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Liven Up Your Look With Hair Color

30 Days of Beauty Day 8, Hair Color Options

Whether you are looking to add spice to your existing hair color or to change it completely, it is important to consider your hair color options. Working with a stylist or on your own, you should always make your color intentions clear and determine what color will best complement your physical features and personality.

red hair

Color Permanence

There are many different levels of hair dye permanence. Semi-permanent hair dye is the least damaging to your hair. It washes out over time and becomes semi-transparent. However, because it contains no ammonia and less hydrogen peroxide, semi-permanent hair dye is only found in darker colors. Demi-permanent dye can also be found only in darker colors because it contains no ammonia. However, it lasts somewhat longer than semi-permanent dye and is great for covering gray or lighter hair. This type of dye usually requires you to retouch your roots every 4-6 weeks. Permanent hair dye lasts the longest and usually contains hydrogen peroxide and ammonia compounds. Roots should be retouched every 4-6 weeks and color usually lasts for as long as it takes your hair to grow out. Permanent hair dye can darken and lighten hair.

Full Color v. Highlights

Full color can be great for covering gray and for changes that are more than a shade or two different from your natural color. However, there are many ways to invigorate your hair without performing an overall dye job. Highlights are one way to do this.

Foil highlights

With highlights, the hair is bleached or otherwise lightened, boosting your hair’s vitality and blending grays or other hair imperfections. With lowlights, hair tone is darkened and areas that are too light are blended together with the rest of your hair. Both of these work to create more even tone and increase your hair’s shine. Two other popular ways of coloring hair include baliage and the base flash. Both of these use lightening techniques, but to different effects. In baliage, some form of hair lightener is applied to specific areas of the hair, defining your hair and improving the appearance of volume and overall shape. In base flashing, the tone of the hair is lightened to emphasize highlights and even hair tone.

Kimberly Nissen from The Plastic Diaries provides this tip for a quick color pick up that will look natural and which works great either with permanent color or with a semi-permanent gloss:

“Do you desperately need your hair colour freshened up? Pick up a box of hair colour from your grocery store in the same colour as your roots. It will even the tone and make your hair super shiny.”

Here are before and after photos of Kimberly’s look using Schwarzkopf Perfect Mousse:

Schwarzkopf Perfect Mousse Rear Before Schwarzkopf Perfect Mousse Rear After

Color Maintenance

Once you have colored your hair, it is important to maintain the color to keep it looking its best. Depending on the type of dye you use, you will usually have to redye your roots every month or so. While some dye jobs can be performed at home, others might require a stylist’s help.

Need to extent your color a bit between sessions? Nicole Dantzler of Lipstick and Luxury suggests this: “Use your old mascara to cover your grays in between color touch-ups. This is a quick and easy way to extend the life of your hair color!”

Prepping for Hair Color

Hair responds best to color if it is good condition beforehand. To prep your hair for color, Pammy Schmitt from Pammy Blogs Beauty offers this great information:

“Always do a protein deep-treatment before and/or after highlights! This process has taken my hair from dry and damaged to long and healthy. While highlights look beautiful, the process itself is quite damaging to your hair. Highlighting strips hair of both moisture and protein which leaves hair fragile, dry, and prone to breakage. You can combat this damage with protein treatments followed by deep conditioners.

Here is my process in a nutshell:

-24-48 hours before highlights do a deep protein treatment followed by a deep moisturizing conditioner. I like to use Aphogee 2-step Protein Treatment followed by L’Oreals Cream of Nature Conditioner (under heat). Aphogee 2-step is a professional product. So, please be careful to follow instructions precisely if you decide to use it.

-Repeat the above step the first time you wash your hair post-highlights.

-Every 2 weeks use a lighter protein treatment like Redken CAT and a moisturizing conditioner of your choice.”

Creative Color

Creative Color is also quite popular these days. For adding simple streaks of bold color, a non-permanent color product such as  streakers can be used, or simple clip in extensions may be added.

For more permanent creative color, the hair is normally bleached and then color is added back in. For more information read our past creative color articles here:

Need some product ideas? Read Folica’s list of the Top Ten Hair Color Products.

Tomorrow: Day Eight, Caring For Your Hair

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