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At-home beauty: Long Island experts on how to do a color treatment, trim

Aliza Licht, 45, of North Woodmere, who is presently quarantining at her house in Bridgehampton, has a serious signature hair color of the drugstore variety. She shows us how she colors her hair.  Credit: Aliza Licht

You're overdue for your salon appointment and those colored locks are looking long and bleak. Don't panic and backtrack the work of your professional. Below, Long Island beauty pros share their tips for how to do an at-home trim and color treatment. 

Touching up that hair color

Aliza Licht, of North Woodmere, who is presently quarantining at her house in Bridgehampton, has a serious signature hair color of the drugstore variety. (If you must know, it’s Wella Color Charm in Terra Cotta). After more than a decade of going to a pricey, big-name NYC salon, “I bought a boxed hair color and it’s the best thing ever,” says the former DKNY PR Girl who is currently a brand marketing and digital consultant in fashion and beauty, and the author of career advice book, "Leave Your Mark," and host of the podcast of the same name.

“It’s a great skill,” she says, and “a timesaver too.”

If you’re unsure about matching your shade, Licht suggests checking in with your salon colorist who can help. Here are her very specific 18 step-by-steps, which may seem daunting but it takes her 45-minutes. 

And just a heads up, use old towels (she uses her kids’ old Disney towels) and watch out for your bathroom surfaces — hair color can stain. Also, don’t be alarmed but here’s a little warning from Licht when it comes to rinsing color out: “If you are using a bold color (especially red) it will look like a murder scene in your shower. Just keep the shower on until everything has gone down the drain."

Tools of the trade: Hair color; color developer; two towels — one of the sink, one for the floor; smock; tightfitting gloves; hair color bowl; brush; clips; comb; measurement bottle; baby wipes (for quick spill cleanups); your phone.

The process:

1. Make sure you have your phone with you for timing.

2. Put on smock and gloves (any top you wear under the smock may get color on it).

3. Prep space (towel on sink and floor, wipes nearby for fast spill cleanup, bowl, brush, comb, clips, color, developer).

4. Pour color into the bottle (pay close attention to your specific ratio for the color you are using — this is detailed on the color packaging). "I use one bottle of color and when poured, my color fills the measurement bottle to nearly the No. 2 mark. Then I pour in the developer until it reaches nearly the No. 6 mark on the bottle."

5. Tighten cap and shake mixture well.

6. Start by brushing your hair out completely. Split hair in the middle. Set phone timer for 30 minutes.

7. Take the bottle and with the tip leading the direction, line the root.

8. With the brush, start spreading out the color in both directions covering any exposed root (but not beyond the root length).

9. Using the comb, section another area that is parallel to the one you just did. Repeat on small sections until the half is done. Make sure to cover hairline that lines the face and by the neck.

10. Repeat process on the other half of head.

11. Split hair down the back as if you were making pigtails and line the root with color. Spread out per directions on step 8. Section out as best you can areas that could be exposed when your hair moves.

12. Once you are confident that the root is covered and the hairline is as well, continue to sit to the completion of that 30 minutes. 

13. At the 30-minute mark, take the bottle and open the cap. Pour a small amount of color onto your gloved palm and apply to a section of your hair using your hands to saturate quickly. Reset the clock for 15 minutes.

14. Now this is when you will cover the rest of your hair and “pull the color through.” Make sure to continuously check your surroundings for any splashes. It can get a bit messy. Wipe up spills immediately.

15. Section in chunks (use clips for ease) and apply the color and comb through. Make sure your hair looks wet and that you see no dry patches.

16. Once the 15 minutes ends, jump into the shower and shampoo and condition well making sure to use for color treated hair.

17. For best results, after color do not wash your hair for three days.

18. Style and bow dry per usual.

Trimming those bangs

If your bangs have become a “bangdemic,” there are ways to do them yourself without making a tragic mistake. According to Jamie Mazzei, creative director and owner of nuBest Salon and Spa in Manhasset, “there a couple of little tricks to do them yourself.

Tools of the trade: Hair cutting shears (Note: Do not use regular scissors meant for paper, nails or kitchen work); mirror.

The process: 

"First of all, your bangs have to be overgrown," he says. “Looking in the mirror, comb the hair down, pinch it to the center between your index finger and thumb toward the bottom. Then clip the little ends off, but be conservative. You can always go back to take another run at it.” For more texture, follow the same steps but twist the hair, says Mazzei.

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