Choosing the Right Color
Whilst the celebrities can probably get away with going for striking new colors, a general rule for us "common folk" is to keep within two to three shades of our own hair color. This not only looks more natural but it can be easier to maintain as well. This rule applies to highlights too.
Of course this begs the question; how do you find the specific hair color which suits you best? Well, there are a couple of methods.
One way is to book an appointment at your local salon to have a color analysis. This obviously is recommended if you can afford the extra salon visit because you'll get a truly personalized, expert opinion. Plus, due to problems with colors irritating or burning skin or your scalp, many salons will perform a skin test to determine sensitivity and ensure that you are unlikely to react to the hair treatment.
If you don't want to pay for a professional hair color analysis, you still will be in good shape if you follow a few basic steps. The first step is to determine your own hair color if you don't already know this. A good tip to remember is that men can often be the best judge of hair color, because they can sometimes be more objective.
Once you have worked out what your natural hair color is, try thinking of shades that are really rich in your mind, but that stick to your own color palette. For example, if your hair is a dark blonde color, but also contains some dark brown and red strands, colors that would work for you would be reds and browns.
I would always recommend trying colors that are slightly darker than your normal shade, and always try colors that are redder than your normal shade (red tones are really popular at the moment). Sometimes just changing by a few shades or tones - as opposed to a complete change - is enough to dramatically liven up your style.
Take time, browse pictures in magazines and be patient, to ensure that you choose the right hair color for you. Picking a new color for your hair should be fun - so ask your friends and enjoy the experience!
How to Color Your Hair
First and foremost, before considering any new color, it's important to ensure that your hair is in the best condition possible. Thus, use a deep conditioning treatment a few days before you apply the color (either do it yourself or go to the salon). This will help to ensure that the color has the best chance of retaining its vibrancy and remaining in good condition for as long as possible.
In terms of the actual coloring process, you can either go to the salon or do it yourself. In my opinion, it's worth the expense of going to the salon. As I previously mentioned, most salons will do a color analysis to ensure that the best possible color is chosen, and you can rest assured that the job will be professionally done by a true expert. But if you're the adventurous type, there are plenty of do-it-yourself hair coloring kits on the market.
If you want to dye it yourself, try some wash-in wash-out formulas before you commit to a permanent color. This way you can be sure of the color and whether it suits you (the usual recommendation is just to go one shade darker each time). Plus, this will give you some much needed practice in terms of actually applying the dye. And no matter what specific formula you get, always follow the instructions on the box precisely.
Keeping the Look
Many people worry about their color fading. Whilst this is inevitable, there is something that you can do about it! If you wash your hair in cool rather than hot water, this can help maintain the color better and for longer. Also, wash your hair less frequently in general, and always use a shampoo that is specially formulated for colored hair. Baby shampoo can also be used as it is less harsh that regular shampoos.
Additionally, avoid burning or drying out your hair. Hence, do not go out in the hot sun for long periods of time, and avoid scorching your locks with the hair straighter, curling iron or blow dryer. If you absolutely must use hair tools, try and keep them on a cooler setting.
There's nothing stopping you from changing your hair color frequently just like the celebrities do. You just need to make sure you know what you're doing, especially if extra visits to the salon are out of the question! Follow the tips in this article and you'll be just fine. And keep in mind that if you just want to look good for one special evening you can buy a formula that will not permanently change your color, yet will still look