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New season, new look, right? As much as we’re all for switching up your signature shade in favor of one of the season’s hair color trends, 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, taking hair color levels and tones into consideration, 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 perfectly matches their beauty look? 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 details on hair color theory so that you can find your perfect shade.
Hair colors range in level from black (level 1) to lightest blonde (level 10). 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 (level 3) to a very light blonde (level 9), 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. As a general rule of thumb, it’s recommended to stay within two levels of your starting hair color level.
Tone is measured in warm, cool, and neutral. 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 doing 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 Fade-Defying Shine Permanent Hair Color, 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 Elvive Color Vibrancy Protecting Shampoo, L’Oréal Paris Elvive Color Vibrancy Protecting Conditioner, and L’Oréal Paris Elvive Color Vibrancy Repair and Protect Balm.
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 BLOW DRY IT Quick Dry Primer Spray. These products can help protect your color-treated hair from heat when styling.
Now that you know more about finding the best hair color for you, perhaps you want to put your color theory knowledge to the test by picking out the hair color trend you’ll try next. You’ll find plenty of inspiration in our article, The Best Hair Color Trends for 2019.
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