Hair Color for Beginners: What You Need to Know
I tried my hand at hair color for the first time after my twins were born and it wasn’t pretty. I went into a mediocre salon and without a real plan. I decided to go with highlights but didn’t really know what I should get and if I should go with partial or full, and if I should be doing highlights or low-lights.
Basically, I wanted a drastic change but I had not done my due diligence to figure out just what might work for my personal style, my skin tone and original hair color. In addition to that, I had not educated myself on the general ins and outs of hair color itself.
A disaster ensued which resulted in chunky, horrific highlights, that were later covered with dark color and a realization that I really should have done some research ahead of time.
So, if you’re considering color, below are some basics before you head into the salon to help you set your knowledge base.
Permanent Color vs. Demi-Permanent Vs. Semi-Permanent - Semi-permanent color darkens hair and does not contain ammonia or peroxide; it washes out over a period of time (6-12 washes). Demi-permanent also only darkens hair but lasts 12-26 washes. Permanent can either lighten or darken hair and it requires growing out – which is perfect for those who have grey to cover. (source)
Highlights vs. Low-Lights - Highlights are when you take small or large sections of your hair and you lighten it 1-2 shades. When you receive low-lights, your hair is darkened 1-2 shades darker than your original color, which adds a different contrast.
Average Cost - If you head to the salon to have your hair colored or highlighted, the whole cut and color evolution will likely run you $75-$100 (or more) depending on the salon you use. Using at-home coloring systems are a much more inexpensive route.
Which Color Should You Choose? - According to Styles 101, it’s important to determine if you fall into one of two categories – warm or cool.
For example, the following skin tones are considered “warm”:
very dark brown, true olive (most Asians and Latinos), medium with no color in cheeks, medium with faint pink cheeks, medium with golden undertones, pale with no color in cheeks, pale with pink undertones, brown or bronze when I tan.
And the following are considered “cool”:
brown with pink undertone, brown with golden undertone, pale with peach or gold undertones freckled, ruddy
There are other factors to consider, like original hair color and eye color when you decide on a new hair color. It’s not something to take lightly…you know, if you want to look good.
Take it from a haphazard coloring gal…learn a bit about what will work best for you before you walk through the salon doors. You’ll feel better about the end result.