Never Been Colored: Tips On Dyeing Your Hair For The First Time



Web01Photo: Courtesy of Sandra Myhrberg.
Lately, it seems like everyone is going for the pixie cut, but I can't bear to depart with my long locks. So, instead of going for the big chop, I decided to dye my hair for the first time. Ever. I went to David Mallet, my favorite salon in Paris, and placed my virgin hair in the hands of their resident color expert, Anthony. We decided to go for a subtle, ashy ombre for my foray into the world of color. If you're thinking of doing this, too, read on for my tips on how to a) not freak out and b) find a color that plays up your best features.

Tip #1: Go big or go home doesn’t really apply here. In fact, start small. If you're looking for a subtle change, introduce color gradually with lowlights, highlights, glosses (the high-impact shine wears out in six to eight weeks), or semi-permanent color (lasts up to 10 shampoos, but can be too subtle). You can always go for a more dramatic look when you feel ready.

Tip #2: It’s important to choose a shade that suits your hair and skin tones. Cooler-toned hair and skin pairs best with ashy shades, while warmer-toned folks can go for colors with red, gold, or bronze bases.

Tip #3: The best PR is word of mouth. If you have a friend whose colored hair always looks amazing, ask her who does it. Trust is a major factor when choosing a salon and stylist. Make sure to book a consultation visit before taking the plunge. I wouldn’t recommend dyeing your hair yourself for your first dye job. My mom has been dyeing her hair at home for decades, but that's only after going to a salon for years. Buy boxed color once you know exactly what hue works for you — you don't need any surprises.

Tip #4: Dying your hair dries it out so you won’t need to wash it as often, but it will need some extra love when you do. Kérastase, Pureology, and David Mallett are just a few brands that make super-hydrating shampoos and masks to reintroduce moisture and shine into chemically altered hair. Also, look for products with UV filters to prevent sun damage so that your color doesn't change.

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