Guide to home hair colouring
There's no such thing as a foolproof home hair colour, as trichologist Nigel Russell well knows. But while there are pitfalls, they're easy enough to avoid so that you can get a great result. These are Nigel's expert tips and rules:
- Go to a chemist rather than a supermarket to buy home hair colour because the staff should at least have a basic knowledge of shade selection suitability and the importance of patch testing first.
- A patch test is recommended before a colour even if you have not had a reaction in the past. You can develop sensitivity to colour over time.
- Always use some Vaseline around the hairline to avoid staining the skin.
- Ensure all colour is thoroughly rinsed out as residue colour could cause sensitivity.
- Always use either the treatment conditioner provided or apply a deep mask after a colour to lock it in.or use a weekly hot oil treatment.
- Don't over-colour your hair - so no more frequently than every four to six weeks. To cover greys, just do a hairline tint using a small amount around the hairline and parting area.
- Beware of colour build-up - applying the same colour over and over again will result in it getting darker and more intense. Apply to the regrowth only, and not the ends.
- Don't get too ambitious. I strongly recommend that major colour changes be done in a professional salon. once your new colour is established then you may still be able to maintain the regrowth by yourself at home.
- Henna stains the hair, is hard to remove and cannot be coloured over.
- Adding colour does not lighten hair. So you cannot expect to go lighter by putting a lighter shade over a pre-existing shade.
- When you colour your hair a darker shade, you must add warmth too, as darker colours will tend to go matte.
- Fashion shades do not cover grey well. Reds, coppers and golds on their own will give a translucent result on a grey or partly grey regrowth.
Colour me young
As we get older, it pays not to take the hair extremely dark or extremely light because both can be draining and ageing. If you've got a lot of red in your skin, then tone it down with blondes and ashier browns instead of hyping it up with coppery shades. Highlights and lowlights will also soften your look, but keep them natural-looking and close to your base shade.