Be Your Own Hair Color Expert (No Salon Visit Needed)

Ombre, balayage, highlights, lowlights—no matter what your hair color preference one thing is for sure, dimensional hair color is what's hot right now. As much as we love this look, achieving it can empty your bank account in a blink. Influenster co-founder Elizabeth Scherle is our resident hair dying devotee and guru on all things at-home hair care. She let us in on her secrets to getting fabulous at home color with one of her favorite brands—Feria.

Check out her video and read on for even more tips:

Ah, New York, the land of the cheapest manicures in the country but swap that nail salon appointment for a change in hair color and BAM—it's ramen noodles time for a month. A few months ago I saved up the cash necessary for a color appointment, did my research, and booked at a Vogue-approved Brooklyn salon. I wanted rich, dark hair with a hint of blue and after months of waiting it was finally going to happen! 

The day came for the appointment and amazingly, I loved my stylist, I LOVED my hair! The color washed out after two shampoos. Seriously? My hard-earned money was down the drain. Literally!

A few months later I was still itching for black/blue hair so rather than repeat my salon disaster, I decided to take matters into my own hands. After all, I used to bleach my hair white and silver and only had a minor issue (my strands turned fluorescent orange on my first try—thank God for Youtube color correction videos!) I decided incredible color was worth the risk and dove in hair first.

I made my way to the drugstore, plopped myself in front of the sprawling box dye section and took it all in. Cool black, soft black, warm black—what did they all mean? And what would happen if I put this brand new pastel blue on my caramel ends? Would another orange disaster ensue? I scanned shades and studied the Influenster reviews and ultimately decided to go home with L'Oreal® Paris Feria® Smokey Pastels P1 Smokey Blue Hair Color and L'Oréal Paris Feria Midnight Collection M31 Cool Soft Black.

Feria hair color

I have a lot of hair so I doubled up on the black dye purchase. I also didn't apply exactly the way they instruct. I made it semi-professional by resurrecting my mixing bowl and brush from my bleaching days. My strategy was to go tiny section by tiny section, painting the black shade all across my roots first, and then make my way back around each section applying more black color to the midsection stopping just short of the ends. Then, just using the wild card pastel blue color from the bottle, I applied a little on my gloves and rubbed the color onto the very ends of my hair with my fingers. I honestly couldn't tell how much I was applying or how far it went up the ends, but I just kept going and hoped for the best.

The box said I could do this whole color job in just 25 minutes—let me tell you it took me like an hour to apply the color to my entire head and then I left it on for another 30-40 minutes for processing. Not exactly sure if this is recommended (I think not since I assume there's potential for hair to fall out...maybe?) but after all this work applying, I was desperate to see noticeable results. So I waited...and waited...and then I rinsed!

First of all, let me just say the conditioning product that comes in these Feria boxes is Ah-mazing. My hair is super thick and course and this stuff made my it feel like butter. Is that gross, or is it a thing? Whatever. I'm going with it. And the blowout—hello! Not sure if this experience gave me stylist super powers, but my hair was not only transformed into a beautiful, deep black hue with the perfect hint of blue on the ends but also these locks are shinier and more voluminous than I've seen in years. It was almost too easy.

At work the next day everyone was raving about my hair. It's always fun to get "your hair looks great" compliments but when you do it yourself—there's a sense of pride, people! I did this. Did you hear me? I colored my hair myself!

Bottom line, this stuff works. My hair is fabulous for a whopping $30 (vs. $300+ at a salon) and I actually think it looks better than when I had it done at the salon. 

Now if I can only learn how to cut my own that I'm thinking about it, I've always wanted a pixie.

About the Author
Bethany C.
Bethany C.
Hi I'm Bethany, I'm the Director of Content at Influenster and an incurable beauty junkie.