Many women cannot afford the luxury of salon color touch ups, but still want the results they get in a salon at home. Although most salon professionals do not tout using drugstore color, if a woman is to use it, the results will be much better if she knows how to get the job done right.
Here are the steps to do a perfect, salon-quality touchup in your own home —
You will need: The bottle of hair color, the developer it comes with, gloves, sectioning clips, a comb
1. Mix the color and the developer into the included bottle(s) that the color kit provides. Most kits give clear mixing directions. Wear your gloves!
2. Section the hair into 4 quadrants – front left, front right, back left, back right, for ease of color placement.
3. Apply the color to the part line and hairline first — not only are these areas often more resistant, but you will see these first, and therefore, they’re most important to achieve perfect color on.
4. Section thin slices throughout each quadrant and apply color to the roots only. Start with the front two, and move to the back. APPLY TO ONLY THE REGROWTH. Many women make the mistake of slapping the color on over and over through the entire head, particularly on brunettes or red, to “freshen the ends”. Unfortunately ,it leads to more damage and fading — the color damages the ends, causing them to “leak out” more color over time, causing a vicious cycle.
If the ends are faded out, you can mix the color with some water and shampoo to dilute the intensity, and apply to the ends for the last five minutes only. This refreshes them without severly overworking them and leading to long term fadage.
5. Process for the allotted time, remembering that many blonde shades are 45 minutes, not the normal 30. Shampoo once if desired, but a rinse and condition is best for maintaining the color and tones.
Okay, you’ve got the perfect salon touchup! However, how do you know which shade to choose? Box color shades seem to constantly shift, and you may become confused with all the choices. While it’s impossible to create foolproof formulation online, here are some general tips–
For going lighter – unless you are craving a truly golden, warm, orange ish result, you want to stick with a neutral or cool shade when lightening hair of any shade. Brown going to a lighter brown? Choose a light ash brown or dark ash blonde. When aiming lighter, you can use a lighter shade than you think you want, for more lift power. For example, a medium brown client who uses a dark blonde will yield a lighter result, but remember to stick with cool or neutral to avoid the oh-so-common brassy effect.
Also, note that previously colored hair WILL NOT lighten without bleach. It only works for virgin hair, and of course regrowth. This is another common mistake. Don’t dump a lighter shade onto a dark brown colored base expecting a change. Lighter is for untouched hair only!
For deepening – choose a lighter shade than you think you want, and remember that going deeper, you will often want to add warmth rather than cool. Using a warm or neutral shade to go 1-2 shades deeper yields beautiful, rich results. Going much deeper than that? Again, a prescription can’t perfectly be formulated online, but you want to add a red-based shade first, and then apply the color of choice. A double process like this will yield the warmest, richest and longest-lasting results.
Good luck with home color!