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So, you’ve decided to color your hair? Congratulations! When it comes to your beauty routine, dyeing your strands is one of the most exciting things you can do. In fact, it’s a way to add a major pop to your look (especially if you opt for a bold hue!) and it allows you to express your personality to boot. But, depending on the look you’re after, coloring your hair isn’t always the easiest process.
For starters, deciding on who, exactly, should dye your strands is a tough question. Should you book an appointment at your nearest salon or should you DIY it at home? And if you do decide to play hair colorist from the comfort of your bathroom, figuring out which dye to buy can be confusing. With so many options available, how can you know for certain which kit is right for you? Plus, do you really need to switch up your hair care regimen once you’re sporting a brand spanking new tint? (The answer to that is yes, you do!). Luckily, we’re here to make the process easier. Here’s everything you need to know before you dye your hair so that you can make the most informed choices possible. Happy coloring!
If you’re heading to the salon, it’s time to brush up on your hair color lingo because multi-hued hair is now all the rage. (Just remember to bring a picture of what you want—this will help prevent any unwanted surprises!) These are a few of the different types of techniques your stylist can use to add dimension and movement to your strands.
1. Balyage. Developed by French hair colorists, balyage, a highlighting technique, has been around since the 1970s but has recently really taken off in popularity. When it’s done right, you’ll look like you’ve just spent some days at the beach—basically, your highlights should be on the pieces of hair that see the most movement (around your face and crown, specifically). Balyage looks pretty natural as it grows in (meaning less touch-ups!). Overall, it’s a great option for brunettes who want to brighten up their look.
2. Ombré. Ah, ombré—let us count the ways we love you. Ombré highlights offer your hair a whole lot of contrast between your roots and your ends. And don’t think you just have to stick with blonde ends—you can totally opt for a rainbow hue! Pink or teal, anyone?
3. Sombré. This technique is a little bit softer than ombré (sombré means “soft ombré”). To get this look, ask for highlights that are just a few shades lighter than your natural color so that the result is subtle.
4. Bronde. Listen up, brunettes! Bronde—a combination of brown and blonde—is definitely something you should think about if you have light brown hair, since it looks natural and adds texture. (It’s also low maintenance!) Typically, with this hair color technique, highlights are about one to two shades lighter than your base color, and they’re applied to areas that would be hit by the sun.
5. Lowlights. These are usually at least two tones darker than your natural hair color and can add depth and dimension to light brown hair. Because who says brown has to be boring?
6. Babylights. Want strands that look sun-kissed? Well, you don’t actually have to spend any time outside to get them! Consider babylights, which are super-skinny highlights that are generally one shade lighter than your natural color.
If you’re opting for a complicated technique or you want to make a major change (like going from dark brown to platinum), your best bet is to see a professional colorist, as you may need to book multiple sessions at the salon to achieve your desired color. But if the change you want to make is simple and you’re interested in DIY dyeing, picking the right coloring kit is key. Here are a few options from L’Oréal Paris you should have on your radar.
For all-over color…try L’Oréal Paris Feria.
For a rainbow shade…try L’Oréal Paris Colorista Semi-Permanent Hair Color for Blonde Hair or for L’Oréal Paris Colorista Semi-Permanent Hair Color Brown Hair.
For ombré…try L’Oréal Paris Colorista Ombré Bleach.
Before you reach for the dye, it’s important to understand that you may need to treat your hair differently once you’ve colored it. To keep your locks feeling soft and to preserve the life of your new hue, follow these tips.
1. Use a shampoo and conditioner formulated for color-treated hair. You invested a lot in getting a new look, so don’t wash that color down the drain. Opt for hair care products formulated for color-treated hair, like the L’Oréal Paris Hair Expert Color Vibrancy Intensive Shampoo and L’Oréal Paris Hair Expert Color Vibrancy Intensive Conditioner. The shampoo and conditioner are formulated with an antioxidant + UV filter to help protect the hair fiber and preserve color. Massage the shampoo into wet hair, lather, then rinse. Follow up by applying the conditioner and leaving it on for one to three minutes.
2. Add a mask to your routine. Sometimes, color-treated hair needs a little extra love. That’s where a mask comes in. Use one, like the L’Oréal Paris Hair Expert Color Vibrancy Intensive Ultra Recovery Mask, once or twice a week. After shampooing, slather on the mask and leave it on for three to five minutes before washing out.
3. Get familiar with dry shampoo. Keep shampooing to a minimum if you can, and reach for dry shampoo on those days in between washings. Try the L’Oréal Paris Hair Expert Extraordinary Clay Dry Shampoo, which can help absorb excess oil for fresh, lightweight hair with no visible residue. Shake the can, hold it six to eight inches from your hair, then spray it directly onto oily roots and lightly through the rest of your hair, brushing it through your locks.