When I started beauty school, I think I had about ten boxes of hair color layered on my locks.
I quickly learned that was bad. Like, real bad.
I'm not saying you can't color your own hair... I'm just saying it's important to do it right.
But it's best to have it done.
I am going to answer a few of the color questions I've gotten over the last few months the best I can.
I don't like what my stylist did. Can I just color over it?
This has happened to me nearly every time I've gone to a salon. My hair is always super brassy and needs to be toned, which not every stylist gets. The answer to the question is: yes and no. You cannot go home and cover it with permanent box color. Please. Your hair has just been through the ringer and that will just damage it and it isn't even necessary.
I always always always recommend a semipermanent color like Natural Instincts. (In fact, I think they should pay me for how much business I've sent them.) You can get it at pretty much any drugstore and it'll only set you back $7-8. It is really gentle and will tone down whatever your situation is. If you feel like your hair is too brassy or warm, get a "cool" or ashy color to counteract it. I actually love solving these little problems, so you can always email me for specific recommendations if you'd like.
So, what's the big deal with box color?
When you go into a salon and tell them what color you want your hair to be, they assess your situation. They formulate your color to be just the right strength for your hair so that they don't damage it. Box color can't do that. It is all formulated to be super strong so that someone with dark brown hair can go to light brown or blonde with one application. Or someone who is really blonde can go dark without it fading too quickly. It's a one size fits all situation, which really doesn't work for hair. Those strong formulations are really damaging and usually unnecessary. I almost never use formulas that strong on my clients.
sweet, subtle ombre.
But I can't afford to get my hair colored as quickly as it grows out.
You're speaking my language. I started to get (a lot) of gray hair when I was in my early twenties. Thanks, genes. Hence the layers and layers of box color I had going into Aveda.
Two bits of advice. First, don't stress about it. Ombre is all the rage right now, so if you're talking about highlights, consider asking for a very subtle ombre effect and then grow out isn't really an issue. Second, if we're talking a definite color change/root line - you only need to apply color to your roots. Your stylist doesn't cover your whole head with color if all you need is a retouch and you shouldn't either!
Now that my hair is colored, does it really matter what kind of products I use or is my stylist just trying to make money?
It matters. The right products will help your color to look it's best, prevent fading, and protect your hair from further damage. This deserves an entire post in itself, but we'll start here. Use the right shampoo and conditioner. I'm not saying you have to spend a million dollars. My favorites are from Aveda, but there are a lot of choices out there. John Frieda makes great color care products that you can get at the drugstore and they are specific to your shade. This is especially true for red shades, as they are the quickest to fade.
So, there you have it, Color 101.
Let me know if you have any other questions, or what you're dying (haha, get it?) to know about hair.
I love the opportunity to share what I know!