No need to book an appointment at the salon. We'll guide you through the process of successful at-home coloring.

Assess Your Tresses.

Gauge the condition of your hair before coloring. The healthier it is, the better the results. In the week before you color your hair, use treatments that contain the hair-strengthening B vitamin panthenol or products with hydrating ingredients like vitamin E, avocado or coconut oil.

If your hair is dry and damaged with split ends, hold off on coloring. Instead, use a color-depositing conditioner for a few months, which leaves color-boosting pigments behind and gives you a less-drastic, temporary change.

Pick the Right Color.

Take a good look at your natural hair color in bright daylight and then pick a shade that will complement your eyes and skin tone.

For warm skin tones (yellow, olive or brown) select colors like auburn, copper, red or sienna.

For cool skin tones (fair, ivory or reddish) look for colors with ash or beige tones.

Choose Your Formula.

Most pros suggest starting with a demi-permanent color or rinse that lasts up to 28 shampoos and is gentle on hair follicles. If you prefer to go permanent right off the bat, opt for less messy, drip-free formulas.

Get Prepped.

The ends of your hair are more porous and, as a result, absorb more pigment. Wet hair doesn't absorb color as readily as dry hair, so mist your ends with water before getting started.

Key to success: Read and follow instructions before applying color for the first time. Be sure to perform the recommended first-time allergy and strand tests.

Highlight sparingly.

If you want all-over highlights, head to the salon to ensure you get the perfect shade. But for a few fun streaks around your face, choose a kit that has no ammonia, low peroxide, and won't damage already-colored hair. Before applying the highlights, style your hair the way you normally wear it to make targeting the face-framing pieces easy.

Damage control: If your highlights seem too bright, tone them down with a dose of semi-permanent color in a shade that's one notch deeper. If your color looks a little orange, try a refiner to neutralize brassiness.

Maintain the color.

After coloring, minimize your exposure to sun and chlorine, and avoid overusing heated styling appliances (such as blow-dryers and curling or flat irons); these can fade color and damage fragile hair.

Hair-coloring chemicals can also harm your locks. To keep your hair shiny and hydrated, use color-protective shampoos, conditioners and treatments specifically formulated for color-treated hair to minimize dryness, keep color true and prevent damage.