Coloring your hair can make you look years younger. While there are a number of coloring products available in local drugstores, these products may cause long-term damage to your hair when used incorrectly. Even worse, you may end up with a completely different color than what you originally intended. For these reasons, coloring your hair is a task best left to the professionals. Here is a guide to help you find and maintain your perfect hair color:
General Hair Color Tips
Lighten things up. If you are having trouble choosing a shade, selecting something that is close to your natural color is always a safe bet. When in doubt, go just one shade lighter than your existing hair color.
The waiting game. Always wait at least 48 hours after dying your hair before you wash it. This allows the color to really soak into the cuticles of your hair. When you do get around to washing it, try to avoid using excessively hot water. Doing so may open up the cuticle and allow the dye to escape.
The Salon Visit
Know what you want. One of the best ways to increase the likelihood of getting the color you want is to bring a visual aid. Bring a picture of the shade that you want your hair to be and show it to your stylist before you begin. This gives the stylist a better idea of exactly what you want.
Get a consultation. If you are trying out a new stylist, be sure to book a consultation first. Consultations are usually free and will give you an opportunity to discuss your expectations with the stylist. The stylist will examine the condition of your hair and can make recommendations for styles and colors.
Getting the Color You Want
The Look: Bold Brunette
Brunette hair can be challenging to work with. When at the salon, try asking for gold highlights instead of red ones. Once highlighted, ask for a gloss treatment. This can help add shine and luster to your hair for up to six weeks.
Caring for Your Brunette Hair
The coloring process is not as damaging to brunette hair as it is for blond hair. The coloring process causes less damage and the color generally stays on longer. Using a lightweight glaze after every other shampoo can help you maintain that extra shine.
The Look: Brilliant Blond
Always consult with your stylist before dramatically lightening your hair. Your stylist can help you ensure that your hair is healthy enough to endure the chemicals required to dramatically lighten your hair. Keep in mind that lighter hair is generally more high-maintenance. Your blond hair will likely require bi-monthly salon visits for touch ups or color-maintenance.
Maintaining Your Blond Hair
The process used to lighten your hair may cause short-term damage to hair fibers. When caring for blond hair, a combination of gentle cleansers and moisturizing deep conditioners can help restore your hair and keep it shiny. Look for shampoos that are specifically formulated for use on color-treated hair. For conditioners, take care to find one that is designed for bleached hair. Those conditioners are formulated to help reduce breakage and increase shine.
The Look: A Rich Red
Strategically placed highlights are the key to getting rich red hair. Copper- or auburn-colored highlights can help make your color more vibrant. For a brighter shine, ask your stylist to add a few additional highlights around your face.
Caring for Your Red Hair
When you wash your hair, red is the first pigment that your hair will release. To keep your color looking fresh for as long as possible, shampoo it every other day with an extra-light shampoo and conditioner. A regular moisturizing treatment can help protect your hair from fading.
Finding and maintaining the right hair color may seem intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. Whether you are going blond, red or brunette, these tips can help you get and keep the perfect shade.