If one thing is for sure, it's that we're all missing our hairstylists right now.
In the wake of the pandemic, many are struggling to extend their color treatment at home, leading to plenty of hilarious memes showcasing some relatable hair fails. But according to celebrity colorist Ryan Pearl, who is responsible for the flawless strands of stars like Hailey Baldwin, Rosalía, Georgia Fowler and Hunter McGrady, dyeing your own hair doesn't have to be nerve-wrecking. In fact, with the proper tools, you can create a salon-quality dye job at home. And, for those interested, you can reach out to Pearl via Instagram (@RyanPearl23) to request professional color packages to help you get started.
Whether you're looking to have a complete hair transformation or just want to touch up your highlights, here are Pearl's tips for dyeing your hair at home:
"When coloring your hair at home, you want to start with pretty clean hair," Pearl tells E! News exclusively. "You want to have it washed day of. Think of it like painting a wall. You want it to be clean first so it goes on smoothly. Make sure your hair is completely dry before beginning."
Instead of heading to the store to pick up a box of hair dye, Pearl suggests calling your colorist to see if they can send you a batch of your usual color mix. "I do not recommend buying boxed hair color," he says. "I've sent hair packages to as far away as Canada, Switzerland and London."
Once your strands are washed and ready to go, Pearl suggests parting your hair "right down" the middle, noting that it's best to use clips to keep the part in place.
Pro Tip: "If you have a sensitive scalp, add a packet of Sweet & Low to the color," Pearl says. "It will take away any burning sensation that you normally experience."
"Start your application," he explains. "Begin by applying the color at the root, take ¼ inch sections, moving in horizontal sections starting at the part and downwards continuing to apply the color throughout." When dyeing your own hair, Pearl recommends being conservative with the dye because "in the long run, it will cost you a lot more to fix it at the salon."
Pro Tip: For those with a "resistant hairline," meaning it takes longer to cover over your greys and natural color, Pearl recommends covering the hair around your face with tinfoil. Then, put a shower cap or plastic bag over it to keep the tinfoil in place and go over it with a hair dryer to help set the color in, stressing to be careful not to put the dryer too close to the cap or bag.
"Let the roots sit for 35 to 45 minutes depending on how resistant your root color is and how grey you are," Pearl explains. "Once you are done with the color, take a shower and rinse it out well. Have a towel on hand to dry it off and squeeze out excess water."
After the dye has been washed out, Pearl suggests adding glaze all over the dyed areas and letting it sit for five to 10 minutes, noting that toner and gloss also work as a glaze.
"Glaze has a multipurpose function," the celebrity colorist says. "It adds shine to the hair and makes it healthier. It also adds either a golden or ashy tone, depending on what look you are going for." Pearl's go-to toner is Redkens Shades EQ, which offers gentle processing on the hair for outstanding condition and shine benefits. At the 10-minute mark, rinse the glaze out with water, not shampoo. "It's better it sits in your hair and settles in," he says, adding, "After that use a good conditioner and rinse as usual." Pearl also suggests waiting at least 24 hours before washing your hair.
Pro Tip: "A lot of redheads use two glosses because they tend to fade out more," according to Pearl.
"For highlights—and I don't recommend trying them on your own—but if you feel you must, don't get too greedy about it," Pearl warns. "Just do a little around your face." To successfully give yourself highlights, separate your hair into super thin sections and use a product like Redken Flash Lift, which is similar to bleach. Then, put foil over the dyed sections to prevent the color from dropping into the rest of the hair. "Apply it as close to your base as possible," Pearl recommends. "If it is not right at your base, that is okay because once you add the glaze after, it will blend the highlight to the root."
Pearl stresses not to use any heat tools such as a flat irons and curling irons after dyeing your hair within the first 24 hours. When it's time, keep your heat settings around 325 degrees to prevent fading the color.