Dr Ilyas discusses mistakes with at-home hair color with SheFinds!

Dr Ilyas discusses mistakes with at-home hair color with SheFinds!

January 29, 2021

Dr Ilyas discusses mistakes with at-home hair color with SheFinds!


How can dyeing your hair at home go wrong and make you look older?


Overall, if you are staying within your hair color range- just shifting within 2-3 shades of normal for you- using a box color is great.  Choosing a shade  slightly darker than your natural color can help for a couple of reasons.  Consider the fact that the hair color you choose will be attaching to hairs of different colors - some will be your natural color, there will likely be some grays and even perhaps some colors from prior hair color treatments.  When the hair dye attaches to your natural color the color will appear a bit more intense or deep, whereas the grays get close to the hair dye color but likely will still stay a little lighter than your natural.  This isn’t necessarily a bad thing because the grays can appear as though they are highlights through your at home color experience. 

There are a couple of challenges though when you were trying to cover your grays or look a little younger with hair dye. The most common issue that people run into is simply the fact that those stubborn grays tend to be closest to the hairline, finer and wispier. They often will not adhere to the hair color as quickly and may require a little longer with the color in place. By missing some of these along the front your hairline that meets the face, sometimes your secret greys can reveal themselves very quickly just because of the proximity to your forehead. It’s important to make sure that you generously apply hair dye to the edges of the scalp ensure that these hairs pick up the dye.

The key with at home color is to stay within your color range. Those that try to venture out into an entirely different color or dramatically different in terms of multiple shades away from their natural color will run the risk that the color on the box will not match the color you find as a result of using the hair dye. It’s can be a little disconcerting when you have a grays only because the grays will likely look like the color on the box but the rest of your hair will not and this will draw attention to the grays even more so. 


What is the worst color to dye your hair if you want to look younger?


The worst color to dye your hair if you want to look younger is simply to go outside of your color range. The real risk here is simply the fact that it will not match or suit your natural hair color that is hiding in the background and be challenging to address. If you do wish to have a dramatically different color I suggest doing this professionally to avoid this problem.


How can you avoid this mistake while still dyeing your hair at

If you still insist on dyeing your hair at home and want to venture outside of your color range, it might be worth considering an at home color that comes with a color consultation first such as Madison Reed. It’s fascinating because if you do have darker hair and want to go lighter through hair dye, sometimes this can just make your hair look darker no matter what for the simple fact that box color is adhering to the hair follicle.  It may not be the color you are anticipating. It’s almost like coloring on a piece of paper with a black crayon and then trying to use a brown or yellow crayon on top of it and realizing that even if you rub that crayon back-and-forth you simply can’t see the shade you’re looking for. This is because darker shades work by lodging hair color molecules in the scales of the hair shaft itself.  Our hair follicles are not smooth, they are actually scaly.  The hair dye works by opening up these scales, lodging underneath, then pulling the scale back to the follicle to stick around.  Lighter shades can work similarly or actually strip the color that is present in the hair.  


Best at home hair dye tips?


The best way to approach home hair dyes to try out a few temporary colors first to not make the commitment to a permanent hair dye. If you can find a shade that suits you and that you’re comfortable with, then you can start using the semi permanent or permanent version.

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