With the vast array of hair color choices out there today, it can be hard to know which ones would look good on you. You know you want to do something different, but you have no idea where to start. Your professional colorist would best be able to help you here, but to get a good head start, here are some basic hair coloring tips to help you choose or change your hair color.
The first step is to decide exactly what it is you want to do. Are you just wanting to cover gray? Are you wanting a subtle change or something radical that will completely change your image? How much upkeep are you willing to do? Do you want to just do hi-lights or lo-lights to your natural color? Do you want something permanent or short term? A lot of choices I know!
If you’re new to hair coloring, you may want to do either a temporary or semi-permanent color to start out with. A temporary hair color is a color rinse that will wash out in a shampoo or two. A semi-permanent color typically lasts for about 6 weeks or more (depending on how often you shampoo your hair). Compared to a permanent hair color which needs to grow out and requires frequent root touch-ups, these may be better choices for the newbie. Although any hair color can be corrected if needed most of the time, it takes a lot of time, trouble and money. Trying something a little less committed will give you more of an idea of what you like without damaging your hair in the process.
Ok, so if you just want to cover gray, the choice is relatively easy. Just find a color that matches your own. However, if you want to do something different, there are some things you need to take into consideration. That gorgeous strawberry blonde color may be stunning on your best friend, but will do absolutely nothing for you but make you look washed out and sickly. The hair color you choose has to be compatible with your skin tone and eye color. If you have very pale, cool toned skin, an ash color with its cool undertones will probably complement you. Cool toned people normally do better with black, those crazy, vibrant colors, and very light blondes. If you have warm features, like golden brown eyes and golden brown skin, then you should stick with a warm hair color.
Colors with golden and red tones normally look good on you. If you’re not sure, check out your closet! You normally choose clothing in colors that compliment your coloring. If you have a lot of cool colored clothing like green, blues, and violets then you’re most likely a “cool”. If you have an expanse of warm colors like reds, oranges and yellows, then you’re a “warm”. There are some nuances you need to remember though. For instance, if your face is red from acne or other skin conditions, you don’t want to choose a red color that will accentuate that. Instead, you’ll want to choose a color that softens the red tones in your face. If your skin is sallow, then don’t choose a haircolor with a lot of yellow to it. Compliment it instead by choosing a color with richer tones.
Remember, you can always do something more subtle at first, especially if you’re choosing to go with a permanent hair color. Hi-lights are a great way to add some tones and interest to your natural color. Lo-lights add some darker tones that will help show off your natural hi-lights that you already have. You can do your entire head or just specific spots to show off some of your best features. For example, you can hi-light around your face to draw attention to your eyes, or you can add some color to your crown to accentuate your haircut. You can even just “tip” your hair with a different color to bring out the texture of a new cut.
Be careful if doing your color by yourself! If you’re not familiar with color and how it works you can easily do something that will cause you to go running to the nearest salon with a scarf around your head praying someone will be able to make you look human again. Here are some basic things to remember:
1. A color will not lift a color. If you have colored hair already and it’s dark, but you decide to go lighter, you’re going to have to use bleach. The same goes if you have naturally dark hair and want to go blonde. A color will normally only lift four levels. I would highly recommend going to a colorist in this situation as bleach can be tricky.
2. Opposites on the color wheel will neutralize the opposite color. For example, if you have too much red in your hair, an ash color with green undertones will cancel out the red.
3. Take precautions before swimming with colored hair. The chlorine in a pool and the salt water in the ocean can turn your hair green.
4. Never perm after a color. The chemicals in the perming solution will lighten your hair color.
5. If you’ve used a henna hair color before, wait for that to grow out before you use a chemical color. Mixing the two normally does not bring about a good result.
Remember, if you’re not sure, choose something more subtle at first. You can gradually go more radical from there. If you’re having a hard time deciding what colors would be for you, head to your nearest salon. The professional colorists there can give you many ideas of what would look good on you. Hair coloring is something that can be loads of fun, just be sure to follow these basic tips!
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