What shade should I use? How do I fix it if I mess up? You’ve got color; we’ve got answers! We’ve gathered together some of your most frequently asked color questions and are here with some have-no-fear-we’re-here-to-save-the-day responses.
The most popular questions
Question 1:What shade should I use?
- Are you just touching up? Use Root Touch-Up to perfectly match your current color, even if it’s not a Clairol color.
- Looking to go lighter? Do as the tortoise does and take it slow. A.k.a. don’t go any more than 2 shades lighter than your current color. If you have medium brown hair, aim for a lighter brown before going blonde. Enjoy a few weeks as a brunette (they may be your last, after all) and then go for another shift into blonde-zone.
- Looking to go darker? Don’t go all hare with your hair. Stick with that turtle and make slow, steady shifts. Stay within two shades of your starting color and ease into brunette territory.
- Still confused? Live chat now! One of our color experts will help you find the perfect shade.
Question 2: My highlights tend to get brassy. Help!
Answer 2:Don’t want your highlights to look like a brass quartet, huh? Keep hair brass-free by shampooing and conditioning hair with products designed for color-treated hair.
How do I fix my hair if I mess up when coloring at home?
Answer 3:Whoopsie daisy! No worries – for every color mishap, there’s a color to neutralize it. Turn bad dye jobs into color to dye for using this handy dandy chart:
The color turned out too dark.
If you don’t want to wait for the color to fade naturally, try a clarifying shampoo (NOT one meant for color-treated hair) the day after you color. It will help some of the color wash out, leaving you with a lighter tone.
The color turned out too light.
Get a box of the same brand one shade darker and re-color, but keep the color on for HALF of the recommended time. Check your color every 5 minutes and rinse when you think the color is dark enough.
The color is too red.
Try coloring with a shade of brown that is of the same color level as the red you used. Keep it on for five to ten minutes, and tada! Still red, but a more toned down version.
I have patchy spots!
The solution is pretty simple here: just color your hair one more time, paying special attention to the blotchy bits. Next time, opt for two boxes of color instead of one to ensure every strand is covered.
What products does Clairol make?
Clairol, in our humble opinion, makes the best at home hair color products around. We have everything from Demi-Permanent (lasts through 28 shampoos) to full-on Permanent Color (lasts until your hair grows out or you recolor) as well as Highlighting, Blonding, Age Defying, and Root Touch-Up products.
Can I match a shade of a competitor's product?
Yes! With Root Touch-up, you can extend the life of any color, any brand. Call 1-800-CLAIROL (1-800-252-4765) to get advice on finding a perfect-for-you shade.
What if I can't find my favorite shade at the store?
Lucky you! We have it all at our online store! Head on over there to Shop Now.
Where can I find product instructions?
Everything you need will be right in that beautiful box of color.
SELECTING A PRODUCT & SHADE
How do I determine which color product and shade are right for me?
Live Chat with one of our color experts for advice.
Should individuals with natural, uncolored hair use different hair color products than those who have previously colored their hair?
It depends on the desired result. As a first time colorist (hooray & welcome to the club), you may want to ease into it with a Semi or Demi-Permanent color. See if you like it before going full-on Permanent.
Should people who want to cover gray hair use different coloring products than those who don't need coverage?
Most Clairol products will cover grays, but you can get our superior gray coverage from Age Defy! Should we throw a goodbye party for those grays?Age Defy
Getting Ready to Color
How can I test-run a color before committing to coloring my entire head of hair?
Commitment issues? No worries – that’s what the Strand Test is for! Basically, you just color a tiny little portion of hair that no one will see (like the underside by your ear). All instructions for how to do a Strand Test are in your beautiful box of Clairol color, or check out all the details here
I would like to perm and color my hair to have a new look. Can I do both on the same day, or is it better to do one before the other?
It’s best to wait a bit. If your going with a Permanent color, wait 7-10 days + at least one shampoo. Less permanent formulas can be used the same day, but do the handy dandy strand test first as perms can leave hair more porous and can allow color to absorb faster.
I need some hair advice. I'll be visiting my hairdresser for a cut next weekend, and it's also time for me to reapply my hair color. Should I get my hair cut before or after coloring?
Cut first. Color later.
Does the length of my hair make any difference in the amount of hair color I will need?
Absolutely. If your hair is longer than your shoulders or very thick, you may need two boxes to fully saturate your hair.
If I'm going to color my hair, when should I shampoo it?
Give it a good 24 hours between shampooing and coloring.
Can I mix shades?
Go for it, you little artist you. Just keep in mind for best results, mix shades no more than 2-3 shades lighter or darker than each other
Lately I've been noticing that the bottom of my hair is darker or lighter than the top. Why?
Girl’s got to touch up between full colorings! Get yourself some Root Touch-Up to keep the top of your hair as radiantly luscious as the bottom. Root Touch-Up
The Coloring Process
Does hair type (curly or straight, dry or oily, coarse or fine) affect color timing?
Yes, ma’am! Coarse hair generally takes more time to absorb color, so it requires a longer timing. Fine hair generally takes less time to absorb color so it requires a shorter timing. Hair that's dry or permed may absorb color quickly, too. Do a strand test before coloring your whole head to ensure you have the timing down.
When should I start timing my hair color application?
Set your timer as soon as you've finished applying your hair color.
Can I use my own conditioner instead of the conditioner in the hair color box?
You can do what you like, but we recommend the conditioner in the box as it has been specifically tested for use with hair color to help create softness and shine.
How long can I keep a box of hair color before using it?
If you don't open the bottles, your hair color products will generally last 3 years.
How do I keep my hair color looking vibrant and beautiful—and prevent fading?
We have a whole slew of tips for you! Check them out here.
Has the Natural Instincts product changed?
Nope! In early 2011, we upgraded the packaging, but the product itself remains the same.
Should I apply Natural Instincts demi-permanent to dry or damp hair?
Natural Instincts demi-permanent hair color should be applied to damp hair that is free of styling product build-up, but don’t use shampoo within 24 hours of coloring.
How long should I leave Natural Instincts demi-permanent on my hair?
Once the color is completely applied to hair, wait 10 minutes. For resistant gray hair, you may need to leave color on for an additional 5 minutes, for no longer than a total of 20 minutes. A strand test will always help you determine the perfect timing.
I can’t find my favorite shade at the store – help!
Have no fear! If you can’t find your favorite shade in-store, head to our e-store! We’ve got it all there. P&G eStore