Coloring Your Hair
February 12th, 2013 posted by Cathy Jacobs
by Cathy Jacobs
When it comes to coloring your hair, there are several questions that people ask or should ask. Whether you are just looking to add a few highlights or completely change your look, we have some great tips for you. Here are some commonly asked questions and their answers.
Q: How do I know what the best hair color is for me?
The hair color that will give you the prettiest and most natural results is one that matches your natural eye color and complexion (skin tone). You can look good in blonde hair if your natural hair color is dirty blonde or light to medium brunette. If you have a cool skin tone (ivory or ashy), use ash or beige tones of blonde. Girls with warmer skin tones (creamy beige, cafe au lait, golden brown) should consider using golden or straw hues of blonde. If your hair is darker than medium brunette to begin with, overall blonde will look unnatural on you. Instead, if you want some blonde, go for a few light caramel highlights around your face.
Q: Should I get an all-over dye job or should I just get highlights?
When deciding on what kind of color you intend to use (all-over dye or just color highlights), consider the amount of time and upkeep you are willing to put into maintaining your color. An all over dye will require regular re-dyes to combat different color roots. This can be time-consuming and expensive. Highlights are more natural-looking when they grow out, so you don’t have to redo them often. Also, consider why you want to color. If you want a total change of your look and image, an all-over color job is probably what you’re looking for. But if you just want to warm or brighten your complexion and add a summery or pretty complement to your hair, then highlights around your face would work well.
Q: Do I have to go to a salon to get my hair dyed, or can I do it at home?
If you’re going for a blonde all-over dye, or if you want highlights, it’s a really good idea to get it done at a salon the first time. Your hairdresser can then sell you product to keep your color up at the roots, which you can use at home. Highlights are almost impossible to do well yourself, and for that reason you should rely on a professional to do them for you. For darker colors, it’s safe to do it at home. Just be sure to follow the package directions. Whatever color you are going for, never, ever apply hair dye to your hair if you have used henna in the last year. If you’ve henna-ed and you still want a hair color job, you must see a professional hairdresser.
Q: If I get my hair dyed, how often will I have to get it redone? Can I touch up the roots myself?
Your hair will probably have to be redone every 3 to 4 weeks to touch up the roots. If you’ve dyed your hair at home, use the same brand and color that you used for the original dye job. Split your hair into eight sections or so and apply the solution each section in turn, covering the roots ONLY. Don’t apply the solution to your whole head, because putting those chemicals on the already-dyed part of your hair for the whole dyeing time is just asking for breakage and hair damage. In the last five minutes of development, you can massage your hair to spread the product throughout all of your hair. Do NOT leave the product on longer than the package instructs. If you’ve had your hair dyed at a salon, ask the hairdresser if he/she will provide you with some product so you can re-dye your roots later.
Q: What should I do in advance, if anything, to prepare my hair for dyeing?
Deep condition your hair a few days before you intend to dye it. This will help it get in its best, moisturized condition and prevent post-dyeing hair breakage.
Q: Do you have any tips for getting good results when dyeing my hair at home?
First, always test the product on a few strands first to ensure that it is the right color. A lot of girls skip the strand test, and it’s a big reason that a lot of girls have bad-looking dye jobs. The picture on the box is very rarely the same as the results you will get on your own hair. Second, never leave the solution on for longer than 20 minutes. Leaving it on too long will just ruin your hair and mess up the coloring job.
Q: What if I dyed my hair at home and I don’t like the results? Can I dye it again myself or do I have to go to a professional?
You should go to a professional hairdresser if you don’t like your home color results. Dyeing hair yourself more than once in a month is very hazardous to hair because the chemicals in home-dye solutions are very strong. Overuse could make your hair break off or fall out. When you go to the salon for a fix-up on a home color mistake, be sure to bring a written record of what product you used and exactly what you did, so the colorist knows what she or he is dealing with.
Q: How can I maintain my hair color after dyeing? What keeps it from fading?
To maintain your hair color, follow these rules:
- The conditioner provided in the home coloring kit must be used. It keeps the color looking better and the hair healthier.
- Don’t wash your hair with shampoo for at least a day after dyeing, or you risk fading your new hair color. (But if your color is too strong or brassy, go ahead and shampoo – it might fix the problem! Just remember to condition too).
- Use a color-safe shampoo and conditioner as your regular hair care products.
- Use a color-boosting shampoo and conditioner once a week or so (your hair stylist should be able to recommend a good brand).
- Whenever you’re in the sun, even during winter months, use a hair sunscreen or wear a hat or bandana to protect your hair color against serious fading.
- Avoid swimming pools and ocean swimming for a few days after dyeing your hair because chlorine and salt can make the color turn weird shades of green!