Raise your hand if you’re unsure about at-home hair color. OK, now put your hand down. Here are a few must-know tips I got from Paul Cucinello, Beauty Expert and Creative Director of the Chris Chase Salon in fashionable West Chelsea in NYC.
Even though she was less than thrilling at the Emmys the other night, no one can argue that Katie Holmes has the richest brown hair. Want it? Choose a semi-permanent color in a neutral tone. “Permanent colors tend to pull too much red because the peroxide in the product brings out the natural warmth in your hair,” says Cucinello. He suggests L’Oreal Healthy Look Crème Gloss Color.
Pro Tip: After applying the color to your roots be sure to refresh your ends. To richen faded color without over processing (or achieving a darker result than desired) pick up an extra box of color and mix the included deep conditioning treatment into the color and developer mixture. This will dilute the color so it stays sheer and deposits just enough to refine the tone. Apply it to the ends and leave it on for up to 10 minutes.
Blondes might have more fun, but I seriously doubt they’re talking about when they color their hair. Blonde is tricky. Most at-home hair colors yield a much more golden result than you’re probably looking for. Cucinello suggests not choosing a shade that’s too far from your natural color and to remember that the color on your roots should be slightly deeper than the ends. “Select an ash shade if you want a more neutral result,” he continues. “Unless your natural color is very pale, avoid anything labeled ‘Golden’…chances are you’ll wind up unhappy.”
Pro Tip: Is your blonde feeling “blah”? Brighten up your color with an at home brightening product. It’s a great way to kick your color up a notch without frying your ends. It can also soften the look of re-growth. Try John Frieda Go Blonder Controlled Lightening Spray.
Dark & Mysterious Black
If I could pull it off, I would have the signature black mane of Kim Kardashian. And her millions. I could definitely pull off her millions. But her hair, nope. Can you? “This shade is easily achieved on hair that’s already dark, so very gentle color should be used to ensure that it doesn’t wind up looking like shoe polish,” Cucinello adds that you can select any shade from “dark brown” to “blue black” depending on your skin tone. Try Revlon Colorsilk in Soft Black.
Pro Tip: If you choose to dye your hair black, know this: it’s a long road back, so make sure you’re ready for a long-term commitment. I’m a big fan of using gloss to try color on first and then, when you’re ready for a major commitment and want to bump up the intensity, switch to a semi- permanent color.
Flaming Hot Red
You’re not fooling anyone. Stick with colors that occur in nature, ladies. Choose natural reds that are more golden or copper (avoid cool, cherry tones). “Reds should also be somewhat uniform, so don’t be tempted to try adding highlights to a rich red base,” says Cucinello. Blondes, try copper hues from a semi-permanent color in strawberry blonde. He suggests Couture Color Luxeblend Créme Color in Strawberry Blonde.
Pro Tip: If your hair is naturally dark and you want to achieve a soft, coppery shade, try using a golden blonde permanent color instead of an actual red. The result will be warm and coppery without looking too artificial.
Also, be sure to protect your skin while coloring your hair at-home. Grab your favorite moisturizer and apply a generous amount to your hairline, the tips of your ears and the nape of your neck to avoid staining. I’ve also found +Repelle is a neat little handy product. You’ll look sexy with your new hair color, so you don’t want that angelic dye halo, now do you?