You Wanna DYE?!
First and foremost, this isn’t a joke. Coloring your hair is not something you should take lightly. Here at The Longhairs, we tend to discourage the practice; after all, your hair color is part of who you are. But, if you’re going for a new look, perfecting your Halloween costume, or starting to see some grey, the question remains: should you color your hair?
We’re not about to tell someone they can’t do something with their hair. This fraternity started because we were all tired of being told what we could and couldn’t do. While it’s every man’s choice, we advise against coloring because there are many caveats to the practice—and the penalty for error can be severe.
Luckily, El Spencerino is a licensed Barber/Cosmetologist and has done the leg work so you don’t have to! That said, if you want to color your hair, you want it done properly. That means using quality products, finding the right stylist, choosing the right color, and maintaining it afterwards.
Store-Bought? Buyer Beware.
This one is very important. The box color kits at the grocery store are not the best choice. We won’t name names, but a particular product made ‘just for you?’ Just don’t. There’s potential for a HazMat incident. Should you color your hair? Not like this.
This is because proper hair coloring requires a lot of chemicals that need to be mixed according to hair and scalp type. Everyone’s is different. From color, density, texture, and curl pattern, no two heads are alike. This makes pre-mixed box dyes problematic because it’s difficult (if not impossible) to alter the measurements based on your hair and scalp type.
You won’t find the top brands at the grocery store because they save the good stuff for the pros. Walk into a shop like CosmoProf or SalonCentric, where they only sell to licensed barbers, cosmetologists, and estheticians. You’ll notice they don’t carry any of the brands you see at CVS or Walgreens, only professional grade tools and chemicals.
When you’re talking about your hair, why roll the dice? It’s worth it to pay more to have it done right.
Do Your Research
Should you color your own hair? We recommend finding a professional. Just like the quality of the products, it’s important to choose the right hairstylist to color your hair. Think of it this way: cheap hairstylists are not good and good hairstylists are not cheap. But how do you know they’ve got the talent?
Just because someone is licensed, doesn’t mean they’re good. The license says they met the state’s minimum requirements, so if you want someone to color your hair with no accidents, shop around.
Any cosmetologist or barber worth their salt is going to have a portfolio you can thumb through. This way you can see if their skills are up to scratch. What’s their specialty? Do they have any extra certifications for coloring? Try sending them an email or giving them a call. Explain what you’re looking for. Can they help? If not, ask for recommendations.
These days, it’s even easier to do your research because most hair professionals are on social media. Be warned, there are some fakers out there. If their photos seem a little too good, that can be a red flag. There’s a lot of photoshopping in the hair game, but if the stylist is any good, they won’t resort to such trickery.
Once you’ve found a stylist you like, you might consider going to the salon to watch them work. This will give you a lot of insight into their process. Do they need a lot of help from other stylists or assistants with what they’re doing? How’s the finished product? Is it as good as the pictures? If so, you’re on the right track.
Choose Your Hair Color Wisely
Again, we’re not trying to tell you how to live your life, but it’s a good idea to choose a shade that complements your natural hair color and skin tone. For example, if you have super blonde hair, don’t color it jet black; if your hair is dark, avoid going platinum blonde.
Regrowth. If you have hair that is naturally lighter, dying it black might look killer for a week, but then your regrowth will start to show, the glossy sheen will wear off, and your hair will look like the evil girl’s from The Ring. Not a good look.
Another thing to consider is the integrity of your hair. If getting to the right color requires the use of bleach, chances are you’re causing irreparable damage. Simply put, bleach annihilates your hair. And your scalp, for that matter. Therein lies potential for breakage, bald spots, and burns. If you like your hair, you want to avoid damage at all costs.
What’s The Next Step?
Say you’ve found a stylist and they’re good. Like, really good. If you haven’t colored your hair before, you will need to do a patch test a couple of days before your actual appointment. A patch test involves the stylist placing a dab of color on your skin (in an inconspicuous area, usually behind your ear). This is done to ensure you don’t have any skin allergies to the color they’re using. Most of the time, there are no issues.
Once you’re in the clear, follow your stylist’s advice. Should you color your hair, they’ll guide you in the right direction when it comes to choosing the right shade and make recommendations for aftercare. This advice includes using the right products to clean and style your hair without damaging the color, but also things to avoid, such as hot tools and certain cleaners.
Stay On Top Of It
Imagine the stylist did a stellar job and your hair game has been elevated—no damage, no problems. You’re not out of the woods just yet! Now comes the upkeep. Generally, you’ll want to get a touch-up every four to six weeks. Keep in mind this can be expensive, especially if you’ve opted for a stylist that is in demand, so be sure to plan accordingly.
Proper cleaning and styling are imperative, but you’ll also want to take precautions in the sun, in particular if your hair has been colored a darker shade. UV rays can cause your hair color to fade, and sometimes even mutate. That means red can turn pink, and blue can turn green. It bears repeating to choose your color wisely.
So Should You Color Your Hair?
In conclusion, don’t buy from the store, research your stylist, be smart about your color choice, and properly maintain your new hair color.
Again, if you want to color your hair, make sure to follow these simple steps, and you’ll be on your way to a new look. Remember though, failure to utilize one or more of these guidelines could very well land you in hot water. Or needing a haircut. You don’t want that, and we don’t want that.