Hair. It is one of my favorite features of a human body. It can be smooth as silk or have textures, wave, curls, rings, crisps or soft. Dark or light. Bouncy messy long hair of a girl or faded combed back hair of a boy your hair has a whole new story to tell. You can add new dimension and textures with colors. It can be a very new you.
Get your hair fun for the holiday seasons, parties, occasion or just for today’s life. Lift them up with a hint of color, spice up your life, maybe. Color your world.
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We have collected everything that is needed to know from the experts themselves when you are going to color your hair, be it at a salon or home. Read out the article and you will get a better picture of what you are signing into.
It is never a wise act to act upon impulse. Things are more to go wrong if you do something without pre-planning especially when it comes things done and reveal at one shot like your look.
It is never an ‘OK’ to change or bring anything new to your whole appearance without testing it beforehand. It doesn’t mean that you should not try new things but it means you should be well prepared and backed up before doing it.
Changing hair color also needs loads of preparation. You may refer it to changing into a new mayor of the town, election. Lots of preparation, testing, statics, alternatives, and back up. When you are done with your planning start your expedition.
According to the owner of Salon Marion Russo, Mario Russo, “If you are coloring at the salon, it’s important to find the right person, preferably someone who specializes in color”. You should prepare yourself mentally, financially and physically. The job of sitting at one spot with wet hair is no easy. Your hair has to be healthy too.
Choosing The ‘ONE’ Person
If you are planning to go to a salon for the change of your life (your hair what I mean) then first find out about the person who will be coloring your hair for you. Ask about the colorist experience and previous work. Get yourself the most experienced and ‘hit-the-target’ one.
For the first-timers, people going in for a drastic change in look or any case a professional colorist is a wise option. There is a reason why the job post of hair colorist was invented and why they have to pass a test to get government license by spending time and money at school.
If you are opting for some colorful stands or just highlighting that you can do it at home. In other cases listen to experts, “at-home color will be ineffective in lightening your hair. The reason is that the chemicals needed to perform complicated hair color changes can severely damage hair and scalp alike.”
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Book A Consult with The Colorist. If Possible Make It One(s) More
Whether you are going to a salon or decide to color at home it is better to have some experts’ advice in your bucket. After all, they know it better, at least better than you or the friend who dyes her hair almost every month. She knows her hair and its coloring system well. But you have a different hair, right? No second head is the same.
Hair color experts work with this. They study, experiments and know what is there to know. They also know different hair types. Yes, your hair types that are different and it has an impact on your coloring. The colorist can figure out what your hair needs and how to do it.
Having a face to face talk with them will definitely help you to understand the whole coloring process and the technology. Thus you will know better what to do and how to take care of it better. They will also understand your point of view.
And they can suggest you something better. They can add something more stylish and complement your appearance and lifestyle, like dimension, highlights, lowlights, foils, and balayage single process or double process. Talk to them about what you want and listen to them about what they can do for you.
Do Not Just Listen But Talk As Well and Show
When you fix a consultation session with your colorist do not just sit there and listen to their words like Holy Grail but also what is on your mind. Just a “blond” or “brown” word is not enough and it does not describe the picture in your mind. Try to be more specific. Whether your words make sense or not you put everything on the table.
Thus, there will be less misunderstanding and fewer regrets. Bore them with your question but make sure to get the best for yourself. Bring in pictures and show them all of them. Hey, you are the one spending money here. But be polite. A smile wouldn’t kill you and also a soft tone.
True to say normally a colorist will most likely start you off with either a gloss (to add richness, depth, and tone that will slightly darken your hair color) or a partial highlight (to slightly brighten your hair and to add soft dimension — without committing to a complete color change.
Salon SCL hair stylist Devin Toth says this. But if you are more in bold colors than he suggests to opt for a single process or double process color, as both coloring techniques are required to lift hair, and will guarantee that high impact finish.
Depending on your vision of your perfect colored hair a stylist will give you these services, single process, double process, or even a full head of highlights. And if you cannot imagine yourself in a new look than what you can do is imagine the looks you do not want to do. Tell your stylist about them.
Ask The Hard Question
Saving is a noble deed. Do not shy away and ask for the total costing from preparing for maintenance. How much it will cost, the monthly expense and everything also about any possible mishaps and their fixing cost. Know your pocket to cut the coat. Love your hard-earned money. No matter who has earned it in the first place but you have earned it to spend it. It is not easy to estimate the costs but you can be at least mentally and financially ready.
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Eyebrows Are Not Included
Just because your hair is lavender that does not mean you have to color your eyebrows lavender. No. It does not work like that. It is blonde so dye the eyebrows blonde. Or red for red. Do not have to. There is no universal law for it and no fashion police will hold you captive. Just do what you feel like to look good.
And if you do not know that there are professional people to help you see. Ask them and create a style statement.
Get Your Hair Ready
Now coloring may look good but it is absolutely not a good news for the health of your hair. Take some treatment in the process of making it and nourishing it so it is strong and healthy to take upon the toil of chemical and/or bleaching. And it is not a thing of the night before coloring.
At least give a week to your hair and scalp to get ready for the trauma. Also brittle, slit or broken hair do not accept color as healthy ones. And if you are up for a Keratin treatment, do it around the time you plan to dye your hair.
Do not shampoo on the day of your color appointment, maybe a day before it. Instead, follow up with a deep conditioner that will replenish the lost moisture during the process. Wash your head at least a day before and after. Clarifying shampoos are also for before hair color not after. Give your hair the care and it will have your back.
Do Not Get Dead-Set On A Color
It may seem bit intruding in your personal space but listen to your stylist first and do not just be adamant to dye your hair any particular color unless there is a special reason behind it. For the best of your appearance, the professional colorist will know better.
Riccardo Maggiore the New York City salon owner says, “It is more about science and color theory and less about the color you like. Your colorist can analyze your skin tone and find the color that best compliments and highlights your best features.” The famous colorist Angelo David Pisacreta adds, “Eye color, bone structure, and hair texture…play a role in determining the perfect hair color for an individual.”
Some Tips From Experts to Pick Out the Color
As dyeing hair is a hectic job and if it backfires somehow than it is gonna lead double or triple of hard work to fix it, it is better to know about your colors. You have to think hard and wise before picking up a color, it was said by hairstylist Pabon.
Keep your skin tone, face structure, eyes color, glasses lens (if you wear), wardrobe, workplace, lifestyle, budget in mind. Paler people will not suit pastel colors like pastel purple or blue. They will wear out. Brighter colors are a better suit. Dark brown skin can rock the outstanding and crazy colored hair of yellow, red. But not the olive tone ones. Orange, yellow, is a no-no. They can be cool with pinks and purples.
Lead colorist at the Oscar Blandi Salon in New York City, Kyle White said that light-skinned, light-eyed persons look more natural with lighter shades, while darker hair and skin look better in darker shades. Warmth in hair color should be avoided by skin with a flush of pink in it either you will look more flushed.
Olive skin tones owners should opt for gold tones that bring warmth to the appearance and make skin look less of green. Neutrals with no pink or green can wear either warm or cool blond shades.
It is advised to stay within two shades of your natural color. They damage the hair lesser and you can easily fit into it. If you are just looking for a new look play within two shades up and down, it will not disappoint you.
Ways To Color That Cascade
There are lots of options to have a new colorful look in your hair instead of coloring it partially or whole. Pisacreta recommends highlights if you are up for a more natural look and they are the easiest one to maintain.
The stylist also suggests bayalage for the first timers, a process that includes the application of colors on the surface of the hair but adding more saturation at the tips. In bayalage dark pieces are left to give it a more natural look as if it is sun-kissed. It also has a low maintenance.
And my all-time favorite is Ombré. There is another vibe in it. To me, it screams ATTITUDE, makes your hair look voluminous and completely brightens up your whole being. It is for a more daring personality or hoping for a change and it takes lots of care but you do not need to touch up as frequently, maybe only twice a year.
A more subtle way of ombré hair is sombré. It is just the softer version. Then there is hair painting, babylights, foilyage and much more that will blow your mind. Reds are the hardest to maintain know that.
Know Thy Options
There are many ways to color your hair too. I mean the techniques. You can color permanently or give a test drive. Depending on your choice and hair there is permanent to demi-permanent dyes. The option named, demi-permanent colors can last up to 24-30 washes and it contains no ammonia and gently deposits color on the hair. But a permanent dye will start to fade after 4-6 weeks.
So, know what are you willing to put yourself into. You may need a single process or the double process. A single process is where just the colors are added to it. And the double process is where your hair first has to be bleached and then add color to it. It is done while lightening the shade or changes the whole color of a darker hair person. The double process is more toiling and time taking.
How About A Test Drive Before
The best way to aside mishaps and torture is to have a test drive of the colors and style in your hair. Temporary color, fake extensions, wigs and much more. The stylist will know. So, do not need to take a risk such big. Do a test drive.
Do Not Be Upset Or Bored With The Appointment(s)
There are some dyes that need a lot of pre-ups and then there are lots of hair types that need a lot of care to rock the color and stay healthy. So do not shy away from your appointments. Macaria Pabon, a hairstylist at Charise’s Salon says “For example, if you have blonde hair whether it be virgin or highlighted, most crazy colors will take on it.
But, if you have black hair it would require several lightening processes before you could apply any crazy color. This can all be determined in a consultation between you and your stylist.”
If you are going in for some dramatic look like going blonde from a dark shade or coloring your hair red then you will need more than one appointment. Usually going light takes more hard work and does more damage than going dark. And red color is tough to maintain as the pigments in red color has the biggest molecule size so it does not soak in hair immediately and is more likely to wash away every time you wash your hair.
Keep this in mind too that the best idea to get back to your natural color is to completely grow them back. But surely there are ways to help. And also if you have permanently dye your hair do not get disappointed when you see some original strands as it is completely normal to have some. It’s in your DNA. Great hair does not happen by chance, it happens by appointments.
Are You Sure Your Workplace Is Fashion-Friendly?
Well, as a matter of fact, may place have some tight code and rules ‘n’ regulation (like my high school, they didn’t even allow any fancy hair clips which were just colorful!). Most of the workplace is not that harsh or conservative but few post requires a more serious look and some companies do not prefer much ‘fashion’ on board like your unicorn hair, or shocking pink strands or a total eco-friendly green look.
So, for a safety check your company employee manual and know about their policies or ask around. And if you are an intern or going for an interview than be extra careful because they may redeem you as less professional and more likely not suit the company image.
What about some hacks? Like, try out the classic bayalage. Or brown highlights with black hair (my hair is black but my surface hair is somewhat golden-brown and it looks great!). Peek-a-boo can be a great fun to play. Color some strand inside around your neck. For the Auburn one how about some other shades of red?
Permanent Dyes Are A Permanent No
Colouring your hair at home is not a bad idea but only if you know how to do it properly. To dye your hair at the comfort of your home start by picking up the safe dyes that do not harm your hair. Permanent dyes or boxed dyes can be very harmful. They may cause damage to such extent that you will not be able to treat or bring back to the previous condition.
Founder of oVertone Haircare and other hair stylists warns to stay away from them as they sometimes contain bleach or ammonia. They also advise choosing something semi-permanent dye or color conditioner that will not damage even if you leave them in your hair for long or reapply to tackle an accident.
Everything Is Not What It Seems
Sometimes you cannot just trust your eyes. Buying hair color from a drug store looking at the pictures given on the box is one of that times. They are absolutely not helpful. The model may have the perfect shade you want and can give out that shade but how do you know it will work on you just the way it worked on the model.
Nope. You do not know what was the model hair’s color and texture before coloring you do not know how many time and layers it took the model to get that color. You know nothing. The box says nothing. So, do not fall for it.
So, how do you know? Know it from the letters and numbers written on the box. For your help, Izabela Saboski, director of the color for Salon Ziba in New York City reveals the secret. On a shade scale of 1 to 10, 1 is the darkest, 10 the lightest and the letters, reveal the dye’s undertones —
a means ash, g gold, c copper, and n neutral. Also, buy the lighter shade of your desired one as it will always go darker and also you can darken it by applying more but can lighten it.
Beware of Products That Are Damaging
One of the reasons why people are afraid to color (my main reason) and need to consult an expert is products that have harmful ingredients in them. Unlike any other product available in the market some hair coloring products can be pernicious too. They may have ammonia, coal tar, lead acetate or something that can trigger your allergy or harm your scalp and damage your hair.
That’s why; colorist in the salon first do a strand-test to see whether the product suits you or not. Pisacreta says, “This is why salon professionals perform a strand test,” he says. “The condition of the hair and its texture are key…we always perform a complete analysis before coloring in order to maintain the hair’s health.”
So, when you are up for buying a drug store hair color for coloring your hair at home make sure you are a hundred percent sure of its quality unless you do not love your hair anymore. Or comfortable with wearing a wig for the rest of your life (do not think it is easy).
Stay Away from Bleaching
Bleaches are required when you opt for a more lighter shade of black or going to lavender. Bleaching is required to fade your natural dark tone and bring out the desired light shade vibrantly. Also, not only once but you may need several sessions of bleaching before you reach your desired level. And this bleaching is a very harsh process for hair and skin. They dry and break them.
So, your hair has to be bleach-ready in order to stick there and look lovely and for that, you have to append some money and nourish your hair properly. Here, again comes the salon part. They will keep your hair alive during the coloring process.
Pabon says, “Lightening your hair should always be left to a professional. A professional should look at your hair and know your hair color history to determine if your hair is healthy enough to lighten.” Hair stylists are not there just to make your hair look good they are also there to keep your hair health good.
Cut That Hair
“Hair type, texture [and] porosity” all influence how the final color will turn out, says Pisacreta, and a haircut can alter some of these qualities. It is a nice idea to have a haircut before coloring it will make the finished product look good. A cut definitely has an impact on the color. It helps to get the desired look.
To the least get a basic cut like trimming and deleting the split and rough ends. It is really worthy of your time, money and effort.
Dirty Hair Trick
As said before do not wash your hair on the day of coloring or day before. It rips off all the moisture and makes your hair extra smooth in which the color slips away and not get soaked in the hair strands. Also, the moisture in the hair protects the scalp from harmful chemicals contact and irritation. Your natural oil will help your hair and scalp withstand the coloring process.
Be Color Ready At Home When You Will Dye at Home
When doing the colorful job of coloring hair at home, be sure you have the right tools. And what are they? A moderate size of glass or chinaware bowl to mix and keep the color. In no way a metal or plastic one though as they might react with the chemicals in color and end up in something, not a dye. The right brush. Yes, a brush not toothbrush but the particular ones that are specifically designed to color the hair. Everything has a purpose you know.
And a set of latex gloves unless you are okay with colored mess nail beds and fingers. These things do not cost a fortune and are available at any drugstore. Get your comb too and brush your hair nicely so that there is no knot in them. Also, buy more than enough. Depending on the length and thickness of your hair amount of boxes will vary.
Also, it is better to have more in stock than to realize you are short on dye halfway through. Also, buy a dye a lighter shade than you desire. “Buy one or two shades lighter than your desired color. It is easier to amp up a color’s intensity than it is to tone it down” advice from Rihanna’s colorist Ursula Stephens.
Have them as well with all the other precaution. Things go better when you have the right ones by your side. Box coloring at home for the first timer is not safe. A fine salon and a fine colorist are recommended hardly for virgin hair. And when you dye at home do it at daytime. Most hotline closes down at 7 pm so if there is a mishap you can get help just with a call.
Make Sure What You Wanna Dye
If you are dying your whole hair or touching the roots then make your ears and forehead are saved. Apply oil or Vaseline. Professional does not need it as they are a pro but in-home guys do it if you do not want to have the proof of your color adventure written all over your face. Cover yourself as well with a towel or robe or a least favorite shirt. And in case there are color pigments on your skin than wipe it off with an oil-based makeup remover.
Cover up the area where you are working especially when you are a clumsy person (like me). The coloring is already a messy job. Coloring on carpet, bed or sofa? Nope, bad choices. Floors also may get colored. Go to the washroom. Or cover up with a piece of clothing. Also, if needed place a cloth on the table where you are keeping the color bowl and stuff. Basically, cover up everywhere and anywhere around the coloring area unless you are completely fine with a colorful messy life. Go ahead.
Do Not Be In A Hurry and Do The Strand-Test
Not a big thing just take a small amount of your hair and apply the color. Check if it suits you physically and aesthetically. Thus, you will know if the ingredients in the color will harm your health any way or damage your hair. And you will also find out if your hair will be able to accept it and how it will look- light, dark or ashy.
DO NOT MESS AROUND AND CHECK IT OUT.
Apply With Gap
You may think it is easy and time-saving for you to color from head to toe (Roots to tip) at one shot but it is not. In fact, it is totally wrong. If you do so you may get an inky effect rather than a natural look. Also, natural looking hairs are lighter on the edge and darker on the top. When you are retouching be extra careful. Just keep for five minutes at the end part while you are pulling the color. And lovely brunettes you need to be extra colorful about keeping the end lighter or your complexion will be under the threat of getting overwhelmed by the hair color.
Grays Cannot Get Covered In One Shade
Grays are already a lighter shade, in fact, the lightest of all. So, logically it needs for color and more layers to match the rest. They are completely a whole new syllabus of color technology. The roots and tips will end up looking different. That is why get a deeper shade of the grey roots so they can complement the end and look natural.
Color With Care
Shits happen all the time whether you want it or not. To cut down on the damage it has been said again and again to take precautions like semi-permanent colors. It is a must because if you do mess-up somehow, anyhow, it may be your fault or maybe not. It can be the tools, whether or someone uninvited. In that case, you can semi-permanent colors can at least wash off and fade by using a clarifying shampoo and moisturizing conditioner. The hair will get a tone lighter and stay in a good standing till you get your head in the salon.
It can also help to soothe the integrity of your hair. These are the wise words from the celebrity colorist Heather Cie who is also a co-owner of Malibu-based Cie Sparks Salon. Meghan Scarlett also advices if the color gets un-even than re-applying semi colors are fine. Also if the ending color is not up to your liking then try choosing a shade right next to it on the color wheel. Do not choose anything too contrasting. Opposite colors will equal to grey-brown.
Do Not Forget About Your Hair Once It Is Colored
Wherever you color your hair be it at home or salon the only way to keep it is to take care of it regularly. You have to invest in color preserving tools and use them without fail and any complaints. There are lots of shampoo, conditioner, and masks that can help to prevent hair color. They will keep your look as fresh as possible. If you are not going to wash your hair than wear a shower cap.
Enemies of Your Color
Sun, pool, beaches are not friends of your hair color. Soak the colored hair in tap water before entering a pool or diving into the ocean. A special kind of mask is also found to apply on hair beforehand. You can find out more about purple shampoos.
Water Is Not Life for Your Hair Color
The first 48 hours after coloring your hair is very crucial it almost determines how your color is gonna be. Water will wash off the color and if it is warm water than it results in more washing off. Stick with cooler water. As said before applying a moisturizer right after and keep it for about 20 minutes. Give your hair the time to regain its pH level so it can rebalance by producing the natural oil. Washing will also weaken the already week strand resulting in more breakage.
You Do Not Have to Redo the Whole Thing
Once colored you do not need to go through the whole coloring process again every time the color seems to fade and your natural shade peeks out. It may need a root touch up or a recoloring of the faded ends. Nothing big and whole all the time. Just a touch up like makeup. For root touch ups home is fine. Do not need to rush to salon.
Word Your After Thoughts
You have done everything from preparing to color to get colored and also maintaining. After a time your color has set the way you have desired too but maybe it is not up to your liking anymore. It can be too gaudy, too flashy, too simple or just not you. It is fine. Just fine. Things like these happen after all human mind can hardly settle for a thing and be the same forever (thanks a lot we like diversity or I would have died out of boredom).
So, talk out with your stylist or friends. Tell them your problems and get their advice. Be sure one head is better than two (but three can be a chaos) and there is the solution to everything. Do not get disheartened just look a bit further.
Also Then Salon Will Be Your Newt Destination Spot
If you think you will color your hair once and never visit the salon again then you are living in utopia and that –ish just does not exist. And thanks, heavens it does not (who wants a bring life and same hair color?). Once you have colored your hair then you have to keep on visiting the salon and retouch your hair to keep it colored or to keep it healthy.
I mean it is fine, coloring hair was a one-time thing and you are through with it but still, you have to visit your salon a few more time so that the damage can be repaired and you can get back your original color of hair. Even if you decide to grow it out all over you still need a salon trip. Do not be cheap or slack around if you love your hair.
In the terms of keeping the color only washing a few times a week while using a color-depositing shampoo may help you to keep the color on the hair but what about the roots? They will grow back in your natural shade. After and before every sunny vacation visit salon to keep the color same vibrant and intact.
Then maybe your new colors have bored you already in that case a change is needed. Shifting into a new color or going back to the original, experts are better. Depending on your color history and your current hair health they will take care accordingly.
What Else Ways Can Be Applied Rather Than Just Coloring
You have met your colorist, choose your color and know the pre and aftermath but still not sure about what to do. Well, here is the solution for you.
Ways to change your hair look without coloring them temporarily or permanently.
So, when you get set to color your life a bit you should know about everything and anything that can ruin the color for you.
Coloring makes you a new you. But you should always keep in your mind to embrace yourself as you are. Coloring hair can be a fun thing and just a projection of the change in you but you should never feel inferior to show what your mamma gave to you. Color for fun not for becoming someone else who is not you.
Stay you. Return green. Be safe. Color safe.
“Hair doesn’t make a woman but a good hair definitely helps.”