Are you considering coloring your hair for the first time? Or maybe you've tried to color your hair but can't get just the right shade. Here are some tips from hair expert Karen Shelton, on coloring your hair and getting it right.
Karen Shelton

Getting the color right
Question: Can you advise me how to ask my colorist for the color that I want? When I ask for a golden blonde she always seems to give me more of a honey blonde shade that I don't think looks as good as a golden blonde would. Should I try another colorist or is there hope? - Lorna

Dear Lorna,

I would recommend that you ask the colorist to show you her "color portfolio" before you have your next color application done. Most colorists will have a book that has many examples of different colors, highlights and different kinds of coloring effects (e.g., chunking, lowlights, highlights etc).

The color portfolio will give you and your colorist a good visual aid to work from. What you define as golden blonde may not match what your colorist considers golden blonde.

If you can point to a color in a book that your colorist can see, you have a better chance of getting the color you really want. If your colorist does not have a color portfolio, all is not lost. Before your color appointment spend some time looking at fashion magazines and cut out photos of hair with the color you desire. Take the color photographs with you for your next color appointment and show the colorist the exact shade you want.

There could be other reasons why your colorist is giving you a different color than what you want. Your colorist may think that a golden blonde would not work as well with your skin tone or eyes.

If you can show her a photograph with the exact color you want she may tell you that she does not recommend that color and give her reasons. At that point you can discuss other options with her.

Remember, a picture is woth a thousand words!

Is do-it-yourself a good idea?
Question: I have very dark brunette hair and I want to achieve a very light blonde shade similar to Heather Locklear's shade. Can you please suggest the best products I could use to get the same color on my hair. I have never colored my hair before and am nervous about making a mistake. I want to do the color myself because I am concerned about the cost of going to a salon or a colorist. Any tips you can provide would help so much. Thanks. - Joan

Dear Joan,

In general, it is always best to go to a professional any time you want to color your hair two shades lighter or darker than your current color. I also feel that when someone has never had their hair colored before it is very important to see a color expert the first time.

Coloring hair is a special artform that requires a certain expertise. Only an expert can truly understand what is the appropriate hair color for your hair type and skin tone. There are a lot of different factors that need to considered. These factors include the current condition of your hair, how porous it is and your lifestyle requirements.

If money is a concern, which I can understand, I would like to suggest that you consider going to a color expert the very first time, explain your limited budget and ask the colorist to suggest a low maintenance color or a compatible hair color product that you can use at home for touchups.

If the colorist understands your budgetary constraints they can help you select a product that will not require as much maintenance as some other color products. You may be able to have the colorist recommend a temporary color that will "extend" the life of your color that you can use at home so that you would not have to go back as often for touchups.

To go as light blonde as you want to go, you will require a two step process to first lift the dark color and then add the blonde color. This two step process would definitely require a lot of maintenance since you would have dark root growth. A lower maintenance option would be to do just some streaks or simple highlights which would not require nearly as much upkeep.

Unfortunately any time you undertake any major chemical process on your hair it will require a certain level of time and effort to maintain it.

Good luck!

Tags: color hair style

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