The right hair color can transform your look and give you a beautiful confidence boost.
The good news? At-home color can help you achieve salon sexy results on-the-cheap. The bad? Picking out the perfect hue can be a “hair-raising” experience. Actually, so can applying it!
Liquid! Foam! Creme! There are so many different formulas on the market. Does it matter which one I choose? There are a variety of formulas available to meet different at-home hair color users’ specific needs. Foam is ideal for at-home hair color users looking for an easy-to-use, mess-free product or first-timers. The foam is drip-free. Liquid formulas (like Clairol's version, below) are the traditional option, still frequently used by women who feel comfortable sticking with a formula they know and trust. Crème formulas are in-between liquid and foam formulas.
Clairol Nice n' Easy Non-Permanent Hair Color, $8.99
What are the main differences between permanent and demi, or non-permanent, formulas? I always stress that before deciding on the proper form of hair color, women decide what type of formula – whether a permanent or demi-permanent – is right for them. Here’s a simple breakdown of the options:
- Provide all-over hair color that will completely change the color of your current hair color
- Do not wash out and lasts 6-8 weeks, they also require routine colorings to help maintain upkeep and root regrowth
- Cover 100% of grays, so it’s perfect for women fighting those stubborn grays
Demi- or Non-Permanent Formulas:
- Allow you to enhance or change your hair’s tone or go slightly darker, but not lighter
- Provide a subtle change
- Gently blend grays
- Fade out gradually within 28 washes, so you don’t have to worry about a rootline
Let’s say I want to lighten my locks. How do I know which shade is best for me, or how light I should actually go? If you’re planning on lightening your hair, keep your skin tone in mind. Warmer blonde shades, like strawberry or rose gold tend to flatter most skin tones, while platinum looks best on cool skin tones. With blondes, the lighter you go in color the cooler you should go in tone to counteract brassiness. For ultra light blondes, I recommend selecting shades with “ash” in the name.
What if I'm looking to darken my locks? How do I choose the most flattering shade? If you’re coloring your hair to a darkest brown, choose a warmer shade for a more flattering color as it will complement your skin the best. Very dark brown shades in cool tones will look more black than brown. A good rule of thumb is to gradually go darker. If you go with the more darker shade first, the contrast might be a bit too much against your skin tone and hard to get used to!
What if I’m looking to make a drastic hair color change? If you’re making a drastic hair color change, such as going more than two shades from your current color, I recommend you consult with a stylist.
Some formulas allow you to "highlight" your hair with a comb. How can I achieve the look without looking "stripey"? To avoid looking “stripey” with at home highlights, try these tricks:
- If you have long hair, pull your hair back in a ponytail or pigtails and pull random pieces out from the hair line.
- If you have short hair, pull pieces of hair from the roots.
- Using a highlighting kit, paint lightener on those pieces, as well as a few strands at mid-length and ends that are in the ponytail. Avoid painting too close to your roots, which can give the appearance of chunky or “stripey” highlights.
Remember to select highlighting shades that are only a few shades lighter than your current one. Too much of a contrast won’t give you that soft, highlighted look.
Revlon Frost & Glow, $8.99
I usually get my hair colored at the salon, but I'm looking to save money with a root touch up kit. How do I know which color to choose? Root touch-up kits are wonderful to give your hair color a boost or cover roots and grays between regular colorings. Next time you visit your salon, ask your stylist to recommend a shade or just check out the back of the box on at-home hair color boxes as they provide a great visual of what works for your hair color. If you’re still uncertain, many hair color brands have a 1-800 number (1-800-CLAIROL) that can help with your hair color needs!
Related: 3 Easy Ways to Camouflage Your Roots
L'Oreal Root Rescue, $6.39
I've always wanted to color my hair myself, but I'm scared that I'll mess it up! Any tips? If you’ve never colored you hair before a few simple tips are all you need to ensure success:
- Wear an old t-shirt during the hair color process and have some dark towels on hand.
- Apply Vaseline to your hairline to avoid getting extra hair color on your skin.
- Keep baby wipes or baby oil on hand in case any dye makes contact with your skin.
- Check the hair color instructions to see if you should work with dry or damp hair.
What's the best way to maintain my color and prevent fading this summer? To maintain your color and prevent fading during the summer months, make sure you incorporate the following into your beauty routine:
- Wait 24 to 48 hours after coloring to wash your hair and, if possible, avoid daily washing.
- When washing, use shampoos and conditioners specially-formulated to help protect color-treated hair.
- Treat your hair to a weekly deep conditioner to help lock in color and replenish moisture.
- Apply a heat-protector spray prior to using heat styling tools to help shield your hair.
- Reduce exposure to the sun and chlorinated water.
- Protect your color from the elements by wearing a hat while you’re in the sun, conditioning hair prior to swimming and rinsing with fresh water afterward.
Alterna Bamboo Smooth Anti-Breakage Thermal Protectant Spray, $24
More from GalTime.com:
- 7 Tips to Keep Your Hair and Scalp Healthy this Summer
- Popular Beauty Myths, Debunked!
- Be a Golden (Sunless) Goddess: Self-Tanning Tips n' Tricks
- 5 Makeup Must-Haves to Try ASAP!
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