This is the best home hair dye (and we're using it this weekend)

Faced with having to use a home hair dye rather than heading to the salon this weekend? You're not alone. This is the best we've ever used – and you can order it online

Home hair dye
(Image credit: Getty Images)

This weekend, we're resorting to home hair dye. It's possibly the least of our First World Problems at the moment, but a problem it is. After years using home hair dyes  (I started going grey at 18), I finally succumbed to the salon a few years back (when there was more salt than pepper on my head). And three weeks after my last hair appointment, it's time to tackle it myself. That or look like a badger. You with me, ladies and gents? 

Over the years, I (and others on the Realhomes team, not naming names, but they're not ALL women) have tried tons of home hair dye products. And I can safely say this one is the best. And better still, you can order it online and look just-out-of-the-salon by next week. Read on to find out about it – and to read my home hair dye tips to a professional finish.

Garnier Olia home hair dye, 30 shades, £6.99 per treatment

Garnier Olia is a permanent hair dye that I've used regularly over the years and it really is the best I've found. It has 60% oil-powered formula, with natural flower oils, so your hair will be REALLY shiny after you've used it (especially with dark hair, which shows the shine better). Your hair will feel smoother, too. It's ammonia free, so you get a pleasant scent. The colour is long-lasting, so should be as effective as your salon's, too.

Tips for using home hair dye

  • Get the right colour – if you have your hairdresser's number they might be prepared to text/tell you your dye number. That will give you a rough idea of what to buy. 
  • If you've never used this (or any other) brand before, always do a skin test to check you're not allergic.
  • Get yourself set up properly: a plastic cape or old towel around your shoulders, held in place with a clip; plastic gloves (provided); a comb; a sink nearby and an old towel beneath your feet to protect the floor. Get yourself a clip or band to hold your hair in place while you work.
  • Rub some cream around your hairline on your face, neck and ears to stop the dye sinking into your skin. 
  • Follow the instructions exactly, but mostly make sure your hair, if long, is brushed through.
  • Get some help! The front isn't too hard, but get to around and behind your ears and it's tricky. Make sure to pay attention to the back of your parting, around the crown of your head. It's easy to miss it. 
  • When you wash it off, pay particular attention to the hairline – it's easy to miss the bits at the back of your neck.
  • Clean the bathtub straight away afterwards or it may stain it.

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