Did you know that 75% of women dye their hair? And that more men than ever are doing the same? Hair color is no longer something you’re simply born with—it has become a customizable accessory to your modern sense of style. Hair color, just like your scarf or your boots, is just another accent in building your appearance.
If you have ever wondered about the subtleties of hair color or about how a hairdresser goes about choosing the best color for you, you’re not the only one. Top hair stylists and salon colorist from beauty salons around the globe spend years perfecting their craft and learning how to understand and interpret your natural hair color to provide the best possible men’s hair cut and woman’s hair cuts possible; it’s understandable if you, without that history, would be confused by things like Ombre highlights, Balayage, or other strange salon hair treatments.
That’s why we’ve worked up this quick look at hair color basics. Let’s start with the science:
What is Hair Color?
Let’s get technical for just a second here and talk about why your hair looks the way it does. Your hair color is the result of two special chemicals in your body known as eumelanin and pheomelanin. The more eumelanin you have in your hair, the darker the hair color. Still with us? Good!
Depending on your ancestry, you’re either more or less likely to have an abundance of emelanin and dark hair. It’s also worth noting that your hair’s melanin levels change over time, which means your hair color can change as well (this is why many babies are born with blonde hair that later turns dark).
When you or a hairdresser dyes your hair, you’re not affecting its base melanin levels. Instead, you’re applying a temporary coat of chemicals that interact with the molecules in each strand of hair. As your hair grows out and the effects of the hair color product wear off, your hair goes back to its original hue. Not super technical, but still demanding of a special set of skills.
What is the Best Hair Color for Me?
Hair color is subject to many of the same trends as any other fashion. In the last few years, we’ve seen a big rush in warmer tones like amber and gold, and seen colder tones fall by the wayside. There is also an increasingly popular move toward non-natural color accents—it’s not uncommon to see flashes of pink, purple or blue when people watching in any major metropolitan area.
So how do you choose which hair color works for you? For starters, you need to talk to your stylist and hairdresser. Good hair stylists have deep experience when it comes to working with hair color, and can help you figure out whether bleached blonde or crimson red is going to look as good on you as you think it will. Next, consider your personality and your daily life—you need to pick a hair color that makes you feel confident and attractive. If you have questions about color, talk to the best hair colorist you can find and see if they can help. The best hair salons in the business are happy to help.
Whatever color you end up choosing, be sure it works with your natural tones and complexion. You never want to completely cover the subtle beauty in your natural tones, and the right hair color should allow those hints to shine through.
Box Hair Color or Salons?
It’s true that you can buy hair color products in a store. And most of these boxed color products are far better than they used to be. That being said, the only way to achieve professional results is by visiting a professional. Boxed hair color is fine if you need a quick fix or if you change your hair color every few days, but for a quality, gorgeous hair color that lasts, you’ll need to visit a salon. Never underestimate the poser of a talented hair stylist!
Hair color is sort of like music—not everyone likes the exact same thing. Find what works for you and work with your stylist and hairdresser to create your new hair reality.