Ever since I was a wee little Stephanie, I’ve been a big fan of color. I’m the kid that would color dogs blue, draw on themselves constantly, and always picked brightly colored hair ties. That hasn’t really changed as I’ve gotten older. While I wear a lot of black, grey, and white and have graduated to more neutral hair ties, I’m not one for monochromatic. Case in point? I refused to paint my interior walls all the same ivory color. Master bedroom? Shades of grey. Kitchen? Country blue. Bold navy adorns the wall in our dining room and my closet? Well, the deep purple felt like the right fit with my white shelves. While I appreciate the concept of a neutral color palette, it’s just not for me. And that extends to my hair. I’ve always wanted to do fashion hair color but waited until I was an adult before I really started playing with it.
I’ve had the brightest of reds, played around with purple, and am currently sporting blue locks. And since I’ve had a bit of experience with fashion hair color, I thought I’d share some tips and information you should know, if you’re thinking of adding a bit more color to your life!
First things first
Even if you’ve been coloring your hair on your own for years, I strongly recommend going to a stylist for you’re first foray into fashion color. Why? Unless you have extremely light blonde hair, you’re probably going to have to do some sort of lightening process. And if you don’t know what you’re doing with bleach, you can destroy your hair pretty quickly. And not just any stylist, but find one that has experience with outside-the-norm hair colors. The first time around, the stylist I was seeing left the bleach on way too long, damaging my hair and causing a mess with the purple when it came to fading. So for your sanity and the sake of your hair, find a professional who knows what’s what.
(If you’re local to the STL area, check out Lalo Salon in Chesterfield! *not an ad, but they’re great*)
Secondly, know that you might not be able to go from dark brown to baby blue in one sitting. That blue up there? It took 11 hours between two sittings to achieve. A good stylist won’t rush your hair. But also be honest with your stylist! Let them know your hair history. And remember, your stylist is human. While it seems like they can work magic, and believe me some of them do, you can’t expect to get platinum-blonde hair with no bleach. When your hair is box-dyed black. In one sitting.
Things to know about fashion color
Fashion color is not the same as regular hair dye. It doesn’t penetrate the hair the same, because it is a direct dye. This means it’s going to fade faster than your standard hair colors. There’s no way around it. There are things you can do to prolong the life of your color, but you have to accept the truth. Fashion color is not going to stay vibrant and fresh out of the salon for months on end. Every time you wash your hair, color is going to leech out.
If you want to do fashion color, embrace the cold. The hotter the water you rinse your hair in, the faster your color is going to fade. Colder water=longer lasting color, period. Next, the more you wash the faster the color will fade. For fashion color, you want to invest in three quality products: color care shampoo and conditioner, dry shampoo, and heat protectant. Achieving the look you want with fashion hair color is not always a cheap endeavor, so you want to invest in products to keep it looking as fresh as possible for as long as possible.
Finally, the transfer. Fashion color is going to transfer to your hands, nails, and styling tools. For a while. If you leave it in your sink, and it stays wet, it can stain your sink finish. Hell, it can stain your shower if you aren’t careful when washing your hair. So keep that in mind when picking your polish colors, because that pretty light pink polish on your nails? It’s gonna turn whatever color your hair is and fast.
Wrapping it up
So to wrap it all up, if you’re planning to do fashion color, you need to keep the following things in mind:
- Find a professional with experience in fashion color.
- Be prepared to go lighter. You can put fashion color on dark hair, it’s just not going to be as vibrant and some colors may not show up at all.
- Be prepared for multiple sittings.
- Fashion color is not the same as regular hair color. It will fade faster.
- Cold rinse, cold rinse, cold rinse!
- Don’t wash as often.
- Quality products! Heat protectant will be your best friend for styling.
- Beware of the transfer.
I hope this doesn’t scare you off from following your rainbow-haired dreams! It may seem a little daunting, but it’s always nice to know as much as possible be for making a big hair decision. I personally love my wild-colored hair and am already dreaming up the next color scheme to bring to the salon.