(BlackDoctor.org) — Few things spice up your look like some fresh hair color. So, here are eight simple tips to keep your hair coloring adventures fabulous.
1. No More Than Two At A Time
If you try to make a drastic change with hair color, such as going more than two shades lighter or darker than your natural color, it can be a disastrous. If this does happen, run don’t walk to a professional hair colorist – in most cases it can be fixed in one visit. Don’t try to do it yourself! Fixing a bad dye job is a scientific venture and the professionals know exactly what they’re doing. Even when you seek out a beauty professional to perform or correct color, make sure that hair color is their specialty. There is a difference between a hair stylist that sometimes does color and a hair stylist that specializes in color; it is truly an art and a science.
2. Are You “Warm” Or “Cool”?
This is where fabulous hair color begins: most of us look at a hair color on someone and if we like it, we decide, “I want that color.” Unless you have the same warm or cool skin tones as that person, you could be making a big mistake. Many people would like to think this doesn’t matter. But when it comes to hair color, it’s important to know which one you really are (and it has nothing to do with your fantastic personality).
You’re likely a “warm” if you have golden, olive or dark skin and brown or dark eyes (most Latinas, Asians and African Americans fall into this category). “Warm” women tan easily and the veins in their inner wrists are green.
You’re a “cool” if you have fair skin and blue or green eyes, you burn before you tan and the veins in your wrists run blue. If you’re confused because you sometimes burn, sometimes tan, you likely skew warm.
Once you know if you’re a warm or cool, you’ll better know what shades of color look good with your skin tone.
3. How to Choose The Right Color Tone
If you have warm skin, opt for golden shades such as caramel and bronze in a darker shade than your skin. Avoid jet-black hair which will wash you out; and this is especially true as you get older. As we age we tend to lose the warmer tones in our skin and jet black hair can often make a more mature woman look a lot older. If you do opt for a golden shade, don’t go too light or your hair could turn orange – then you’ll write in to me and I’ll send you straight to the salon. Can you go blonde as a “warm”? Yes. But it is a delicate process and should be done in a salon, not on your own.
If you are a cool shade, avoid colors such as gold, auburn or copper. They will only highlight the ruddiness of your skin tone. Ash blondes and cool browns work best.
When you go to the hair salon, ask your stylist to bring out swatches. First pick out the colors you are most drawn to, then hold them up to your face near a window where natural light comes in. Ask the stylist to help you determine which shades and tones work best next to your skin.
4. Don’t Go By The Picture On The Box
Pictures on hair color boxes can be deceiving; often they have been re-touched to show and ideal result. You’re better off going by the color swatches on the box and the descriptions. Most boxes will call out the color (blonde, brown, black and red) and the shade of that color (light, medium and dark). There might also be mention of the tone (golden or ash). This is a better guide to what you’ll end up with.
5. Always Test A Few Strands First
Too many women skip this step and end up with a color they despise. Once the color is in, it’s harder to change.
6. Consider Trying Two Colors
Many stylists create lighter strands around the face. To get this look, invest in a bottle of hair color a shade lighter and paint it on the strands around your face.
7. Don’t Over-Process Your Ends
Once you’ve colored your own hair, you’ll want to re-color the roots. To insure you’re not wrecking your ends, cover ends with conditioner when coloring roots and around your crown. This will protect hair from any damaging hair overlapping and over processing. A few minutes before it’s time to rinse color out, work the color over the conditioned ends. This will add just enough process to update the color, without damaging your ends.
8. One Chemical At A Time
Never relax and use permanent hair color on the same day. Most highly textured hair is challenged by this type of double processing under the best circumstances. Same-day use almost always leads to severe hair damage that is very hard to correct. The rule is relax first, deep condition to prepare the hair for the next chemical service. In two weeks if the hair is healthy enough (no breakage, weakness or dryness), then you may proceed with your hair color. Follow up with intensive deep conditioning combining protein strengtheners and moisturizing softeners.
Once hair has been permanently colored, the golden rule (regardless of your tone) is condition, condition, condition…
By Jacqueline Tarrant, BDO Contributing Writer
Jacqueline Tarrant is a beauty expert, consultant, columnist, founder & CEO of Style Infinity Products & The Hair Trauma Center in downtown Chicago. Jacqueline Tarrant has pioneered effective methods to help men & women re-grow hair with her multi-layered approach to hair loss, known as Quadra-Follicle Stimulation. Jacqueline’s expertise on hair care and hair health is expressed monthly in national columns that reach millions through various publications.
With numerous Style & Beauty appearances nationwide on Good Morning America, NBC, CBS, & the Fox Network; Jacqueline’s credits also extend throughout print in such publications as Seventeen, Cosmopolitan, Essence & the Wall Street Journal to name a few.
Her reputation as a renowned Educator, Trainer and Platform Artist has taken her throughout Canada, Europe, Africa, South America and the Caribbean.
Primarily through her anchor salon on the East coast & her latest location Downtown Chicago, The Hair Trauma Center, Jacqueline has the unique advantage of staying in tune with the pulse of today’s cutting edge hair care and beauty trends. Jacqueline shares her hair and beauty tips through print as a monthly columnist for Sophisticate of Black Hair Magazine with a reach of over 1 million monthly readers monthly.