Colouring your hair can truly be transformative, empowering and perhaps even a cathartic experience, especially if you’re trying it for the first time. Not only does a new hair color shades give you a fresh and changed appearance, but it also has the potential to change the way you view yourself, by adding a certain dimension to your personality.

It can, however, also be quite a nerve-racking (or hair-raising, pun intended) experience for the first-timers. You might have heard some horror stories of a hair colouring case gone wrong, but there’s really nothing to worry if you just keep some of these things in mind. Read on for a smooth hair colouring experience...

There are two ways in which you can go about the job. You could either take help from a professional or if you’re confident enough, you could even try to colour your hair on your own at home. With certain precautions and a plan in place, colouring your hair is really not that complicated. All you’ve to do is to understand the process and more importantly, understand your hair and the colour shades that you intend to apply. Lucky for you, we’re here to help you do just that. Here is how...

Choosing the correct colour
 

Choosing the correct colour

Before you go in for the colouring job, you need to have the exact picture of what you want in your mind. Choosing the right colour to suit your skin type can be quite a tricky task. If you have a pinkish skin tone, there’s a higher chance that a light or a medium ash brown colour would flatter your appearance, while for those with a more wheatish complexion, warmer colours such as a light or a dark golden blonde colours tend to complement much better. Sometimes, it becomes really difficult for the uninitiated to differentiate between a rich auburn blonde and a light reddish brown, so it is recommended that you carry pictures of the exact hair colour that you wish for. If you’re going to colour your hair for the first time, it will be smart to opt for a shade that is rather close to your natural hair colour.

Perks of a professional job
 

Perks of a professional job

If going to take the help of a professional, it is imperative that you be extremely honest and upfront about what it is that you’re looking for (try to book a consultation before you actually go for the job). If you believe that the colourist is choosing a colour different from what you’d expected, something too red hair colour or purplish for your taste (the reds are often the hardest to maintain as well), you could always suggest that they go for one with a slightly different undertone.

It is also quite possible that you do not get the exact hair colour in the first attempt, especially if you’re going for a colour that is much different from your original. Have patience (do not murder your colourist the moment you see it!), since the colourist will have planned the change over a period of time, allowing your hair some breathing space in order to recuperate in between the sessions. If you’ve attempted to colour your hair on your own and ended up making a mess out of it, a professional colourist is your best bet.

BB Pro tip: Always keep a colourist on speed dial.

The Better your Hair quality, the better the Colour
 

The Better your Hair quality, the better the Colour

The health and the texture of your hair go a long way in determining the outcome of the colouring job. Right from the texture of your hair, whether coarse or fine, to its length and conditioning, each factor contributes differently to how your hair and its new colour look in the end. It is advisable that you wash your hair before you colour it, although do not shampoo immediately prior since that would deprive your hair of essential protective natural oils, as it helps clear the hair of any build-up and allows your hair to absorb the colour much better. You could even go for a haircut, or a trim, before colouring your hair since that would take care of any damaged ends and give your hair a more evenly coloured look.

Shampoos custom-built for coloured hair
 

Shampoos custom-built for coloured hair

While it is not necessary that you wait for a few days before you wash your hair once you’ve coloured them, the shampoo that you use makes a lot of difference to how fast the colour starts to fade off. There are certain shampoos that are specially manufactured to ensure that your hair colour is protected and stays vibrant for a longer period of time. Hair care products such as the TRESemmé Color Revitalize shampoo and conditioner have advanced colour vibrancy technology and are enriched with the essence of green tea, rosemary and sunflower, allowing your hair to lock in the colour for an extended period and keeping it soft and moisturized. If you’ve gotten blonde highlights, you could even opt for a purple shampoo so as to ensure that your hair colour doesn’t start to look over toned after a certain period.

Coloured hair need special care
 

Coloured hair need special care

Whether it is burning your scalp or damaging your strands, scorching sun and your hair aren’t really the best of friends. The sun’s heat (or even that of a hairdryer) can make your hair colour fade faster than you could imagine, while also damaging your hair to a considerable extent. Ensure that you keep your newly coloured hair protected from the sun at all times. If you’re planning to go out in the sun, someplace such as the beach, wear a hat or a scarf around your head. That way, you’ll be able to keep your hair well shielded and its colour vibrant for much longer.

Irrespective of how much care you take though, your hair colour will slowly start to fade and you will have to go for touch-ups every once in a while (less frequently if you’ve gotten highlights). However, taking good care of your hair, especially after colouring, means that the colour will last much longer and your hair won’t take much damage either. Stay away from the pool as much as possible, for the miniscule amount of metal present in your newly coloured hair could react with the chlorine in the water, causing the colour to change into an undesirable one. In the event that you just have to, there are hair masks, created specifically for coloured hair, that protect your hair and its colour from chlorine water. However, hair mask or not, under no circumstances are you to enter the pool before wetting your hair under a shower since dry hair is more absorbent and therefore, more affected by the chlorine in the water.