DIY Beauty Treatment: Coloring Your Hair for Less Than Rp 250,000 (USD 18.57)


Majority of women love to pamper themselves, even though they have to spend a lot of money. From all types of beauty care available out there, hair treatment could take up the biggest portion – especially for those with longer hair.

From traditional creambath, hair spa, blow dry, to hair color, salon-goers are willing to spend millions of rupiah in order to get their desired hairstyle and color. The cost of getting hair dye could reach between Rp 350,000 (USD 25.99) and Rp 2 million (USD 148.54), depending on the hair color brand and the thickness and length of one’s hair. On top of that, you will have to make an early reservation and spare at least 2.5 hours of your time whenever you want to get this treatment done at a salon.

If you are interested in doing hair coloring at home, you will certainly be able to cut half of the time and money you usually spend for a salon treatment. With less than Rp 250,000 (USD 18.57), you can get it done in merely under an hour. We have summarized some tips from experienced hair stylists:

1. Understand the chemical ingredients in your hair coloring products

Almost all hair coloring products sold in the market contain ammonia and must be mixed with a developer or oxidizing agent. Ammonia, in permanenthair coloris used to increase the pH level, so that it could open the cuticle layer and enable the developer andcolormolecules together penetrate into the cortex – resulting a change of color.

However, if done repeatedly, the hair will lose its natural protein and moisture. After that, the pH level of the hair will not be able to return to its normal level.

“The cortex or keratin in hair is released and destroyed, which would cause the hair lacking in water. Overtime, hair will become dry, brittle, and unhealthy looking,” says Purwarti, a hairstylist of more than 20 years.

Other ingredients she said to keep away from, include propylene glycol (PG), para-phenylenediamine (PPD), and sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS).

Propylene glycol (PG), just like ammonia, destroys healthy-hair proteins and may triggers scalp irritation, while sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) would create dry and dull hair, prevent hair growth, and damage the hair follicles that causes hair loss,” she explains.

2. Make some preparations before coloring your hair

The best time to color your hair is when your hair is still clean and dry. Wet or oily hair can prevent the color from being absorbed. Hence, it is better for you to wash your hair a few hours prior the coloring process.

If you buy a hair color product, it usually comes with one bottle of permanent color gel or cream, developer cream, conditioner, gloves, and the instructional guide.

Once you are ready to start, you can protect your hands and body with the body cover provided in the box. Just to be safe, wear a comfortable, dark-colored home clothes.

After that, take these following steps:

  • Open the hair cream bottle or sachet, and pour the content into the developing container.
  • Tilt the bottle gently until the ingredients are mixed, but do not shake the bottle.
  • Before applying color, do a skin allergy test to see if a reaction occurs.
  • Adjust the portion of the hair color product with your hair length. Soft or short hair above the shoulder would need one bottle, but long hair over the shoulder would require 2 bottles of hair colors. 
  • Tie your hair into 4 separate parts and start applying the mix foam onto your hair slowly – starting from the inside tip of your hair.
  • Massage your hair and scalp like when you are shampooing your hair, so that the hair color would spread evenly.
  • Let it sit for about 25-40 minutes. Coarse hair generally takes more time to absorb color, so it requires a longer timing; fine hair generally takes less time to absorb color so it requires a shorter timing.
  • Lastly, rinse hair thoroughly and apply conditioner or treatment serum that comes with the product.
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