How to Amp Up Your Hair Color This Spring
How to Amp Up Your Hair Color This Spring
Expert Advice for Your Hair Color Re-Boot
We'll admit, when you hide your hair underneath hats, scarves, and hoods all winter long, it's easy to let your salon touch-ups fall to the wayside. But now that spring is here, it's time to bring life to those locks again!
We spoke to top celebrity hair colorists to learn the best ways to recharge your color this season-whether your strands are sable like Freida Pinto's, icy blonde like Michelle Williams', fire-engine red like Christina Hendricks', or a dynamic brunette like Rihanna's, we've got tips for every shade under the sun.
How Do I Find the Right Blonde for My Skin Tone?
Not every sunny blonde highlight is created equal, but by determining your skin's undertones, you'll be able to find the exact shade that flatters you best. "If you have a tendency to wear gold jewelry and are flattered by warmer colors, then buttery and golden blonde tones will work," said celebrity colorist Marie Robinson, who works with Michelle Williams. "If you wear silver colors and are flattered by cooler colors, then beige and cool ash tones will work well."
Warm complexions like Williams' should ask for equally warm colors, but if you have cool undertones like Emma Stone, you can pull off ash-based hues, or even colors closer to the platinum end of the spectrum. "If you're not sure whether you can handle the brightness, try hairpieces next to your skin to see if it makes you look too washed out," Robinson added.
How Can I Keep Blonde Hair from Getting Brassy?
Unexpected brass or orange tones are the sworn enemies of flawless blonde strands like Reese Witherspoon's, but if your shade starts to shift, there are a few easy ways you can combat it.
"The most common method is to use a violet-tinted shampoo, like Clairol's Shimmer Lights ($9 and $13;
sallybeauty.com). The purple neutralizes yellow or gold tones in blondes," said Mariah Carey's colorist Kyle White. "Another way to get rid of brass is to go lighter and lift hair beyond the orange level. When getting your hair colored professionally, colorists have an arsenal of toners that are stronger and more permanent than shampoo, including even more tints that neutralize orangey colors."
How Can I Give Brunette Strands New Life?
Is your brunette hue failing to shine bright like Rihanna's? White suggests investing in an at-home hair gloss with subtle hints of gold. We love John Frieda's wallet-friendly version ($7; ulta.com). "The golden tones reflect more light, so this simple trick not only makes your brown color rich, but it also delivers incredible shine," said White. "You can also do a few face-framing highlights, but make sure not to go more than two shades lighter than the base color to ensure it looks natural, and doesn't get brassy."
What Highlights Flatter Jet-Black Hair?
If you have ultra-dark strands like Freida Pinto, keep your undertones in mind and veer no more than two shades lighter so your hair stays in the same tonal family. "I would suggest dark, chocolate brown highlights," said White. "Place the thickest pieces around the hairline to frame the face, then regress the highlights out in size toward the crown."
How Can I Keep Red Hair from Fading?
Although it makes one of the biggest statements of the hair color spectrum, fiery red tones like Christina Hendricks' and Connie Britton's are the most prone to fading. "Red hair color has the largest molecule and is difficult to enter into the shaft of your hair," said Joel Warren of Warren-Tricomi Salons. "To make it last, you need products that help close the cuticle. Try L'Oreal Professionel's INOA salon service, which works differently because it doesn't have ammonia and won't open up the hair cuticle."
How fast the color fades is dependent on your natural hue, but know that more intense reds like Hendricks' tend to be more high-maintenance. "A strawberry blonde on a blonde base will last much longer than a rich auburn on that same base color," Warren added.
Is It Safe to Color Hair That Is Damaged or Processed?
If your hair is seriously damaged, then take a break from color and give your hair some TLC with a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner as well as an intensive hair mask to restore its moisture. If your hair is strong enough, go for a color that won't further the damage. "Choose a color closer to your natural hair that is a subtle enhancement," advised Robinson.
Case in point: Kerry Washington's slightly lighter brown hue from the 2013 Oscars. "Kerry is naturally brunette, but she's always up for a change and a new look, so we went for a reddish-brown color," said Washington's hairstylist Takisha Sturdivant-Drew.
Should I Make a Drastic Change in Stages?
As the saying goes, slow and steady wins the race, but if your hair is healthy, you can get away with several processes in the same day (i.e. going blonde to brunette like Olivia Wilde)-just be sure to invest in a nourishing hair mask for after-care. "Those with damaged hair should make the change over the course of a few days, or even weeks, to see if it will get too dry or damaged," said Robinson. "If you notice excessive dryness, then try to work with the color you have."
I Want Something Wild, But I'm Not Ready to Commit
While some are adventurous enough to copy Miley Cyrus' platinum pixie, the change may be a little much for those of us who are less daring. Luckily, there are ways to ease into edgy hair without diving in head first, like Katy Perry did with her blue hue a while back.
"Vibrant glosses in blue or pink are fun, and fade out quickly," said White. "You can also try some peek-a-boo highlights in a wild color." We love the versions worn by Jordin Sparks and Heidi Klum. "If you're very unsure, try clip-in extensions. There has also been an explosion of hair sprays, color pens, and hair chalks in wild colors that wash out in a single shampoo," White added. "They're great for a girl who wants to try the trend for an evening or special occasion."