Thinking of colouring your hair? You need to read this first.
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Hair colour is a complicated area of beauty but it doesn’t have to be. I want to break down some of the myths and fears around hair colour so you can make an informed decision and get the result you’ll love.
I know I’m going to open up a huge can of worms but we also need to talk about home hair colour. It’s like a weird beauty taboo that no-one talks about but so many people are doing.
I love my hairdresser (shout out to Stevie English Hair) but I used box colour when my hair was closer to my natural colour. I tried it again last year and l loved the result. You can check out my video here.
Once you understand how hair colour works, you can figure out how to get the result you want. A little education goes a long way.
Myth: All hair colour is the same and will damage your hair
There are lots of different types of colour and you can break this down into two basic categories – semi-permanent and permanent colour.
Gone are the days when hair colour was really damaging and semi-permanent colours leave your hair looking shinier than your natural colour.
If you have fine hair, the process of colour makes the hair “fatter” which makes it easier to style too.
Myth: You need to wash your hair just before colouring
You may have heard that clean hair is best for colour but it’s not the case. I’d never recommend washing your hair on the day you colour your hair for a couple of reasons.
- A little oil on your scalp can offer some protection to your skin when colouring your hair.
- The other reason is that most of us are a little rough when we wash our hair and our nails can scratch the skin. Any colour put over a graze on your skin will sting!
So save the time and don’t wash your hair on the same day you colour it. Plus wet hair will dilute the colour and reduce even coverage.
The only exception is when you use semi-permanent colours. These are applied to wet hair so a quick shampoo is necessary before applying the colour.
Myth: Hair colour takes time to “settle”
Hair colour doesn’t need time to “settle”. Often we think a colour looks better after a day or two as we’re getting used to it.
If you’ve had a dramatic colour change, it can be a shock at first when you look in the mirror. It takes time to get used to the new you. You might also need to audit your wardrobe and makeup to find the colours that suit your new hair.
Myth: You should wait 2 days to wash your hair after colouring
You can shampoo your hair straight away but you don’t want to wash all that fresh colour down the drain. Don’t shampoo colour out unless you need to. You can just rinse your hair well and condition it.
Fun fact, shampoo doesn’t remove colour – water does! So even if you’re not washing your hair every day but you’re swimming a lot, your hair will fade quickly.
Myth: You should dye your eyebrows to match your hair
Never use hair colour on facial hair, please! It can cause blindness so don’t do it.
Your eyebrows don’t need to match your hair colour exactly. If you hair is light, your eyebrows look best around 1-2 shades darker than your hair. If you have dark hair, your brows should be 1-2 shades lighter than your hair.
Myth: You can lighten previous colour with another colour
You cannot lighten a colour with another colour.
Let me say that again, colour over colour will always go darker. Remember this and you will save yourself from so many problems.
You can lighten your hair at home. Schwarzkopf Nordic range is the number one lightening range in Australia. However if you’re looking at boxes of colour, remember that they will always go darker.
Flip the box and look for the colour result panel. Grant Withnell, Education director at Schwarzkopf says, “If your natural hair colour isn’t on the box, then it isn’t recommended for you”.
Myth: You can put a brown dye over lightened blonde hair
You need a step in between. If you’ve ever tried this (or seen friends who have) then you’ll recognise a very unflattering shade of khaki green hair.
What you need to do a filler colour to put the red back into the lightened blonde hair. You’ll only need to do this once and Grant recommends using Schwarzkopf Live Colour Aztec Copper. It will turn your blonde hair orange, but then you can go straight over that with brown to get the natural shade you want.
Myth: There’s no colour left in my hair – it’s washed out
If you’ve coloured your hair with permanent colour, it’s permanent. It may have faded but it’s still not your natural colour so you need to treat it as such. Remember colour over colour will go darker so follow the instructions in the box to colour your regrowth first.
Myth: Summer sun fades colour
Truth! But the sun all year round fades colour!
Protect your colour by wearing a hat if you’re going to be in the sun for any length of time. Your skin will thank you too.
To fix the fade, Schwarzkopf Live Salon Professional Colour Refresher is a 3 min treatment you can do as often as you like to brighten your colour up. The Schwarzkopf Nordic Blonde Refresher Mousse is amazing.
Myth: You can’t bring shine back to damaged hair
Taking 10 minutes to do a toner or semi-permanent colour on your hair can completely refresh your hair. Grant recommends the Schwarzkopf Live Salon Permanent Colour Refresher as an easy colour fix that does no harm.
If you’re stuck choosing between two colours, always go with the lighter one. It’s more flattering and it’s easier to go darker than light.
A final tip
Always do an allergy test and then a strand test to check the colour.
To do the strand test, simply mix a teaspoon of colour and developer and apply it to a strand of hair underneath at the back of your head. You can watch a video tutorial here. Check the result after 30 minutes and you’ll know exactly how it will look on your hair.
The best thing about hair is that it grows back and that’s why I love changing my hair. Finding that perfect hair colour brings me so much joy!
Do you colour your hair at home and what hair colours make you happy?