Your first time… Coloring your hair

Hair (Image Credit: Anabelrose Photography)
Hair (Image Credit: Anabelrose Photography)

Picture this: you enter your normal hair salon on a Saturday afternoon with a twinkle in your eye. As you plop down in the rising chair, you hand your beautician a picture of Nicole Richie and tell them you want to look just like her. They ask you, “do you want the pixie cut?” And you politely decline, telling them that you are content with your shoulder length bob. No, instead you want Nicole Richie’s hair color, a wispy white.

Whether it’s a break-up or just a desire for change that motivates us, almost of us seek to dye or color our hair at some point in time. Some of us go for the extreme transformations, attempting to look like Nicole Richie, Rihanna or Miley Cyrus. And while those hairstyles are quite striking on them, the final outcome on you might be tremendously different. So in order to save yourself from turning out like Casper the Ghost or Ronald McDonald, there are a couple of things to learn about getting your hair colored for the first time.

When you first hand your stylist a picture of what you want your hair to look like, or even describe a style, don’t assume they understand what you want. You have to explain. For example, if you would like your ends dyed blue, describe the specific blue you want and where you want the color to start. Take it from Crayola, there is not just one kind of blue in the world.

Unless your hair salon is a renowned salon, where celebrities often come and a simple hair cut costs $120, things probably aren’t going to turn out exactly how you want. Sometimes your hair might not take to the color properly and you are left with a color that isn’t as bright as you expected.  Or it may just be that you don’t look as good as you thought you would in your head. Hopefully this is something that can be taken care of during the next visit.

When it comes to hair care after getting color added, there are a few tricks. Coloring your hair puts a strain on its health. Depending on your hair texture as well as how much color was added, it can become weak and dry or thin and stringy. If you encounter these issues after dying your hair for the first tiem, buying a good conditioner can help. Conditioners have certain nutrients in them that will replenish hair. According to InStyle.com and other beauty publications, product brands such as L’oreal, Herbal Essences, Garnier and Pantene have great conditioners for colored hair of all textures.

Along with using a good conditioner, it is important that you don’t use a significant amount of heat from straight irons or curling irons. Putting heat on colored hair can make it fall out, shed and just look faded. Try to limit yourself to using heated products two or three times a week.

Another tip for keeping up with dyed hair is to drink water. This may sound like an urban myth, but along with clearing up skin and keeping a healthy body, water also helps hair grow and stay healthy.

Now, it’s been almost a week since you made the big change and you’ve been doing everything to maintain healthy and vibrant hair, but there are still a few things that may need to be adjusted. Especially for those who chose to go bold and colorful, it is necessary to adjust your wardrobe and make up choices.  If your hair is a bright pink, it is common that some colors will not compliment it. For example, having pink hair with red lipstick and a bright blue and yellow dress is not exactly the perfect choice. Unless you want to be recognized as a member of the clown act in the circus, you might need to tone it down.

Despite all of the uncertainties about coloring your hair for the first time, there is a sense of excitement behind changing up your look once in a while. The first time is always a test to see what works and what doesn’t, but after that, you are basically an expert! Unless you feel completely comfortable, it isn’t recommended to try dying your hair in your home bathroom; your bathtub ends up getting more dye than your head and the uncertainty doubles. As you progress further into the hair-coloring world, you will find more products and routines that will work. Happy dyeing!

 

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I am an undergraduate student at Syracuse University, studying magazine journalism in The Newhouse School. I love discussing music and movies as well as capturing street art and unique fashion styles.

2 thoughts on “Your first time… Coloring your hair

  1. I can vouch for the fact that you don’t want to overheat your hair. I swear, I used to straighten my hair daily, or style it with the iron to give it a little bit of a flair (it was short at the time, and dyed about 4 different colors: blue/green/purple/pink, or “peacock” as I called it). That much heat fried my hair, and not only did it fade, but it became extremely wiry, impossible to style. It grew back healthy once I let it grow and cut off all the ends, but that took months of looking awful! It’s not worth it. Honestly.

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