How to Dye Your Hair at Home

Wondering how to dye your hair at home to a new shade? Discover Garnier’s hair dyes and aftercare for at-home brilliant colour and shine. Follow this simple step-by-step guide on what to know before dyeing hair, the application process and after dye hair care.

How to prepare hair for dye

Preparation is key to hair colouring. Dye interacts with hair fibres in specific ways, so how you prepare your hair beforehand matters as much as the application stage. Let’s walk through what to know before dyeing hair.

1. Pre-dye care

Should you wash your hair before dyeing? Dye penetrates better into fibres which contain natural oil, so you should avoid washing your hair for a day or two beforehand. Your hair should also be nourishing and moisturised before colouring. To improve strength in damaged hair before colour processing, you can implement nourishing leave-in treatments like Fructis Hair Food Protecting Goji Hair Mask.

2. Find your perfect hair shade

From light blonde shades like Nutrisse Permanent Hair Colour – 9.13 Natural Light Ash Blonde to dark tones like Olia Permanent Hair Colour – 4.0 Dark Brown and everything in between, there are a multitude of options available when it comes to hair dye. If you have a general idea of the colour you want, you can narrow down choices based on your skin tone and eye colour. 

How to find your perfect hair shade

Consider whether you want cool or warm toned hair.
Think about the upkeep required, and how far you want to depart from your natural colour. 
Align your shade to skin tone, eye and eyebrow colour.


3. Perform a strand test

A strand test is great way to confirm how the shade looks on you, as well as how your hair will react to dye. Remember to always do a patch test 48 hours in advance of using any colour treatment. 

4. Prepare the area for hair colouring

Have everything you might need on hand, including gloves, colouring brush and applicator bottles are within reach. Wear an old t-shirt and an old towel around your neck to protect the skin there. We recommend covering bathroom surfaces too, to avoid staining.


Garnier At Home Hair Dye Tutorial

How To Apply Hair Dye

Once you’ve selected your new shade and performed a strand test, you’re ready for application! See how to apply hair colour at home for rich and even results below. 


1.Combine product

To start, combine contents as directed by your product. Ensure gloves are on for this stage so no spillage touches skin. 


2.Apply hair dye onto roots

Place your hair into sections depending on thickness – finer hair will require fewer sections than a thick, luscious mane. Starting at the roots, place dye and massage in to ensure even distribution. 


Should you wash hair before dying it?

It’s important that hair is dry when applying hair dye treatment. This helps the product to permeate strand fibres effectively. To prepare hair for application, gentle brush it out to remove and tangles and section layers depending on the thickness of hair. 


3.Spread hair dye evenly onto hair

Continue the same style of application through length of hair. Wondering how long do you leave hair dye in for? Always follow the time length advised on the product and don’t leave colour in longer than advised.


Hair Care After Dye

After dye hair care helps to lock your new colour in to hair fibres for longer-lasting wear. For 2 or 3 days after using hair dye, avoid washing hair. For your first after-dye shampoo, be sure to use products designed for coloured hair to maintain vibrancy. If you’ve picked a colour that’s much lighter than your original shade, use a colour toner to avoid any unwanted orange or yellowy tints.

Hair products for coloured hair

Discover our range of coloured hair products and find your after-dye hair care routine.

Hair colour tips and tricks

To help you perfect your next colour, read through our expert-approved tips to dye hair.


How can I make my hair dye last?

Prep, application technique and the right after-dye hair care all help to keep colour locked in. Alongside this, you can support colours lifespan by wearing hats outdoors and avoiding high heat temperatures when washing and styling hair.


Should I use two boxes of hair dye?

If you have thick or longer than shoulder length hair, it’s a good idea to have two packs on hand. This prevents running out of product before finishing application. 


The perfect shade should always be the perfect match

Take the Color Match Quiz designed by our experts and let it guide you to the hair color you’ve been looking for. You even get to try it on!

Discover our hair dye range

Once you’ve chosen your shade, your dye choice comes next. You can tailor dye types to your hair’s needs. Nutrisse line provides long lasting colour with full grey coverage, and is formulated with nourishing avocado oil and shea oils. Olia’s oil-based shades are enriched with sunflower oil, meadowfoam oil and passionflower to help to visibly improve dulled or damaged hair and comes in 17 shades. 

Hair dye related articles

See our guides on how to apply hair colour at home for brilliant and even results. 

Hair dye FAQs

To help you on your home hair dye journey, we’ve answered some of your most asked questions.

How do I choose the best hair colour shade for me?

A few considerations go into picking a hair dye shade. To help you narrow down your decision, you can use the following factors:

Consider the season you’re in and whether cooler or warmer tones will reflect light better.
Shades respond highly to skin tone and eye colour. Think about how each tone will contrast against your colouring.
Think about your style! Will your hair dye shade compliment or clash?


What do hair colour shade numbers mean?

The first number on your box relates to the base colour – higher numbers indicate lighter base tones (1.0 is black, and 10 is lightest blonde). Following numbers refer to secondary tones that are in the colour – for example an ashy, cool toned blonde (.1) or warmer, golden blonde (.3) like Nutrisse Permanent Hair Colour – 6.3 Praline Dark Golden Blonde.

How often can you dye your hair?

As long as you keep up with your after-dye hair care, you should be able to re-dye hair after 6–8 weeks. This includes root touch-ups of the same shade and entirely new colours. 

How can I achieve a bolder hair colour?

The correct hair dye application ensures your colour is evenly spread and vibrant. To maintain bold tones you can implement these habits into your hair routine:

1. Use a hat when outside to protect colour from UV radiation.
2. Soak hair in water before swimming in pools or at the beach. This protects strands from absorbing chemicals and salt water. 
3. Use the right after-dye shampoo and conditioner and try to limit hair washes. This varies depending on hair type.