Coloring Hair - At Home or the Salon?
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Many women wonder about coloring hair using home hair coloring products. Most are worried that hair products bought from the store are inferior products to “professional” coloring products that only professional stylists have access to.
But surprisingly, the answer is that there is no difference in ingredients or functions between the two. The products you can buy at Walmart are the same your professional stylist uses, but the knowledge your stylist has about color is what is hard to reproduce at home.
Therefore, the best reason to go to a stylist is because a stylist can look at your current color and better “predict” the right mixture of colors to use on your hair to get the desired effect you want. Professional stylists color hair all day, and have tried many combinations on many different types of hair. Their experience is invaluable to mix the right colors together.
Therefore, don’t trust the color of the model's hair on the box of color that you buy. Although the color should be close, your hair will combine differently with the color mix because you and the model do not have exactly the same type of hair.
These are the factors that will affect the final hair color that you end up with:
- Your current hair color
- The color of the mix you purchased
- Processing time
- How porous your hair is
- The amount of gray you currently have
- How different the color you purchased is from your own hair color
- Whether your roots or grow-out are a different color from the length
For small changes to your natural color, home hair coloring should be fine, just follow all of the directions on the box, and feel free to call the hot line number that the box lists to get further advice.
In addition, DO THE STRAND TEST! This is one of the most overlooked steps because it is time consuming, but it is better to do this and actually see what your results will be. If you do not want to do a strand test on your head, save the hair from a hairbrush for several days, bundle these hairs with tape and use this “swatch” to do a strand test. This will show you what you are getting into. Just make sure you keep track of the time the swatch is processed and check the hair for changes after 10 to 15 minutes.
A professional hair stylist is recommended for coloring hair if any of the following applies to you:
- When you are trying to fix a prior hair color “mess-up”. Any further coloring will damage the hair more. Make sure you get it right the second time around so that you do not have to put your hair through a third processing.
- You want to lighten your hair more than 3 shades
- You have dark hair and want to color it red – Most salon stylists will also discourage you from this color change, as it most often will turn the hair orange.
- You have blonde hair and want to color it red – In general, it is hard to color hair red as well as keep it red. A professional can help you to get the best results.
- You have light hair and want to color it dark - This is actually not too difficult to do, but the problem comes in because light hair “grabs” color easily. If you don’t check your color often during the processing time, you could end up with hair that is way too dark.
Want to see what you look like in different hair colors? Click virtual hairstyles to see yourself in different styles and colors of hair.
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