Hair Care Tips: Choosing the Right Color
Almost every woman has at least thought about changing her hair color, whether it’s to cover up grays or simply update their look. But while it’s become easier in recent years, not everyone can pull it off. Here’s a guide to choosing a hair color that will work for you.
Blonde one day, brunette the next, redhead, then back to blonde again. Regular hair changes seem to be the trend in Hollywood, and naturally, it’s been picked up by women the world over. With hair dyes suddenly available off the shelves, it’s now possible to change your hair color as often as your moods.
But like any other trend, there’s a right and wrong way to follow it. It’s in style, but are you sure you can pull it off? Different colors work for different features, so it’s important to know what looks good on you. Here are some useful tips to help you out.
Choosing the right dye
You don’t need a professional-grade product to get good results, but don’t scrimp on it either. There are three types of hair color to choose from: permanent, semi-permanent, and semi-permanent with vegetable colors.
Permanent dyes contain hydrogen peroxide, which lifts existing colors and opens your hair cuticles to let the new color in. It basically bleaches your hair first, so that the original color is washed away and replaced by the new one.
Semi-permanents open your cuticles only slightly, so the new color only highlights the existing shade. That means you won’t get the same shade as it shows on the package—it’ll be mixed in with your current color. This type can fade after around 20 washes.
Vegetable-based colors don’t remove any of the existing color; you’re simply coloring over your hair. They’re the mildest form of hair color, but they’re also the least permanent. A typical application fades after around 8 washes.
Matching your skin color
Skin tone should be your top consideration when choosing hair color. Some colors just go well together, while others will clash horribly. Brown is a universally complementary color. If you are fair-skinned, you can pull off most colors, although very dark shades (such as jet black or deep red) may be a bit overpowering. Brown, red and blond usually work best. For the dark-skinned, four to five shades of blond are most suitable, as well as honey and chestnut.
Maintaining your hair
Some colors wear off longer than others, so take that into consideration as well. Red colors can be hard to wash off, and cheap brands can look unattractive as they fade. If you can’t deal with the in-between periods of fading color, you may want to get a permanent color or a vegetable-based one so you can easily switch.
Over-treatment can do permanent damage to your hair, though, so it’s not a good idea to keep jumping from one color to another. Find one basic color and stick to it; you can experiment once in a while if the situation calls for it. To keep your hair healthy, limit your treatments to once every 6-8 weeks.
In between treatments, wash your hair with a mild conditioner every day. Moisturizing shampoos also work well; as long as they’re hypo-allergenic (harsh chemicals can worsen the damage). If you’re getting it done professionally, your hairdresser may give you a maintenance regimen to keep your hair from drying out.
If you’re new to hair treatments, you might want to consider getting your hair colored at a salon. It’s more expensive, but it’s well worth the assurance that you won’t mess it up. Your stylist can even help you pick the right color and product, so you can be sure you’re making the right choice. Once you know how it’s done, you can start doing it yourself at home. Just remember that the initial costs may not include follow-up sessions and the maintenance products you’ll have to buy.