By Celebrity colorist and Author: Lorri Goddard-Clark
Now I know this is a subject that is near and dear to our hearts…hair color! Hair can just make or break us. We all have good hair days and bad ones and most of us have either gone to the salon or colored at home at one time or the other. Me…it probably won’t surprise you to know that I’m a color at home girl and have been for many years, since going to college with a stylist who taught us all how to mix our own highlights. I’ve done salon color several times and end up always going back to DIY, since I didn’t think there was that much difference in how the color turned out and I can save so much money by doing it myself. For many years, I’ve just been doing home highlights, but for about the past 5 years, I’m doing the double process method: coloring all over and then adding highlights.
So, if you are a salon person who has always wanted to try coloring at home, here is a great book that I found at the library and it has step by step instructions on how to achieve that perfect color at home, using drugstore hair products. She has full color photos of celebrities and has given each of them a color name that you can emulate with her fabulous recipes and instructions.
From Lorri’s website: The Hair Color Mix Book begins with the most crucial step for a successful result: identifying your natural hair color. To help every woman select a target hair color that closely matches her natural shade and complements her eyes and skin tone, Lorri presents an eleven-color chart, a streamlined version of the tab system professional colorists have trusted for decades. With clear and true color photographs, step-by-step instructions, and lots of insider advice to guide them, at-home colorists everywhere will learn how to.…
She goes on to describe all the things you’ll learn in the book. I found it to be very informative and I think a novice hair colorist could pick up this book and walk away with the knowlege of how to color at home. It’s very much what I’ve already been doing at home for many years, so I didn’t learn a lot about changing up my color all that much, but it does go into great detail in how to achieve great color and highlights. She gives a lot of name brand recognition as well as step-by-step details. Once you pinpoint your natural color in the color chart that is in the book, then you can go on and choose the color you’d like to achieve referring to a number that matches up with your natural hair color, so you know just which one to look at and what products to buy. She gives detailed instructions for each of the colors, as well as a list of all the tools you’ll need, so you can’t go wrong. This is plain and simple drugstore boxed hair color that she is talking about. I already buy my products at Sally’s and get the individual color tint and developer and I’m pretty lucky in that I don’t have to color but about every 3-4 months (or I sometimes stretch it longer). I’m actually lighter than I use to be since my gray is white/platinum and my natural color was a dark strawberry blonde. Now, I use a permanent color to color my hair an overall medium to dark blonde shade & then go back and add a few highlights.
Here’s my tools that I keep around for mixing highlights. You get a big bottle of developer and that’s to mix your overall permanent hair tint AND highlights. This big bottle saves a lot of money in place of using the smaller drugstore kits with the added developer. It lasts a long time! Feria color from Sally’s, along with a highlight packet of powder. I experiment a lot with the base color I use (sometimes Feria, sometimes Loreal Preference) and I just did mine again recently (it had been since January). I think next time, I’ll use something with less of a gold base. I was surprised that this book just recommended off the shelf products. I really thought there was more of a difference in salon products, but apparently there isn’t. Now some of you who are reading this might be hair stylists and could totally disagree with what this book says, but the lady seems to know her stuff AND she has all the celebrity clients to prove it. I know that color is the way most stylists make the most money, but I’m all for saving when I can. I don’t think mine looks quite as good as her pics do, but I’m happy with it.
Highlights mixed and ready to apply. I usually use a cap to do my highlights. She describes in detail how to do threads and ribbons of highlights which seems more complicated to me, but the tools she uses are just a toothbrush and another dental hygiene tool that you can buy at the store. She uses some foil techniques, but unless you have help that would be hard to accomplish. Sometimes I take a shortcut and just paint it on, but I get better results if I use one of those plastic highlight caps to even it out. All my products cost about $10, with the bottle of developer around $6 or so and that lasts a long time. You can see how much moolah you can save. Need I say more?
If you get a chance to pick up this book, do it! And check out Lorri’s website. I found it to be very informative, interesting, and inspirational. Here’s to home hair color and if you’ve never tried coloring at home, maybe think about giving it a whirl. Sure saves the bucks!
Hey Rhoda ~ Thanks for all the hair color info. It was interesting 🙂 I teeter between ‘oh, I can do it myself’ and ‘NO WAY, I’m making an appointment’! Right now I’m just sticking with having my husband’s aunt do my hair (she’s a hair stylist)…only problem is the salon she works at & lives near is located an hour away from me! She gives me an AWESOME family discount for color/cut but with the $$ of gas continuing to rise, I’m not sure I’ll continue making that trip. All I know is right now I need to cover my grays/new growth!!!!
Hope you’re having a nice week 🙂
You are brave for coloring your own hair. I could never attempt it myself. Way to go! I’m actually getting mine colored today and probably spending more than you have in a while.
Thanks for stopping by my site. I love to read comments. It’s like opening up a letter from a pen pal.
I agree you are very brave.
I luckily have only just started to do highlights and I go to the Salon. I get a partial every 2 months, pricey but worth it to me. I am your age so I consider myself lucky. I only use Pureology shampoo/conditioner too, again pricey but worth it. I cut costs, like most in so many other areas that I don’t for 1 second feel guilty 🙂
I did not know that you could buy color packets at Sally’s! So, I could just mix smaller batches for root touch ups? Oh, this is a priceless tip. I like the $18 Loreal that comes with a highlighter in the package. I do like to change colors with the seasons. I like to go with a color called Praline in the fall which is a light brown with some red in in. I get stopped often by people asking about my color when I do it that color. I go back blonde in the summer.
Can yo tell us more about “mixing your own highlights”? Does that mean that your highlights are a custom color, or that you mix your own ingredients from large Sally bottles?
Thanks in advance for this very useful information.
Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality says
Hi, Martha, it does mean that I mix my own from Sally’s products. I use that beige packet in the photo & mix it with the developer (large bottle) that says 30 on the front. It sounds intimidating at first, but it’s really not.
There are several ways to mix highlights & Sally’s has lots of different powders to do it with. I’ve also bought the large tubs of highlight powder too, but the small packets work well for me since I don’t do that many highlights overall. She does not seem to cover the highlights being a custom mix of color from what I can tell, but she gives tips on how long to keep it on to get the color (brightness or whiteness) that you are looking for. I just mix my highlights, put them on & then rinse out & wash.
If someone is interested in trying this at home, I recommend getting the book & reading it through. It really explains a lot of details for a first time DIYer. I found the book at my local library, so I’m sure ya’ll could do the same.
Susie Harris says
I need to be thinking of color… My youngest just informed me that I have white hairs showing… thanks, Susie H~
I think you can spot a home coloring a mile away and I am not a hairdresser. There is more of a dullness to the home done job and some of the colors are so unnatural.
I say spend the moolah.
I still haven’t gotten over my “Ronald McDonald hair incident of 1997” I had to wear a hat for a week before I could get into a hair dresser. LOL! That looks like a really neat book though, I’ll keep my eye out for it.
Sandi McBride says
I’m still laughing over “identify your natural hair color”…I haven’t seen my natural hair color since I was sixteen, are you kidding me? It’s between red and brown (auburn)with odd little pale streaks a(or it was), now its mostly needing attention lol
Becky K. says
I was just talked into a color change by a Russian, Mennonite hair stylist named Alla here in Lancaster County, PA. No joke!
She told me I looked mousy and needed some spice. I Loved her accent. She was a hoot. The bad part…It cost me $95 counting the tip. I am very interested in this DIY technique.
I wanted to thank you for having me on your side bar. I seem to get quite a few of your friends who visit. Love it!
Hum….very interesting and descriptive post. I think our coloring is pretty much the same. Your hair always looks great.
Glad you found something that works for you and saves money.
Jan & Tom's Place says
Hey Rhoda…I have not only COLORED, but CUT my own hair for ages. And I do mean ages!! LOL!!
As a 16 year old, I worked in a Drug Store. The owner was the Pharmacist and his wife, the bookkeeper and Beautician. She taught me LOTS about make-up and hair care products. So…after learning about hair color, I bought a box and colored my hair one night when my parents were gone. My mother about had a COW!!! My natural haircolor (then) was very dark brown, almost black. I had colored my hair brownish/black. I didn’t see alot of difference…but I guess my mom did!!
I’ve been several different shades of BROWN – BROWNISH/BLACK since that time…and have had long hair and short hair. Short, that’s what I prefer.
Speaking of cutting and coloring my hair…boy, I really need to do it NOW!!!
Hi there, I have found your blog from a few different bloggers comments, and I just love your Southern Hospitality…my mom’s side of the family is all from the South and I love the Southern Hospitality blog!
Sandi @the WhistleStop Cafe says
Do you know I just got mine highlighted for the first time in my life… I ended up with these streaks of orange.
I think I will leave it alone for a while!
or maybe I’ll get you to do it ~:)
Well said! I have gotten so many emails from my hair story that I am going to to an update with the pics. Poeple wanting to know what I used, etc. Our process “potions” are very similar.
I feel so liberated to have unlocked the code!!
Glenda~Many Fond Memories says
I’ve done coloring at home off and on over the years. Sometimes it’s a pain because of the mess involved. But I do agree with the saving money side of it. I have a lot of the tools to do it with. My last time was four years ago. But now with the cost of gas, I might just pass on the salon, since my hair dresser is a ways out of town.
If you get the chance and want to enter my 100th post giveaway stop by and enter.
interesting! I have my colorist do my hair…I would be scared silly if I did my own…eeekkkkk! Great post!
Stop by when you get a chance and say hello!
Melissa @ The Inspired Room says
Wow, thanks for the tips! I don’t color my hair, but I’ve seen a few grays starting to pop in once in awhile so I know my time is coming…I’ve avoided it so far due to the cost.
Kari & Kijsa says
Thanks for the tip…looks like a great book!
Have a blessed and wonderful day!
smiles, kari & kijsa