Ten things you should know before colouring your hair for the first time

You want to change your hair colour, but you daren’t take the plunge. Before you colour your hair for the first time, here is everything you should know.

1. Before colouring, set out your expectations

This is the best way to avoid feeling disappointed with the result. Firstly, ask yourself if you would like a radical change or not. Depending on the look you want to go for, opt for a shade which is close to or far removed from your natural base colour. Colouring your hair can give depth to lifeless locks or add shine to dull hair, for example. Depending on your desired result, there is a whole range of methods to choose from: streaks of varying tones for more volume or balayage to add a flash of light to your locks. Do you love changing your look? If so, opt for temporary colouring over permanent.

2. You cannot simply choose any colour

Unless you go in for the manga hair trend, a hair colour that looks right is one chosen to complement your skin tone and eye colour. To enhance a pale complexion with light coloured eyes for example, opt for ash blond rather than golden tones. If your eyes are dark and you have a dark complexion, forego blond in favour of a more natural looking caramel. Your taste in clothing and your personality also come into play when choosing the right shade for you. Whether you are a brunette, blonde or redhead, consider all of these factors carefully and seek advice from your colourist before making a decision. Are you still torn between two shades? You should take into consideration that the colour you choose often turns out darker than you think. So opt for the lightest of the two shades, as it will be closer to your desired result.

3. Colouring is not the same as bleaching

Colouring can only lighten your hair by a few tones. For a radical change such as going from brunette to blond, colouring is not always enough. This means that bleaching is sometimes the only option.

4. Some colouring methods are better than others when it comes to covering grey hair.

To cover your salt and pepper locks completely, opt for permanent colouring which will provide better coverage than temporary hair colouring.

5. The result varies from person to person

Do not hope to come out of the salon with the exact same colour as your favourite celebrity or your friend who has just had the same colouring treatment. The resulting colour depends on your natural base colour and the condition of your hair. The same colour will always vary a little from person to person.

6. Whatever you do, enlist a hairdresser for your colouring treatment

To avoid mishaps, enlist a hairdresser to do your colouring treatment. With their expertise, they can adjust the amount of product used and the resting time according to your hair type. This means that you will have a better chance of getting a result that meets your expectations than you would with a home dye kit.

7. Your locks might become drier

To give your hair a new colour, the dye opens up the hair fibre’s cuticles so that the pigments can penetrate. This process weakens the hair and makes it less able to retain moisture. The result: your locks dry out.

8. After colouring, you should change your haircare regime

Coloured hair needs specific treatments. To hold onto your colour and nourish your locks, you need a shampoo which is less likely to make the colour fade. Likewise, you need a hair mask which will thoroughly pamper your hair to bring its shine to the fore.

9. Having coloured hair also means regular upkeep and additional costs

With regrowth, it is essential you get touch-ups done on your hair at the salon. Bank on having monthly treatments to touch up your roots with standard colouring, and once every three months for partial colouring methods such as streaks, balayage and tie dye. However, this does mean extra yearly costs. Touching up your roots, getting a few streaks redone or refreshing your hair’s shine with highlights all require visits to the salon at different intervals and they all come at different prices. This is a factor that you should take into account when deciding which option to go for.

10. To get back your natural colour afterwards…

Before colouring your hair, you should know that getting back your natural colour will be more or less of a challenge depending on your chosen colouring method. A temporary colour will wash out over time, within 5 to 8 weeks. If some highlights are stubborn, you can visit your salon and ask for a cleansing treatment to remove any last remaining pigments. With permanent colouring, the only solution is to let your roots grow out and get your coloured hair cut off gradually as it grows.

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