Coloring your own hair can be an intimidating process. With the myriad shades, brands and formulas to choose from-not to mention the maintenance of your new 'do-how do you know what's best for you? We consulted hair care professionals for the answers to your most pressing questions. From color upkeep to dye allergies, find out how to maximize the effects of boxed formulas and keep your mane looking beautiful.
How often will I need to color my hair?
To keep up with gray roots, most people need to reapply color every 4 to 6 weeks. The good news? You don't need to apply color to your whole head. Instead, divide your hair into several sections and apply color just to the regrowth areas along the roots. The pros also suggest using a cotton swab to help evenly spread color to targeted areas.
How long should I wait to wash my hair?
After the initial wash to rinse out the haircolor, try to wait 24 hours to shampoo it again. This allows the color to set. Also, always try to use a shampoo formulated for color-treated hair, like Pureology Serious Color Care Hydrate Shampoo, which has UVA/UVB filters to protect color from fading ($27; Pureology.com for salons).
How can I keep my color lasting longer?
Try to avoid long amounts of time in the sun, since its rays help fade color fast. To prevent fading, coat wet hair with a UV filtering spray, like Sebastian Professional Halo Mist UV Filter Weightless Shine Spray ($16.95; SebastianProfessional.com for salons).
I'm afraid my skin will have a reaction to the dye. Can I test a product without having to buy more than one kit?
One at-home color kit is all you need. Purchase it at least 2 days before you plan to color your hair so you can perform an allergy test. Unscrew the caps of both the Colorant and Developer. Measure a teaspoon of both solutions, tightly close the caps on both, and mix them in an old plastic container. On a clean, dry area on the inside of your elbow, apply a dab of color with a cotton swab and let it dry. If no rash or irritation occurs after 2 days, you can color your hair.
The haircolor aisle can be overwhelming. How else can I select a shade?
Original article appeared on WomansDay.com.
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