Fashion & Style

What color hair should I get?

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gwen stefani
Gwen Stefani successfully rocks platinum hair
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Decide what color hair by considering your coloring and personality

You are ready to take the plunge and are going to change your looks, starting with your tresses. The ultimate question: What color hair should I get? The general rule of thumb is not to go any more than two shades lighter or darker than your eyebrows but lots of women (and men) throw caution to the wind. The brunette becomes a platinum blonde and the blonde becomes raven-locked.

Consider Skin Color

Women with pale skin boasting pink undertones look beautiful as redheads. Cool complexions work better with crimson than does a warm complexion. Red tresses can be drop dead gorgeous; however, if the shafts are dry and damaged, the red dye molecules don't stick as well as it they do on healthy hair and the color fades. Get your locks into condition before going red.

Brown sounds kind of boring but it needn't be. If you add highlights or low lights this avoids the monotone look. Brown looks textured and shiny.

Some women go blond and look fabulous while others who do so are making a mistake. Platinum is a tough shade to pull off, although songstress Gwen Stefani certainly does it with elan. Instead of platinum, which can make an individual look fatigued, go with a golden base color and cool highlights.

Going blond is a huge step. Look at your skin tone. If you are medium opt for a dirty blonde. If you have dark skin, use a honey-rich blonde hue. For those with light skin, select soft golden blonde.

When hair is damaged, avoid bleaching or going too light. Darker tone provides the most reflective capabilities, hides flaws and disguises breakage. Once your locks get healthier, you can break out the bleach or red dye.

What kind of dye should I buy?

It can be mind-boggling trying to decide which type of dye to buy. Before you take the leap, try a non-permanent dye. That way, if you hate it, you don't have to live with it for long.

Semi-permanent color lasts eight to 12 washings while demi-permanent lasts 28 shampoos. Permanent lasts until you re-color or until it grows out.

Semi-permanent only penetrates the shaft to a degree so the hue doesn't last as long. This kind of dye cannot make locks lighter but it can enhance your natural shade and blends away grays.

Demi-permanent results in a more natural looking outcome. It does not lift any tones out of the hair. The color fades progressively with each washing. Roots aren't noticeable. This dye is ammonia-free and mild. Low levels of peroxide are used to infiltrate the shaft. This results in deep, intensified hues. This type is better for covering pesky gray than a semi-permanent dye but not as good as permanent.

Temporary dye does not infiltrate the outer cuticle layer so it doesn't last for more than a shampoo or two.

Permanent dye does fade a bit over time but it can lift previous color out of locks because it has hydrogen peroxide and ammonia in it. It completely covers gray and changes the hue up to four or five levels.

If coloring your own hair, you can mix shades, according to Clairol, but the shades should be no more than two to three shades darker or lighter than the other. Use the same brand for all shades. Do not mix brands.

When touching up, if you dye the long part in addition to the new gray roots you are going to end up with color build-up because hair is more porous on the ends. The bottom part is going to be a different hue from the top. Just apply color to the roots when doing a touch-up to avoid this.

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