Your Guide to Hair Colour

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A new hair colour can transform your look overnight and when you are bored with it, you can change it again. But there are certain factors to keep in mind before opting for one.

Check your tone category
While choosing the perfect hair colour for yourself, it is important to determine which colour group you belong to.  Those with a yellow or a golden skin tone fall into the warmer category. Hair colours which have a warm overtone will look natural and better. Whereas, those with a pink skin tone fall into the cool category and cool shades will suit you the best.

Understanding levels and tones
One of the most important factors is to understand the level and the colour tones. Tone refers to whether a hair colour is warm or cool. The warm colours are red, yellow and orange. The hair colour selection card has colour boxes, where there are references to ‘medium warm brown’ or ‘natural golden brown’. This means that the undertone to the colour is warm. On the other hand, the cool colours are blue, green and purple/violet. If the card box has names referring to ‘dark ash blonde’, it refers to the green, blue or purple undertones.

Are you a colour newbie?

If you are new to the world of colour, start with a semi-permanent one. These colours wash out after a few washes, whereas the permanent ones take a longer time. Always remember that selecting a new hair colour is not for beginners. If the right choice does not work, the results can be devastating. Michelle Tung, hairstylist, says, “For a colour newbie, it is safe to play with different shades of brown. Burgundy is the safest bet.”

Keep in mind
There are some factors which play a huge role when you are selecting a colour for yourself.
>    Determine the hair’s condition, porosity and elasticity.
>    Choose a colour according to your lifestyle (take into consideration your work environment, dressing style and other social factors).
>    Since hair colours contain strong chemicals, ensure that you are not allergic to the colour. Always opt for a skin test. Sapna Bhavnani, hairstylist, adds, “Hair type and chemical treatments are very important in deciding the colour palette.  If your hair is dry and frizzy, you should stay away from blondes and any palette that will require high levels of peroxide to achieve.”

Choose the correct shade
The skin tone is usually divided into two categories — warm and cool.

Rose (Warm): For a person with light toned skin with pink or porcelain undertones, ruby-reds, cocoa-bean browns and champagne blondes work the best. Bhavnani suggests, “Fair complexions can carry off most colours, but jet black and ash blonde should be avoided. Warm tones work brilliant on fair complexions like copper, honey, chocolate, reds and plums.” 

Brown (Warm): Hairstylist Savio John Pereira, says, “For a person with dusky complexion, toasted-pecan brown with hints of gold works the best. Shades of copper should be avoided.”

Yellow (Cool): For a person with light medium or beige undertones, you can opt for light strawberry blondes, caramel or baby blondes. 

Olive (Cool): For a person with medium-toned skin with a hint of green undertones, chestnut browns and red hues with cooler notes work the best.

Shades of browns, auburns, reds with a subtle hi-lite create texture and movement. Brown suits most skin tones and is very popular. If you have a swarthy or a tanned complexion, coffee or taffy brown suits the best. If you want to head for the dramatic look, red is the perfect choice for women. Whereas, blonde has a certain zest and is uber popular.

The rates for hair colour varies from each salon. But normally, the charges are between Rs 1,500 - Rs 12,000 (approx) for global colouring as well as highlight.

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