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Ready to make a little (or big) change to your hair color? Coloring your hair can cover up those grays or give you a whole new look. Plus, with so many different at-home hair color options, it’s easy to find your perfect shade choice. But whether you’re a newbie to coloring your hair or a seasoned pro, you’ve got to make sure you’re ready for all the process entails. Keep reading to learn exactly how to prep for an at-home hair color session.
First things first: Your first hair color prep step should be actually determining what color you want to dye your hair. Have you ever wanted to switch up your hair color only to be overwhelmed with making a decision on what shade to choose? To help you narrow things down, use your undertone as a guide. While there are tons of hair colors that are considered trendy these days, some pair with certain undertones better than others. Whether you’d prefer a brown, blonde, or red or are more of a non-traditional lover of pastels and rainbow hues, always take your undertone into consideration. Here’s how to figure out what undertone you have.
You have cool skin if…your veins appear blue or purple. If you have cool skin, you can balance your look by following the laws of the color wheel and rocking a warmer hair color.
You have warm skin if…your veins appear slightly green. Warmer skin tends to look best with slightly cooler hair colors.
You have neutral skin if…you can’t really tell a determine one color. You’re super lucky if you have neutral skin because you can rock any hair color.
When preparing for a hair color transformation, there are a few things to keep in mind. For starters, if you have a dark base color and are hoping to go significantly lighter, you’ll need to lighten or bleach your hair in order for your new hue to show up. And the darker your base shade, the more work it may take to achieve your desired end result. For dramatic hair color changes (such as going from dark brown to platinum blonde), it’s best to see a professional who can guide you through the process from beginning to end.
One of the biggest hair color prep steps is making sure you’re totally prepared to dye your hair. That means having your hair color kit, and anything else you need, ready before you start. Try the L’Oréal Paris Excellence Crème, L’Oréal Paris Féria, or L’Oréal Paris Superior Preference. You may want to consider keeping an extra box or two stocked in your bathroom so that you can make touchups once your roots start growing in.
After you’ve spent the time creating a new look, you’ll want to switch up your hair care routine, as colored hair requires special care. It’s as easy as three simple updates—we share them all below!
1. Switch to a system of shampoo, conditioner, and mask formulated for color-treated hair. Make room in your shower for some new products! Try 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.
2. Turn down the dial in the shower. Super-hot water can strip your strands of essential oils (which can leave your hair feeling drier and looking duller), so rinse off in lukewarm temps instead.
3. Protect your tresses before heat-styling. Want to blow-dry your newly-colored mane? Make sure to use a heat protectant first, like the L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle BOOST IT Blow Out HeatSpray. Let your hair dry almost completely before you start blow-drying to minimize the time your hair is exposed to heat. You should also use a heat protectant if you’ve decided to flat iron your hair. Spritz on the L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle SLEEK IT Iron Straight Heatspray before straightening. Additionally, pay attention to heat settings on your flat iron—use the lowest temperature that you can while still only having to make one pass over each section of hair.