Just like a slick suit or your fave pair of trainers – a good hairstyle can make all the difference to your look. You probably already have your go-to cut and style down to a T – but the colour? That’s another question entirely.
A good dye-job can transform your hair, but the world of hair colouring can be a tricky one to navigate for those with little experience (and even those who have dabbled before).
If you’re not sure where to start, or if you want to get to grips with the ins and outs of colouring before taking the plunge – we’ve got you covered. Here’s everything you need to know.
1 Choosing the right colour for your skin tone
Picking a colour that complements your skin tone can make a huge difference to the final look. As a general rule, you should opt for a colour that is the opposite of your skin’s undertone. If you’re not sure what kind of undertone you have – you can find out by taking a closer look at the underside of your arm. If the veins on your wrist have a blue or purple tone, this means your undertone is cool, and that you’ll suit a warmer hair colour such as golden blonde or copper. Green-ish coloured veins indicate a warm undertone, which is complemented by cooler shades such as icy or silvery blonde.
2 Consider your hair colour and type
It’s important to consider your natural hair type and colour before opting to dye your hair – especially if you’re aiming for anything lighter than your natural colour. Dark or thick hair can take a few visits to the salon before reaching the desired shade, so you should definitely speak to your stylist to make sure it’ll be possible to achieve the result you want. If you’re going darker than your natural colour, the process should be relatively uncomplicated, but it’s still worth consulting your stylist to make sure your hair is suitable for dyeing.
3 So, what colour should you go for?
We know it sounds obvious – but it’s important to pick a colour you know you won’t get sick of down the line. Unlike a new pair of jeans, you can’t take your hair colour off after a day when you decide they’re just not very ‘you’. Even though your skin tone and personal style can help you in your choice – it’s again worthwhile to have a conversation with your barber before committing to a colour. They’ll be able to help you decide what will suit you best.
4 Book a patch test
Hair colouring products can cause severe allergic reactions, which can be super dangerous with the product being applied so close to the face. If you haven’t had your hair dyed before, or if you’re trying out a new colour, product, or stylist – it’s vital to have a patch test 24-48 hours beforehand to make sure everything will go smoothly and safely. It’s also a legal requirement – so speak to your stylist to arrange one prior to your appointment.
5 Keeping it healthy
Every cut and style has its pros and cons, and colouring your hair is no different. Specifically, lighter coloured hair usually uses bleaching agents – the chemicals in which can strip the hair follicles of natural oils. This can make hair appear dry, damaged, and brittle – without proper care.
Given this, it’s important to establish a hair care routine with products such as deep conditioners and hair masks to keep your hair healthy and moisturised. If this sounds like too much of a hassle – it might be a sign to reconsider going down the bleaching route.
6 Consider a toner
You might hear the word ‘toner’ thrown about when talking about hair dye, and it can totally change how your hair looks after it’s been coloured. Essentially, a toner works to change your hair’s undertone – usually after it’s been dyed. Bleached hair, for example, can have an unwanted orangey, yellowy, or brassy look, depending on the original hair colour. Adding a silver or purple toner after the dyeing in this case will help massively to mute these tones and achieve the look you’re after. Speak to your stylist to see if a toner will be necessary – they also may recommend using a toning conditioner or shampoo at home to keep the colour fresh.
7 How often should you dye your hair?
How often you should dye your hair depends on a few factors: your hair type, your natural colour, the colour you’ve opted for, and how quickly your hair grows. Professionals recommend leaving at least two weeks in between applications, to avoid exposing your hair to too many chemicals. If your hair has been bleached, it’s especially important to give your hair a break before dyeing again.
In general, if your roots have grown out but the colour hasn’t faded – then you won’t need another full head of dye – you can just book a root tint. If you’re looking for a low maintenance option, a shadow root could be a great choice. This technique essentially leaves some root on show intentionally, but uses hand-applied strokes to blend the dyed colour into the natural root. This means that as the hair grows out, you won’t be left with a solid line of dye, which will yield a more natural and low-maintenance look.