Sure, according to Audrey Tautou in Coco Before Chanel, “a woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life.” But what about a woman (or man) who dyes their hair? From the drastic to the temporary, we’re breaking down all you need to know about changing your hair color.
There are many factors to consider when dyeing your hair, but first let’s discuss why you might want to dye your hair. Maybe you’re just bored, which is totally understandable. Or you noticed Blake Lively’s recent switch to strawberry blonde and was inspired. Perhaps you even saw the shocking new ‘do of Style Icon Daniel (of irisanddaniel), who says,
“I have wanted to dye it blonde for a while, maybe a few months, at least seriously. I’m not sure if there was a direct inspiration from someone specific… I sort of just like the shocking and unnatural look of it."
That seems like reason enough to go for it, right? Yes…but be sure you know what you really want. Like Daniel said, think over your decision before doing anything drastic. Gather up several images of a color you like and take them to your stylist (if you plan to have your hair professionally dyed). If you decide to dye your hair at home, do research on the best brands for the color you want, and take your pictures with you when you go shopping for hair dye.
WHAT COLOR SHOULD I CHOOSE?
You want to do something new, but you don’t know what color would look best? We can help. Hair color can have a big impact on your overall look, and certain colors will look different on different people. If you want your hair to look natural, follow these tips. If you already know what you want, you can skip this part!
Always consider your skin tone when dyeing your hair.
To determine your skin’s undertones, check out this video from eHow.
If you want to go BLONDE:
If you have warm undertones to your skin, blonde hair will likely look good on you—go for golden shade. If you have cool undertones, blonde hair has the possibility to wash you out, but it could also give you a stunning, ethereal look. Choose a light ash color—or even platinum!
If you want to go RED:
If you have warm undertones, a more orange/brown red will look best. For those of you with cool undertones, a shocking true red will look stunning, while a more blue-toned red will offer more contrast. When dyeing hair red, think about it the same way as choosing the perfect red lipstick.
If you want to go BROWN:
A chestnut brown will warm up almost anyone’s face, no matter what tone. A deeper chocolate brown can be stunning or stark on pale skin, so dye with caution.
If you want to go BLACK:
Black hair can be tricky and, as with dark brown, it may run a fine line between stunning and stark. If you have warm undertones and/or darker skin, black hair will look more natural on you. If you have cool undertones and pale skin, black can look very unique or exotic (think Dita Von Teese), or shockingly washed out (think Miley Cyrus in Vanity Fair).
Still not sure which color dye is right for you? Try an online makeover tool, like Taaz to digitally test different hair colors and styles.
HOW SHOULD I DYE MY HAIR?
You have two options when changing your hair color: go to a salon and have it done professionally, or do it yourself. Many factors come into play when making this decision—the most important being how important the final look is to you, how much you are willing to spend, and your general fearlessness in trying something new.
At a salon
Going to a professional should definitely calm your nerves a bit and leave less for you to worry about. You colorist can help you decide which color will be exactly right, based on what you want, as well as what formula to use on your hair. There are three types of hair dye you will likely find at a salon: permanent, demi permanent, and semi-permanent. Read more about them on How Stuff Works.
When dyeing at home, you have the option of using any of the formulas listed above, or trying a temporary dye. This dye will not last longer than a few days or weeks, and is a good way to test out a new color.
If you do decide to use an at-home dye, make sure to follow all of the instructions carefully. If you have a friend who has dyed their hair before, ask them to help you!
Whether you want highlights or an overall dye, elle.com has the best at-home hair color products.
WHAT WILL PEOPLE THINK?
We’re guessing confidence isn’t a huge issue for many of you fashionistas, but others may argue that confidence in clothing is way different than in hair color—it’s not like you can just change your hair every day. True, but if you’ve followed our guide (which we hope you have), hopefully you will be able to choose a hair color that you can love and be happy with. And that’s really all that matters. reddhaireddesigner says, “My friends and family love my hair colour, they can always spot me in a crowd! The people who are worth being around will love you for who you are and no different.” Well said.
LEARN BY EXAMPLE
Finally, let’s hear from some real people! Read about my personal experience with hair dye, as well as the experiences of Style Icons Amanda (amandabrohman), Laura (redhaireddesigner), and Daniel (irisanddaniel).
I first decided to dye my hair after spotting the ombre trend. Since I’m a natural blonde, I couldn’t exactly do ombre unless I went platinum on the tips—so I decided to go for a colored ombre. I chose turquoise, my favorite color, and experimented first with Kool-Aid dyeing. I had intense, vibrant color through the first few washings but it faded completely after a month. Next, I tried Color Jamz Dye, which I just picked up at Sally Beauty supply, and has lasted well for about a month. Setting the color with heat (just aim the blowdryer at your foiled hair for about five minutes) seems to have helped a lot! With temporary dyeing processes like these, there is little to no damage to the hair, just be sure you condition well. The verdict: temporary dye is simple and fun!
Let’s see what the Chictopia Style Icons have to say…
Why did you decide to dye your hair?
Laura: My inspiration for my hair was a combination between Batwoman and my own style. Ever since I was a little girl I dreamt of flying around in my cape, saving the world. Now, all grown up I still have those dreams and fantasies but I also have my own personal eclectic style that blends well with the bright and colorful hair Batwoman has in her comic.
Amanda: I had really blonde hair when I was younger, then it turned darker and I wanted to go back to the “blonde” me. A lot of my biggest style icons have happened to have blonde hair too, like Meryl Streep, Grace Kelly, Blake Lively and Mary-Kate Olsen; I guess they were inspirations for me as well.
Did you have any reservations about dyeing your hair?
Daniel: I did know that the bleach would damage my hair but my mom was more worried about that than I was [laughs]. My hair texture is extremely straight, thick, and overall pretty smooth; I was fine with having the dye damage it a bit since I wanted a little more texture to work with.
Laura: I’ve never had reservations about dyeing my hair, hair grows so [you can] make mistakes, take risks, and be surprised to discover something you love.
Ultimately, are you happy with your look?
Amanda: I like being a blonde! It suits my style and personality, I think I’m going to dye it even blonder soon…I’d like a change!
Laura: I love my hair, it’s as much a representation of my personality and attitude as my opinions and thoughts. I’m a very spunky, loud and different person and I think my hair exemplifies this in volumes. If i’ve learned anything over the years it’s to be proud of who you are.
Daniel: I’m really happy with the way it turned out (and my hilarious new ability middle part my hair and look like I’m from 90s Backstreet Boys doesn’t hurt either).
AS SEEN ON
These stylish people also have great hair: we’re not sure if they’re all dyed, but their looks are fantastic inspiration either way.
What color would you love to dye your hair? Leave us a comment or send us a tweet @everybodyisugly.
by Heather (headbandit)
Image via Vogue Japan, February 2011