will make it darker over time and the more color you have in you hair, the harder it is to lift out with highlights. Also, try 40 vol and a color with ash in it to prevent the orangey red. I hope this helps! We’ve all been there 🙂

  • I’ve wanted to try dying my own hair for years, but as you know being blonde is tough to pull off at home. Yours came out pretty good, but I’m the same way and like nice bright blonde.

    Seriously jealous of your willpower not to go to the salon.

    I’ve tried John Freida blonde shampoo bc my stylist said it would help the roots between colors but eh, I didn’t see anything. I use Shimmer Lights weekly and that def helps with the brassy-ness.

  • If you want to make your hair brighter, get a few shdaes lighter.I would get brown but NOT blonde.Go to a hair stylist because they know what’s best- trust me.

  • Great article.

  • Maya Zaky

    I swear by l’oreal brass banished toner. But it doesn’t work if you leave it on for the 10 min as instructed. You have to leave it on at least 30, I leave it in for an hour.. my hair always feels better than before I used it. Amazing!

Latest from Instagram

Copyright © 2018 · Theme by 17th Avenue