What’s the secret to foolproof hair color? Our experts share a few beauty industry secrets to help you achieve your most amazing color ever.
1. Ask yourself an important question…
Do you want to see noticeable roots in a few weeks? It’s the easiest way to choose between permanent and demi-permanent color. Either route you take, you’ll notice roots after 4 to 6 weeks, but demi permanent color softly fades and gives you some wiggle room in between touchups. Permanent color requires more of a commitment. Try Natural Instincts.
2. Apply color to your roots first
Hair that’s been previously colored is porous and soaks up color easily, but new growth requires more processing time. Leave color on your roots for the full time and only process ends for half the required time. It’ll give you a nice even color from root to tip.
3. Do the math
Your color is a result of your hair’s condition, your color history and the new hair color applied. One reason why the same shade looks different on everyone! If your hair isn’t in great condition, that healthy, glossy color won’t last long. Do a deep conditioning treatment once a week.
4. Call your BFF
Ask her to come over and help you color the back of your head so that you don’t miss a spot (that’s what friends are for!). You can also use a 3-panel mirror to help you see all sides.
5. Use your brows as a guide
If your natural hair color seems to be a distant memory, use your brows as a guide. For the best color match, stick within two shades lighter or darker than your natural color.
Note: Platinum blonde hair paired with super dark eyebrows isn’t a combo most of us can pull off, neither is dark hair with mousy, barely-there brows (and who would want to?). If you’ve colored your hair and your brows are a bit off, fill them in with a pencil that’s one shade lighter than your hair color.
6. Apply petroleum jelly to your hairline
It prevents color from staining skin (Bonus: Dab a little onto your cuticles to soften them!). Touch up any spots you missed by soaking a cotton swab in some toner.
7. Know your skin tone
Cool skin tones look best in cool hair colors, while warm skin tones look best in warm hair colors. Not sure about your undertone? Read this: Hair Color for Your Skin Tone: Are you a warm or cool?
8. Consider highlights
Have you always wanted to go blonde, but you’ve never been ready to commit? Lighten your overall look by adding a few face-framing highlights or a DIY ombré. If your hair is naturally dark, using a high-lift blonde for the first time will result in golden not platinum highlights.
9. Set the DVR
We know those reality shows can get juicy, but when time’s up set your TV on record. Over-processing hair is a common color mistake that ends in color not being what you expected! Check in with your color a few times. This is especially important when bleaching. If color turns white, your bleach has been on way too long, and it’s time to rinse.
10. Use foils
Not for your hair, but for your glasses! Wrap some foil around the temples of your glasses so you can wear them while you color. Once you finish up, remove your glasses and just make sure to retouch the sides.
11. Predict the future
The best way to predict your end results is to do a strand test on different strands of hair for different lengths of time. When time’s up, wipe the strands clean with a damp paper towel. Blow dry each strand, then place against a white paper towel so you can get the purest results possible. Read: Hair on the Side of Caution: How to do a strand test
12. Cut up some lemons
Stained fingers? Cut a lemon in half and squeeze the juice into a small bowl. Soak fingertips for 30 minutes. Wash hands and apply your favorite moisturizer to keep hands smooth.