A surprising number of testers revealed a dirty secret: stripping down when coloring to avoid staining clothes. If that's not your style, wear an old button_front shirt or robe that way, you won't have to lift anything over your head when it's time to rinse. You can also lay down garbage bags instead of covering surfaces with towels or sheets, which can soak through and need washing. Keep your chapstick handy : There's nothing worse than ending up with stripes of color on your forehead. Rather than using a goopy salve to protect skin from dye, glide a clear solid lip balm along your hairline, Hill says: "Its small size makes for concise application."
Section, section, section. To avoid patchiness, create a middle part that runs to the back of your head and split the hair into four sections two in front of the ears and two in back. "Always apply the dye from back to front," says colorist Aura Friedman, of the Sally Hershberger Downtown salon in New York City. "That way the dye is sitting on the back of your hair the longest, which is naturally darker than the front anyway."