Drew Barrymore, the beloved actress and entrepreneur, has always been known for her fearless and ever-changing style. From her iconic roles in 50 First Dates, Never Been Kissed and Charlies Angels, to her successful beauty brand Flower and of course her hit daytime talk show, she continues to inspire women worldwide. Now, in a surprising twist, Drew has revealed her latest beauty secret: She does her own hair color at home. Keep reading to learn her tips and tricks from the latest installment of Drew Magazine, “The Happy Place Issue” (read more here).
Embracing the DIY trend, Drew has become her own personal hairstylist, experimenting with different shades and techniques from the comfort of her own bathroom. With her infectious enthusiasm and creativity, the 48-year-old is not only proving that professional salon results can be achieved at home but also encouraging her followers of all ages to unleash their inner hairstylist — and save a little money to boot.
“I’ve colored my hair at home a trillion times!” gushes Drew in Drew Magazine. “My favorite shade is Garnier Nutrisse Ultra Crème 70 — it’s super rich and covers my grays. This is color that cares!” (Buy from Amazon, $7.97).
Drew is the first to admit that at-home hair color can be daunting, so she gathered the tried-and-true tips and tricks from the top hair color pros to help any DIY-er avoid the most pesky at-home hair color mistakes. The result? A glowing, long-lasting at-home “Drew-worthy” hue.
How To Prevent Hair Color Stains Around the Hairline
Your forehead’s best friends: a layer of Vaseline blocks color from sticking to skin and a waterproof-makeup remover, such as Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water All-in-1 (Buy from Walmart, $8.60) can help remove dye that sneaks through, according to NYC gloss boss James Corbett.
“This is a weird one, but any stubborn staining around your hairline can be removed by the dye you used, so save a bit,” reveals Bleach London founder Alex Brownsell. To do: Use a gloved hand to apply a bit of leftover hair dye to the stained areas of your skin. Rub it in, then gently wipe it away with warm water and soap. “If you are desperate and can find a smoker, adding a splash of water to cigarette ash is also excellent for taking skin stains off.”
How To Get an Even, At-Home Hair Color Application
For an instant upgrade for at-home hair color, the patented, reusable Dye Candy Hummingbird, created by hairstylist Kathryn Madison, makes it easy to target roots—even those on the back of the head (Buy from Dye Candy, $49).
“Hair-color developer deactivates in open air within 15 minutes. So always prepare your space, read instructions, and mix the product only once you are ready to apply it to the hair,” advises Brownsell. “Don’t be afraid to really ‘smoosh’ the color—we coined this term at Bleach London, and it refers to massaging the color in with your hands. Get messy and make sure all the hair is super saturated.”
How To Bleach Hair at Home (Like a Pro!)
“Don’t panic and wash the bleach off too soon,” advises Brownsell. “Because the bleaching product is white, sometimes hair looks deceivingly light when the product is on and working. Often people—even me—panic and think it’s done when it’s not. We end up having to reapply. The best way to check is a scrape test—or take some product completely off.”
How To Tone Down Brassy, At-Home Hair Color
“Toner is your secret weapon for getting a salon finish when lightening your hair at home,” raves Brownsell. “This is the step most people miss. If you lift your hair using a bleach or lightener, it will be stripped of its color pigment to a light yellow color. You then need a toner — which is why we launched our Bleach London toner kits (Buy from CVS, $14.99)—to neutralize the yellow and achieve your desired color. Toners are also great tools for refreshing brassy blond between dying.”
How To Fix At-Home Hair Color That’s Too Dark or Bright
“If you’ve dyed your hair too dark or bright, don’t fear. Before reaching for a color remover, try a shampoo mask,” says Brownsell. “Apply a shampoo made for oily scalps or dandruff—or, and this is only in extreme cases, dish detergent. Massage it in for five minutes, then add water and continue to emulsify. Rinse and follow with your regular shampoo and a deep conditioner. This will help to accelerate any color fade that would usually take a few weeks.”
How To Get a Few Extra Weeks Out of Your At-Home Hair Color
“To prevent colors fading fast, always rinse your hair with cool water. This will close the cuticle, locking the color in,” shares Brownsell. Another color pick-up trick: “L’Oréal Paris Le Color Gloss (Buy from Amazon, $11.50) is an at-home, one-step conditioning gloss that comes in 17 shades to keep every hair tone looking bright and hydrated,” adds L’Oréal Paris creative director of style and color Jonathan Colombini.
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A version of this article appeared in our partner magazine, Drew Magazine, in 2023.
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