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Hair Coloring Tips (1)
Nothing can lift your looks and your spirit, like a new hair color!
A new hair color lets you look at yourself in a whole new way. There are many, many
ways to add color to your hair:
Coloring can add spice and enhance many hairstyles. It's fun and
rewarding when it comes out dazzling, yet it can be devastating when it works out wrong. A great color should look as natural as possible. A good color can add shine,
drama and fun to your hair. It can make some hair types easier to style. Although the
majority of women color to cover gray, many women color for the fun of having a new look,
and the pizzazz it can add to your hairstyle.
If you decide to color your hair it would be a wise idea to first
educate yourself. You can save yourself some tears and unwanted disastrous results.
Remember, if your hair is in a damaged condition before coloring it may very well become
worse afterward. Make sure you have your hair in the best possible condition before
coloring. For the best results, stay within two shades of your natural hair color.
Want a gentle boost of color with no
"roots"? Semi-permanent hair coloring is great for you. Sometimes called glazing, color
stains or washes, these can boost hair shine and texture by coating the hair with a
non-peroxide color that washes out naturally over 4-6 weeks. Semi-permanent color can only
darken the hair and it will cover most gray hair temporarily. These rinses can help tame
the frizzies and actually make your hair appear healthier. I strongly recommend that you
use semi-permanent coloring for as long as it can produce the results you want before
going on to permanent color. It is by far the most gentle on your hair, and a low risk way
to "try out" a new color.
Permanent color breaks down the hair cuticle and
deposits pigment into the hair shaft. Unlike semi-permanent color, permanent
color can lighten your
hair. It accomplishes this by bleaching and depositing color in a
one-step process. Permanent color can cover gray more extensively. Permanent color can be
damaging to hair, and long-term usage can result in permanent irreversible harm to your
hair. With a permanent color you can minimize long-term damage by being extra careful
with hair in your daily hair care regimen.
Highlighting, streaking, weaving and
Highlights can be added to the hair by any of
these methods. Any hair can be highlighted and is usually given some depth and more
texture by this process. You can add lighter, brighter strands of hair overall or just in
specific areas. This is a great process for the timid, or the first time blondes. I should
also mention "low lighting" here. The same processes are used however, instead
of lightening the hair, this is adding darker shades of blondes or warmer browns.
Coloring has come a long way recently and a talented colorist can weave two,
sometimes three different natural looking colors into your hair and create beautiful
Bleaching had a big resurgence in popularity
after Marilyn Monroe became a cultural icon. Usually this is a two-step process. First the
hair is bleached and then a toner is applied. This is quite rough on the hair. It is also
a time-consuming process. Expect to spend at least an hour in the salon every 2-3 weeks
for touch-ups. On dark hair it is particularly hard to keep up as well as hard on the
hair. If your skin is olive or dark it will look very unnatural.
After the process the
hair is so fragile that extra care needs to be taken in blow drying or curling with a
curling iron. Keeping it short is probably the best way to go, as you can cut off damaged
At home or in the salon?
You will get consistently better results leaving
coloring to the professionals. A good hairstylist will be able to pick out the colors that
work best with your skin tones. Application can be tricky also. Your hair porosity will
determine how long colors should be left on. Even touching up roots can be
tricky. Almost all hair will benefit by using a clarifying shampoo before coloring.
I realize some of you just don't have the time or money to spend
at the salon and will decide to color at home. If you do decide to do it at home with a
store bought product, remember that the actual shade you will achieve will vary from the
picture on the box. I would recommend following the directions exactly, and take the time
to do a test to determine if you will be getting the result that you expect before
any damage is done.
The perfect color for you
Whatever type of color you opt for, choosing the proper range of
shades—warm or cool—is the key. The right shade can brighten up your hairstyle . . . and your
The most basic principle of color theory applied to
It's choosing between warm and cool shades—and with the dizzying variety of colors
available, choosing can sometimes be confusing. The best way to make happy hair
choices is to determine whether natural coloring—hair, eye, and skin tones—is primarily in the warm or cool range of colors. Answer these questions or better
yet, have your best friend give you her opinion, which is likely to be more accurate:
- Deep brown or black-brown (Cool)
- Golden brown (Warm)
- Gray blue or dark blue (Cool)
- Green, green blue or turquoise (Warm)
- Hazel with gold or brown flecks (Warm)
- Hazel with white, gray or blue flecks (Cool)
- Very dark brown (Cool)
- Brown with pink undertone (Warm)
- Brown with golden undertone (Warm)
- True olive (most Asians and Latinos) (Cool)
- Medium with no color in cheeks (Cool)
- Medium with faint pink cheeks (Cool)
- Medium with golden undertones (Cool)
- Pale with no color in cheeks (Cool)
- Pale with pink undertones (Cool)
- Pale with peach or gold undertones (Warm)
- Freckled (Warm)
- Ruddy (Warm)
- Brown or bronze when I tan (Cool)
- Golden brown, when I tan (Warm)
- Blue black (Cool)
- Deepest coffee brown (Cool)
- Medium ash brown (Cool)
- Deep brown with gold or red highlights (Warm)
- Medium golden brown (Cool)
- Red (Warm)
- Strawberry blond (Warm)
- Dishwater blond (Cool)
- Golden blond (Cool)
- Salt and pepper (Cool)
- White (Cool)
- Gray with a yellow cast (Warm)
What were your answers
Did you check mostly Cools? If so, your natural tones are in the
cool spectrum. Mostly Warms? Then you're naturally "warm."
Naturally cool people should avoid gold, yellow, red and bronze
tones, which have a tendency to make you look sallow and drawn. The best shades, depending
on your skin tone, are shiny raven-wing blacks, cool ash browns, cool blondes in shades
ranging from mink to platinum and icy white. You're also fortunate enough to be able to
wear many exciting "unnatural" colors . . . lipstick reds, burgundies, and
orchids, for a more daring look.
Naturally warm people should avoid blue, violet, white and
jet-black hair, which will seem to "wash out" your natural high color. Depending
on your skin tone and your preference, you'll find deep chocolate, rich golden browns and
auburn, warm gold and red highlights, and golden blond shades enhance your
"sunny" look. Weaving and highlighting are a great way to add warm tones to your
hair—and natural-looking corals, oranges and reds are dazzling on you!
Make sure you don't look incongruent. What do I mean? We age as a
unit, if your hair (or any other feature, for that matter) is out of sync with the aging
process, it may look unnatural. When our eyes see a 60 year old women with jet black hair
our sensory acuity will begin screaming "something is wrong here".
Think of the "comb-over guy"—he is the guy who is
nearly bald, and lets a few strands grow to three feet long and then plasters them over the bald
spot. Believe it or not, he goes to the mirror each morning and says, "This works . .
. look how young and virile I look." Don't be the female version of the