Duffy - Hair Stylist
Credit: Courtesy Vidal Sassoon

An all-over flat color, chunky highlights, or blonde that veers a little too close to the brassy end of the spectrum are usually dead giveaways that someone's new hue is a DIY job, which is enough to scare even the most seasoned hair aficionado away from the aisle of boxed dyes in the drugstore. Still, with a busy schedule and a budget around this time of the year, trips to the salon can be few and far between, with many of us tempted to take matters into our own hands. With the right method, that box of at-home hair color can give off salon-level results and Vidal Sassoon Global Ambassador Duffy, seen above working his magic at Thomas Tait's London Fashion Week show, shared his expertise on exactly how to master the effect.

Ever wonder whether to pick up that box of ash blonde, or take home the honey blonde option? Before heading to the store, use your eye color and skin tone as an indicator of which way you should go. "When it comes to blondes, a cooler type with a pinkish skin tone and blue or green eyes looks good with ash blonde shades," Duffy says. "Whereas a warm type with a gold-brown skin tone and brown eyes looks good with golden caramel or warm blonde shades." Follow the same rule of thumb when seeking out auburn or brunette hues, and once you've chosen a color, pick up a slightly-lighter option to treat your ends. "Over 80% of women who color their hair at home apply one formula to their whole head," adds Duffy. "Most hairstylists treat the roots and lengths of the hair differently to get color that is blended, and full of rich depths and tones."

Because your roots are new growth and have never been colored before, they may have more trouble absorbing the dye than your ends, which are more porous and absorb color much quicker. Concentrate the darker formula around the root area, then coat your mid-lengths and ends in the lighter shade to avoid that telltale inky appearance. Duffy also recommends beginning your application around the crown, then working your way around your head section by section in a clockwise motion. "You'll want to finish applying hair color around the nape of the neck and hair line since those strands develop faster," he advises.