Ask The Experts: How To Dye Natural Hair Yourself

Dyed Natural Hair
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It’s no secret that when you want perfectly colored hair, most of us seek a professional. DIY hair is on the rise like never before and understandably so—who has time to trek to the salon when your to-do list is sky-high? We surely don't. That's why we sat down with Estelle Baumhauer, Color Director of eSalon, a company that specializes in customized at-home hair color to give us the low-down on the proper precautions to take when dying natural hair. Note: henna is a good look! Read on for more facts and tricks.

ESSENCE.com: What are 3 things women should avoid when dying their hair at home?
Estelle Baumhauer: Natural hair is great because it's a blank slate. You're not trying to cover or correct anything. All natural hair can be dyed from ends to roots to make the color look even. But, you shouldn't dye your hair three shades darker or three shades lighter. Don't overlap your color every application, especially if you have chemical treatments like relaxer or keratin. And, don't over process your ends (aka leaving color on too long), it will damage your hair leading to breakage.

ESSENCE.com: What are a few things women must do when dying their hair at home?
Baumhauer: Stay as close to your current color as possible, take gentle steps towards a big change. You also want to divide your hair into sections with clips to allow easier application with a brush or bottle. Also, read all the instructions even if you've colored your hair yourself before.

ESSENCE.com: How important are strand tests?
Baumhauer: It's epically important! You have to make sure the color is what you want. You need to see how the color is going to react on your roots and ends. Do the strand test on a small section at the back of your neck.

ESSENCE.com: What should be done to ensure the color lasts?
Baumhauer: We recommend waiting 48 hours before you shampoo your hair after coloring. For after care use sulfate-free shampoos.

ESSENCE.com: Henna is very popular now, what should women consider when using this method?
Baumhauer: Henna is best for people with natural, virgin hair. Henna is not very compatible with chemically treated hair and can actually cause breakage, which is something that no one discusses.

ESSENCE.com: What are the new hair colors for spring?
Baumhauer: Purple is a big trending color right now. If someone wanted bright, light violet pieces or tipped ends we would recommend hair chalk, or clip in extensions. These temporary solutions will not damage the hair and are easily removed when the trend fades.