Last year, I decided that I wanted to change my hair color to a vibrant red shade. My natural hair color is dark brown, and I did not want to lighten my hair to my preferred shade, all at once. Instead, I went to Ulta Beauty to start my transition to red-head. The stylist at Ulta applied a red violet shade as the base hair color, with lighter red violet highlights.
I let my hair grow out for about eight months before I decided to color it again. And, because I waited so long, about 4 inches of my hair had grown out, leaving my roots dark brown. Rather than touching up my roots, I choose a hair color and developer that would lighten all of my hair by three levels, leaving my roots red brown and the length of my hair red blond for a fun, ombre look.
If you’re thinking about coloring your hair at home, here are some tips to get you started:
Consult with a Professional
When I talked with the stylist at Ulta Beauty, she was able to help me understand how many levels I would need to lighten my hair, in order to achieve the perfect shade of red. Levels typically range from black/dark brown to blonde, with eight levels in between. For example, if your hair is dark brown (level 2) and your desired hair color is gold brown (level 6), you would need to lighten your hair by 4 levels. Even if you decide not to use a professional hair stylist, consultations are completely free at most salons, so it doesn’t hurt to drop in and ask questions.
Review Color Swatches on Boxed Hair Color
Before I stepped foot into the professional beauty supply store, I went into Target to look at the selection of boxed hair color. Box hair color, like Dark & Lovely or Garnier Fructis features a comparison of hair colors on the box. The color comparison shows you what color your hair will be if your original hair color is a light, medium or dark shade.
Use a Quality Product Line
This is why it is so important to purchase from a professional beauty supply store. At Sally’s Beauty Supply, I was able to select from a variety of products, ultimately settling on One ‘N Only Argan Oil hair color and developer. I liked that the product line infused argan oil with its hair color. The company’s website also features how-to videos and step-by-step instructions for applying hair color. Try your best to select the same brand of hair color and developer because most brand names design products to work best when paired together.
Purchase a Color Safe Hair Cleanser
What good is a fabulous new hair color, if you don’t purchase products to protect it? Many hair color product lines also carry hair care products. The One ‘N OnlyTM, brand features moisturizing shampoos, curl creams, mousse and more to nourish and protect your hair after chemical processing.
Invest in a Hair Moisture Masque or Deep Conditioner
Many people worry about damaging their hair or hair breakage after a chemical service. Rather than worry, invest in a conditioning treatment or moisture rich conditioner. I used the Soft Sheen Carson – Hydra Steam Moisturizing system. The product line includes a sulfate-free cleanser, creams and sprays that deliver intense moisture, when activated with steam.
This article was originally published on ReachForCosmos.com.