Ash, gold, copper… It’s not always easy to find the right shade of blond, red, or brown! Here are some tips to help us achieve this.
Our advice for blondes
Over time, colored blonde hair tends to yellow, especially if exposed to the sun without protection. And, in general, blondes choose too pale a shade that does not suit their complexion. In addition, in cases where the hair is bleached, the hair fiber is dehydrated.
To find the perfect blonde
- If our skin tends towards pink, we opt for a beige or ash blonde.
- If you have a rather matte or yellowish complexion, you go for a golden blond.
- If our hair is very golden or yellowed, we avoid ash tones, which may give them greenish reflections. Instead, choose a beige with lilac or slightly pink highlights.
- If our hair is greenish, we neutralize the green with a blond that contains red pigments, such as Venetian blond.
The right techniques
All coloring techniques give good results, but these are particularly effective for blondes.
Highlights. We isolate about ten locks (or more, according to taste) from the rest of the hair and color them with a brush. They are then wrapped in aluminum foil and left to rest for the required time. For naturally sunny hair, opt for slightly golden locks. As it suits the majority of women, it’s the go-to anti-blunder shade when paired with a base color that complements our skin tone. Above all, we do not choose more than two colors of wicks, because the more shades there are, the less depth we obtain. Best to stick with a base color and lighter or darker highlights, depending on the desired effect.
The scan.Performed using a comb and brush, this method involves placing the color exactly where you want it, section by section. Less apparent than highlights, balayage partially and very subtly lightens the hair. The resulting sun effect creates depth and gives relief to the hair, for a more natural result.
To preserve our blondeness, we use shampoo, conditioner, and styling products specially designed for blonde hair, or treatments with UV protection, which prevents the color from yellowing, and lightening ingredients that prevent color change and dullness. Every week, we pamper our hair with a treatment that hydrates thirsty hair.
- Memory Sparkling Blondes Restorative System Shade Shampoo, by Matrix ($16.95 for 400 ml, in the salon; info: 1-888-422-6879). In addition to preventing color change and loss of shine, the grapefruit extract in this shampoo brightens and illuminates the hair.
- Color Seal Weekly Shine Conditioner for Color-Treated Hair, by Clairol ($4.99 for 58 ml, in pharmacies). The silicones in this intensive moisturizer seal the hair cuticle to prevent pigment from leaking out. We use it once a week instead of our usual conditioner.
- Okara Protective Radiance Restructuring Mask, by René Furterer ($32 for 150 ml, at Ogilvy, Sephora, and in salons; info: 1-877-441-2011). This treatment with UV filters rehydrates the hair fiber and preserves the color of our hair thanks to the fixing properties of the witch hazel extract. Our tips for redheads
Thanks to their warm, light-reflecting pigments, redheads often look shinier than brunettes or blondes. On the other hand, red fades easily and lets the natural color of the hair show through after only a few weeks. To keep our color longer, it must be maintained with care.
To find the perfect roux
- If you have a fair complexion and freckles, you are spoiled for choice, because both cold tones and warm tones suit us.
- If our skin is matte or very tanned, it is in our interest to choose a vibrant red like mahogany red.
- As for olive or yellowish skin, they are highlighted with a subtle and natural roux, such as caramel roux. Note: Copper or mahogany tones give a more vibrant red, while cool (browner) tones neutralize red pigments.
The right techniques
Several techniques are suitable for redheads, but here are two that always give good results.
Semi-permanent coloring. The color layers on top of the natural color energize it without bleaching the hair. Without ammonia or oxidant, it fades after 4-10 shampoos, allowing us to try different shades without the inconvenience of regrowth. This technique is great for refreshing faded redheads.
the color placement consists of permanently coloring large sections of hair to give movement and texture to the hair. For redheads, the color placement is mostly done at the nape of the neck. For example, you can dye all the hair below a darker red and the strands above a lighter tone. These will stand out more and give depth and texture to the hair. The red reflects the light a lot. We opt for a lighter or darker shade depending on the desired effect.
- The interview
For two weeks after coloring, it is better to wash your hair with lukewarm water, because hot water opens the hair cuticles: the color then leaks more easily. Shampoo and conditioner for colored hair, designed to prevent pigment leakage, are used. One time out of three, we opt for a specific shampoo for red hair, which deposits red pigments on the hair fiber. Result: the color remains radiant longer. Once a week, we replace our conditioner with a mask to deeply nourish our hair and prevent pigments from leaking out. For our color to last even longer, we wait 48 hours after coloring before washing our hair,
- Red Expressions Daily Color-Enhancing Shampoo, from Pantene ($10.49 for 384 ml, in pharmacies). This gentle shampoo protects the hair from daily aggressions (wind, sun) and helps to dislodge deposits that can discolor red hair. And it contains liquid crystals that make hair super shiny.
- Beautifying after-shampoo balm with pomegranate extract, from Klorane ($10.99 for 100 ml, in pharmacies). Pomegranate extract fixes the color. It anchors the pigments in the keratin of the hair, for a more tenacious and more brilliant color.
- Nutri-intense Color Resist mask, from Garnier ($5.49 for 200 ml, in pharmacies). This treatment provides all the moisturizing benefits of a mask while being as quick to use as a conditioner. It makes the hair less porous, allowing the pigments to stay in place longer. Our advice for brunettes
The brunette is undoubtedly the one who has the least problems with her color because it deteriorates less than that of blondes or redheads. It just loses luster over time.
To find the perfect brown
- If our complexion is pale and rosy, we go with a cold brown or a purplish brown, which reduces the rosiness of the skin.
- Do we have an olive complexion? We can opt for a cold brown or for a warm brown, copper or mahogany, but it is better to avoid aubergine tones, which do not favor us.
- To highlight swarthy skin, cool tones like espresso brown are perfect.
- If you have a sallow complexion, warm tones like caramel brown will benefit you.
The right techniques
If brunettes can opt for highlights or sweeping, the pros particularly recommend the following techniques.
The gloss. Without ammonia, it envelops the hair fiber in an ultra-shiny color pigment. This is the perfect solution for hair lacking luster. However, the effect is temporary, about three weeks.
Tone-on-tone coloring.Used primarily on natural hair, this ammonia-free color deposits a hint of lighter (up to two tones) or darker color to brighten color for six weeks. It is ideal for bringing shine and reflections, and even for giving a volume effect to the hair.
Obviously, we turn to shampoo and a conditioner for colored hair, but, since the brown dulls easily, we apply three times a week gloss in cream to give a boost to the hair. And, every seven days, we replace the conditioner and gloss with a nourishing treatment for colored hair.
- Color Extend Shampoo, by Redken ($13.99 for 300 ml, in the salon; info: 1-866-9-REDKEN). Its UV filters protect against color fading, its moisturizing silicones preserve the shine of the hair and its smell is very pleasant.
- Luminous Color Glaze Brilliant Brunette, by John Frieda ($14.99 for 190 ml, in pharmacies). For hair that is losing shine, this product is ideal, as it revives its color with a light infusion of color. Use after conditioner for three minutes, three times a week.
- Soin-Couleur Vive Pro revitalizing treatment , from L’Oréal Paris ($6.99 for 200 ml, in pharmacies). This antioxidant-based treatment conditions hair and keeps color vibrant without fading or washing out.
Warm complexion or cold complexion?
To determine if our complexion is warm or cold, we just have to hide our hair under a white towel and wear an orange tissue to our cheek, then a fuchsia tissue. If the orange blends into our skin, we have a warm complexion. If pink is closer to our skin tone, it’s cool.
Since there is a huge variety of shades, it’s best to show the colorist the one you have in mind on a swatch card. This will avoid unpleasant surprises, because, for example, what is called light brown may be a cognac brown for the pro!