Change Your Look: A Hair Color Change

Young woman who is ready to change her look
Photo: Dreamstime
At any given time, fifty percent of women are unhappy with their appearance. They express a desire for change, and many take the plunge to achieve it - sometimes with disastrous results. Of course, not all changes are negative, but many women admit they need assistance when altering their hairstyle. That's where we come in.
The first area of change - and often the easiest - is hair color. Color can enhance your natural shade, cover gray, or create a dramatic difference. The best part is, it doesn't have to be a major commitment to make an interesting change.
Here are some tips to make changing your hair color a breeze:
1. Determine the type of color change you desire. Do you want something bold and sassy, or just a hint of spice? Clarifying this will guide your choice of color.
2. Choose colors that complement your natural palette. Avoid selecting shades simply because they're trendy. The goal isn't to "make" you beautiful but to enhance the beauty you already possess.
Sticking within your natural color range ensures more satisfying results. For example, the stunning Latina actress Eva Longoria-Parker wouldn't suit an arctic blonde, just as the fair-haired Kate Hudson wouldn't opt for chocolate brown
3. Consider the season. Let the time of year guide your hair color choices. Opt for lighter shades in the spring and summer. Adding highlights or a tonal lift to your natural color can refresh your appearance. In the fall and winter, aim for richness and deeper tones in your color.
4. If you're uncertain about a color, check if it's available in a temporary or demi-permanent formula. Temporary color lasts until your next shampoo, while demi-permanent color gradually washes out over 8-12 shampoos. This allows you to experiment without committing to a permanent change.
5. Make sure you understand what you're getting into when you start the coloring process. If your goal is to cover gray, using a permanent hair color means you'll need regular maintenance touch-ups to keep the new growth colored. In these cases, I generally recommend using a demi-permanent color. This allows you to cover gray as desired, but if you decide to stop, you can let the color wash out completely.
6. Consider a color-gloss service. In many cases, a simple (colorless) gloss application can add depth and shine to your hair's natural color, making it look richer and more vibrant. Color-gloss services are also beneficial for those who color their hair, as the gloss formula helps seal the hair shaft. Since many colors fade quickly, a gloss treatment can help your color last longer.
Professional hair color advice
Photo: Alexanders’s Images/Canva
Color-specific Tips:
Here are some ideas for specific hair color groups that can help you change your look:
1. Use a color gloss treatment to give your hair extra shine, enhancing the hair's reflectivity.
2. Try adding lowlights to the lower layers of the hair. This can make the natural shade look brighter and more vibrant without lightening the hair, and it is much less harsh a process than lifting hair color.
3. Try a toner service instead of a full-fledged color to add some subtle depth to the hue. A light golden glaze can make blonde hair warm and inviting.
4. Use a brass-fighting shampoo and conditioner to keep your blonde color looking natural.
1. Keep in mind that depending on how dark your hair is, you won’t get a lighter color without a bleaching process.
2. Try a "wash" of a bold, vibrant color (such as burgundy or indigo) on the darkest hair colors. This adds some depth to the natural color and creates a glimmering effect on the hair.
3. Use a clear-gloss treatment to make the most of your hair’s natural richness and vibrancy.
4. Try a color-depositing shampoo and conditioner to enhance the darker tones of your hair. Or a demi-permanent color to add richness and warmth to medium and lighter brunette shades.
1. Since so many shades of red are more subtle, perhaps you might try a toning color in a demi-permanent formula to make your shade brighter and hotter.
2. Avoid red colors that look or sound fake or unnatural. If you're choosing between colors called "Candied Apple" and "Cayenne," go for the "Cayenne" as the more "natural-sounding" shade of color.
3. Style the hair using curl, since the waves and texture in the hair will make for more light refraction, adding depth to the look of the color.
By Susan | Updated | ©

See also: When is it time to change your hairstyle?