READ THIS: Before You Open Your Hair Colour Box. print

READ THIS: Before You Open Your Hair Colour Box.

Sure, picking the perfect hair colour shade for your complexion is important. But the truth is, getting your best colour starts even before you open your hair colour box. Here are a few handy tips to keep in mind before you colour….

Read the labels

Pay special note to the type of application listed on the box. Is it your first time colouring? Choose and “all-over” application. If you’re at it again, choose a “root touch-up” application to take care of any regrowth. This will prevent colour from being too dark at your ends and help prevent over processing. That’s important to get the best result!

Buy 2 boxes

If your hair is longer than shoulder length or very thick and you’re doing an all-over application, you may need two boxes to fully saturate your hair. Also, keep in mind that the ends of long hair tend to absorb more colour, so you may need to trim your processing time to prevent colour from getting too dark.

Set up your colouring station

Gather your supplies: old shirt, dark towels, timer, comb, plastic hair clips and petroleum jelly (apply to hairline to prevent staining!). Lay out the contents in the numeric order on the containers. Take out the gloves and directions. Read the directions! You’ll want to make sure you’re mixing the right products and what the timing should be.

Time it

Coarse hair generally takes more time to absorb colour, so it requires a longer timing; fine hair generally takes less time to absorb colour, so it requires a shorter timing. Hair that's dry or permed may absorb colour quickly too. To play it safe, we recommend a strand test—it's a good way to predict how long you’ll need to let the colour process. Read the article: Hair on the Side of Caution: How to do a strand test.

Cut or perm before colouring

Cutting your hair before you colour will ensure you’re able to see the full effect of your colour. And, of course, your colour will enhance your cut.

The same goes for perms. Perm first to ensure that the perming process will not interfere with your newly applied colour. If you're using a permanent hair colour (lasts until your hair grows out or you re-colour), wait 7 - 10 days and shampoo at least once before colouring.

Some semi-permanent and semi-permanent hair colours can be used the same day as your perm—as long as your scalp is not irritated and is in good condition. Check the package instructions to be sure. Either way, make sure you do a stand test before colouring your hair. Perms and relaxers can leave hair more porous and allow colour to absorb faster.

Don’t shampoo

You generally shouldn't shampoo immediately before colouring, because this will remove the natural oils that help protect your scalp during the colouring process.

It's best to shampoo 12 - 24 hours before colouring when using a semi-permanent or semi-permanent hair colour; shampoo 24 hours prior to using permanent colour.

Start your timer

As soon as you’ve finished applying your hair colour, set your timer for the amount of time indicated on the box. Setting it any earlier could affect your colour result!


It's best to use the conditioner that comes with your hair colour. It has been specifically tested for use with that hair colour to help create softness and shine.


Semi-permanent hair colour will last up to 28 shampoos—if you wash your hair every day, that's about 4 weeks. Permanent hair colour (lasts until your hair grows out or you re-colour) should be refreshed when your roots start to show, after about 4 - 6 weeks.

What kind of Box do you have?

For application tips, type your box name in the search bar above and when you get to the product page, click on “How to DIY” for a step-by-step tutorial. Happy colouring!