Hair Coloring Options: More than Meets the Eye

What is it about fall that makes us all think about altering our hair color? The changing color of the leaves? Halloween? An attempt to distract the opposite sex from those extra holiday pounds?

I’m not quite sure, but regardless, it happens. So here are some tips to remember as you lust over those models’ locks while flipping through Vogue or scanning the aisle at your local pharmacy.

Salon Coloring

According to NYC stylist Craig Carter, you should definitely go to a salon if you want to color your hair. “Of all the services a stylist can offer, color services are ranked top of the list of things you should not be doing yourself,” he says. “Cut and color go hand in hand, and a color consultation with your stylist can really let you see what color ideas work for your style.”

Before: What color is the model’s hair? Rocky Vitelli from Farouk Systems’ Global Artistic Board loves to use fashion mags during his consultations with clients, and loves it when clients bring in pictures they already like. “The pages show great hair color and multi-dimensional colors with highlights that clients who are looking for fashionable, wearable color can relate to,” he says. For the richest color possible, recommends celebrity stylist Estelle Baumhauer, don’t wash your hair 24 hours before your treatment, and apply a hair mask a few days before coloring.
During: Definitely trust your colorist’s recommendation for shade and the ways to achieve it, says George Cooper from Farouk Systems’ Global Artistic Board. “Going from one extreme to the other must be taken in gradual steps to maintain the integrity of the hair. Your colorist knows where to place highlights or lowlights to enhance your best features.”

After: For your best color maintenance, shampoo with a paraben- and sulfate-free shampoo every other day, and brush from your scalp to your hair ends with a boar bristle brush. This will bring natural oils to the ends to promote healthy hair and longer lasting color, says Rocky Vitelli.

For The At-Home Hair Colorist

Pros: Cost. Need we say more?

Cons: Home colorists used to be subject to their own best guess when picking a shade, which sometimes didn’t work out so well. When dyeing your hair one shade, we recommend to avoid this problem – they give you the same salon consultation and custom formulated hair color (using professional hair dyes) as do those expensive salons, but you pay the price of “do it yourself.” For highlights, you’ll need to head to a professional – the application is too precise.
Advice: If your hair is already very damaged, beware. And the same goes for those who want to completely revamp their color. “Do it yourself” works well for those who want to maintain their color, but not so often for others. Says celebrity stylist Estelle Baumhauer, “for maintaining the same color people should try to color only their regrowth and apply color to their ends for just a couple of minutes right before rinsing.”

Which leads me to the final category…

Color Pens!

These pens are perfect for fixing roots on your own, and/or for making your mom think you dyed your hair purple (pink, blue, green, you name it) when you show up for Thanksgiving. A win-win either way, really.

Roots: Oscar Blandi is the way to go with the Pronto Color Root Touch-Up & Highlighting Pen. Hello, instant hue renewal. Colors range from Beige Blonde to Dark Brown/Black, and wash out when you wash your hair.

Commitment-free color: Put your beer pong college memories aside – there’s nothing about these pens that you’ll regret when you wake up the next day. The Streekers pens bond liquid hue to your hair, and looks and behaves just like permanent hair color, so you can brush your hair without dulling the shade or risking color flake-off. But, it washes out with shampoo.

Color. It’s hair, it’s there, it can be done anywhere!

– By Caitlin Roberson

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