Thinking of joining the color club? Consult our expert guide before taking the plunge.
What you’ll need
Be it bleach blonde, fiery copper or warm, classy brunette, there’s no denying that dyed hair has amazing transformative powers. Whether you’re looking to channel a certain trend, enhance your natural tones, or go for a dramatic refresh, coloring your locks is not a decision to be taken lightly.
Getting the blend of shades right and knowing which techniques to use isn’t as easy as runway models and celebrities – who all seem to be changing it up regularly – would have you believe. The transformative effects of a dye can be life-changing for you and your tresses, so it’s best to know what you’re getting yourself into before taking on the commitment. So, if you’re seriously considering coloring your locks – and you totally should! – here are a few things to take into account before booking that salon appointment.
Dyed Hair: What You Need to Know
. Go to the salon.
If it’s your first time dyeing your hair, we recommend you have it done by a professional. Yes, it can cost more, but we promise it’ll be worth it. Because while your best friend may claim to be an expert with box dyes, for someone inexperienced, a home dye job can easily go wrong. Not only can you be confident that a professional colorist will be more vigilant with the application of the dye, but he/she can also tailor a specific blend of tones to best suit you. Good colorists should also know how to minimize the damage dye can cause, and advise on a haircare routine that will help your color stay vibrant, too.
2. Understand the terminology.
Demi-what? Semi-who? Before you take the plunge, these are just some of the terms you should familiarize yourself with. Temporary hair dye – which usually fades after only one or two washes – is applied after shampooing and left on as a treatment. Semi and demi-permanent hair dyes are stronger in formula and last longer, as the name suggests. Both work to coat the strands with color by gently penetrating into the hair shaft. The color lasts up to three months and gradually fades away with each shampoo. If you want to test out a new shade without having to commit for too long, we suggest opting for any of the above options. Note: because these dyes don’t contain ammonia or peroxide, they don’t have lifting action. This means they won’t lighten your hair, only deposit color onto it.
Unlike the dyes mentioned above, a permanent one is longer-lasting. This is because it uses hydrogen and ammonia-based ingredients to penetrate through the cuticle, into the cortex layer of the hair. This then removes the hair’s natural pigment and replaces it with a new color that won’t wash out easily, though that doesn’t mean it won’t gradually lose its vibrancy over time, which is why regular touch-ups are a must.
3. Research your colors.
When choosing a shade, use your skin tone, eye color and natural hair color as a guideline. Remember, what works on others may not work as well on you, so be realistic with your choice. A good shade should be one that flatters and complements your complexion, rather than washing you out. A quick and easy way to determine what colors will suit you is to try the ‘wrist and vein’ trick. Hold your wrists out, facing upwards to direct sunlight or artificial light, and if the blood vessels seem greenish in color, then your skin is warm-toned; if they appear to be bluish, then you have a cool skin tone.
Ed’s tip: Those of you with cool tones should try cool reds, intense brunettes, honey, taupe and ashy browns. Those of you with warm tones should try deep chocolate browns, auburns, golds and coppers.
If this all seems too complicated, book a consultation with your colorist, who’ll happily help you decide what shade to go for. If you have a specific color in mind, bring image references as a starting point, and whatever your choice, make sure it’s one that you love!
4. Understand the damage.
While dyed hair is beautiful, it’s no secret that it can cause damage to your locks. The intensive process you’ll be putting your hair through will no doubt change the strength and integrity of it, making it more prone to dryness and breakage. This is especially true with bleaching. Going from a brown to a blonde will require a full bleaching process, which will not only strip every last drop of moisture from your hair, but change its texture too.
Tip: if you want to brighten up your tresses without having to put it through this drastic process, consider getting highlights instead.
Though damage is inevitable, investing in the right products and following a good haircare routine can help minimize it. Color-treated hair needs all the TLC it can get, so regular deep-conditioning is a must, as is using a color-preserving shampoo and conditioner like the Suave Moroccan Infusion Color Care Shampoo and the Suave Moroccan Infusion Color Care Conditioner. You may also find that your hair is super dry after you dye your hair. In those instances, be sure to use a hair mask like the Dove Nutritive Solutions Intensive Repair Deep Treatment Mask for a weekly (or as need hair treatment)
5. Be 100% sure.
After reading all those points, ask yourself if you’re ready to take the plunge. Once your hair is dyed it will be difficult to hide, and as it would still be recovering from the process, you won’t be able to dye it back again for a while. A cool new hair color will have a huge impact on you, but as long as your choice makes you happy, and you’re willing to dedicate the time for proper maintenance and care, we say go for it: there’s a whole plethora of options waiting to be tried!