Ready to color your hair? Once you’ve made the decision to give your color a change, the next step is to arm yourself with the best color know-how. If you follow the right steps, you’ll look like you just walked out of a salon.
- Dye type: First, you’ll want to decide what kind of dye to use. There are two main types to choose from:
Permanent color lifts out all of your natural pigment, then replaces it with artificial ones that permanently change the color. It’s the best choice if you want a rich, vibrant color – and also if you have grays to cover up. Gray hair tends to resist color since it is coarse, so the best solution is a strong, permanent color to whip them into line!
Demi-permanent color doesn’t lift out your current color – instead it just deposits pigment on top of it. Since it doesn’t add permanent color, it will fade away after about 24 shampoos. You should take note that demi-permanent isn’t strong enough to provide serious gray coverage. It’s great for enhancing your natural color or blending grays, but if you have over 25% gray hair, permanent is the best way to go.
- Skin tone: Make sure to consider your skin tone before you settle on a color. Choosing an unflattering shade may bring out the wrong undertone in your skin, like making you look sallow or orange. When professionals mix your color, they always analyze your skin tone before choosing your complementary hair color.
Start off by figuring out your dominant undertone. You can do this by looking in a mirror and studying your face. If your skin has shades of pink or red, you’re considered “cool.” But if you have tones of peach, olive, or gold, it means that you’re “warm.”
- Complementary color: Once you’ve determined whether you’re warm or cool, you can use your skin tone to determine which hair shade is your best complement. In general, you’ll get the best look if you stay close to your natural hair color.
- If your skin is cool, warm ash or neutral hair colors will contrast the pink tones in your skin. Some common ash and neutral color choices are champagne, beige, chocolate, espresso, and auburn.
- If you’re on the warm end, a color with golden or red tones will work to cool down your skin. Some color options for you are honey, strawberry, copper, golden brown, chestnut, and mahogany.
In general, the best option is to speak to a professional colorist for advice on how to get your perfect color. Another option is using a custom blended coloring system, such as eSalon.com, which has professional colorists that will find your most flattering shade.