Having to colour your own grey hair

during quarantine, as a client told me, can be a challenge!  To help with this, I am writing a little on the dos and don’ts of colouring your hair at home. Let’s face it, who thought this shutdown was going to last this long and you would be required to do stuff like colouring, cutting, waxing on your own or risk seeking the help of a novice?


Before you colour, you need to assemble some basic supplies.  It is best to have them close by before you start or you will be surprised at the number of black marks you find around your place later or on your clothes. 


Here is a list of things you will need:

  • Towels – in a dark colour or towels you don’t mind losing.  We do not know how long this is going to be so hang onto them.
  • Shampoo and conditioner.
  • Colour/henna/spray colour – When applying the colour, part the hair in sections and make neat lines before applying. For those who use henna, it is best not to make it too thick, or too watery.  When mixing, put a little water at a time until you get a creamy consistency. If you use spray, please try to have a steady hand–that stuff falls in the air so if your aim is bad it can be messy.
  • Plastic Clips:  these work better than rubber bands because they do not get soaked.
  • Mixing bowl:  or anything you can find like half of a water bottle?
  • Brush:  A small one if it’s your first time that can get into tight spaces; get creative like a paintbrush if you can’t get a proper one.
  • Plastic bags: to put around your neck under the towels.  If you make the colour too runny, it can get down your clothes.
  • Vaseline/gel/conditioner:  put this around the hairline to stop the colour going too far down and staining your face.  
  • Colour remover/vinegar/cigarette ashes:  If you get colour on the skin outside the hairline, you need to remove it.  Sometimes applying a little leftover colour on it and using something to rub it off works.  If you are using black colour, it will take a bit more work so make sure you are careful when putting the colour on at the beginning.

N.B. Types of colour:  the box will say permanent

or semi-permanent colour.  Permanent colour: Apply to the roots only or your hair will become over-processed and dry.

Semi-permanent colour:  This can be applied all over because it does not go into the hair shaft.  When you look at the colour, put it up to your hair in daylight to get a good match.


Last but not least, to add to the dos and don’ts of colouring your hair at home:  follow manufacturer’s instructions. During application, do not cut corners, do thin lines. You may know it all, but this will save you having grey patches in the long run.

 By Paula Barker, Silkie Locks Hair Design


On lockdown!  When it lifts, please call (613) 789-2179 For An Appointment If You Are In The Ottawa, Ontario Area.