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There is a big difference between home hair color kits versus professional hair color. You'll get more choices with professional hair colors and greater variety in the strength of developers. Home hair color kits are aimed more at covering gray and only offer one to two levels of lightening. If you're a brunette who wants to be a blonde, for example, that'll usually require about 5 levels of lightening. Wants some advice on hair color? It's not always wise to do it yourself. Unless you're a semi-pro yourself, you probably can't do the highlighting a professional stylist can, apply the low lights, or apply different shades creatively. The money you pay a professional stylist is payment for his or her time, expertise in application, and knowledge of style. Get your money's worth. As a rule of thumb, if you are using a home hair color kit, don't color hair more than two shades past what your current color is.