Everyone likes a change sometimes. We watch our favorite TV show or we run into an old friend and suddenly are dying for a different style or look. Hair color is one of the easiest ways to get a dramatic change, but most of us prefer a good change, one that prompts people to say, "Ooh!" instead of "Eek!" Here are some tips for making sure that your color change is fabulous and not freaky.

  • First, if you're coloring for the first time, it's a good idea to stick with something close to your natural hair color until you see whether it's going to work for you. Lighten up your look or go for something richer, but don't go from black to blond your first time out. You might regret it when your roots start growing out.
  • Try a wash out formula or semi-permanent color the first time. This way, the color fades naturally instead of needing root upkeep forever. Once you decide you like it, you can try something more permanent if you want - or you can continue to let it wash out and try something different.
  • If you decide to do highlights on your own, don't do it completely on your own. Ask a friend to help you so that you have an extra set of eyes to make sure you're getting your highlights the way you want to - especially since mirrors can be confusing and deceiving.
  • Follow the instructions on the box exactly, including the part where it tells you to test a small area first. Make sure you aren't allergic to the dye and that your hair reacts to it the way you expect. impatience will get you a bad job more often than anything else.
  • It may seem logical to pin up your hair, but leaving it down will ensure a more even look. Pinning it can cause color to gather in spots and give you darker (or lighter) spots.
  • Hair color can sometimes run onto the skin and dye it. The best way to avoid this is to add a thin layer of petroleum jelly around your hairline (and ears - trust me, you don't want dyed ears). This help to keep your color from running onto your skin and giving you weeks of discoloration.
  • Wait two days after shampooing your hair to dye it. The natural oils in your hair will protect your hair from the chemicals in the dye, and the color will just stick better.
  • Going from dark to blond is hard, and probably best left to a professional. You don't want to end up with a brassy look when you were going to golden.