Don't be overwhelmed by endless drugstore hair color aisles. "Save yourself a lot of time and money by first ruling out what won't work for you," advises Pastor. If you're changing your color more than two to three shades, trying lowlights, adding highlights to red or brunette hair, or have extremely damaged strands, leave the heavy lifting to the pros. Other tips to keep in mind: Permanent dyes are best for covering grays, but sheer glosses are ideal for brightening your shade or adding a new tint—blondes can go strawberry blonde with a red gloss; brunettes can warm up with a blonde gloss.
MC TIP: Manage your expectations and focus on color swatches, not hair models, when selecting a shade.
"Properly sectioning off your hair before dye application is crucial for getting allover coverage," says Pastor. If you have bangs or really thick hair, create a separate section at the front to ensure color is saturated in this crucial spot.
MC TIP: Before applying dye, smooth lavender oil on the ends of your hair to mask the scent of the hair dye later.