Before having any kind of color applied to your hair, select a salon with a certified color professional. Not every hairdresser is an expert in color. Find a salon that specializes in color and ask about the qualifications of their staff. Usually a high end colorist will charge more, but it's worth it. Considering you are looking for something for the holidays, think of this as a gift to you.
That's not to say you're going to duplicate the salon experience at home any time soon exactly. But it also doesn't mean the over the bathroom sink approach can't be more enjoyable, or pleasant even, now does it?In other words we've come a long way, baby when it comes to coloring our hair.