8 Things You Should Know Before You Color Hair
GETTING READY TO COLOR
The process to getting your best color starts even before you open your box. Here are a few things you need to know before you color.
DOES HAIR LENGTH AFFECT THE AMOUNT OF COLOR?
Yes. If your hair is longer than shoulder length or very thick, you may need two boxes to fully saturate your hair. Also, keep in mind that the ends of long hair tend to absorb more color, so the timing may be different for your ends.
DOES HAIR TYPE MAKE A DIFFERENCE?
Hair type makes a difference in the timing of the coloring process. An important consideration is hair's texture—if the individual hairs are coarse (large in diameter) or fine (small in diameter). Coarse hair generally takes more time to absorb color, so it requires a longer timing; fine hair generally takes less time to absorb color, so it requires a shorter timing. Hair that's dry or permed may absorb color quickly too. Because several factors affect timing, we recommend a strand test—it's a good way to predict the coloring time.
SHOULD I CUT OR PERM BEFORE I COLOR?
Cutting your hair before you color will ensure you’re able to see the full effect of your color. And, of course, your color will enhance your cut.
The same goes for perms. Perm first to ensure that the perming process will not interfere with your newly applied color. If you're using a permanent hair color (lasts until your hair grows out or you re-color), wait 7 - 10 days and shampoo at least once before coloring.
Some semi-permanent hair color (lasts through 8 – 12 shampoos) and demi-permanent hair color (lasts through 28 shampoos) can be used the same day as your perm—as long as your scalp is not irritated and is in good condition. Check the package instructions to be sure. Either way, make sure you do a stand test before coloring your hair. Perms and relaxers can leave hair more porous and allow color to be absorbed faster.
SHOULD I SHAMPOO BEFORE COLORING?
You generally shouldn't shampoo immediately before coloring, because this will remove the natural oils that helps protect your scalp during the coloring process.
It's best to shampoo 12 - 24 hours before coloring with a semi-permanent hair color (lasts through 8 – 12 shampoos) or demi-permanent product (lasts through 28 shampoos); shampoo 24 hours prior to using permanent color (lasts until your hair grows out or you re-color). But be sure to check the instructions inside the box, as this can vary by product.
WHEN SHOULD I START MY TIMER?
Set your timer for the amount of time indicated on the box as soon as you've finished applying hair color.
SHOULD I CONDITION AFTER COLORING?
It's best to use the conditioner that comes with your hair color. We give this hair advice because the conditioner that comes in the coloring package has been specifically tested for use with that hair color to help create softness and shine.
WHEN SHOULD I RE-COLOR?
Demi-permanent hair color will last up to 28 shampoos—if you wash your hair every day, that's about 4 weeks. Permanent hair color (lasts until your hair grows out or you re-color) should be refreshed when your roots start to show, after about 4 - 6 weeks.