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How to Use a Bowl and Brush To Color Your Hair for the First Time

by Susannah Murdock May 20, 2020

BLOG.05.20_ How to Use a Bowl and Brush To Color Your Hair for the First Time

Image by Madison Reed

We know that coloring your hair yourself for the first time can be intimidating—we’ve been there! But we’re here to help you see just how easy it actually is to color your own hair at home.

One thing that can look pretty intimidating to first-timers is using a bowl and brush to apply your color. This is how the most licensed professional colorists do it, after all. What you might not realize is that using a bowl and brush can make the application process even easier than using the applicator bottle. Here’s why…

Using a bowl and hair dye brush to apply your color helps you REALLY saturate your roots, namely any gray hair you might have, which means you get better coverage. That’s one of the reasons professional colorists apply using a bowl and brush in salons—applying with a brush gives you more accuracy of placement, allowing you to apply more color to areas you need it most (ahem, grays), and to really saturate those areas. 

BLOG.05.20_ How to Use a Bowl and Brush To Color Your Hair for the First TimeHair

Please note: don’t just grab a metallic mixing bowl or brush from your kitchen! The metal may cause a chemical reaction with your color. You must use a reusable plastic bowl and brush, or better yet—a salon-quality Professional Bowl and Brush specifically made for hair color.

Here’s how to use a bowl and brush to apply your color: first, open your activator bottle and squeeze the contents into your bowl. Then puncture your color tube and squeeze those contents into the bowl, as well. Use your brush to gently mix the two together. You want the mixture to be creamy—no lumps or globs of unmixed activator or color. 

Next, use the pointy end of the brush to divide your hair into thin sections. Again, this is how pros do it in the salon. Just calmly and slowly wipe the color off the brush, flip the brush to divide your hair with the pointy end, then dip the brush end into the mixed color and brush it onto your hair. If you have sectioned your hair before application, take one section at a time and apply. If you haven’t sectioned your hair (some prefer not to), you can simply use the pointy end of the brush to flip thin sections of your hair (like the pages of a book) to get to your roots. You can use the brush this way to really saturate your roots and grays. The trick is to work slowly and methodically. 


You might find that using a bowl and brush also means you can use every last drop of mixture (great for people with long or thick hair). When you are done applying, simply put on your cap to let your hair process, then wash out your bowl and brush thoroughly. It’s as easy as that!

So not only do you get amazing gray coverage while using a bowl and brush, you also look like you really know what you’re doing (even if you don’t). Better yet? The more you color at home, the easier it gets...pretty soon you’ll be needing to give yourself a generous tip. 

Happy coloring!