The truth about dyeing your hair

Hair coloring has been an all-time obsession for everyone around the world, not just girls, but men as well. No one is ever satisfied with the way he/she looks; it's human nature. Blondie wants to be a brunette and vice versa. Hence, hair coloring (AKA hair dye) has been invented. Whether that is Salon hair coloring, or a DIY home dye, to each his/her own preference.

However, home coloring is never easy, especially for us Middle-eastern/Mediterraneans, since we are born natural brunettes. Hence, our craving to be blonde. The main question results- "how?” How do you add bright color to dark hair? Do you have to bleach it out first, or shall you apply the color right away? Are there any precautions before dying that you should consider? This article to help you answer all of your questions and find out how to choose the right hair color, how to dye it yourself, and myths about hair dyes.


You can do micro-highlights for a soft color reflection if you have dark hair and want brighter hair without looking as though you’ve done the whole head. Hair-color sprays, like Kryolan Dayglow Spray, look really good on dark hair.

Going blonde

One of most sought after shades of the season will be a monochromatic blonde like Cate Blanchett's. Good news for those nervous about bleaching. This ultra-light color is created by a high-lift, single process that will not damage your hair because you’re lightening the base colors without pulling too much warmth.

Going full-on blonde brings out your eyes and your eyebrows. Everything in your face looks bigger. On darker skin, blonde looks amazing, and it also works on really pale tones. I think it suits most people. However, picking the right shade is the trick. Sometimes you don't have to bleach to bring out the blonde in you; all depends on your natural hair color. But first, to pick the right color, you have to determine your skintone. If you have a lot of pink in your skin, avoid warmth in a hair color because it will make you look flushed. Those who have olive skin tones should opt for gold tones, which bring warmth to the face and make skin look less green. If your skin tone is neutral, with no pink or green, you can wear either warm or cool blond shades.

To determine your skintone, hold your wrist facing it up in the sunlight; if your blood vessels were green, you are warm toned. If your blood vessels were blue, then you are cold toned.

If you are pale white/Caucasian (cold toned have blue veins, red skin tone, and blue undertones complexion), platinum blonde is your best bet. You will never look as good in any other shade (though all shades suit you, just try to avoid darker shades of brown as it will make you look sick). Ash blonde and cool icy blondes looks good on you as well.

If you are Olive/Mediterranean (warm toned have green veins, light beige/sand skin tone, and yellow undertones complexion), honey blonde is your thing (a la Lopez!). Try light brown hair dye with honey blonde and copper lowlights, or with golden blonde highlights. AVOID the temptation of trying platinum blonde and accept the fact that we, middle-easterns, are not born for it. Light brown with golden undertones looks good on you as well.

If you are tanned/dark Ebony skin-toned (Selina Gomez-Rihanna), just follow the Olive/Mediterranean traits, yet, do not attempt to go as light unless consulted by a hair salon to pick the shade that would not make you look like Nicki Minaj ( we do not want that now, do we?).


For pale white/CaucasianMocha browns are best on your skintones, but never go darker or else you will look like a walking zombie. Dark browns on really pale skin needs a lot of makeup application to make you look alive, and we want something that is not high-maintenance, don't we?

For Olive/Mediterranean, Luck you, all shades of brown suits you well, better if applied on textured & layered hair. Better get a trim soon!

For tanned/dark Ebony skin-toned, you should stay away from medium browns and dark blondes as they do not create enough contrast between the skin and hair — either go darker or lighter.


Choose a red with the same undertones as your skin. For example, if you have yellow undertones, opt for a golden copper. Never try to oppose your skintone with hair color because you will look washed out. When going red, you can choose a shade with either copper or blue undertones—the latter is much more vibrant. So choose a blue-based color, with minimal highlights, so the base can take center stage. Warm red hair colors are perfect for working this season's wet look hair trend.

For pale white/Caucasian who has blue undertones will suit cooler hair shades best; violet and bright reds can never look good on anyone except you!

For Olive/Mediterranean ,Olive skin has green undertones, which are best complimented by red shades. This doesn't need to be a bold red; a strawberry blonde or an auburn brunette will work too.

For tanned/dark Ebony skin-toned, choose a brown based shade to suit your skintone and doesn't look too much on your complexion. Working with your hair’s natural pigments will best complement your natural skintone.

The must have hair colors for 2014

Honey Blondes With Rooty Dimension 

Those with dark blonde or light brown hair looking to keep more of their natural color should go for a honey hue, like Cara Delavigne, with a soft scattering of highlights to create depth at the roots. Balayage, a French hair coloring technique developed in the '70s, is a great way to achieve this soft graduation of color.

Monochromatic Blonde 

A la Cate Blanchett's ,this bright blonde is hitting hollywood hard and fast. 

Rose Gold

This season's take on ginger is anything but subtle, says Warren. It's all about a bright hue that will make your eyes pop.
Gradual Ombre

(Starting the color transition higher up and closer to the roots for greater impact). Ombre is here to stay for another season and this is our pick of the two-tone dyes. Let just a hint of roots peek through for a too-cool-to-care finish. Since Ombré is still in (albeit a much more subtle version), so you should avoid highlighting your roots.

Buttery Brunettes 

For brown-haired women this season, it's all about rich monochromatic shades with light contrasts like Kate Middleton. If you have "dark chocolate" hair, Papa Nikolas suggests "milk chocolate" highlights. If you have milk chocolate hair, go for soft honey highlights. Trust us; your natural brunette hair hue isn't boring; it's made to suit you perfectly. Just give it a boost with an occasional gloss or oil treatment for added shine. 

6 Things You Need to Know Before Coloring Your Hair at Home

Having your hair professionally colored at the salon is a major commitment - of time and money. Instead of spending both in a pro's chair for a new hue, try an at-home hair color kit in your own bathroom. To ensure that you avoid a dye disaster, professional colorists offer their expert advice for coloring your hair at home.

Before you grab a box of dye, follow these at-home coloring rules for flawless shade that will look fresh from the salon.

Rule 1: Ignore the Photos on the Box
When shopping for at-home hair color, many women will only look at the picture on the box. The model on the box may have the perfect shade of brown, but we don't know what her hair color was like before the dye. Instead, consult the numbers and letters on the package to determine the level of color and desired tone.

Rule 2: Use Your Own Coloring as a Guide

Light-skinned, light-eyed women look more natural with lighter shades, while women with darker hair and skin look better in darker shades.

Rule 3: Stay Within Two Shades of Your Natural Color

Colorists agree: When dyeing your hair at home, don't go more than two shades lighter or darker. This is especially important for brunettes who want to go blonde, because at-home color kits don't contain the strong chemicals needed to radically change your color. There's a reason, you know, that hair colorists have to go to school, pass a test, and get a license! The reason is that the chemicals needed to perform complicated hair color changes can severely damage hair and scalp.

Rule 4: Do a Test Drive Before Committing to a Permanent Color

You can also try semi-permanent dye, which, as with demi-permanent color, won't lighten your hair. Semi-permanent formulas don't penetrate the hair deeply and wash out in about 8 to 12 shampoos. Or, you can do a patch test to test a new color on a small area of your hair before you apply it to your entire head.

Rule 5: Don't Skip the Patch Test

It’s important to do, not only for the above mentioned to avoid color disaster, but you also risk a scalp reaction if your skin doesn't tolerate the dye chemicals. Do a patch test on the inside of your elbow or behind your ear before 48 hours before dying your hair.

Rule 6: Do Damage Control Before You Dye

I cannot believe I am actually going to say this ( you go!)- do not wash your hair for at least 2-3 days until your hair gets oily. That is the best way to prepare for an intense color session. Before bleaching, try to go as long as possible without washing. This way your scalp can build up its natural defenses and create a barrier between your skin and the bleach. The oil build up on your hair will protect your scalp from any irritation (and stains for the matter of fact) the chemical reaction and ammonia from the dye may cause.


1- Give your hair a boost in between colors
Ask for a gloss and a trim from your stylist. Glosses and glazes will refresh your hair color and leave your hair healthier and shiner. One should know the difference- glosses usually last longer and actually penetrate your hair cuticle to promote shine, while glazes simply coat your hair shaft and last just a week or two.
Deep conditioning- One thing that will definitely change though is the fact that the dye will make your hair more dry. This can be fixed by upping how often you deep condition your hair – start doing treatments twice a week.

2- Keep your hair color from fading
unfortunately, your newly dyed hair has foes—lots of them. Therefore, exposing your hair to the elements of sun, wind, chlorine, and salt water (a.k.a. our idea of a perfect summer) can prematurely fade your color, as can alcohol-based hair styling products. Turns out, your skin isn’t the only thing that needs SPF. To protect your color, wear a hat when you’re outside for an extended period of time—a chic scarf will do, as well. Or, try a UV-protectant spray. Avoid hair products like mousse and hairspray, which are usually made with high amounts of alcohol and will fade your color faster. Skip A Shampoo (Or Two!), Instead, use a dry shampoo to banish greasy roots and cut down your shampoo time.

3- Protect
Use a primer before styling your hair. It protects the hair by evening the porosity and will also protect your strands in the face of heat, chlorine, and dryness.

4- Repair
Color processing, especially lightening, can take a huge toll on your hair. Make sure to repair your strands with a shampoo and conditioner specifically targeted towards color-treated hair that are made with peptides that lock color in, and nourishing oils that keep your strands soft and healthy, not dull or damaged.

Hair coloring facts and fiction

1. It’s hard to return to your natural hair color after dyeing it.

Fiction. To get your color back gradually, apply a semi-permanent hair dye in a shade close to your natural tone. These formulas will rinse out in 10 washes, says Clairol consulting colorist Luis Pacheco. If you are using at-home hair color and have questions, the website on the box is a valuable resource for helpful information and troubleshooting tips. But, to avoid disasters, if you’ve lightened your hair, visit a professional who will advise you and help you transition gracefully back to your original shade. 

2. Dyeing your hair leaves it dry and brittle.

Fiction. It’s all about using the right products the right way. Hair gets dry when the colorant is too strong or there has been a lot of lightening. Avoid excessive highlights or over-processing, and be especially careful if you have fine hair, which is more prone to damage. Don’t leave the dye on for longer than indicated. L’Oréal Professionnel has a new line of ammonia-free products called Innovation No Ammonia, which deposit color into hair, leaving it as healthy and shiny as it was before the treatment. No harsh odor or damaged hair. Yupppppeeeeeeeeeeeee!

3. Using dye causes permanent hair loss 

Fiction. Our mothers may have told us this to prevent us from coloring our hair at a young age, but the reality is color treatments do not cause permanent hair loss. That said, over-processed hair is certainly prone to breakage and split ends, so remember to consult a color expert before undergoing any drastic treatments. 

4. It’s okay to color your hair when you are pregnant.

Fact. You don’t have to shy away from your regular beauty regimen for nine months. According to researchers at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, using hair dye while pregnant is safe because the body doesn’t absorb the chemicals in significant amounts. If you’re still apprehensive, you can wait until the second trimester and opt for a less aggressive approach, like treating your hair with a demi-permanent color. And ask your stylist to start applying the color a little farther away from your roots than usual; that way you’ll worry less about it penetrating your scalp.

5. Colouring your hair leads to premature greys 

Fiction. The notion that grey hairs can be caused by frequent coloring is nothing more than folklore. Premature greying is hereditary and can even be a result of large amounts of stress. When you apply dye to your hair, the hair follicle, where grey hairs originate, isn’t affected.

6. Grey hair can be covered only with a permanent hair dye.

Fact, The only way to fully cover a whole head of grey hair is to use permanent dye, but you can certainly use a demi-permanent dye — which lasts longer than a semi-permanent and washes out gradually — if less than half your hair is grey. The dye will help camouflage, making greys less visible. A semi-permanent dye, on the other hand, will only stain grey hairs and will wash out faster. 

7. After dyeing your hair, wait two days before you wash it, to preserve the color.

Fiction. This was the rule of thumb many years ago when coloring products were not as sophisticated and neither were the shampoos. Today, so long as you are using a shampoo and conditioner designed to protect color, then you are safe to wash the day after your color service. 

This post has been compiled over the internet and magazine.
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