Today’s home hair colours are very different to those in the past. The formulations are much easier to use, are much more technically advanced and are loaded with conditioners, ceramides and highlights to boost shine and protect hair from damage. Here’s everything you need to know to creating your perfect hair hue at home…
PERMANENT COLOUR uses ammonia to open the cuticle to allow colour to penetrate. In lightening formulas ammonia and peroxide interact to lighten hair up to two shades. Colour grows out and re-growth usually needs to be re-coloured every four to six weeks.
SEMI-PERMANENT COLOUR adds shine and boosts colour – they don’t lighten hair. Colour fades after about 28 washes.
HIGHLIGHTING AND STREAKING KITS are permanent lightening formulas that add streaks or highlights. Re-growth is subtle.
TEMPORARY COLOURS sit on the hair’s surface to give shine and depth. They wash out after a few shampoos so are virtually commitment free.
guidelines for choosing the correct hair colour hue to suit you…
* Choose colours that aren’t too far from your natural hair colour – it’s not only more complimentary, it means you can usually wait longer between colouring.
* If you have darker features – (i.e. eyebrows and eye colour) don’t go too light, instead use richer colours to enhance your features.
* If you’re wanting to going a lot lighter in colour – go for very fine highlights, as this will give a softer regrowth.
Here’s your skin tone colour guide…
PALE SKIN TONES – softer lighter tones. Natural blondes should steer away from warmer tones.
PINKISH SKIN TONES – stick to cooler colours, like ash blonde and ice chocolate.
PEACHY/FRECKLY SKIN TONES – caramels and reds.
GOLDEN SKIN TONES – stick to honeys, caramels and warmer colours.
OLIVE SKIN TONES – natural tones such as beige, soft honeys darker chocolates.
DARK SKIN TONES – suit warm tones and dark naturals.
Follow these tips before you apply any colour…
* Always do a strand test – even if you’ve coloured at home before. The colour result will be different depending on your natural hair colour or if you’ve coloured you hair before. Remember if you colour on top of another colour, it will be a little darker than expected.
* Always do a sensitivity test 48 hours prior to colouring – even if you have coloured before. This is essential to make sure you’re not allergic to the ingredients in the colouration. If you see any sign of a reaction, best not to colour.
* Don’t use a permanent colour for at least two weeks before or after a perm or chemical straightening.
* Start out clean – all colourants will give a better result on clean hair. If you have styling product or colour build-up, try this deep cleansing preparation a day before you colour: Mix one teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda with one tablespoon of anti-dandruff shampoo. Lather it into wet hair and leave for 10 minutes before rinsing.
How to make your home colouring fool-proof…
* When colouring at home, cover the area in an old towel so as to protect the bench tops, sink etc.
* Keep a watch handy so you can keep an eye on the time.
* When using a permanent hair colour or if you’re lightening or streaking hair don’t apply heat, cover the hair or pile hair up onto your head.
* Follow the product’s direction as to whether the colour should go on wet or dry hair.
* If you have coloured your hair before follow the directions for a ‘Regrowth Application’.
* Take care when applying a darker or brighter shade to blonde, bleached, permed or fine hair because the result can be more vibrant than expected.
* When colouring hair, the more product used the better the result. For example, if you have long hair, you’ll get a better result from two or more packs (depending on the length).
* If your hair is dry and porous on the ends, don’t apply colour to the ends until the last five to 10 minutes of the development time.
* When touching up the re-growth of lightened hair, be sure to apply the colour to the re-growth first and wait until it has lightened to match the ends – then massage the colour through just for a few minutes to refresh the remainder of your hair. Overlapping a lightener to previously lightened hair can cause breakage.
* Don’t wash or wet your hair for at least 48 hours after a colour process.
secrets to achieving the perfect colour at-home…
1: Keep it natural: Choose a colour just one or two shades away from your natural hair. This will suit your skin tone and is less damaging. Keep in mind that very dark shades can look harsh on older women and make sure the colour you choose has the right undertones to complement your natural skin colourings.
2: Save your clothes: Always wear a button up shirt, this gives easy access when it comes time to wash colour out. Remove all jewellery and wear the gloves provided to prevent colour staining your hands. Before you start your colour, rub Vaseline to the hairline to protect your hair from getting the ‘just coloured look’. If you do stain your skin, use a little bit of perfume on a tissue to rub it off.
3: Consider your complexion: Your complexion is the key to making the right colour choice. If you have an ivory or creamy coloured skin, you can be as adventurous as you like. However, if you have a pale pink-toned or ruby complexion, choose neutrals such as ash blonde, ash brown or dark brown.
4: Save brushing and washing for later: Never brush or shampoo hair immediately before using blonding products or permanent colours, as this can over-stimulate the scalp, causing irritation when the colour is applied.
For your colour to really shine, it needs to be in great condition. The additional steps of moisturising and applying a treatment can go a long way in improving the condition and colour of your hair. Using a weekly hair treatment will not only helps to provide additional moisturising benefits but also helps repair damage and boost hair’s shine.