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At-home hair coloring saves money and increases in popularity as products continually improve. In order to obtain the best results, whether you’ve been doing this for a while or are new to coloring, you should know these five important at-home hair color tips.

Know What You’re Getting

Going darker than your natural color is always easier and fairly straightforward. If you want to lighten your hair, enlist professional help, unless you’re only lifting hair a maximum of three shades. Keep in mind that going red equals lightening your hair, unless your hair is naturally blonde and lighter than the shade of red you have in mind. You should also consult a professional when you already have colored your hair and want to change the shade.

You will not get the exact color that’s pictured on a box, unless you start with a blank slate. This means the result on the box only applies when you add the product to hair that has been stripped of its natural color (pre-lightened). To find the approximate shade the dye will give you, consult the chart that’s usually listed on the side or back of the box. This will also tell you if the product will work with the natural color of your hair.

Perform the Allergy Test

Many people fail to perform the allergy test because they’ve colored their hair for years. However, even if you’ve been using the same product for a long time, you have to test for allergies every time you use it because adverse reactions can develop at any time. To test for sensitivities, apply a small amount of the product on a patch of skin and wait at least 24 hours.

Perform a Strand Test

To avoid disappointment, color a small piece of hair that’s not visible beforehand. You can do this at the same time as the allergy test. However, don’t leave hair color on for longer than 40 minutes because it loses its effectiveness after this time frame.

Don’t Apply Hair Color to Freshly Washed Hair

You should wait at least 24 hours after shampooing before applying hair color. While you might think that clean hair would easily absorb color, the opposite is true. Hair color will hold better on unwashed hair. However, the main reason for not washing it right before coloring is that you’re more likely to cause irritation because your scalp will lack the protective natural oils. This especially applies to products that bleach hair.

Protect Your Skin and Clothing

Protection is key when working with hair dye. Use gloves during the coloring process, and apply petroleum jelly to the skin around the hairline before coloring to avoid staining. Wearing old clothes or a smock is always a good idea as well.

When asking around, you’re likely to get contradicting advice such as that it’s OK to forego the allergy and strand test when you’re used to a product. However, spending the time to do things right will give you peace of mind and help avoid potential disaster.

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Treating Common Foot Issues: Dry/Cracked Skin

Dry skin is uncomfortable and unsightly. The issue gets especially bad in winter, but some people are prone to dryness all year ‘round. The truth is, many of us simply don’t moisturize our feet enough – we neglect that part of our body because it’s not as visible as, say, our hands. But our feet are especially prone to dryness!

To treat this problem, you need to do a couple simple things. First, remove the dead, dry skin from your feet. Then moisturize away until they’re soft.

Removing dry skin.

There are lots of products designed especially for this, such as exfoliating socks and foot peels. With these products, you can literally watch the dry skin peel away from your feet over the course of a few days. Gross, but satisfying. You don’t want to use those products all the time, now – over-exfoliation is never a good idea – but do it on an occasional basis, when your feet look like they need it.

Then, on a more regular basis, rub your feet with a pumice stone when you take a shower or use a foot scrub. These steps are important for maintenance and keeping dead skin at bay.

Deep moisture overnight.

Did you know that there are masks for your feet? Yes, there are. You can also just apply a thick moisturizing cream, apply socks, and leave them overnight. Your feet will be incredibly soft by morning, and you won’t have to worry about slipping and sliding all over the house.

If you’re experiencing cracked heels, apply petroleum jelly to the affected area and follow the same step – put on socks, and leave it overnight.

Apply foot cream daily.

To maintain soft skin, moisturize your feet every single day. Slather it on if you must! While you might not want to apply lotion or cream right before you put on your shoes, it can actually be a good idea if you’re prone to dry skin – the heat helps the moisture penetrate your skin, and it soaks in by the time you’re back home.

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Treating Common Foot Issues: Blisters


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