Saturday, July 19, 2008

Haircut & Color

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By Julyne Derrick,

Find out what haircuts best suit your face shape, how to pick the perfect hair color for your skin tone and how to color your own hair at home. Got gray roots? Here we show you your best options for covering them. Plus, find out fixes for dandruff and other hair and scalp problems.
At-home hair coloring

How to Pick the Right Hair Color: 10 Tips
Are you a warm or a cool?

When you color your own hair, picking the perfect new shade or color for your hair can be daunting, but here are a few tips and tricks to make it easier:

Tip 1: Coloring newbie? Start with a semipermanent color. Semipermanent colors wash out after a few washes, whereas permanent colors never wash out. If you are new to coloring your hair, you might start with a semipermanent hue UNLESS you want to cover gray hair or go two or more shades lighter or darker. For more information on semipermanent vs. permanent colors see this

Tip 2: Don't go by the picture on the box Pictures on hair color boxes can be deceiving. Your better off going by the color swatches on the box and the descriptions. According to the February 2006 issue of Ladies Home Journal, most boxes will call out the color (blonde, brown, black and red) and the shade of that color (light, medium and dark). There might also be mention of the tone (golden or ashy).

Tip 3: Is your skin color warm or cool? Most hair colors fall into either 'warm' or 'cool' families. You're likely a 'warm' if you have golden, olive or dark skin and brown or dark eyes (most Latinas, Asians and African Americans fall into this category). You tan easily and the veins in your inner wrists are green. You're a 'cool' if you have fair skin and blue or green eyes. You burn before you tan and the veins in your wrists run blue. If you're confused because you sometimes burn, sometimes tan, you likely skew warm.

Tip 4: Choose the correct shade If you have warm skin, opt for golden shades such as caramel and bronze in a darker shade than your skin. Avoid jet-black hair which will wash you out and if you do opt for a golden shade, don't go too light or your hair could turn orange. If you have cool shade, avoid colors that will highlight the ruddiness of your skin tone: Gold, auburn and copper. Ash blondes and cool browns work best.

Tip 5: How to tell if you'd make a great blonde A basic rule of thumb: People who had blonde hair as children have the right skin tone to be blonde adults.

Tip 6: The right shade of blonde Brassy blonde color or highlights on someone with a warm skin tone can be harsh. Opt for warmer shades instead. If you have brown hair and want to go blonde, you don't want to go too light or you could look washed out. Opt for contrast: Highlights and lowlights. And keep in mind that darker hair will actually complement brown or green eyes better than blonde hair.

Tip 7: When to go red Almost everyone can go red, what's most important is finding the right shade to complement your skin color. Women with a cool or pink skin tone pull off red best, according to Jennifer J, a stylist quoted in the February 2006 issue of Marie Claire.

Tip 8: How to hide that gray Gray hair can be hard to color because of its coarse texture. If your hair is less than one-thirds gray, opt for a semi-permanent color that's a shade lighter than your natural color (or matches your color). The gray will blend right in. Semi-permanent color is less damaging than permanent color. If your hair is more gray, colorist Rita Hazan in the November 2004 issue of InStyle magazine, suggests a permanent 'ashy' color, which will help your gray hair appear blonde.

Tip 9: Uh-oh, the color's all wrong I strongly suggest you seek out professional help if you dye job went wrong. Coloring over color can be tricky and you don't want to overprocess your hair.

Tip 10: Don't go extreme At-home coloring is best for people looking to go a couple shades lighter or darker or to cover gray. If you have light brown hair, a dark blonde will look beautiful on you. For extreme changes, it's best to seek out the help of a professional rather than trying to dye your dark brown hair light blonde.

Should You Color Your Own Hair?
12 tips for at-home hair coloring

Why spend $150 or more getting your hair lightened or darkened when you could do it yourself? When considering if you should color your own hair, use these 12 tips we've gathered over the years:

Don't go more than two shades lighter or darker. If you want a dramatic change, get your hair professionally done. If it's a subtle change you're after, then doing it yourself is fine. We've read of several top beauty editors who do it themselves (probably because they despise how long it takes in a salon).

The simpler, the better. At-home hair coloring is for people who simply want to go a couple shades lighter or darker or to cover gray. Anything more complicated than that should be handled by a pro. If it's a new base color and highlights you're after, go to a pro. If you have permed or relaxed hair, or if your hair is damaged, also see a pro, you don't want to overprocess your locks.

Don't go by the picture on the box. Pictures on hair color boxes can be deceiving. You're better off going by the color swatches on the box and the descriptions. According to the February 2006 issue of Ladies Home Journal, most boxes will call out the color (blonde, brown, black and red) and the shade of that color (light, medium and dark). There might also be mention of the tone (golden or ashy). This is a better guide to what you'll end up with.

Always test a few strands of hair first. Too many women skip this step and end up with a color they despise. Once the color is in, it's harder to change.

Consider trying two colors. We love this tip we got from 'Confessions of a Beauty Editor': Many stylists create lighter strands around the face. To get this look, invest in a bottle of dye a shade lighter and paint it on the strands around your face.

What to do if your color isn't as bright as expected? Another tips from 'Confessions': If your hair turns out not as light as you'd expected, take another bottle of dye and mix in equal portion of shampoo. Lather and keep it on for 5 minutes. Rinse, and you'll notice a difference.

Don't overprocess your ends. Once you've colored your own hair, you'll want to re-dye the roots. To insure you're not wrecking your ends, cover ends with conditioner when dying roots and around your crown. This will protect hair from dye. A few minutes before it's time to rinse color out, work the dye over the conditioned ends. This will add just enough process to update the color, without damaging your ends.

Make sure you prep before you color. Rub Vaseline around your hairline as a protective measure before applying color. (To remove after coloring, rub a small amount of cream cleanser and wipe off with cotton balls). Always wear gloves and wrap an old dark-colored towel around your shoulders.

When to wash hair before you dye? Many experts suggest washing hair a day before - not the day of - coloring. Natural oils protect scalp from the processing.

After you color, wait a full day before washing hair. You want the pigment in the dye to fully settle into your hair, so avoid washing hair at least 24 hours after you color.

Maintain with the right shampoo. A color-depositing shampoo and conditioner are good purchases. Otherwise, select a formula created for colored hair.

Super dry hair? Try a deep conditioner. Because the ingredients in hair dye are very concentrated (even more so than the salon dyes), it's a good idea to deep condition dry hair a week before you color hair. Once hair's colored, you'll want to deep condition every week to keep processed hair soft.

Help! I Colored My Hair at Home & It's Wrong. It is Permanent?

Question: Help! I Colored My Hair at Home & It's Wrong. It is Permanent?

Answer: Uh-oh, a bad color match can turn your $6 box of color into a $100 salon visit. However, you might be OK if you just dyed your hair with a semipermanent color.

Semipermanent color takes 48 hours to set so you have a window of time to get to it. First, shampoo a couple times with a clarifying or dandruff shampoo. These are known to strip hair of color (which is why you're constantly told not to use these on colored hair). If you missed your 48 hour window of time, don't worry, semipermanent color washes out in 6-8 washes.

If the color is permanent, it will be harder to remove, but a professional colorist should be able to help.

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