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How to dye your hair at home with Schwarzkopf

Thinking of making a change to your hair colour? Whether you want a subtle, bold, or radical change, the Schwarzkopf at home colour range offers unlimited choices. In just a few simple steps, we will guide you through the hair colouring process to achieve the results you want and expect. 

Say goodbye to expensive salon visits and learn how to colour your hair – all from the comfort of your own home! 

Getting started

Colouring your hair at home doesn’t have to be particularly scary or difficult. When choosing the right dye for your hair, follow our three golden rules below and you’ll get it spot on every time.

Consider your natural hair colour

Before you decide how light or dark you want to dye your hair, think about your natural hair colour and what you want to achieve. Our hairdressers recommend going no more than two shades in either direction for best results. If you’re planning on bright blue hair or lilac streaks (we recommend LIVE Pretty Pastels Denim Steel and LIVE Pretty Pastels Lilac Crush if you are), pre-lightening your hair is necessary for best results. If you have naturally dark hair, pale colours and pastels won’t give you the results you want.

Need help with what you want to achieve? Our customer advisory service is available by phone or email to advise you on products and techniques to help you get the best results

The current condition of your hair

The condition of your hair at the time of dyeing can affect the final result. Previously bleached hair is more porous than natural hair, so using hair dye in this case will cause it to appear darker than you would expect.    

If you have used henna in your hair in the past four months or have residual hair colour from another dye job, this may also impact the result. Another factor that could influence your results is when you change from using a biological product (such as henna) to an artificial hair colouring product.

How permanent is the colour?

Finding your perfect colour begins with understanding the level of permanency the hair dye offers.

If you want the results to last a little longer or want to add an extra tone to your natural hair colour, try a semi-permanent shade from our LIVE product range which lasts up to 15 washes. If you want to achieve a colour with no root re-growth, choose a shade similar to your natural hair colour.

For grey coverage, intense, long-lasting results, or to dramatically change your hair colour, we recommend you use a permanent hair dye.

Always check the dye’s permanency level on the package before you begin.

Preparing to dye your hair at home

By planning enough time and organising your workspace properly, you will be able to dye your hair with relative ease and save money doing so.

How to prepare for colouring your hair at home in 4 easy steps

  1. Prepare and test

    a. You must always do an allergy test 48 hours in advance of when you want to dye your hair. This way you can see whether you will have any reaction to the dyeing process.

    b. We recommend also doing a strand text in advance to see whether your hair will respond to the hair colouring as expected. This will also prevent any irreparable damage being done to your hair.

  2. Check your supplies

    a. Make sure you have enough hair dye! For long or thick hair, we recommend having two boxes. There is nothing worse than getting halfway through the colouring process    only to realise you don’t have enough dye.

    b. Use a timer so you know exactly how much time the dye is in your hair. Remember: keeping the dye in your hair longer does not mean more vibrant results.

    c. Lay out your workstation in advance, placing any necessary tools within easy reach.

  3. Dress properly

    a. Whenever handling dyes, take the gloves from the box and put them on before you begin.

    b. Wear an old t-shirt that you won’t mind getting stained during the hair colouring process.

    c. It is also advisable to use an old towel to wrap around your neck to catch any excess or drips.

    d. Apply a barrier cream, such as petroleum jelly, around your hairline and on your ears to help prevent any staining to the skin.

  4. Read the instructions before you begin

    a. Check whether you need to apply the hair dye to damp or dry hair.

    b. Leave the hair dye in for the specified duration for best results.

    i. Leaving the dye in your hair longer than indicated does not mean a more intense colour, but rather you won’t get the result you’re expecting.

    ii. Our hairdressers recommend changing no more than  two shades lighter or darker for natural looking results. If you’re looking for an Ultra Bright look, then you’ll need to start by pre-lightening your hair. 


How to dye your hair at home

Once you’ve chosen your colour and prepared your workspace, you’re ready to begin.

  1. Section your hair into 4 parts from the forehead to the nape of your neck and from the top of one ear to the other. To prevent the hair dye from staining your skin, apply some petroleum jelly around your hairline and on your ears.
    Start with the mid-lengths and ends and apply the colour as you would a conditioner, squeezing it into your hands and then rubbing it through the hair. If possible, ask someone else to help you with any hard to reach areas and to make sure every strand of hair is covered.
  2. Allow the dye to process. Once your timer goes off, put your gloves back on and apply warm water to the hair. Work it into a lather then rinse your hair until the water runs clear.
  3. Apply the care conditioner. After towel drying your hair, apply the care conditioner that is included in the box. Leave it in for 2 minutes before rinsing. This will lock in the colour by sealing the cuticles.

How to select the right colour for your skin tone

Once you have decided to change your hair colour, you are spoiled for choice! But if you’re undecided between two shades, we recommend always picking the lighter option.


How to colour your hair at home with schwarzkopf blonde

Cool, platinum shades complement cool skin undertones with low contrast and a reddish hue, whereas warmer shades of beige or golden blonde work better for complexions with a beige undertone. If you have a yellowish complexion, we wouldn’t recommend using an ashy tone as it can make your complexion look colourless and grey.

Make sure to stay within the specified application time. This is particularly important for blonde shades and true blonde colour treatments. If the colouring agents are washed out too early, your hair may show an orange or yellowish tinge. Leaving the blonde colouring agents in your hair for too long will damage it. Once you have dyed your hair blonde, we also recommend using a silver shampoo for sparkling blonde!


When dyeing your hair a shade of red, if your skin has a warm undertone we would advise you try a reddish blonde or light copper shade. If you have a bluish, rosy or olive complexion, a cool and bluish shade like cherry red, burgundy or aubergine would be best suited. Warm red shades, like copper and reddish gold are ideal for yellowish, peach and golden complexions.


How to colour your hair at home with schwarzkopf brunette

Warm shades, such as caramel, chestnut, auburn or bronze browns are best suited to warm complexions with low contrast and a hint of yellow or gold. If your skin tone is cool with a hint of blue or pink, a light to dark brown (with no red or gold hues) is ideal. If you have a lighter complexion and wish to increase the contrast between your skin and your hair, using a darker hair colour would do the job.

What to do with unexpected results

There are several reasons why the results of colouring your hair at home are not what you expected.

If your hair comes out darker than expected, you can use a clarifying shampoo to correct the colour. It is important that the shampoo is not colour-safe as that will not remove the colour. Washing your hair more frequently than usual is another way to help the dye fade faster.

If your hair has reacted in a way you didn’t want, use a colour wheel to find the opposite colour to the one you dyed your hair with. Once it’s safe to colour your hair again, usually after two weeks, do so with the opposite colour to reduce the intensity.

Time to show off the results!

Once you have finished dyeing your hair, it is important to incorporate a good aftercare routine. Use shampoos and conditioners for colour-treated hair so that your new hair colour will retain its shine and stay healthy. Colour-treated hair needs special care so you should apply a conditioning mask once a week to bring out the beauty of your hair.

Colouring your hair at home doesn’t have to be a terrifying experience. With proper preparation and by following a few simple steps, you can change your hair colour to give your style a boost.

Finally, it’s time to show off the results! Style your newly coloured tresses as you would normally and be sure to tag us on social media (@livecolourhair #schwarzkopfuk) with the finished results!

Our recommended products

  • Schwarzkopf Oleo Intense
    1-10 Intense Black
  • Schwarzkopf Oleo Intense
    7-77 Copper Red
  • Schwarzkopf Oleo Intense
    8-05 Beige Blonde
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