This is the most comprehensive guide about hair color for women.
You will know the complete details about hair color, how to use it, how to color your hair, doing at home vs. taking help from professionals.
(Including selecting appropriate colors which you have to do and it doesn’t matter if you take help from professionals or do it at home, coloring techniques for getting better looks)
1. What is Hair Color?
Every individual has a distinct hair color, and not everybody is satisfied with the way their natural tresses look. Thanks to the advancements in science and technology, we have the option of coloring our mane in the desired color. The process of altering the natural color chemically is known as hair coloring. It can be permanent, temporary, or semi-permanent. The period for which the color lasts is usually determined by the texture of an individual’s hair. If you are desperate to go in for a whole new look, changing your tresses’ original color is the best way to do this. But you need to know what hair color is required to get the right look and maintain healthy colored locks.
2. Types of hair color
If you have dark tresses, you can lighten them by using lighteners such as bleach, and if you have lighter hair, you can opt for darker shades available in the market. There are various types of hair colors classified based on the length or time they tend to affect the hair. There are four most common types of hair color as follows:
What is Permanent Hair color
This type of hair color comprises a developer and an oxidizing agent along with an alkalizing ingredient as part of ammonia or an ammonia substitute. It is used to lift the hair fiber’s cuticle to allow the tint to penetrate, allowing for the formation of tints within the hair fiber, facilitating peroxide’s action to lighten the hair. When the alkalizing agent and developer are blended, the peroxide becomes alkaline and enters the melanin’s cortex. Hair becomes lightened due to the breakup of melanin on account of the process of alkalization, and the hair is replaced with a new color. Hair lighteners and bleaches also fall into this category.
What is Temporary Hair color
The large pigment molecules of temporary hair color do not penetrate the cuticle layer allowing the hair to remain colored until the first wash. This type of color is available in the form of sprays, gels, shampoos, and liquids. It is used to add vivacity to the tresses in shades of pink, red, orange, etc. These colors do not penetrate into the hair shaft and remain absorbed in the follicle. You can easily remove it with a single hair shampooing session. One of the most significant benefits of these colors are that they can be removed whenever you want. These are less harmful than permanent or semi-permanent colors.
What is Semi-permanent hair color
This type of color has been developed to color the hair shaft without lightening it. It does not comprise a developer and tends to last longer than temporary hair color as it has smaller pigment molecules. It lasts for a long time, keeping the color intact for almost 10 to 14 shampoos. It is ideal for dry, damaged hair.
What is Demi-permanent hair color
Several big brands have launched permanent hair colors that can be used only for setting the color. Here, the permanent hair color is mixed with a low-intensity developer that lessens the impact of ammonia, developing it only to the shaft. This hair color type is exceptionally gentle on the hair and can be used without lifting the natural pigment. These colors are ideal for color printing, tint-backs, and toning pre-lightened hair.
3. How Does Hair Color Work?
The natural color of your tresses is directly affected by genetic factors. The hair cortex contains the primary coloring matter in the form of microscopic granules called melanin or hair pigment. It is of two types— Eumelanin and Phaeomelanin.
The former is founding black and brunette hair and is a dark pigment. The latter is found in blonde and red hair and is a light pigment. The color of hair directly depends upon the color and amount of pigment grains it contains. You need to understand that hair color is different from paint. As we perceive it, color is the reflection of light from the colored pigments in the hair shaft. The shade of hair comprises several combinations of light reflecting off the hair shaft. This is why the color of hair seems to change under the effect of lighting.
4. Tips for applying hair color:
Before coloring your tresses, you must read the instructions on the kit very carefully. Wear the right gloves and organize yourself. You need to wear an old shirt and keep a damp cloth handy to remove any color that leaks onto the skin. You must have a hair clip, a big towel, and a mirror in front of you to apply color properly. Follow the directions and use the color to get the desired look. Leave it on for 25 to 45 minutes and rinse it well.
5. How to use temporary hair color
Temporary hair color is ideal for those who wish to color their tresses for a particular occasion or don’t want to go in for permanent hair color. It is available in various forms that include gels, sprays, shampoos, liquid color, rinses, etc. and is rather convenient to use. It gives brighter, more vibrant shades or colors such as orange, red, pink, blue, green, yellow, etc. Such looks are difficult to achieve with permanent or semi-permanent hair colors. Temporary color does not penetrate into the hair shaft and can be removed after a single wash.
The pigment molecules are large, which is why they do not penetrate the cuticle layer. It allows a coat to form on the shaft, easily removed by a single shampooing session.
Temporary hair colors use innovative technology that gives you sufficient coverage and control. They are easy to apply and can be used along with styling gels, mousse, and hair sprays. Once the color settles down, you can also brush and style your hair to get the desired look. You can also experiment with blonde and red streaks and highlight your hair to enhance your features and personality.
6. Benefits of Temporary Hair color:
- You can change your look, color, and style with this type of hair color whenever you want.
- It is easy to use and can be taken off after a single shampoo.
- It can be used with other styling products such as gels, mousse, hair sprays, liquid serums, etc.
- It is easy to apply and does not flake or rub off as it bonds to the hair gently.
- It does not contain any harsh chemicals such as ammonia or hydrogen peroxide.
7. How to apply temporary color on hair:
- Comb your hair to get rid of any tangles.
- Depending on how you want to dress your tresses, you must part your hair and lift it in sections.
- Make sure that your hair is dry.
- Apply the color working your way from the roots to the tips in long strokes.
- Wait for the color to dry.
- You have to wait between coloring streaks to get a neat effect.
8. How to take it off?
Comb your hair thoroughly and shampoo it. Rinse and repeat as required. If you have bleached or chemically treated hair, it might take 3 to 4 washes to remove the color altogether.
9. Tips for selecting the appropriate hair color:
Playing up your locks with hair color can be fun. But you must keep a few things in mind before coloring your hair to get the desired look.
- Make sure that the hair color you select complements your skin tone. Light skinned individuals should opt for lighter tones.
- Individuals with a dark complexion look great in hues of chestnut, blonde, honey, hazelnut, etc.
- You can always ask a friend to help you if you are coloring for the first time.
- Almost all hair types and colors are suitable for red hair color. It enables you to make a bold style statement.
- You can mix and match your hair streaks while donning temporary hair color but make sure that you blend them well and color each section separately.
Temporary hair color is the easiest and safest way to spice up your tresses. The right look can help you attract attention and make you stand out in the crowd.
10. How To Use Permanent Hair Color
Most women with short hair look great in uniform color. But if you have medium to long hair, you can opt for highlights, particularly around the face. It is best to consult a professional hairstylist to give you the right advice and look.
It isn’t easy to maintain overall coloring with medium or long hair as it requires touching up every week. The most significant advantage with highlights is that they tend to last for up to 3 to 4 months and look too trendy.
They are four types of highlights; basic, bailage, chunking, and lowlights. If you plan on highlighting your tresses at home, you can always do it with the help of a home color kit.
Remember, your hair color can make a difference in the way you look and feel. A great color can instantly boost your self-esteem and confidence and enable you to look like a fashion icon in just a few minutes, whereas a poor color choice can spoil your looks and make you want to hide in a dark corner.
11. Why use permanent hair color?
Permanent hair color is an ideal choice for covering and grays. It has an oxidative effect that uses ammonia and hydrogen peroxide to lift and deposit new color onto the hair shaft. It enables the color to penetrate deeper into the cuticle and gives excellent coverage.
Highlighters and bleaches fall under the category of permanent color as they use both ammonia and hydrogen peroxide to decolorize the hair. They lift the cuticle layer and penetrate deep into the shaft and are great hair lightening agents.
12. How to use Semi-Permanent Hair Color
You should consult a professional hair expert before coloring your hair to select the right tone and shade. The wrong shade can wreak havoc on your looks and personality, whereas the right color can instantly enhance your looks.
Semi-permanent colors are an ideal choice for those wishing to get a new look. This type of hair coloring is also known as glazing, color stains, or washing. It tends to add luster and enhance the texture of the tresses by working with a non-peroxide colorant. It tends to wash out within 4 to 6 weeks. One of the characteristic features of this type of color is that it only darkens the hair and is great for covering any gray hair temporarily. If used correctly, they can combat frizzy, brittle hair, and make the hair look healthier.
13. How Semi-Permanent color works:
It is designed to deposit color onto the hair shaft without making it lighter. The formula of semi-permanent color has small molecules that penetrate into the hair shaft. It does not make use of any peroxide and can be used with heat for deeper penetration. These colors are ideal for use on damaged and brittle hair and are void of any harsh chemicals such as ammonia or hydrogen peroxide.
These colors are available in various forms, such as gels, liquids, mousse, and creams. They are readily available at all drugstores and salons. The color tends to fade away with each shampoo, but these colors are great for all those unwilling to go in for permanent hair color. Semi-permanent colors deepen the color tones without changing the natural hair color.
14. Benefits of using Semi-permanent colors:
- These colors are easy to use and are ideal for those wishing to color their tresses all by themselves.
- Unlike temporary color, it does not rub off or stain the pillows and clothes.
- The natural hair color returns after 4 to6 weeks.
- It enhances the look of your tresses by making them appear more glossy and healthy.
- It is excellent for taming dry, frizzy, and chemically treated hair.
- It gives excellent coverage to grey hair.
15. How To Take Care Of Semi-Permanent Color
Since semi-permanent color tends to fade quickly, you need to take care of maintaining its life and luster.
- After coloring, wash it with one part white vinegar mixed with warm water immediately. It extends the life of the color by raising the pH level of cosmetics.
- To prevent the color from fading, wear your hair in a ponytail whenever you are likely to go out.
- Wear a cap or scarf before stepping out in the sun to avoid it from fading.
- Make sure that you have the product available at home to do the touch-ups every week.
- Pay close attention to the roots as the color tends to fade from there first.
- Avoid using harsh shampoos and chemicals on your hair once you have colored it. It tends to wash the color quickly, making it fade.
16. Home VS Salon Hair Color
For a better look, the best way to do it is by altering the color of tresses. There are various hair colors available in the market ranging from temporary and semi-permanent to permanent and demi-permanent colors. However, before coloring your tresses, you must consult a professional hairstylist to select the appropriate color for your hair. The wrong color can worsen your looks.
There has been a long debate over home vs. salon hair color in recent times. If you are eager to experiment with your locks and want a dramatic change overnight, we suggest you head straight to the salon. But if you just want a couple of streaks or need to color your tresses for a single party, you can opt for a home hair color kit.
17.Where To Color Your Hair
If you plan to color your hair permanently, you must take help from professional hairstylists. They can help you select the right color based on various factors such as your skin tone, the color of your eyes, hair type, and hair cut.
18. Is it better to get your hair dyed in a salon?
- Hair care professionals can guide you about the colors that would be best for your hair type.
- As they get training to dye hair, they know how colors work in your hair.
- You can get your hair streaked, uniformly colored, highlighted, low lighted, or colored in multiple colors at a good salon.
- The hairstylist will make sure that you get the worth for your money.
- Due to their expertise, chances of error are meager.
19. Can I Color My Hair At Home
Yes, you can color your hair at home. If you want to save money and think that coloring your hair at home would be fun, you can buy a home color kit. Coloring at home has its advantages:
- You can create a style of your own choice without any interference.
- You can always get a friend’s help to get a new look.
- You can change your color at your own will without having to pay a fortune.
20. How can I color my hair myself?
If you plan to change your hair color at home, you must consider your skin tone, the color of your eyes, and hair type to select the perfect color. You need to know how to use hair color to enhance your looks.
The improper use of hair color can ruin your look instead of enhancing it. It is also essential for you to read the instructions on the color kit before using it.
If you are a beginner, you must go for a semi-permanent hair color. These colors tend to stay intact until 6 to 8 weeks and do not alter the original color of hair. Using a permanent color for the first time is risky because it will take you ages to get the color corrected if it goes wrong.
If you plan for a semi-permanent color, select a shade 2 to 3 times lighter than your hair as it will eventually come out darker.
Before using the color on your tresses, you must go through the instructions manual very carefully.
You need to conduct a strand test to determine if you are allergic to the color and what shade the color is most likely to turn out on your tresses.
You must wear an old buttoned-up shirt, wrap a towel around your shoulders, keep a wet rag handy, wear latex gloves, and sit in front of a huge mirror. Keep some foil, extra brushes, and bowls. Make sure to check your watch to keep track of time.
How to Apply The Hair Color
Brush your hair to remove all the tangles and then take a section of hair to apply color. Mix the ingredients and apply the color to your hair.
Removing The Hair Color
Rinse the color thoroughly after 45 minutes to one hour using a mild shampoo and conditioner. Blow-dry your hair and let the color set in.
21. Coloring techniques for getting splendid hues:
To get the desired look, you must use the right application techniques.
The best way to do this is by parting your hair and then starting with one side all over the shaft. If you are looking to get a uniform effect by applying hair color all over your head, you can take help from a friend.
If you plan on highlighting your tresses, you need to take sections of hair and apply color to hair that is pretreated with a lightener to get blonde streaks.
To get lowlights, you can apply color on sections of hair that have been treated with a darker colorant and wrap them in foils.
Hair color can alter your looks instantly. Therefore, you need to apply it correctly to avoid any disasters. If you are not sure of getting the right look at home, it is better to go to a hair expert and get your tresses colored. Make sure that the color you choose complements your features, complexion, and personality.
The easiest way to change your look is by doing something new to your tresses. Hair is the most dynamic fashion accessory possessed by every individual. It can be curled, crimped, cut, styled, and colored in several ways. If you plan to color your hair for the first time, it may look like a tedious task to select the appropriate product as you have to check hundreds of hair coloring products placed on shelves in various stores. The best way to make the right selection is by taking guidance from a hair care professional. You need to know about the different hair color types and how they work to get the desired look.
If you are looking for a color change that will steal glances, you must only go to a salon. It is far messier to color your locks at home, and your friend might not always give you the best advice. You might not even be able to achieve the desired look by coloring your hair at home.
The cosmetics industry is producing various types of hair colors that can be used to transform your looks. You must choose the hair color wisely to enhance your looks. If you have the slightest doubts, take advice from professionals.