Whether you're a seasoned colorista, or taking the color plunge for the first time, research is always important when thinking about changing your hair (so reading this blog is a step in the right direction). Here are some uber-important points to consider before you hit the salon (or the bathroom sink if you're a DIY diva).
1. You're hair health effects the outcome of your color. Virgin hair (meaning, hair that has not been color treated at all) is the easiest to guarantee how well you achieve your color and how well the overall health of your hair will be after color treatment. If you have colored your hair recently or in the past couple years, be sure to let your stylist know so he or she can make educated decisions about the color treatments depending on the health of your hair. If you don't have virgin hair I recommend using a deep conditioning mask the day before you visit the salon. I'm obsessed with the Intense Hydrating Mask from Moroccannoil. This will help with the hairs integrity and structural health so it will be able to withstand the chemicals of the color without as much damage. Olaplex is another brand that can take your hair leaps and bounds with repair and structural integrity especially if you are going to be lightening your hair.
2. Yes, Hair color is a chemical. which means you can cause a chemical burn in your hair...burning means melting. On a serious note, a much younger me tossed 30 level bleach on her dark brown un-virgin hair that I had been box dying for about 4 years prior, and it fell out of my head in fistfuls when I was rinsing the bleach out. My hair was about 14 inches long at this time, and this damage caused me to lose about 10 inches of that. Many tears and salon visits later, I learned the hard way that it's not worth it to mess around if you don't know what you're doing.
3. There are hair levels and hair shades. For example a level 1 is black and level 10 is very light platinum blonde, you can only safely lift the hair UP TO 3 levels depending on how healthy the hair is without causing breakage. ( this goes in reverse too, if you’re blonde and want to be a brunette, your hair will only hold onto color thats a few shades darker at a time). If you have your dream color in mind, please consider that you may not be able to get there in one salon visit, it will take time and commitment but we promise that dream color will be worth it! Your stylist isn't going to compromise the health of your hair to get you the color of your dreams in one appointment time.
4. Fashion colors (meaning pink, blue, purple, etc.) will only work if your hair is very light. Fashion colors will only take if your hair is at least a level 7, but even then it depends on what color you want. If you want a really vibrant shade of pink? red? blue? etc... you need to be at a level 9. Fashion colors are only going to look vibrant for up to 8 washes which means more maintenance. If you aren't prepared to be in the salon every couple week to keep up with your fashion color, try putting a few drops of your color in your conditioner and use it like a treatment. If you aren't sold on a fashion color, or are new to coloring your hair, I would suggest a semi-permanent dye like this Viral Colorwash. You won't have the long-term commitment and it's a little cheaper than going to the salon every 6 weeks to touch it up.
5. Colors will always fade. Many factors can cause hair color to fade, including the sun and heat styling. Try using a leave-in conditioner after you shower that has UV protection, and heat protection in it. This Pureology Colour Fanatic is my go-to for leave-in color protection and conditioning. It is also wise to use a shampoo and conditioner that are specially formulated for the upkeep of color treated hair (it will say so on the bottle). Reds are the most difficult shade to keep up with, so if you have don't have a lifestyle that allows you to maintain a color like bright red and be in the salon every 6 weeks, you may want to consider something more natural. If you are going for a silvery blonde look, the purple shampoo thing is a must! It's worth the hype, I like to use Sea Lights Shampoo from Kava
6. Once you color your hair, prepare for the maintenance. Highlights are the easiest to maintain, usually every 12-18 weeks for a touchup, all over colors need touchups every 4-8 weeks depending on your hair growth, but most hair grows about 1/2 inch every month. Make time for your hair, it's worth the upkeep!
Posted by Liz Venuto