By Erica Metzger
I've been getting salon highlights forever. Can I color at home?
Yes, but only if you're ready to transition to single- process color (most pros don't recommend DIY highlights). If you currently have lots of blond or platinum highlights, go to your salon first to get a more-uniform shade. "Otherwise you'll end up with stripes where the color changes drastically," says Tippi Shorter, a celebrity hairstylist. If you've got darker blond or light brown highlights, it's safe to do single process at home as long as you stay within two shades of your highlights, says Marie Robinson, Clairol celebrity colorist.
I always seem to spill hair color somewhere. Help!
First, protect your skin by rubbing a line of Vaseline along your hairline and around your ears. Wear an old button-up shirt while you work and keep an old towel and washcloth handy to blot up spills and drips before they have time to dry. Don't forget to put your rubber gloves back on before you rinse out the color so you don't stain your fingertips.
What's the most low-maintenance way to cover up my grays?
Use a root-touch-up kit or apply your regular box color just to your gray regrowth. "Grays are notoriously resistant," says Alexandra Matiz, Wella Professionals color ambassador, "so make sure you thoroughly saturate your roots when you apply the dye."
Stock Up: The secret to great color is consistency. Once you find your perfect shade, go back and buy four boxes so you have it when you need it.
Tool Time: At-home color kits only come with developer, dye, conditioner, gloves, and directions. Pick up handy extras like clips, brushes, and a timer before you get started.