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DIY Trick: Stay in the same color family. Forget trying to go light blond if your strands are cherry red: "At-home kits don't have the strength to change hair that much," says Jason Backe, master colorist at Ted Gibson Salon in New York City. Pick a kit that's within one to two shades of your natural tone, and look for one that's free of potentially damaging ammonia, such as Garnier HerbaShine Semipermanent Color ($7.99, drugstores).