Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images

Coloring your hair yourself is easy and economical. Look for a home coloring kit that includes ingredients to prevent your hair from becoming damaged and dry from the coloring process. L'Oréal Paris Excellence Creme includes Pro-Keratine Complex, which claims to reinforce the hair's internal structure. This coloring kit also includes a pre-color serum, which helps ensure even color, as well as a unique applicator comb.

Prepare to Color

Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images

Comb dry, unwashed hair to remove any tangles.

Put on the gloves included in the kit. Break off the applicator cap's plastic wing tip, then remove the cap from the bottle. Open the color creme tube by piercing its opening with the cap's inner point.

Squeeze the entire contents of the tube into the plastic developer creme bottle, and put the applicator cap back on the bottle tightly. Shake well to fully blend the color mixture, while keeping the applicator tip's opening covered with a gloved finger.

Drape a towel over your shoulders to protect your clothes and neck. Open the small round tube of pre-color serum by twisting the tip until it breaks off. Massage the serum into the ends of your hair, avoiding the root area. Let the serum soak into the hair for 2 minutes, and don't rinse it off.

The Coloring Process

Using the applicator tip, create parts in your hair, ¼ inch apart. While making the parts, gently squeeze the applicator bottle continuously to apply even lines of color along the root line. Working from front to back, keep applying color until you're reached every section on your head. This will ensure your roots are covered completely.

An alternate application method is to use the applicator comb. Remove the applicator tip from the bottle, replacing it with the applicator comb. Comb through the hair from front to back, while gently squeezing the bottle continuously.

Spread the color through your hair from the roots to the ends using your gloved fingers. Make sure all of your hair is completely coated with color.

For a root touch-up instead of all-over color, use your fingers to spread the color only through the root area. Make sure all of the hair closest to your scalp is completely covered, without coloring the ends of your hair. Save a little color to apply to your ends just before rinsing.

Pull your hair away from your face, but don’t put it up while the color is developing. Leave the color on 30 minutes, or 40 minutes if you have gray hair.

For a root touch-up, leave the color on 20 minutes, or 30 minutes for gray hair. When time is up, apply color to the rest of your hair, working it through to the ends. Make sure all of your hair is completely covered. Let the color develop another 10 minutes.

With your gloves on, add some warm water to your hair, rubbing your scalp until the color lathers. This may be easiest to do in the shower. Don't use shampoo until the next time you wash your hair. Rinse until the water runs clear, then apply the protective conditioning treatment included in the kit. Leave the conditioner on your hair for two minutes before rinsing.


Use two hair color kits for very thick, long or curly hair.

Sectioning the hair using plastic hair clips may make the application easier, especially if your hair is long. Using a comb, part your hair every 1/4 inch and clip each section of hair up. Take one section down at a time and apply color to the roots at the part line, using the bottle’s applicator tip.


Don’t skip applying the pre-color serum to your ends or your roots may look darker than the rest of your hair. The serum will prevent dry ends from absorbing too much color.

Do a skin allergy test 48 hours before coloring. Cleanse an area the size of a quarter on the inside of your elbow, and pat dry. Mix a few drops of color creme and developer creme in equal parts. Recap both packages tightly to store the products separately until you're ready to use them again. Apply the mixture to your skin using a cotton swab, and don’t wash or rub the area for 48 hours. Look for any abnormal reactions that might indicate hypersensitivity.