Kristen Wiig – Funny, Sexy & a Hair Color Diva!

Kristen Wiig with auburn to brown hair

Here at HairColorCode HQ we’re massive fans of Kristen Wiig – her outgoing personality, the fact that she’s a naturally funny lady, and of course her willingness to experiment with her hair color, all add up to mean that she’s our new gal pal crush.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Kristen; she is an American actress, comedienne and writer currently starring as a cast member of Saturday Night Live. Kristen has appeared in numerous films, including Adventureland, Paul, MacGruber and Flight of the Concords and also voiced characters for How to Train Your Dragon and Looney Tunes.

She’s probably best known for her 2011 film Bridesmaids, billed as the female version of The Hangover, which she co-wrote and starred in. Bridesmaids earned her two prestigious nominations; Golden Globe for Best Actress and Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.

The style behind the laughs

Kristen Wiig on the catwalk with brown hair

Kristen doesn’t just express herself through her comedic roles; she also likes to mix it up with her style and is regularly seen on the red carpet rocking a creative, bold look, such as a bright red lip color, stunning cut-out dresses and fierce accessories.

Although she’s probably best known as a blonde with short, tumbling waves, like her character in Bridesmaids, Kristen is actually a hair color chameleon – she’s rocked deep dark brown, ombre-hued hair and a lovely mahogany tone, as well as golden blonde beachy locks.

The various hair colors of Kristen Wiig

Kristen Wiig with blonde wavy hair
Kristen Wiig with brown to blonde ombre hair
Kristen wig with dark brown hair, including auburn shades

Kristen has been blonde for most of her acting career and has switched between light blonde highlights to golden blonde sun-kissed waves multiple times.

She’s also rocked a light brown hue with golden blonde panels – this is one lady who is not afraid of experimenting with foils!

In summer 2011, she showcased ombre locks, sporting a deep rich chestnut color at the roots and through the mid-lengths of her hair, with light blonde tips.

She kept up this style to promote Bridesmaids during the summer and actually persuaded me to follow suit with ombre locks of my own!

Early 2012 saw another change for Kristen as she ditched the ombre for a rich, auburn-toned mahogany shade. Since then, she’s swapped from auburn to a brown so dark it’s almost black.

Kristen is lucky enough to suit a wide range of hair colors, from blonde to auburn to brown, and we’ve yet to see her with a hair don’t.

Kristen is a true chameleon that most definitely knows how to make a statement with her hair and her style – and that’s why we love her!

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Ombre Hair Color – The Big Look This Year

Woman with ombre hair color

Ombre hair color is the look of the year, making its way from stylish celebrity circles to become a cutting edge and contemporary mainstream trend.

If you’ve not seen it yet, don’t worry, there is still plenty of time to jump on board with this latest look.

Ombre is basically a fancy term for hair that is graduated in color, most commonly from brown at the roots to blonde at the tips.

The hair world borrowed the term ‘ombre’ from the French word meaning shaded or shading, which is a pretty accurate description of this style.

Some people have described ombre hair as ‘looking like you have massive regrowth’, whereas others prefer to see it as a new way to do sun-kissed hair – it really depends on the difference in color between the brown and blonde, and whether the colors blend together or stand out against each other.

The benefits of ombre hair color

Drew Barrymore with brown to blonde ombre hair color

Aside from being massively in trend right now, one of the best things about ombre hair is that it is super low-maintenance.

Think about it – you won’t have to get your roots touched up, or get your color redone – all you might need to do is add more blonde (or whichever color you’re doing this look with) to the ends of your hair as and when you get your hair trimmed.

It’s also super economical as once the ombre tone has been achieved, you can leave it 4-6 months before you color your hair again. Just make sure you use a deep conditioning treatment once a week to keep the ends of your hair in tip-top condition, as the bleach used to achieve the color will dry out hair and could cause damage if you don’t look after your locks properly.

How is the ombre look achieved?

Ombre is sometimes also referred to as ‘balayage’, which is a French freehand coloring technique where the dye is literally painted onto certain strands of the hair.

Some colorists will use a backing board and foils, others will separate layers of the hair using cotton wool and some will pull strands of the hair forward in front of the face before freehand painting the hair to create the ombre look.

What hair colors work with ombre color?

Alexa Chung with brown to blonde ombre hair

The real appeal in ombre locks is the fact that it can work on almost any cut, from a pixie crop right through to waist-length locks.

Alexa Chung is often credited with kick-starting the whole trend and she only has shoulder-length tresses, although ombre toned hair looks particularly good on long hair styled in curls or waves, as you can see the variations of color throughout the hair.

You can’t really see these variations if the hair is up and so this trend will work best if you style your hair down and loose around your shoulders.

Many, many celebs have been rocking the ombre look – Drew Barrymore, Kristen Wiig, Whitney Port, Lauren Conrad, Rachel Bilson, Jessica Biel and Ashlee Simpson to name a few. It seems that the A-list can’t get enough of this new trend and as we’ve seen ombre hair all over the catwalks too, it’s a look that is most definitely here to stay.

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Top 5 Celebrities with Gray Hair

Are you a fan of the new gray hair trend? Love it or loathe it, gray hair is the color of the moment – as seen on these trendsetting celebs:

Kelly Osbourne

Celebrity transformations don’t come bigger than Miss Kelly O’s evolution from sulky teenager on the hit show ‘The Osbournes’ to the demure and ladylike fashion icon we see today.

Kelly has had some hair disasters in her time (remember the short black crop and the geisha girl style?!) but she’s also had many triumphs (blonde up-do’s and pink, red, blue and lilac locks) and if anyone can carry off a new trend, she can!

Most recently Kelly has been spotted sporting fashion forward gray hair, prompting a flurry of youtube videos and home coloring tutorials as fashionistas seek to emulate her pearly grey ‘do.

Kate Moss

Kate Moss with gray highlights

Style icon and model Kate has had some bad press over the years but she’s never faltered in her sense of style and true to form, Kate’s been spotted with streaks of silver gray in her signature blonde locks.

The color suits Kate’s skin tone perfectly and the gray acts to naturally highlight and break up the blonde shade, adding texture and interest to her otherwise classic crop.

Quoted as saying she finds gray hair “chic”, Kate is once again paving the way in the fashion stakes.

Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga with mixed gray and black hair

Never one to shy away from the limelight, Lady G has been photographed nude for the front cover of Vanity Fair with long straight gray blonde hair – as if gray wasn’t already the color to be seen in!

Gaga has been wearing her gray locks loose or messily pinned up and she recently appeared with striking dark gray and blue stripes. This lady can’t do a thing wrong in my book so if gray and blue are the new thing, prepare to book yourself an appointment with your colorist asap and work that shade with some full on attitude!

Pixie Geldof

You might not expect to find a gray hair on model and socialite Pixie’s head but this little lady is currently working a foxy gray hairstyle and she’s making it look cool to boot.

Pixie’s the youngest of our gray haired crowd and she’s proof that a short blunt crop showcases this on trend color perfectly, no matter what your age.

She’s been seen wearing her gray crop both sleek and tousled but either way she carries it off with a distinct air of being both cute and chic.

P!nk

Pink with short gray hair

Were you a little surprised when Pink showed off her baby bump on the Ellen show? Possibly, but what caught really people’s attention was her new gray hair!

She’s best known for her namesake color but P!nk has changed suit and moved to a more relaxed silvery gray shade. It’s beautifully laid back and both cool and easy to wear. Her gray hair is chopped short, with a lot of texture and a healthy shine.

Possibly the edgiest gray haired style in our line-up, Pink has got the attitude, coloring and trend just right.

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How to Enhance Your Natural Hair Color

Woman with bright natural hair color

As far back as I remember, the ultimate compliment for anyone who colors their hair is the question; does she or doesn’t she?

For those who opt for a simple hair color enhancement and want to try and avoid the spotlight, subtlety is the most coveted outcome.

Sadly though, many find themselves looking flat or fake after trying even the most cautious approach.

Natural or Intentional?

Smiling woman with brown natural curls

Initially when I would consult with a client, I would ask; do you want it ‘natural’ or ‘intentional?’

By natural, I meant that you can do slight alterations to your color in a professional and intentional manner and still be understated yet appreciated. Think about it; what is natural hair color?

Natural can be gray, ashy, drab, mousy, and flat. Natural according to the magazines can be a lot different than reality, heck, that’s the reason we pay to have our hair colored! So if you’re going to invest in the process, at least receive the payoff with a color that looks great, however subtle it is.

How to achieve a natural looking hair color

Woman with shoulder length auburn hair

The best way to do achieve a natural looking color is to stay within one (two tops) level of your natural hair color. This means that if you are a medium blonde, look for a product in a medium blonde shade.

From here you can take your ‘dishwater’ blonde and tweak it to a rich caramel, or add a hint of strawberry, or maybe cool down the brass without locking in your formula for future alterations.

To find your natural level, check out our guide to hair color shades

Many times you will find hair color swatches available for comparison in the hair dye aisles, which is better than holding the box up to your bangs. Check out our hair color charts page to see the current shades available from the major brands.

Select the right product

When trying to achieve a natural color, firstly I recommend using a low ammonia/peroxide color which are usually called ‘semi’ or ‘demi-permanent’ hair colors. They claim that they come out in a few shampoos, but I say to expect a bit longer if you add a pigment that is different from your own. This means if you are a medium brown, but you add a hint of chestnut, you may still see some of the red tones beyond the twelve shampoo mark.

Since these products do contain some developer (peroxide), you may also notice that the hair dulls over time. This is because a newly applied color adds shine to the hair, which is easy to get used to, but after the color is shampooed out all that is left is the treated hair with little or no tonal value. These semi-permanent products do allow a bit more frequency though so you can refresh your color more often.

Express Color

Hair colorist removing hair color

Another trick of the trade is express color, or ‘soap capping’ as it was called back in the day. Nowadays, some stylists will simply ‘bump up’ your natural color by mixing a natural tone formula with a bit of shampoo or conditioner, and lather it through the hair for a few minutes. Usually five to ten minutes will do the trick.

This will top up the natural base slightly, warm it up a touch, and deposit a little color. It is subtle but a great way to try on color for the first timer. Simply wet down your hair, towel dry, and mix up a small amount of the color of choice (usually about one half the formula) and add a few healthy pumps of shampoo. Mix and lather through and thoroughly saturate your hair. Process, and then rinse well and shampoo out the remainder.

This will give you a taste of a color, which you can always choose to make more permanent later. This is also useful to refresh your current color or to add tone to faded ends.

Preserving your natural hair color

Taylor Swift with blonde hair

One of the key ways to preserve natural color, whether it comes from Mother Nature or from a bottle is to respect your hair fabric as just that – a fine fabric.

Selecting good products such as color friendly shampoos and other reputable hair care products will extend the life of your hair and its color.

Also hot tools such as blow dryers and flat irons will split, dry, and compromise your fabric and reduce its ability to shine, which is a detriment to any color – natural or otherwise. Using silicone or glycerin based styling serums for shine can help repair some of the damage your styling tools deplete.

Conditioners are not only for comb-ability but also help maintain a moisture balance which is what locks the color molecules into the hair as well as seal the cuticle which keeps the color from escaping as quickly. There are many to choose from and if weighing your hair down is a concern, look for leave-in types which are often very light in weight.

Enjoy your natural shade!

Color does not have to be dramatic to be beautiful, and there is elegance through simplicity. Just remember to stay ‘close to home’ as far as your natural color level goes and it will not be hard to find your way back if necessary.

Remember to take care of your hair as it is truly your most valuable accessory, think about it, you wear it with every outfit!

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Top Hair Color Trends for Short Hair

Woman with rainbow hair in a short bob

If you’re wearing a short hairstyle, or are considering one, this year’s hair color trends give you loads of options to choose from! Go bright and bold, or soft and sexy with dimensional color.

This years hair color trends for short hair deliver everything from edgy to classy sophistication… purely creative coloring!

When choosing a new hair color, you already know your natural coloring and skin tone matter but, the length of your hair changes the color equation too. Short hairstyles open up a huge variety of hair color options that fit “different strokes for different folks.” But, there are also certain hair color techniques that don’t work well at all with short hairstyles (think of the skunk like effect.) Here are few coloring techniques trending with short hairstyles now:

Model with blonde short hair with dimensional highlights and lowlights

Subtle Blending of Highlights and Lowlights

Subtle, blended highlights or low-lights look classy and sophisticated on short hairstyles. They add a sense of dimension and reflection that really makes a shorter style shine. Find a hair color that is only a few shades lighter or darker than your natural hair color and ask your hair stylist for fine, thin streaks of color for this subtle effect.

Bold, chunky streaks also look great on short hair, but make sure your hair is not too layered or the color can look forced, thick and choppy. If you have a layered hairstyle that’s a bit longer, have thick straps of color applied only on the bottom layers so that they peek out through the upper layers.

 

Agynes Deyn with short platinum colored crop hair style long bangs Rhianna with firery short red hair style

Solid block colors look great on short hair.

 

Since short hairstyles look fresh and should be maintained with routine trims, you can dye your hair a bright red, strawberry blonde, or platinum blonde without having to worry so much about damage. If you keep your style freshly cut, bold blocks of color will look freshly dyed and even. Since many short styles are fun and trendy, you can use bright temporary colors for a drastic change that will eventually fade away.

Miley Cirus in mid length short hair with ombre hair color blonde and brown

Short hairstyles that are a little longer and graze the chin can handle two-tone colors just as gracefully as longer hair. You can dip your ends in fun colors or you could try the increasingly popular ombre hair color.

Your “regrowth” area will not be as long as most ombre styles, but the faded effect still looks just as pretty on short hair.

Overall, most short hairstyles will look great with many of the same coloring techniques used on longer to medium-length hair. But, with short hair you can wear more bold colors or try techniques that don’t typically work as well on longer hair styles. Old hair color gets cut off sooner on short hair, so it’s easier to maintain healthy hair.

Short hair styles allow for lots of fun with the new creative color trends showing up this season. Why not take a chance on a fun new look, if you aren’t happy with the results you are not far away from getting your natural color back.

Guest author has been a professional hair stylist for over 30 years and has established herself as a nationally recognized hair designer, educator, and freelance writer.

Barb has been chosen by her peers to serve on the advisory panel of Cosmos C International the global hair stylist network. Thousands of women each day follow Barb’s hair styling wit and wisdom on her highly successful blogs Hairstyle Blog and Visual Makeover. In 2011 The Hairstyle Blog was selected as Top Beauty Blog by BeautySchool.com.

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Coloring Your Eyebrows – Step By Step

Should eyebrows match or contrast natural hair color

So the burning question is, should you dye your eyebrows to match your hair? It can be argued that both looks make their own style statement, so which one is for you?

For years Madonna has worn her blonde hair with notoriously dark eyebrows. And she’s not the only celeb to be rocking this trend. Models Cara Delevingne (on the catwalk for Burberry) and Agyness Deyn have both been spotted with pale locks and dark brows, as have singer Gwen Stefani and actresses Scarlett Johansson, and most famously, Marilyn Monroe.

Is this really a look you can wear everyday?

Emma stone with blonde matching eyebrows

If you dye your hair and don’t dye your eyebrows, ultimately you give away the secret that your hair color isn’t natural. Of course that’s not always a problem, particularly if you’ve gone for a shade in blue or pink!

Its true that mismatched hair and brows can sometimes look a little trashy, however there are plenty of gals out there who deliberately opt to contrast their hair and eyebrow color to create an edgy and modern look – it seems on every cycle of America’s Next Top Model someone gets their eyebrows bleached to create a dynamic effect.

Basically you have three options when it comes to coloring your eyebrows:

1. Color your brows to match your hair
2. Don’t color your brows
3. Color your brows to create an even greater contrast with your hair color.

Dying your brows can be an easy way to update your look, and these days there are almost as many color choices for the brows as for the hair. However just like with your hair color, you need to make sure your chosen shade suits your skintone and be realistic about the color you will be able to achieve (for example if you have a very dark eyebrows it will be more difficult to achieve a lighter shade).

How to dye your eyebrows

An eyebrow that has been colored a medium brown

If you are dying your eyebrows for the first time it’s probably safest to have them tinted or lightened at a hair or beauty salon, but if you’re feeling confident you can buy home tinting kits from most drug stores.

The ready made kit will include the tint color and developer liquid (usually peroxide) but there are a few other items that will be useful. Here’s our how to guide to dying your own eyebrows:

You will need:
  • Small Pot
  • Make-up brush or small paint brush
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Q-Tips
  • Tint color
  • Developer liquid
  • Cotton pads
Step 1

Apply petroleum jelly around your eyebrows so that the dye doesn’t adhere to your skin.

Step 2

Add a small amount of the tinting color to a small pot you don’t mind getting the dye on (this may be provided in the kit).

Step 3

Add a few drops of peroxide liquid (or follow instructions as directed on the packet) and mix together with the tinting color using the make-up brush until you create a thick non-drip paste.

Step 4

Starting at the inner corner of the eyebrow, brush on the dye using the make-up brush in light strokes towards the outer eye, following the natural shape of your eyebrow.

Step 5

Tidy up any areas using a Q-tip. You will see why applying the petroleum jelly was a good idea as any excess comes off with the dye, meaning your skin isn’t stained.

Step 6

Leave the dye on the brows as directed or for approximately 2-3 minutes – eyebrows dye very quickly and take pigment much more easily than the hair on your head.

Step 7

Remove the excess brow dye with a damp cotton pad, sweeping it from the inner corner out, just as you applied the color.

Top Tip: Remember not to leave the color on for too long if you want it to look natural or the color will stain both the hairs and the skin. If you’re using peroxide to lighten your brows it can cause stinging so make sure you remove it thoroughly too.

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Changing Hair Color – Transform Yourself!

Woman with dark purple shades showing her changing hair color

As women we are often defined by our hair color – redheads are thought to be wild and carefree, brunettes are believed to be sexy and studious and everyone knows that blondes have more fun, right?

Hair color is a fantastic way of showing your personality, and the shade you choose can give other people clues as to who you are and what you are all about.

It’s no surprise then that the decision to change your hair color can be the first step to a whole new you!

Why change your hair color?

Smiling woman with brown natural curls

We usually switch our hair color because we are ready for a change. There can be many reasons for this, for example a break-up or divorce, or because you’re starting a new school or job, or maybe you’re just tired of the same old look.

Changing your hair color can really feel like a new beginning, and a new color along with a new cut can make you feel like a completely different person which can give your confidence a huge boost.

We’re not talking a shade or two difference here but an extreme color makeover, for example, if you’ve always had long brown hair, going for the chop and changing your hair color to blonde can give you a new lease of life – equally, if you’ve always been blonde, dying your hair brown or red can make you feel like a new person.

This can be quite a daunting prospect, but when you walk through the door and your family and friends can’t believe how amazing you look, then it will all have been worth it.

So why did you make the change

We asked some of our friends and Twitter followers what prompts them to make a hair color transformation. Drop a comment at the bottom of the page and let me know what prompted your last (or first!) hair color change, and I will add it to the list.

“The first time I colored my hair was the week before I went to college. I went jet black, which I swear was stylish at the time. It gave me the confidence to walk proudly on to campus and quickly make some new friends”Lisa, San Antonio“I can’t remember why I first colored my hair, but I can tell you that my last trip to the salon was to cover a few sneaky grays”Mary, LA

“I don’t change my color that often. When I do it’s usually a major change. My last update was going blonde after spending 9 years as a brunette, which was pretty drastic. The reason for the change was a divorce!Jamie, Toulouse, France

“It is a bit of a cliche, but my first hair color was a total act of rebellion. I bought a home color kit and me and my best friend went wild in the bathroom. The results were, erm, interesting.”Anita, Miami

“First hair color? I think I bought the cheapest product in the shop when I was a teenager, but I can’t remember the shade. Nowadays I change quite regularly, usually so I have something to write about for HairColorCode.com!”Susie, UK

Go forth and color!

The best piece of advice we can give here at Hair Color Code is never rush into changing your hair color.

Feel free to choose something completely different to your usual shade, but take the time to really think it through, taking into account your complexion, your style, how much maintenance you can commit to, and also how you are going to achieve the color you have chosen (salon or home dye kit).

Good luck, and a Happy New You!

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Natural Hair Dye – Do It The Organic Way!

Woman with bright red natural hair

Whether you’re coloring your hair at home or at the Salon, the process usually involves reaching for a chemical cosmetics bottle at some point.

A home hair color starts with a fun trip to the drug store or beauty depot to pick up a hair dye kit, whereas the Salons receive the premium products direct to their door.

Which ever way you decide to go, with the right preparation, product and application you can achieve an amazing result, however there are downsides to using chemical hair color products, and that’s why more and more people are now actively seeking out natural alternatives.

What is the problem with cosmetic hair dyes?

A badge saying no chemicals in hair color products

The majority of hair dyes contain strong chemicals, and although these are safety tested, you can never be certain about how your body will react.

It’s not unknown for people who have never had any skin problems before to have a bad reaction to a hair color product, and the last thing you want when you are changing your hair color is irritation, burning, or even worse; serious injury.

If you are concerned about how your skin may react to hair color products, read our guide to hair dye allergies, and of course, always perform a skin test before applying any products to your hair.

The other issue with chemical hair colors is the environmental effect of producing and testing the products. There is still a worryingly high number of cosmetic companies who openly use animal testing on their products, and the production of these chemicals takes a toll on mother nature too.

With this in mind, we’ve tracked down some of the best natural hair dye products, as well as a few colorants that you can make using ingredients from your food cupboard – yes, really!

Ammonia, Peroxide and Paraben free

Woman who has used a natural hair dye

If you want to make sure that you’re protecting yourself against potential chemical damage when coloring your hair, look for products that are ammonia, peroxide and paraben free as these are the chemicals that have the potential to cause the most damage.

Ammonia, peroxide and paraben free colorants tend to be temporary rather than permanent, and nowadays they often come in the form of a foam color – L’Oreal Paris Foam is one such product and aside from being ammonia free, it is incredibly simple to use.

L’Oreal Professional Inoa is another product that is ammonia and odour-free, and it’s a permanent rather than a temporary dye so it’s ideal for people who don’t want to have to top up their hair color every 28 washes. The only downside is the effect on your budget, as Inoa is currently only available in salons.

Henna Hair Dye

henna hair dye

Henna hair dye has often been thought of as an alternative or new age product, but henna dyes are increasingly making their way into the spotlight thanks to their flexibility, look, and natural benefits.

With henna hair dyes you can layer the colors to get a darker tone, or mix colors together to achieve an entirely unique shade.

Henna is an all-natural product that has been used for hundreds of years to dye the hair and to create temporary body art, and is ideal for individuals with allergies.

The bonus of using a henna dye is that it can actually give the appearance of thicker and shinier hair so it works as a dye and a hair care product in one. Unfortunately henna, along with most other natural hair dyes, will not dye your hair lighter than your natural hair color, you can only dye to an equal depth or darker than your natural shade.

Homemade Hair Dyes

Homemade hair dyes take a lot of getting used to because they are so different to the chemical dyes that you buy from the drug store. For a start, you will usually have to apply them every time you shampoo, but the bonus is that most of these dyes are incredibly cheap, risk free, and you’ll never wake up to find unsightly roots!

Lemon used to color hair blonde

Desired color: Blonde

Ingredients: 2 tbsp. of lemon juice to 1 gallon warm water.

After washing your hair, rinse with this mixture 15 times, then on the final rinse leave the mixture on for 15-30 minutes before rinsing with cold water to seal the color. Let your hair air dry. The lighter your natural color, the more likely that this rinse will have an effect (someone with naturally black hair is unlikely to see much difference).

A cup of tea can be used to color hair

Desired color: Brunette

Ingredients: strong black tea or strong black coffee.

Rinse unwashed hair in cooled coffee or tea, then shampoo with a gentle shampoo. Repeat several times to build up color and then leave the final rinse on for 15 minutes before rinsing with cold water.

Color your hair red with beetroot

Desired color: Red

Ingredients: ½ cup beetroot juice and ½ cup of carrot juice.

Pour this rinse over damp hair then sit out in the sun for an hour or dry hair with a hairdryer before blasting hair with the cool setting to seal the color. Alter the amounts of beet juice to carrot juice to change the tone of the color.

And there you have it! There are plenty of alternative options to chemical hair dyes out there, and although some of them are time-consuming, they can give you a stunning and lustrous hair color.

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Hair Color Removal – When It Goes Wrong…

Woman performing hair color removal

Standing in a pile of tear soaked tissues, the image of yourself staring back at you in the mirror strongly indicates something went wrong with your hair color.

As you are now venturing into uncharted waters, taking the wrong measure of correction can sometimes exacerbate the issue or damage the hair.

Tread carefully my friends!

Where to start when your hair color has gone wrong

Often the biggest problem with a color gone awry is a level issue (too light or too dark) or a tonal issue (too warm or too ‘muddy’.) Check out our guide to hair color shades to make sure you are going for the right level and tone for you.

Woman clutching her hair after a bad color

If it’s not that simple and you have done the damage yourself, it might just be you and the toll free number on the box as the recovery team, please think about this before you proceed.

This is likened to calling a medical hotline and stating, “I feel like I am dying and need to give myself surgery right now; should I use my soup ladle or butter knife?”

I really, really do not advise doing anything by yourself in your bathroom at this point. If it is a touch too dark, and I mean miniscule, you can sometimes wash, re-wash, and re-wash again with a low-quality shampoo to cause it to fade, but it is still often uneven and ineffective.

When it comes to neutralizing colors, stripping, or lightening, remember it was either your lack of skill or a bad product that got you here in the first place. Seek a professional stat!

What NOT to do…

Next; never, ever (and I mean ever) try to strip out your own hair color! I don’t care how easy it says it is on the box, even we professionals seek counsel with the clergy of our faith before attempting this.

‘From the box’ hair color removal kits are mostly in the form of a fast-acting bleach, and do not have a stopping point. If unattended it will continue stripping color, then cuticle, then the substructure, and then “poof”–your head is adorned with bubble gum (actually it used to be hair, it just now resembles bubble gum.) Please, please please; leave this to the pros!

What will the professionals do?

Hair colorist removing hair color

Hair color removal in the hands of a well-skilled and well-supplied artist can often be a quick and simple remedy.

It requires a trained and forensic evaluation of what went wrong and where, the porosity, the remaining and underlying pigments, potential for damage, and how much neutralization is needed. This falls somewhere between art and science.

There are so many factors that I find it hard to offer any specific recourse as it comes down to a, “How bad are we talking?” scenario.

By seeking a professional you may minimize your recovery cost from that of a mortgage payment to simply a salon service. I don’t want to be repetitive, but to bring the point home, leave this to the pros!

Check out our guide on how to get the best from your Salon Colorist.

Don’t try this at home!

You will notice that I did not (and will not) offer advice on how to tackle this in your own bathroom. Integrity steers me from doing so. It is simply time to resign yourself and surrender that a Hair Colorist may be your only savior.

It is okay. You sometimes have to go beyond the pharmacy counter and seek a doctor when your health gets challenging.

This is another case where admission of powerlessness or lack of resources is actually empowering. And for those who do not heed my advice and try to go it alone, I promise to write an article on proper hat and scarf selection.

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Gray Hair – A classic color back in style!

Young woman with stylish gray hair in a bob

For some people gray hair is something to be avoided at all costs, but when fashionistas like Daphne Guinness and Pixie Geldof start rocking silver locks on the red carpet, it’s time to rethink our approach to granny chic!

This is definitely not a look for gals who prefer to blend into the background (unless the background is a retirement home), but for the fashion forward style pioneers amongst us, here’s everything you need to know about gray hair.

Who’s doing gray hair?

Kelly Osbourne with gray hair, a pale face and red lips

High profile celebrities including Kate Moss, Kelly Osbourne, P!nk and Lady Gaga have all embraced the gray hair trend, prompting one fashion mag to declare that gray is the new blonde!

And when Calvin Klein and most recently Maria Barros send their models down the catwalks with stylish gray dos, fashions last taboo has most definitely been broken.

Is it for me?

The key to success with gray hair is that is should never ever look natural, in fact when it comes to gray, the faker the better! The younger you are, the greater the impact, and for fashion forward teens or twenty somethings gray hair will give you the real wow factor.

That’s not to say the rest of us can’t enjoy a little gray this season, but there are more subtle ways to embrace this trend.

How do I get the gray look?

Pixie Geldof with short gray hair

The trick to pulling off the all over gray look is to team it with a short, edgy haircut, as seen on Pixie Geldof.

If you’re still worried about appearing old before your time, add a streak of neon blue, pink or green (or all three!).

Of course all over gray isn’t for everyone, and Daphne Guinness is an eyecatching example of how to use gray as an accent color. The trendsetter mixes gray with black streaks to achieve a fabulous fashion look.

For a more everyday style, you might take inspiration from Kate Moss who used gray highlights against a natural blonde shade to create a subtle, multi tonal color. Kate’s silver streaks were about as far from granny chic as I can imagine, proving there is more to gray than meets the eye!

Gray Hair – Salon vs Home Color

As with all the extreme color options, its usually better to consult a professional before taking the leap. From what we can see the major home color brands have still to catch up with the trend for gray – most of their products are designed to cover it up, not bring it out!

Our advice is to choose your salon carefully (think cutting edge and youthful) and make sure you take in a photograph or clipping of the look you want to achieve.

So what are you waiting for hair color lovers, lets reclaim gray for a new generation!

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