Your dream hair color is just one salon session away, but taking extra precautions will make sure you hit the jackpot on the first try. Here are some pro tips to keep in mind:
1. Bring photos for reference.
L'Oréal Color expert Chrissy Calderon Uy thinks this is crucial for getting the right color. "Inform the colorist during consultation what colors you don’t want on your hair as well," she adds.
2. Rid your hair of stains.
"Make sure that there aren’t any traces of henna on your strands," says Chrissy. "The stain coats the shaft, making it hard for color to penetrate."
3. Consider your previous hair color when asking for a particular shade.
Remember that some hues will require a "double process," which involves lightening or bleaching strands first before adding the actual swatch color to hair.
4. Share your hair history.
"Iif your hair is not 100% virgin, giving the colorist a history of chemical processes it has undergone can prevent more damage," Chrissy explains.
5. Go for highlights if you're not ready for a big change.
"Refrain from choosing color that requires too much maintenance," suggests Lourd Ramos of Creations Salon. "Instead, choose a focal point in the head and go for highlights."
6. Match blonde hair to your skin tone.
"To make blonde hues work on dark skin, tone them down with deep colors (or lowlights) for a gorgeous, multidimensional finish," says the colorist.
7. Be realistic.
Lourd says that having pegs are great, but only to a certain extent. "Keep in mind that it may be difficult to achieve the exact same color in magazines or picture pegs, given the magic of lighting and post-production," he notes.
8. Look for the best colorist for the color you want.
Rose Hipolito of Juro Salon suggests that you do your homework when it comes to choosing a colorist. It'll save you a lot of color corrective work if you listen to friends’ recommendations and check your chosen colorist’s credentials.
9. Don’t go for a drastic change in hair color, especially if it’s your first time.
"Stay safe by choosing shades that are close to your natural hair color," Rose suggests.
10. Don't forget about after-care.
Once your hair is dyed, you have to step up your hair care game to maintain its vibrancy. Pick the right type of shampoo, conditioner, and masks for when your locks get dry.
*This article originally appeared in Preview Magazine September 2010.