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New season, new look, right? As much as we’re all for switching up your signature shade in favor of the season’s most-loved hair color ideas, let’s take a minute to think it over. Before you go transitioning your tresses to a trendy platinum blonde or unicorn-inspired hair color, it’s a good idea to consult color theory to ensure that this new shade will look as alluring on you as it does on your favorite celeb.
Color theory, huh? Sure, it sounds like a college art course, but in reality, it’s a quick lesson on which colors will complement your complexion best. And who doesn’t want a new hair color that looks like a perfect fit? Now that we have your attention, it’s time to take notes. This might just be your favorite course yet. Keep reading to get the deets on hair color theory so that you can find your perfect shade.
Hair color can range in level from black to the lightest blonde. The further you move away from your natural color, the more dramatic your results will look. And that means your roots will be noticeable sooner. It also means there may be some serious work involved in reaching your desired hair color. For example, if you’re going from dark brown to platinum, this will require the use of bleach, and it could take multiple sessions to achieve the shade you want. If you’d like to avoid a super-high maintenance hair color routine, consider staying within a couple of levels of your natural hair color.
Tone is measured in warm, cool, and natural. If you want to add warmth to your hair, opt for golden, chestnut, or bronze tones. Or, keep it cool with icy, ashy, or smoky shades. If you find yourself having trouble deciding which tone to choose, you can add a variety to your hair with the help of highlights. You can lighten individual pieces of hair using two different methods. A pull-through cap offers easy, precise application and is perfect if it’s your first time working with highlights at home. If you want a more custom look, a paint-on method, such as balayage, will allow you to create symmetrical or asymmetrical highlights. More advanced highlighting techniques are best left to the pros, so call up your colorist if you’re looking to add balayage highlights to your hair.
Once you have a better grasp on levels and tones, it’s time to select your new hair color. Typically, if you have warm skin, you’ll want to opt for a slightly cooler hair color, whereas cool skin tones can look especially pretty with slightly warmer hair colors. When you pair opposites together, it can help balance out your look for an all-around aesthetically pleasing appearance.
Once you know the color you want to rock, all that’s left is dyeing your hair. If you’re planning to DIY it, choose between the L’Oréal Paris Excellence Crème, L’Oréal Paris Superior Preference, and L’Oréal Paris Féria, which are all available in a variety of gorgeous shades.
Last but not least, no lesson in color theory would be complete without reminding you that transitioning your hair color goes beyond dyeing it a different shade. In order to rock a truly gorgeous look, you’ll not only need to master your color selection and application but your maintenance routine, too.
To care for your mane, it’s best to switch your regular shampoo, conditioner, and hair mask to a system designed for color-treated hair, like the L’Oréal Paris Hair Expert Color Vibrancy Intensive Shampoo, L’Oréal Paris Hair Expert Color Vibrancy Intensive Conditioner, and L’Oréal Paris Hair Expert Color Vibrancy Intensive Ultra Recovery Mask.
In addition to switching up your shower products, make sure to have a heat protectant on hand, like the L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle SLEEK IT Iron Straight HeatSpray or the L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle BOOST IT Blow Out HeatSpray. These products can help protect your color-treated hair from heat when styling.
Want to dye your hair a crimson shade? Check out our article, The Best Red Hair Color for Your Skin Tone.