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Hair dyes - choosing the right hair color for you

Get the right shade and product for the effect you want

Author: Charlotte Kuchinsky August 12 2007

woman dyeing her hair

It is estimated that somewhere between 65 and 75 percent of women dye their hair. Even more interesting, however, is the fact that a significant percentage of men are joining in the trend. While women dye for a variety of reasons, men primarily use coloring products to cover their gray or to bring back the depth of their natural hair color.

Women have been dyeing their hair for hundreds of years. It is believed that ancient Egyptians started the practice. Women today dye their hair for a lot of reasons; sometimes they are simply looking for a change, at other times they just want to brighten their natural color - the reasons for dyeing are as numerous as the colours that are now available in today’s marketplace. But how does a woman decide on the right color and/or the right type of hair dye?

Choosing Your Hair Dye

It is important to understand the various types of hair dyes in order to choose the right one for your hair. Since most dyes contain chemicals that can damage the hair if used improperly, choosing the right dye is extremely important. To ensure the least amount of hair damage, it is best to choose a color that blends well with your natural color; the lighter in color you choose to dye your hair, the greater chance you will incur severe hair damage.

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To ensure the least amount of hair damage possible, most dyeing procedures should be done in a salon. However, realistically a lot of us simply can’t afford that option and will, therefore, opt to do the dyeing ourselves. This makes it all the more important to choose the right type of dye.

Permanent Hair Dye

Permanent hair dyeing employs a procedure that strips the existing hair cuticle of its color and prepares it for the infusion of a new shade. As the natural hair color grows back in, the dye only has to be applied to the roots in order to maintain the color. While permanent hair dye may help you achieve the look that you want, particularly if you are opting to go much lighter than your natural shade, maintaining the colour can be both complex and expensive. Exposure to the sun and certain types of chemicals like chlorine can alter the overall color, cause it to fade, or make it lose its luminosity.

Doing your own permanent hair color is highly discouraged. This process should be done in a beauty salon by professionals who are trained to do the job properly.

Semi-permanent hair dye

Semi-permanent hair dye is the most popular choice on the market today. These dyes can last anywhere between eight to 20 washes, depending upon the brand of dye used and the condition of the hair. There are a number of color-enhancing glazes and shampoos that can effectively help to extend the length of time between colorings.

Like permanent dyes, semi-permanent hair color also penetrates into the hair shaft. However, it does not penetrate to the same depth and, therefore, generally causes less hair damage. The lighter in color you go from your natural shade, however, the more damage you risk. For this reason, it is suggested that you stay within one to two lighter shades of your natural color. While you can afford to go a bit darker than two shades, do not assume that means there will be no hair damage – this will be largely dependent upon the condition of the hair at the time the dye was applied.

Semi-permanent colors can, of course, change the color of your hair altogether or they can merely brighten your natural color. There are dozens of good semi-permanent hair colors on the market today, ranging in shades from Nordic blonde to raven black. There are those that claim to infuse moisture as you color; those that say they condition as you color; and those that guarantee multiple shadings for the most natural looking color.

The hardest part of the semi-permanent process may well be determining which brand and color to choose. Clairol and L’Oreal are always good choices, but Garnier Nutrisse is also growing quickly in popularity. Many people claim it is the least damaging to the hair, though I have not verified this personally.

Temporary hair dyes

Temporary hair dyes generally come in the form of rinses, gels, pastes, mousses, or sprays. These dyes merely coat the surface of the hair. They do not actually lift your original color from the cuticle or in any way penetrate the hair shaft. They wash out easily, generally lasting only one to three shampoos. For this reason, this form of coloring is highly popular with the younger set who often like to dye their hair to match their outfits or their mood at the time.

While this form of coloring doesn’t penetrate the hair, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it can’t cause hair damage. Some products on the market are rather harsh, making the hair hard or brittle and easily prone to breakage. As much caution should be used in choosing a temporary hair dye as any other form of hair coloring. Some of the most popular brands of temporary hair dyes include Paintbox Extreme Colors by Fudge and Good Look Color Mousse.

Gradual / progressive hair dyes

Gradual or progressive dyes are most popular with men. These dyes contain a lead acetate that penetrates the hair cuticle to react with the hair’s protein and sulfurs, thereby darkening the hair shaft. The more often the dye is used, the darker in color the hair becomes. The less it is used, the quicker it will return to the yellow or gray color that the dye was meant to cover. Grecian Formula and Just for Men are two excellent hair colors that fall within the gradual or progressive dye category. Both have been around for a long time and there is a reason for that. They actually work!

Highlights

One of today’s hottest trends is, of course, highlighting the hair. This form has the potential for causing either the most or the least hair damage of all. It can cause a great deal of damage if used over hair that has already been dyed with other hair products, chemically treated to curl or straighten, or if you attempt to go too many shades lighter than your natural color. It can cause the least damage if done properly because highlighting only involves changing the color of small strands of hair rather than the entire head.

The purpose of highlighting - with the exception of chunking - is to create a sun-streaked look by lightening the hair where the sunrays might naturally fall. This dyeing process gives the hair better depth of color and a visual texture. Generally, it is best to choose a highlighting shade that is within one or two shades of your natural color. At any rate, most beauticians do not recommend going more than three shades lighter.

There are four main ways to do highlights: foiling, painting, chunking and lowlighting. Foiling and lowlighting should always be done in a salon. However, chunking and painting can be done via a kit much in the same manner as other types of hair coloring. The important thing to remember, if you opt to do your own, is to follow the instructions as outlined in the highlighting kit.

There are lots of highlighting kits available today. Some of the best include Nutrisse Nourishing Multilights, L’Oreal’s Chunking, Feria Quick Shimmer Highlights, Couleur Experte and more. Some are strictly meant to be used over natural hair colors while others can be used over semi-permanent dyes as well. Be sure you read the box thoroughly to make certain your highlighting choice will work on your hair.

Choosing the right hair color for you

Once you have decided what type of dye you want to use and which brand you want to choose, it is time to think about your color. You should begin by determining your skin tone.

Cool skin tones generally have very pale skin with pink or no undertone. Those with lighter skin may have a bluish-red undertone. If this seems to describe you, choose a hair color like platinum or a cool ash blonde or wheat to chestnut brown. Avoid red shades that will not accent your natural coloring.

Those with medium to deeper cool skin tones generally have an olive undertone. If you fall within this category, you will look stunning in dark browns, deep burgundy reds, or even bluish black hairs.

Warm skin tones generally have a peach or golden undertone. Those who fall into the lighter category generally have ivory, creamy beige, peaches and cream, or a golden tan skin color. If this describes you, you will look best in lighter hair colors with a decidedly warm undertone like beige blondes, strawberry reds, and pale golden browns.

Those who have slightly warmer skin tones tend to have more of a yellow-red undertone. You will look great in richer shades like deep honey blondes, chestnut browns, or copper reds.

Hair Coloring Tips

Now that you are all set to color, here are a few tips to follow:

  1. To wash or not to wash; that IS the question. Many hairdressers disagree on this subject. Some say that excess hair product will interfere with proper coloring. Others believe that the natural oils of the hair will help prevent excessive damage. I say, read the box of the color chosen and follow their directions. They know what is best for their particular product.
  2. Trim split ends before coloring. This will help to ensure a nice, even hair color.
  3. If you intend to condition your hair, do it after you dye it or at least one week before you dye. Do not condition it immediately before dyeing. The color may not take properly if you do because many conditioners put a coating on the hair shaft that will prevent the hair color from achieving its ultimate goal.
  4. Check for possible allergic reactions before you dye your hair. Follow the procedures laid out in the instructions provided inside your hair color box.
  5. Do a strand test first to make certain the color will take the way you want it to. Again, follow the directions laid out by the hair color manufacturer.
  6. Wear protective gloves while dyeing and protect the skin around your hairline.
  7. Follow the timing instructions laid out for your chosen hair color. Do not leave the dye on longer than outlined.
  8. Do not attempt to dye your eyebrows or eyelashes with hair dye.
  9. Do not mix various hair dye products together. Their differing components could cause hair breakage and will alter the ultimate color.
  10. Seek professional assistance if the color comes out incorrectly, your hair is damaged, or you are uncertain of how to proceed further. Most hair color brands provide a toll-free hotline to help with these kinds of problems.

With everything available in today’s marketplace, dyeing your hair at home is easier than ever before. The important thing to remember is to follow the procedures outlined in your chosen dye’s instructions. If you do, chances are good that you will achieve exactly the look that you want.

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Comments

Posted on 20/05/08 08:10 by: chris jones

I disagree with your article. if you have resistant greys it is best to use permanent dyes; as long as you follow instructions to the letter your hair will look gorgeous and the greys stay covered. I also disagree with the shades for cool toned people... why should us fair-skinned brunettes be locked into boring, dull drab ash and neutral browns? All they do is make us look the same. I dye my hair an intense shade of med red and my eyes look bluer and my skin looks more clear and porcelain... finally I don't look a zombie. If people with my cool coloring don't want to go to my extreme shade they can always try a soft reddish brown.
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Posted on 20/07/08 19:46 by: reno

This article is helpful, but not strictly true. I have almost pure white skin, and dark eyes, and every other hair color apart from bright red makes me look ill and drawn. Even my natural color of brown doesn't look right, hence I've been dying my hair bright red for 3 years.
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Posted on 28/07/08 13:43 by: Charlie Kuchinsky

Thanks guys, for your comments. I agree that there are exceptions to every rule. Plus, the bottom line is that women should always choose whatever makes them "feel" beautiful. I break all the traditional rules myself. I have fair skin and prefer to go a shade brighter red when covering my gray. Plus I'm a mature woman but still wear my hair long, even though every hairdresser I run into insists that I should chop it off. There are always exceptions and differences; this article is meant more as a guide than a hard and fast rule, so I appreciate your words!
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Posted on 20/08/08 20:20 by: Angela

I am 66 years old and nearly all grey. I have a good hairdresser and have been having a mid brown base with copper and bleached highlights. However after a while I look totally washed out. I would like to suggest another colour to my hairdresser. I have had a colour me beautiful consultation and I am a spring season. Please help!
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Posted on 20/08/08 21:46 by: Charlie Kuchinsky

I am 58 years of age and also a spring. I find that I look washed out in certain tones of brown as well. I've actually moved further into copper and auburn shades with a lot of success.

There are sites on the Internet such as Lifetime.com that will let you you upload a photograph of yourself. Once you have, you can play around with different hair colors, cuts, and styles within a private folder that only you can access. You might try this type of option to explore different avenues in hair color before making the leap.


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Posted on 08/11/08 17:14 by: Sarah

I am planning on buying a tub of La Riche Directions hair dye and i would like to do streaks in my hair in the colours pink and blue. I want them to be not neon bright but not so dark you can't see them and I have very dark brown hair.

I am worried that I will buy the tubs of hair colour and that when I use them they won't show up or they'll be the wrong colour in my hair. I do not want to bleach my hair before colouring it.

On the website they also say that there is a pretreating conditioner, or something similar to that, that you use on your hair before colouring. Will that take the original colour out of my hair or not?

Also the colours are for your whole hair but I just want to put highlights or streaks in my hair. It comes with a tinting brush which I guess you could use to highlight your hair. And where you say you can't use the foiling technique, well how would I colour parts of my hair without getting it on the parts I don't want coloured? Thanks! :)


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Posted on 12/11/08 14:43 by: Hannah

I've got natural ginger hair and I recently dyed it dark brown but I'm bored of it, I want to go much lighter, maybe blonde but I'm not sure what shade to go. Any ideas?
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Posted on 13/11/08 13:53 by: Charlie K

Sarah, I apologize for not responding sooner. I somehow missed your comment. However, I would hesitate to give you instructions on that type of hair dye project. Most dyes, however, have a toll free number that you can call to ask specific questions like yours. Or go online and see if the site has a question and answer section that might already have the answer you seek.

The bottom line is, whenever you veer off course from the way the dye was meant to be used, I always suggest checking it out with the manufacturer first.


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Posted on 13/11/08 13:58 by: Charlie K

Hannah, you don't say what type of skin tone you have so I hesitate to suggest a specific shade of blonde without knowing that. I will, however, say this. I have a kind of ginger auburn hair color with slightly pale skin. When I went dark brown years ago, I tired of it quickly as well but found it very difficult to get rid of. I finally went lighter in increments rather than trying to go from totally dark to the strawberry blonde that I wanted. That way it wasn't as big a change all at once and it kept my hair from being damaged by such a major change in types of dye.

However, if you really want to go immediately from dark to light, I would suggest that you contact a professional hair colorist rather than attempting to do it on your own. So many things can go wrong.


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Posted on 21/11/08 04:23 by: Melissa

I am an experienced hairdresser. Colouring one's hair is an important decision, one that should be thought through. As they say "Your hair is your crown and glory". I do not recommend someone to colour their own hair, mistakes result in hair damage and a lengthy process of correction which ends up costing more than having it done profesionally in the first instance. Nothing makes you feel worse than bad hair. If money is an issue, explore having your hair coloured with a hair colour trainee within an established hair salon.
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Posted on 02/06/09 17:38 by: stefania

Hi, thank you so much for writing this blog, I've always had a thing for red hair and I'm thinking about dyeing mine red. I currently dye it darkest brown since mine is a really light brown, but I'm bored of browns and don't like blonde for me.

My skin tone is kinda pale but not too pale and I have green-ish eyes, so I'd like to bring out my eyes a little bit as well. I'm thinking of an auburn red or something like that, but I'm afraid I'm not gonna get the results I expect, since I already have dark brown dye on my hair, and I'm also worried its gonna fade out quickly since I usually dye my hair once a month.

I'm not worried about not looking natural since there are no natural dark readheads, and I want to go for a dark color that can make me look more pale and like i said, bring out my eyes. What's your advice? Again, thank you for everything!


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Posted on 02/06/09 20:41 by: Charlie Kuchinsky

I would ease into the red tones carefully until you find what you like. Start with a dark or medium auburn shade. If you like the red but wish there was more of it, move into tones that are more skewed to the red. If you want to go lighter try a light red or light aburn.

Since you already have color on your hair, wait for it to wear out before you do anything or remove it with a professional color remover. Otherwise you won't get a real feel for the tones you are getting. The dye needs to be in conjunction with your natural hair color.

Also, since you dye your hair a lot, I'd suggest using a semi-permanent color rather than a permanent one. It will cause less damage overall.

Of course, I always suggest seeking the advice of an expert colorist rather than doing it yourself at home; particularly if the hair is fragile, fine, or thin. She can choose a color that will work without causing more damage. Also, be aware that reds do tend to fade more quickly than other colors. Only use shampoos and conditioners that protect and enhance the color to make it last longer.


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Posted on 11/06/09 18:41 by: Roxie

I have brown hair and I'm over 50 years old. Should I stay brown or go lighter, like blonde or highlights?
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Posted on 21/06/09 13:16 by: olivia

I have darkish brown hair with quite a pale skin tone but recently, I've got bored of it and would look to dye it a sort of dark cherry red. There is a hair dye by L'Oreal called Chocolate Cherry that I like but I don't know if it would suit me. What do you think?

Also, my mum says I can't dye my hair with a permanent colour but I can use a semi, in case I don't like it. The dye that I like though, claims to be a semi but my hairdresser said that if it is a semi it will only have 1 bottle of hair dye in the pack with nothing to mix into and if it is a permanent there'll be 2 bottles that you have to mix together. The dye I like has 2 bottles though, even though it says that its a semi... I'm really confused as surely they wouldnt be able to advertise it as a semi if it wasn't? Could I have your advice on it please, as my mum won't let me use it anymore but I can't find another shade that I like in any other makes. She said to use Harmony hair dye but I've read bad reviews about it and you have to constantly re-dye it all the time. Please help!


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Posted on 01/07/09 05:22 by: emily

Hi I'm 15 years old and I would like to know what I should do. I want to temporarily dye my color hair; I'm really blonde and I want to go for a dark brown, but I don't want it to look bad and I don't want it to be reddish or orange and I don't know how to do it!
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Posted on 07/07/09 14:38 by: Charlie Kuchinsky

Emily, when I was your age I wanted to change my hair color as well but I wasn't sure what would look good on me. I went to a place where wigs (they are called hairpieces today) and tried on different colors to determine which one I liked. Then I asked the clerk to tell what shade of the color (brown, red, blonde, etc.) it was considered. I looked for a temporary wash out color as close to that shade as I could find it and that's the color I went for. Turns out I liked it a lot at the time but not too much later - I missed my red hair. The benefit of a wash out color is you won't be married to it. You can get rid of it within 10 to 20 shampoos; faster if you use a color stripping shampoo.

However, if you haven't dyed your own hair before, I recommend that you try a colorist for the first effort. She'll give you instructions on how you can do the job yourself in the future so you are only out that initial fee. Chances are, mom and dad will be happy to pay the fee just to make certain you don't damage your hair trying to do it yourself.

If a colorist simply isn't in the budget, ask your mom, an aunt, or someone that you know who has knowledge of the subject to help you the first time. After that, as long as you follow the instructions the haircolor gives and your friend or relatives' tips you should be all right to do it on your own. Good luck and have fun with color to express yourself. Just take the time to do it safely.


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Posted on 20/07/09 19:37 by: Marie Hawkins

As a child I was fair-skinned and had golden blonde hair. As I got older it darkened to a ash blonde/light brown colour. I'm 60 yrs old now with a minimal amount of grey. I have been using Excellence by L'Oreal (color: D3), but my hair turns out red. After I am in the sun for a few weeks it tends to go back to a dark blonde/light brown. The problem with that it is almost time to colour it again. Can you suggest a different colour to use? Should I go to a D2 or D1? I have always used Excellence and really like it. Thank you.
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Posted on 28/07/09 23:30 by: harry carter

Hi, I'm 16 and have very dark brown hair, but I wanna go a lighter brown colour. I have olive skin tone. Do you think it would look ok if I went light brown?
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Posted on 29/07/09 13:56 by: Charlie Kuchinsky

Marie, apologies for not responding sooner! I would try a blond shade that is more platinum than golden if you do not like the reddish hue you are currently getting. I really suggest that both you and Harry consider asking a local beauty professional for color advice because they can view your hair's color, texture, etc. where I cannot.

Another option is to go to a wig shop or beauty supply store that carries wigs and try on different colors to see which one you like the best. Then look for a haircolor that matches or is one shade lighter (since most colors actually come out darker than they show on the box). But pick a wash-out or semi-permanent color rather than a permanent one so you won't be stuck with it forever if you don't like the results.


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Posted on 04/08/09 09:58 by: georgina flint

Hey, I'm looking to dye my hair a sort of platinum blonde colour, like this: http://snipurl.com/ony41. At the moment my hair is kinda dark blonde/light brown. I don't want to lighten or bleach my hair and I wanted to use a semi permanent hair dye. Can you recommend anything? Any help at all much appreciated, thank you x
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Posted on 05/08/09 14:03 by: Charlie Kuchinsky

It is doubtful that you can achieve the color you want with a single color application at home. Your best bet would be to see a professional colorist in order to avoid damaging your hair. However, if you want to give it a try at home, look for the color you want your hair to be in your favorite hair color brand. Check the box to see what shade it promises based on your current hair color. Then, because most haircolors come out a shade darker than they look on the panel, try going up one shade. It may take several root applications and pull-throughs to achieve the color you want, if it is possible at all. That's why I recommend a colorist if you can afford it. Good luck!
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Posted on 01/09/09 10:33 by: kathryn

Thanks so much for posting this blog! I just wanted to ask about when you get a semi-permanent dye, does that mean you never have to touch up roots or have any problems with roots?
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Posted on 01/09/09 15:51 by: Charlie Kuchinsky

No. You will have to do the roots of the hair to make them the same color as our semi-permanent dye. That will be required about every six to eight weeks depending upon how fast your hair grows. The advantage of semi-permanent, however, is that you don't have to keep damaging the remainder of the hair with a full treatment. You just pull the color through from the roots for the last five minutes or so to make certain it will be uniform throughout the hair. Hope this helps.
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Posted on 22/09/09 19:20 by: Jacob

Hi! I'm dyeing my hair tomorrow morning with Wella temporary dye. I am a light to mid brown and am going for something just a shade or two darker. It's 3 wash out stuff. My question is: will this change my natural hair colour at all? Oh, and its just in a packet, no box. So how can I make sure I'm not allergic to it? Thanks!
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Posted on 16/10/09 21:44 by: Angie

There's not really much you can do to see if you're allergic. My sister dyed her hair with the same product for years and one time had an allergic reaction. It was so bad that the doctor at the hospital said she was lucky to have come in when she felt her head swell, as she probably wouldn't have made it through the night.
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Posted on 25/11/09 18:53 by: Tsuki

I'm currently looking for temporary orange hair dye, preferrably a spray. I need a bright, though not extreme, shade of orange for a cosplay. I have natural dark brown hair. What should I get?
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Posted on 27/11/09 13:31 by: Charlie Kuchinsky

Dark brown hair is going to be difficult to dye temporarily because most spray-on or gel dyes are more suited to light colored hair. However, if one can work it is likely to be Special Effects Napalm Orange. Check with a colorist before using the product, to protect your crowning glory!
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Posted on 29/11/09 13:24 by: Jodie

Yes, but I still don't know what colour to dye my hair if I have blue eyes, dark eyebrows and pale skin tone!
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Posted on 30/11/09 17:40 by: Charlie Kuchinsky

My daughter has dark brown hair as well, with olive toned skin. She can easily go a deep auburn or even blonde if she chooses the right color. I suspect you can too but it is important to find the right shade. However, without actually seeing the exact "tone" of your skin, it is difficult for me to suggest the right color for you. You say it is pale but does it have a yellow or pink undertone to it? That will make a difference in your color choice.

Try talking to a local colorist, someone who can see your hair and skin tone - that will be of great value to you. Many do not charge for a brief consultation. If that isn't acceptable, try going to a wig store to try on different colors you like. Pick the one that looks best on you and try to match it with hair dye. If no shade matches exactly, go one shade lighter rather than darker, since most hair dyes turn out darker than it looks on the box.

Hope this helps!


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Posted on 13/12/09 02:47 by: Alex

Hello, I am looking for the right shade to dye my hair. I am currently a dark blonde, with warm undertones in my lighter skin. I have blue-green eyes and am hoping to play them up a bit. I really want to try a warmer dark brown; any suggestions as to how dark I can safely go?
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Posted on 20/12/09 19:08 by: breanna

I was thinking about dyeing my hair bright deep red, but my skin tone is very hard to tell if I have a cool or warm skin tone. My skin color is pale with a light golden tone in it. I have deep blue eyes som edays and other days they're light blue with more gray. People tell me that red brings out the redness in skin tones and I have acne and I wasn't sure if the bright deep red would make it more noticeable. Right now my hair is strawberry blond with hits of dirty blond in it; I'm not sure if bright deep red would look good.
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Posted on 21/12/09 14:45 by: Charlie Kuchinsky

Alex, I wouldn't go too dark to begin with. Try a warm chestnut brown first. If you want to go darker than that, move up one shade at a time until you hit the brown color you like best. Going too dark all at once can be a shock and might skew your thinking that brown won't work for you. Be cautious. It is easier to go darker, but it can take a while for darkness to fade out if you don't like it.
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Posted on 21/12/09 14:48 by: Charlie Kuchinsky

Breanna, I have a lot of roscea myself, but a hot to deep red still looks good on me despite my normal strawberry red color. What I did to find the exact red color was to go a tone deeper with each successive coloring until I found the shade of red that works best for me. Mine happens to be light red but yours could be darker. Just don't go too dark too quickly; it is unlikely you will be satisfied with the results.
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Posted on 28/12/09 01:59 by: Quinn

Hi. My hair finally grew out from all the dye I put in before and I would like to give dyeing my hair another go, but I don't want to damage my hair. I made the mistake of using a permanent colour which completely fried my hair the first time. My hair is healthier now since it has been over a year. I want a bold colour, but have no idea what would look good. I would like to try blue-black or jet black, bright red, or purple. I have naturally medium brown hair and an olive skin tone that can turn rather pale. Is there a dye I could use that wouldn't harm my hair by bleaching and would give me a bright colour? Can you recommend a shade or brand? Thank you! :)
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Posted on 29/12/09 20:33 by: Jenny

My hair naturally is dark blonde but for the past 2 years I've been having all-over highlights, using a high lift colour (a few shades lighter than my natural hair colour) to a dirty/medium blonde. I now want to dye my hair a light strawberry blonde with a home kit, but say I decide I don't like it, do you think it would be easy to go back to blonde?
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Posted on 02/01/10 15:38 by: Charlie

Quinn, check out the hair dyes that don't use ammonia or peroxide to see if there is a color that appeals to you. But before going too dark, I suggest you take a trip to a local wig shop and try on several different shades in the tone you want, to see which looks best.
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Posted on 02/01/10 15:41 by: Charlie Kuchinsky

Jenny, my hair tone is about the same as yours but with a red tinge to it already. I use natural light blonde from L'Oreal Preference, and since it doesn't have to lighten my hair too much, I don't have any problems with damage. However, if you are worried, have your hair stylist take a look at the condition of your hair before taking the plunge. She'll be brutally honest and let you know if you are risking damage. Better yet, if you can swing it, have her do the coloring job for you. That way you can really get the shade you want instead of being limited to the few strawberry blondes available in do-it-yourself dyes.
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Posted on 02/01/10 23:36 by: Maddie

Hey, I'm a 16 year old who really needs a change! I have pale skin with a pink undertone, my "mac" foundation colour says I'm an NW (warm I think that means) and I have darkish brown hair and green eyes. I've dyed my hair a lot before, I tried dying it a dark rich brown but it ended up going black, which coincidentally I loved. I then went professional and had "red violet" highlights in my hair, which I also very much liked. However, I really want to go for something bold and exciting, I'm bored of the same old brown. I was thinking maybe a deep red but I'm worried that because of my pale skin (at the moment anyway) the red will enhance my blemishes etc. I'm always looking for a hair colour that will make my eyes stand out, as not much does. I'm always up for going down the building up the colour route, but it's also about how much I can afford - I would rather get it done at the salon. What would you suggest?
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Posted on 04/01/10 18:50 by: aalyiah

Well I dyed my hair blond but it didn't work out. It's been 3 months since I dyed it and I want to go back to my natural black. What can I do to get my natural color back? Plz help!
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Posted on 04/01/10 22:23 by: Charlie

Maddie, it is still possible to go red even with the skin tone you mentioned. The trick is finding the right shade of red before taking the plunge. Visit a local wig shop and try on different shades of red to discover which one you like and then try to match it. Because you have dyed your hair a lot you might want to visit a colorist for advice to make sure what you choose won't damage your hair. Good luck!
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Posted on 04/01/10 22:29 by: Charlie

Aalyia (geez, hope I didn't butcher the spelling of your beautiful name), since you went from dark to blonde and now want to go back to dark, I would definitely seek the assistance of a colorist. It is important to prevent mixing different types of dyes together. Doing so could severely damage your hair. If possible, take the name of the blonde color you used most recently so she (or he) can check its ingredients and recommend a safe dye to use.
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Posted on 06/01/10 02:55 by: christina

I have a fair skin color and black eyes. My hair is dirty blonde but looks like really light brown. I was thinking to dye it dark brown - is that a good idea?
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Posted on 06/01/10 14:30 by: Charlie

Christina, dark brown could be very pretty but rather than making an immediate jump, think of talking with a colorist or trying on some hairpieces in brown shades first. Chances are good the right shade of brown will actually warm your skin tone and make your eyes pop, but getting the right shade is the key. If you can't find a colorist who will do a free consultation and don't have a wig shop nearby, then choose a shade of brown a couple of tones darker than your current shade. If that isn't dark enough, the next time, go a shade darker and so on until you find the color you want. Stay away from permanent dyes - since you are going darker and not lighter, stick with ones that will do the least damage to your hair.
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Posted on 19/01/10 20:25 by: Anna Elliot

I have natural red hair which is quite bright but I'm thinking of dying it to a chesnut brown with a semi-permanent. Someone said it could go green. Do you have any ideas on what brands or if there is a better shade of brown I could go for?
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Posted on 23/01/10 21:12 by: Karie

Hi, I'm 15 years old, medium length black hair, tan skin and brown eyes. What colour should I dye my hair?
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Posted on 26/01/10 00:30 by: David

I have tanned skin and brown hair, what colour should I go? Tried red and and golden blonde (biggest mistake ever as it turned my hair ginger lol). Any suggestions?
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Posted on 26/01/10 21:41 by: Charlie Kuchinsky

You might consider adding some light highlights to your hair to give it depth and dimension. If that doesn't appeal to you and you didn't like going lighter or red, then you could think about a darker temporary color. But go only one or two shades darker to begin with it. If you don't like it, it can shampoo out relatively quickly. Otherwise you can explore going even darker if you want to over time.
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Posted on 27/01/10 07:42 by: Deisy

Hi there, I'm medium brown skin, long very dark black hair. I've dyed it diff. types of reds but is just doesn't stick - it looks brown :( I've been thinking to do a huge change of color and I have no idea what to go for. HELP! What color would be a huge change and will look good on me but not make me look darker? Thanks!
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Posted on 29/01/10 10:46 by: Charlie Kuchinsky

Deisy, without being able to "see" your exact skin color, hair color, texture, and condition etc. it is hard to for me to make recommendations on a drastic change. I suggest checking around for a professional colorist that will give you a free consultation. Since he or she can see you first hand, chances for a good option are much better. Plus, whenever you want to make a big change like that, it is best not to try to do it on your own.
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Posted on 31/01/10 19:02 by: Hannah R

Hey, I have dark brown hair with very pale skin but I wear tan so I'm sort of orange. My mum says I can do whatever I want to my hair as long as I don't damage it. I really want a change, I am sick of the brown and I have never touched my hair with anything. I'd really love to go black or maybe just like an even darker brown with like a semi-colourant? But will it leave bad roots? That's what I am most nervous about. Can anyone help?
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Posted on 01/02/10 16:20 by: Charlie Kuchinsky

Hannah, when you go darker the roots often don't show as easily. Additionally, today there are easy to use root touch-up kits in the event they are obvious for some reason. There are even temporary coloring pens that can be purchased wherever hair dyes are sold. Good luck and have fun with a darker color. Just don't go too dark, too quickly. Go one or two shades darker with each coloring until you reach the shade that "speaks" to you. And don't mix dyes. Find a good one and stick with that brand to minimize any potential damage.
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Posted on 04/02/10 00:37 by: sim

I've been dyeing my hair brown and sometimes black for about two years now, I've also dyed it a mahogany colour before but my natural hair colour is ginger. I want to dye it red but I don't want it to come out bright red, a really fake looking red. I don't know if putting a red on my natural hair will do this. Any ideas?
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Posted on 05/02/10 12:26 by: Charlie Kuchinsky

Sim, opt for an auburn color instead. It will likely give you the tone you want and it comes in light, medium, and dark options.
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Posted on 24/02/10 10:42 by: ruth jackson

I would love some opinions, ladies! I have dyed my hair over the years so am used to home dye (wish I could afford the salon more often!) but I would love some proper help on colour. I have a yellow undertone with brown eyes and mid brown hair. I don't like it being so mid-brown so have had it darker brown and lighter, but just now I really want to go down red routes. I did it a mahogany a while back which was nice but I am interested in what I should really be going for with my colouring; my skin is not too pale but in no way a nice olive, my mineral foundation is medium/medium beige if that helps. I would love a nice colour that might warm my face up a bit but not be too bright red. Any help would be amazing!
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Posted on 28/02/10 00:43 by: Tiara Summers

Hi, I'm 13 turning 14, and for my birthday I'm getting my hair cut & coloured. I have golden tanned skin all through the year. My hair colour is a light-medium brown, but I want to go honey blonde with lighter highlights. I have thick hair too but I'm worried about what the blonde will do to my hair. (I have my parents' approval). But I'm worried about how long the roots will take to grow back, and about damage done to my hair. I've never dyed my hair before.
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Posted on 28/02/10 13:46 by: Lisa

I have naturally auburn hair with a pale complexion and blue eyes. I had it highlighted a few times last summer and had a semi-permanent auburn colour over it about 3 times.  Since then I've not been able to afford to go back to the salon to get it done but it's looking wishy washy now (20 weeks since last visit). It kinda looks a tiny bit khaki in certain lighting but med blonde in other light, with my auburn roots showing! I would like to go a tiny bit darker than my natural colour but can't for the life of me find a suitable one.  I've been looking at L'Oreal casting creme gloss but can't find the right colour. Do these colours actually come out darker than the box shows?  Some of the colours look way bright... I'm confused!!
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Posted on 06/03/10 21:38 by: Katie

I'm 14 and a winter, so very pale skin, darkish brown hair, dark brown eyes, and freckles and I have no idea what kinda undertone I have. I've been wanting to change my hair for a while now, and I really am swaying to have a darker colour put in, almost like black but still brown, if you get what I mean. Is that a good idea?
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Posted on 08/03/10 14:08 by: Charlie Kuchinsky

Katie, it's best not to go drastically darker unless you have tried on some wigs in the color and are certain you want to make such a big change. Instead, try a color that is one to two shades darker than your natural color. If you like the darker look then next time you can risk another shade or two darker until you hit the color that you like. To avoid damaging your hair, use a wash-in color that doesn't contain ammonia.
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Posted on 08/03/10 14:15 by: Charlie Kuchinsky

Yes, Lisa, the color you get from home hair color is usually anywhere from one to three shades darker than it looks on the box. With your auburn new growth showing, your best bet is to go back to the hairdresser if you can. They can match the look you want.

Otherwise, you will need to lighten up your new growth with color, not pulling it through to the ends until the last few minutes to ensure as close to an even color wash as you can get. Most hair colors provide instructions for both full color and root touch up but they vary from brand to brand. Be sure to read the instructions thoroughly before moving forward. I hope this helps somewhat.


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Posted on 10/03/10 17:02 by: sargestef@q.com

I have dark brown hair and wanted to use a semi permanent to make it lighter carmel/reddish color to it. Last night I used a carmel creme which did not add enough. Can I use another semi permanent today or should I wait? I should have used an auburn color to get the desired effect.
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Posted on 10/03/10 18:46 by: kara linning

I went and got a dark blond because my hair is light blond and it went a kind of greeny colour. Can anyone help me with that? By the way I am 11 years old.
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Posted on 12/03/10 13:24 by: Charlie Kuchinsky

You shouldn't color your hair again right away, it could cause damage. Wait for at least 6 to 8 weeks to be safe.
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Posted on 12/03/10 13:29 by: Charlie Kuchinsky

Kara, a darker blond will not ensure a greeny color unless you combine it with chemicals that technically you should not use. That could damage your hair so I don't advise that. Maybe your parents could help you with this project.
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Posted on 13/03/10 14:21 by: Nazifa

I'm 15 and I have black hair and an olivish skin tone. I wanted to dye my hair lighter or put highlights in - I was thinking of dying my hair black cherry colour, but I don't know how it will turn out as my hair's darker. What colour should I dye it to be only a few shades lighter? And if I was putting highlights in how can I put brown highlights in my hair that will show up? What colour will my hair turn if I out the sun in spray that makes hair blonde in the sun?
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Posted on 15/03/10 15:09 by: Charlie Kuchinsky

Nazifa, let me see if I can answer all your questions. The best way to lighten dark hair is using a colorist. However, I understand that not everyone can afford that. Still, if I were you I would search around to find a colorist that might give you a free consultation; since he or she can actually see your skin tones and hair color, that would make it easier to prescribe color options.

If you can't find one, then try on some wigs at a hair salon to find the color you like and want to imitate. Then look for that color, or something similiar in hair color. Determine how many shades lighter that is than your hair. If it is one to three shades lighter, it might be doable. Anything beyond that might not come out the exact color desired. You may have to ease into it over a period of time.

As for highlights, there are a variety of pull through and paint on highlights available in the marketplace today, even for dark hair. Keep in mind that unless you use a colorist the chances are the highlights will only be a lighter shade of brown or red, not blonde. My daughter has very dark brown hair with blonde highlights but she has to have them done professionally. Her at-home attempts were less than satisfactory and damaged her hair.

As for products like "Sun-In" that you spray on and go out in the sun, they are not usually recommended for dark hair because it would take so much product to make a visible difference. Plus, it is very drying and damages most hair severely. The cherry cordial idea might work if you have some lighter tones in your hair. Otherwise, it probably won't show.


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Posted on 18/03/10 00:10 by: Katy

I have a fair skin tone with a pinkish undertone and mid blue eyes. I naturally have mid brown hair but it was blonde when I was younger. I want to go a sort of honey-ish blonde colour, do you think that would be possible/would it suit me? How can I make it look natural? My hair is quite thick and straight. p.s. I'm 18 if that makes any difference :)
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Posted on 19/03/10 10:47 by: Charlie Kuchinsky

Katy, that coloring should probably work for you. When in doubt; however, try it out. Visit a wig store or even a drug store that carries those ponytail hairpieces and try honey blonde colors against your skin in various areas around your face. If you like what you see, you're set to give it a try. If you don't want to do that or can't, then try going lighter with your hair slowly rather than all at once. Choose a shade maybe two or three shades lighter than your hair and see how that goes. Then you can decide if you want to go lighter still.

For a natural look, try a colorist if you can afford it. If you must do it at home, choose a hair color that has multi-dimensional tones. Hair that is all the same color never looks natural. With the emphasis on eyebrows this spring you might not worry about lightening them BUT if you want a more natural look, it might be worth considering. NEVER do that yourself, however. Have a professional do it for you. Stick with semi-permanent hair colors so you don't risk too much damage to your hair.


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Posted on 26/03/10 23:56 by: Suzanne Brewer

I'm 35 with medium brown short hair, fair skin with a red/yellow undertone and blue eyes. I would love to try a shade of red to make my eyes 'pop' - am thinking of trying Garnier Herbashine colour creme 535 golden mahogany brown - has anyone with my colouring tried this?
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Posted on 03/04/10 22:15 by: Sarah

I have medium brown hair, which is very curly. My eyes are pale blue and my skin is very pale with freckles. I was thinking of dying my hair a browny/red or auburn colour as I have been told I have quite an auburn complexion. I was just wondering if the curliness of my hair would affect the dye and if the colour would suit me?
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Posted on 05/04/10 17:04 by: Charlie Kuchinsky

Sarah, your and my coloring sound similar and I have reddish brown hair. As for the curls, the thing to remember is to get the hair thoroughly saturated with dye. The curls themselves shouldn't hamper the color but not getting every hair saturated could. Good luck and have fun!
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Posted on 09/04/10 15:37 by: Toni

I am naturally strawberry blonde and I dyed my hair an intense red (deep violet on the box!) which I loved, but as you can imagine the root regrowth isn't nice! So I tried dying my hair dark auburn today which really only worked on the roots, so now I have auburn roots and burgundy hair!! I can live with it at the minute as the roots are dark so it's harder to notice but I would eventually like to go dark auburn properly.  Will I have to dye my hair dark brown first to get rid of the burgundy redness, then dark auburn as I want a more coppery tone rather than burgundy? Also how long should I ideally wait before I can dye it again? Thanks for your help!
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Posted on 12/04/10 13:43 by: Charlie Kuchinsky

Toni, I would visit a beauty salon to have your roots matched to the rest of your hair, and while there ask questions about proceeding to change it over to dark auburn. Without actually seeing your hair, it is hard for me to advise you otherwise.
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Posted on 13/04/10 15:38 by: Victoria

Two years ago I went to a salon and had my hair dyed blond. Previously I had henna in it so it changed from bright red. I was unaware that putting a bleach over henna severely damages hair and the hairdressers did not correct me, hence I came out looking ok but over the next few weeks my hair looked progressively frazzled and more and more yellow.

Two years on it has almost grown out and only the bottom inch has split ends, although the horrible yellow blond starts at about the level of my ears. The crown of my head is my natural fair hair colour. As you can imagine I look awful. I am going to have my last split ends cut out (most reluctantly as I miss my long hair and want to grow it again although I hate the condition of the ends). I want to liven up my natural hair colour without being to different from my natural fair whilst at the same time covering the blond, reddish tones look best on me as I am fair and freckly.

How do I guarantee the colour sticks over the blond bits as the hair is very permeable (it kept going yellow when have tried covering it before)? Will it damage it further - should I wait?  What colour do you recommend?


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Posted on 14/04/10 18:00 by: June

I recently used a wash in colour (Harmony) which was given to me. It was an auburn colour. Previous to this I had always been mid-blonde. I loved it and now want to use a semi perm colour. I am scared however as I have a lot of grey hairs and don't want them to go orange. Help!
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Posted on 15/04/10 12:56 by: Charlie Kuchinsky

June, I cover my gray to match my red hair all the time. Just stay away from shades that have a lot of orange. Instead, stick with auburn or burgundy tones. If you are really afraid, visit a colorist for a worry-free consultation and/or color.
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Posted on 15/04/10 17:36 by: Michelle

I have medium-dark brown hair with salon highlights, now needing to do it myself because of money. My fear is that my hair pulls red and fades to red when it's time to get my hair done again, meaning it looks red about 5 weeks after having it done. I'm afraid of what color to use, for what time, and whether to use semi or not. Help!
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Posted on 16/04/10 19:09 by: jenny

I recently had the dark brown dye removed from my hair at a salon. I then had it dyed a light brown with blonde highlights, but it is too light. Can I put another darker brown dye on my hair?
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Posted on 17/04/10 16:50 by: Faye

My natural hair colour is a dirty dark blonde/brown, and I got bored and dyed it with a permanent cherry/auburn about 6-8 weeks ago. I am now thinking of going blonde, can anyone help me on what I need to do next please, I've heard using washing up liqid will help get rid of hair dye...?
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Posted on 19/04/10 13:49 by: Charlie Kuchinsky

Faye, since you just colored your hair with a permanent dye, I recommend you check with a colorist to see if he or she thinks your hair can withstand the reverse shock. I'm sure the last thing you want to do is damage your hair so I recommend you don't try doing this on your own without at least a color consultation beforehand, especially since some colorists will do a consultation for free.
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Posted on 20/04/10 21:08 by: sandra

Hi everyone, I'm mixed, half black and white on my Dad's side and my hair is those crazy spiral curls and very tight. I have skin the same colour as Nicole Richie and want to get her chocolate hair with a bit more dark auburn in it, as I have hazel eyes and think the red tones would work with the green in my eyes. But my issue is that whenever I put a dark colour in my hair it comes out quite a bit darker then the shade I want, I think because of my curly hair. If I tell my hairdresser I want dark auburn, it will come out black. I heard that I should ask for 2 shades lighter - is that light auburn? I don't want my hair to come out too light either. Could you tell me what colour to ask for if I want dark auburn? Thanks so much!
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Posted on 21/04/10 00:19 by: Charlie Kuchinsky

Sandra, a medium auburn might do the trick. Do a test curl done ahead of time to gauge the color you will get. If it is too dark, your colorist can add some lightener and try again until you get the right shade. I seldom advise letting a colorist use any color without a test curl because it never comes out the color noted on the box or test strip. Hope this helps!
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Posted on 21/04/10 03:42 by: Jessie

Hi. I'm looking into temporarily dying my hair a really rich, copper red. I've been wanting to do this for a long time, but I'm unsure if it will turn my strawberry-blonde hair an odd color, like orange. I've heard that some brands of semi-hair dyes will do this. Since I am a blonde with some red tones, and I go a dark red, will this affect my natural hair color after it is done washing out?
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Posted on 21/04/10 13:35 by: Bird

I noticed a lot of people trying to get rid of too much reddish color when they dye. A friend of mine who used to style, I was reading one of her text books, and it says before you can get rid of the overly red shades you have to dye it an ash color, once that wears out then you can choose a better color for yourself.  My hair is naturally black in winter and dark brown in the summer, I like the mousey brown colors, but those are hard to find any more.  My skin is normally fair, but I tan so I find I am able to use more of a variety of shades with tanned skin.
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Posted on 23/04/10 06:30 by: Callie

Hi! I am 19 years old and have long wavy strawberry blonde hair, more on the blonde side. One thing I promised myself that I was never going to change my hair color (I have yet to meet someone with the exact same color) as I am pale and it just fits me. But I always wanted to know what I would look like with brown hair or something. My boyfriend has told me before his "dream girl" would be someone with dark dark brown hair and bright blue eyes. I have the blue eyes down but I obviously am lacking in the hair color. Now, I DO NOT want to change my hair permanently so I was thinking of getting a wig just to have fun. But then I got the idea of dying it semi permanent. But my concern is if I do this: WILL IT CHANGE MY NATURAL HAIR COLOR once it washes out completely. I will not risk messing up my hair if the semi permanent is going to do that. I just wanted to surprise him for fun. But he and I both love my hair and I never want to do anything to harm it. Because it is very long (almost to my hips) and it will take too long to grow it as long as it is now if I have to cut it off or something. He has no idea I am doing this, but I thought it would be funny to surprise him one day... but if it is going to hurt my natural color in any way I would appreciate knowing. Sorry for such a long comment, but thank you so much!
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Posted on 25/04/10 15:21 by: Charlie Kuchinsky

Callie, my hair is strawberry blonde as well, but more on the red side. I don't like changing it either. What I hate is that as I've aged and needed to cover the gray, there isn't a true representation of my hair color out there, so I end up going a shade lighter or darker. You are right in assuming that even a semi-permanent hair color could leave some residual color changes in your hair until it grows completely back out. I'd go with your first instinct and try a wig first. There are so many inexpensive ones to try out today, and that way you can change your color anytime you want without losing the essence of you. If you do decide to color however, I recommend a wash-in color that will shampoo away in as few washings as possible. Be aware, though, even that kind of color may dull or darken your natural color a bit. Good luck with whichever decision you make.
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Posted on 05/05/10 16:25 by: mel

I have thin fine hair and I dye my hair using permanent colours, but it doesn't stay permanent - it always goes lighter, even hairdressers have used permanent but that doesn't stay permanent either. Does anyone know why?
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Posted on 06/05/10 13:46 by: Charlie Kuchinsky

The term "permanent" is a bit of a misnomer. What you get when you color your hair is usually a shade or two darker than the sample on the box. That's because when it does partially fade, you will end up with a color that is near the sample shade. All permanent colors will fade, especially if you don't use a color-hold shampoo and conditioner. If you want the end color to be darker than it currently is, go a shade or two darker with your color choice and you will likely end up with the color you want. However, I also recommend using color fading styling products to protect the color as much as possible.
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Posted on 09/05/10 05:38 by: Bre

Hi, my cheeks and nose are always red... I was wondering what colours would make the redness less noticeable? Also I heard that semi-permanent hair dye helps your hair... I don't think this sounds right, can you clarify this? Thanks!
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Posted on 11/05/10 13:47 by: Charlie Kuchinsky

Bre, stay away from colors that have red in them. They "may" make the red appear more apparent but not always. I am a strawberry red and I have the same problem. As long as I use a good coverup makeup, the two (my skin and hair) don't clash badly. Just be careful in choosing the shade.

As for semi-permanent color helping your hair, I think that depends on your definition of the word "help." It can help add some volume to fine, limp hair and polish and shine to dull hair. However, it can also hurt the hair cuticle or already fragile or damaged hair. Hope that helps. You kind of have to weigh the options and then dive in one way or the other.


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Posted on 19/05/10 22:20 by: Nayla

Hi, I wanted a change to my hair from boring black but I didn't want anything too extravagant. The lady who coloured my hair said she wasn't going to use hair dye but another product called 'qwayzer'? That's how she pronounced it but I dont know the correct spelling. My hair has turned out very disappointing; I really want to cry about it, it has gone stringy and dry. It has also gone a darker shade of black with a lil tint of red but it really looks like my mum's hair who's 40 and trying to cover her greys! Im so so depressed about this and don't seem to know how to rectify this. Please could you help?
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Posted on 21/05/10 12:34 by: Charlie Kuchinsky

Nayla, go back to the hair salon where your hair color was done and demand they fix it. If they refuse to do so, ask for the name and address of their corporate offices (assuming they have one) and write a letter of complaint. Sometimes a mere "threat" of contacting a lawyer is sufficient to get them to rectify the problem. They messed it up. They should have to fix it. Scream and write letters and do anything you need to make them repair the mess they made. I don't know if your country has the equivalent of a Better Business Bureau or an oversight agency on retailers or service groups like beauticians. If you do, contact them as well. Don't stop until you are satisfied with the end result. Remember you are the customer and YOU are always right!
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Posted on 21/05/10 20:08 by: Destiney

I have pale skin, almost like a white color. I have natural blonde hair and I want to change it up a bit. Any suggestions?
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Posted on 31/05/10 13:57 by: Amira

I´ve colored my hair 4 times from brown to dark brown but each time the color washes away fast. I used permanent hairdye and I followed the instructions. I used L'Oreal Excellence creme. What can I do to sustain the color for a longer time?
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Posted on 01/06/10 14:35 by: Charlie Kuchinsky

Destiney, I'm not sure what you mean by "change it up a bit." Is your hair pale blonde, golden blonde, strawberry blonde? Do you want to try a different color altogether? If so, I suggest you try on some wigs first to determine the shad you might want. Pale skin can be tricky when it comes to hair color so I don't suggest diving in without an idea of what you want. See if a local colorist will give you a free consultation and make some suggestions appropriate to your skin tone and coloring. Since he or she can actually see you, they will have an advantage over any suggestions I can make here. If you can't find a colorist, I suggest making a small change the first time like going from blonde to strawberry blonde or a light ash brown. If you like that but want to go darker, you can increase the shade difference the next time around until you find the color that suits you. Don't choose permanent colors however. Stick with something that will wash out easily in case you don't like it.
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Posted on 01/06/10 14:37 by: Charlie Kuchinsky

Amira, you might want to invest in a professional grade coloring job. If you can't afford that however, try extending your color with some of today's color extension products. If you are using L'Oreal color, then I would stick with L'Oreal products.
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Posted on 10/06/10 20:19 by: Amanda

Hello! I have golden blonde hair and green eyes, and I use tanning lotion to hide some of the redness in my face. I want to know what hair colour would be the most flattering for my features. My friends all suggest a dark brown. What do you think?
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Posted on 11/06/10 12:58 by: Charlie

Amanda, without having a clearer picture of your skin tone, other than the redness, it is hard for me to gauge. However, my daugher-in-law has blonde hair, green eyes and redness in her relatively fair skin, which has pink undertones. She looks fabulous as medium ash brown. The ash retains some of her brown highlights but the brown color adds warmth to her skin. The one thing I can suggest with certainity is that you probably want to stay away from bright reds since that will play up the redness in your skin. I have the same problem with my strawberry red hair so I lean more to the auburn tones when I cover the gray, even though that adds more brown than natural for me. It seems to work. Hope this helps!
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Posted on 13/06/10 21:32 by: gracie

I'm British-African and I want to dye my black hair brown. I want to do it with my sister at home and was wondering what the procedure is?
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Posted on 17/06/10 22:28 by: Sophia

My hair is naturally dark brown and I have been dying it different colours for years. The last colour I have had was white blonde which was done in a salon. Recently I have dyed my hair bright red using Schwarzkopf Live XXL Real Red 35 and as I feared, it has faded drastically to a light pink! My natural roots have come through too and so I am at a loss at what to do? I bought a new box of Schwarzkopf Live XXL Real Red 35 and I also have L'Oreal's pre-lightning blonde but I'm too scared to dye it without an opinion?? I would like to have bright red hair again but I don't have the money to go to a salon. Please help! :(
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Posted on 18/06/10 14:06 by: Charlie Kuchinsky

Sophia, I can't in good conscience recommend you use anything on your hair at this time. I would wait until you can afford to go to a salon in order to prevent any damage. If you feel you must cover the pink, I'd go with a wash-in color around your natural color until you can afford a salon trip. Not being able to see the condition of your hair limits my ability to help you so I have to be conservative.
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Posted on 20/06/10 13:20 by: Camilla

I have auburn hair and soon want to give my hair a Hayley Williams from Paramore look - the orange/bright ginger with blonde under the fringe. I'm thinking of using a pre-lightener first to get the blonde and then use a ginger dye on top. I thought as my hair would be very light from the pre-lightener, the ginger would turn out quite bright no matter what shade I use. Could it be too bright? Should I use a slightly darker ginger?
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Posted on 24/06/10 13:57 by: Charlie Kuchinsky

Camilla, red hair, even auburn, is very difficult to lighten properly. I suggest you have it done professionally. I have strawberry red hair and even I don't like dying it other than to cover the gray. I went darker once upon a time and I went blonder once. I nearly destroyed it going blonde and it came out an ugly orange for a while. Save yourself the hassle, and damage.
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Posted on 01/07/10 09:01 by: Aurora

I am 16 with golden/dirty blonde (extremely straight) hair, and golden/light tan skin. My hair and skin are very similar colored. I am currently in a show where I wear a costume that is approximately the same color as my hair and skin (and it looks terrible on me). I was planning on dyeing my hair a dark auburn with semi-permanent dye. Firstly, would this look alright? What brand should I use? And will it be easy to return to my natural golden blonde color? My show opens in 30 days, and I have performances the next three weeks after that. Would semi-permanent be the way to go if I want my hair to be the same color for all performances yet still be able to return to my natural coloring? Thank you!
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Posted on 01/07/10 09:04 by: Aurora

Oh, and in case it's important, my eyes are grey, but they often turn blue or green.
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Posted on 03/07/10 02:10 by: tendr

Sophia, this is only my opinion. I'm in my fifties and play with the colors of my hair as someone much younger, and if I were you I would use the blond ONLY on the new growth of your brown hair to lighten it and then put the red all over your whole head, turning it to the red I think you want, if I understood correctly. THEN condition the whole head for over an hour and baby it for a few weeks. You may want to trim your ends.
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Posted on 03/07/10 02:12 by: tendr

I wanted to comment on a hair color I think looks good on just about any skin and eye color. I love the burgundy colors and the semi with bamboo, I think by Garnier. It's SO shiny and pretty and gentle.
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Posted on 08/07/10 09:16 by: Charlie

I had my hair coloured at home by a hairdresser 2 weeks ago. I asked for a perm colour in a very dark brown and despite using a salon Shampoo & Conditioner to protect the colour it has faded a lot, so much so that i can already see a grey hair (i only have a few) so i doubt it was actually a permanent colour now. I really want to be a very dark brown - almost black like i used to be and now want to just colour my hair myself (which i used to do a lot) but i want to know if i should use another perm and if so how to make sure i don't end up with a build-up of colour on my ends, or should i just use a semi? Is it ok to use a semi on top of a perm?
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Posted on 17/07/10 01:29 by: Lindsey

How can I swim daily in a chlorinated pool without my hair turning a mousy reddish-brown? I use a permanent L'Oreal medium brown color. My hair is solidly white without the dye, and is cut pretty short. Medium to dark browns look best on me, but the chlorine seems to turn them red/yellow. Help!
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Posted on 17/07/10 13:18 by: Charlie Kuchinsky

Lindsey, there are several things you can try. Always make sure you hair is wet before you enter the water. Some women simply use fresh water. Others prefer an oil or condition treatment. All of these methods help to keep the chlorine from penetrating the hair shaft as easily. Also rinse your hair with fresh water the minute you step out of the pool. Better still, wash it with a clarifying shampoo that can help remove the pool chemicals. Of course the safest way of all is to wear a swim cap.
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Posted on 20/07/10 18:08 by: Sarah G.

I have naturally mid brown hair, brown eyes, and pale skin with pink undertones and light freckles. I want to change my hair color because I feel all the brown makes me washed out and boring looking.  I've never dyed my hair before and  I DON'T want to damage my hair! I'm also sure I don't want my hair permantatly dyed. Any suggestions on what color I should dye my hair and ways to protect my hair from damage?
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Posted on 20/07/10 23:23 by: Molly

Years ago I was colour coded and the woman said my hair should be white. I spent the next six months and a lot of money keeping it white until in the end I couldn't stand it and returned to the old me... blonde. They are not always right!

 I have dyed my hair for years and if you follow the instructions there are few disasters. However sometimes they are unforeseen. Two or three times I used a temporary beige blonde and the roots turned pink. On the last occasion they were bordering on purple


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Posted on 23/07/10 14:08 by: ruth

I'm thinking of going bleach blonde, but only semi-permanent because I only want it for the summer. I've got fairly light skin with a slight tan, no idea what undertones I have though. what dyes would you recommend?
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Posted on 26/07/10 14:15 by: Charlie Kuchinsky

Ruth, you didn't say what color your hair was now. I never recommend doing a drastic dye change like blonde from dark brown on your own. If your hair is already blonde and you want to go lighter, that is different. Bleaching is a two step process where all the color is removed from the hair and then a new color is deposited. I doubt that is what you want as it requires a professional. It is, however, relatively safe for you to go one or two or even three shades lighter or darker than your natural color at home. So it all hinges on your natural color. If you just want it for the summer, how about adding blonde highlights instead? It would look natural and grow out faster in the long run.
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Posted on 26/07/10 21:44 by: Beth

Hi, I'm 14 and have somewhat of an olive undertone to my skin. I want to go into the new schoolyear with great hair and don't know what color to get. I've had red, blond, and brown before. My natural haircolor is a light brown with a slight ashy blond tone, so in the sun it becomes a VERY dark blond. I always get my hair dyed in a salon, and I was thinking of maybe a red or perhaps black, I know I don't want blond again. My hair has gone back to its natural browny color, so if you could give me a suggestion on a color it would help so much! (PS my hair is just a little longer than shoulder length right now and grows at a medium speed)/ Thank you very, very much!!!
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Posted on 27/07/10 14:25 by: Charlie Kuchinsky

Beth, if you don't want to go blonder then keep in mind that deep shades of brown and auburn are popular trends this year. With reds, mahogany seems to be the "in" choice. Then there are even bolder choices like deep plum. If not you could keep your natural color and simply add some clip-in colored extensions. That could be fun as you could change the color with your mood. Just be sure to choose something that suits your personality and you aren't likely go wrong. Whatever you do, I urge you to make sure its okay with your parents so that you can actually enjoy the change.
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Posted on 01/08/10 00:51 by: ruth

Thanks, sorry I actually completely forgot to put that my hair's sort of light brown/dark blonde, and I've already got highlights in it as well. The last time I had them done was around two or three months ago. Will that affect the dye?
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Posted on 04/08/10 06:29 by: Alexa

I have light brown hair with natural highlights and medium beige skin with light brown eyes. I want to die it darker, just one or two shades, but someone told me that since I'm only 16 my hair will be permanently changed in color. I would like to know if it's true, and if the hair color would look good on me. Thanks a lot!
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Posted on 08/08/10 00:27 by: Charlie Kuchinsky

Alexa, hair dye will not permanently change your natural color, not even if you use what is called "permanent" color. Even this fades and washes out over time. To avoid any issues with long-term shade change, however, just choose a semi-permanent color rather than a permanent one.
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Posted on 10/08/10 20:47 by: stephanie

I am fair-skinned with a pink undertone, and decided to change my hair from its regular brown to something lighter using a natural product to lighten it in the sun. With an inch of root, I decided to use a permanent dye to go back to brown. Should I still dye it even though the box says not to do it over progressive color? What happens to your hair when you do this? The color I have now just looks like a very light brown.
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Posted on 11/08/10 17:34 by: Charlie Kuchinsky

To advise you properly, I'd need to know what you used to lighten your hair in the first place. Was it something like lemon juice or the like?
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Posted on 12/08/10 18:38 by: stephanie

It was a product called Sun In and yes, it contained lemon.
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Posted on 14/08/10 00:51 by: Sunshine

I have med. blonde hair and want to color back to my natural which is a dark ashy brown.  Is there a specific color to apply all at once?
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Posted on 16/08/10 10:53 by: lauren

i really want to dye my hair ash blonde. i have really light brown hair now; will it go ginger or will it go ash blonde?
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Posted on 18/08/10 11:25 by: Jessica Dickerson

Any woman who can cook a meal for her family has the ability to dye her hair. I understand for all the hairdressers out there this is your bread and butter, but it does not take a rocket scientist to dye one's own hair. I have been dyeing my own hair for years now. I have paid to have my hair dyed and it is never worth the $50.00.  Don't be afraid, dye your own hair and have fun.
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Posted on 18/08/10 12:21 by: Lisa

My hair is currently a deep brown-red colour (I last used a permanent Garnier Nutrisse dye about 6 weeks ago).  I am bored of red hair - and also feel it is a bit dark for my skin colouring - and would like to go a bit lighter. Is it safe for me to choose a completely different colour next time?  Or will the colour clash with what I've already got on my hair?  Any advice would be much appreciated!  Thanks.
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Posted on 22/08/10 14:24 by: Charlie

Lisa, you can use a different product next time you color, just stay within the same product "type". Don't switch to highlighting or henna etc.
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Posted on 25/08/10 06:10 by: Andrea S.

Hello! I am 18 years old, and I have naturally very dark brunette hair. My hair lightens in the sun over time to a lighter brown which takes an auburn tone in the sun. It also develops light blonde highlights!

For the past few years, I have been getting my hair lightened over the top layers to platinum blonde at the salon. I was in love with being a blonde, but recently it's been feeling kind of "blah" to me. I was considering going back to my natural deep brunette, but I have no way of testing this color out once again - I have only pictures of myself at 13 or so to go on as reference. No wig shops, etc. I would like to try the color out with temporary, wash out dye, but I am wondering, are there any dyes that wash out very quickly? Will a dark brunette temporary mousse, spray or serum stain my hair, being that it is pigmentless? Can I achieve my platinum again if I don't like it? I really need guidance.

PS: my hairstyle is extremely long, down my back, and naturally pin staight. My hair is also extremely thick - all hairdressers I have had say it is the thickest hair they've ever dealt with! Thanks :)


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Posted on 25/08/10 15:46 by: Charlie

Andrea, with the exception of a temporary spray hair color, nothing washes out super quickly. Also, not being able to see how much of your hair is highlighted (naturally or on purpose) and your hair's condition, it is hard to advise you. Generally speaking most hair color brands advise you not to use them on top of highlights. I would suggest you go back to the hairdresser that did your hair and ask her advice. Since she can gauge the hair's condition, etc. she would stand a much better chance of giving you good advice - I just don't want you to damage your hair by mistake. Good luck!
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Posted on 03/09/10 19:32 by: Taylor

Hi, I'm 14 years old and my dad is paying for me to go to the hairdressers and get my hair coloured using semi-permeanant dye. At the moment my hair is light brown which can go very 'gingery'/auburn in the sun. I really wanted to dye my hair a more ginger colour, but not red. More like someone with naturally ginger hair. I have hazel eyes and really pale skin in the winter that can go quite tanned in the summer. I was wondering what you thought of me going 'ginger' and do you think that L'Oreal casting creme gloss amber would be a good shade for me? Thanks.
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Posted on 04/09/10 05:17 by: Dana

I have died my hair for 30 years. I have dark brown hair that is turning silvery gray, mostly in the front.  The back has very little to no gray.  Most recently, a permanent, medium brown has been used on my hair.  Please tell me how I can stop coloring my hair and let the gray grow without looking like a skunk!  Also, my hair is fine and thin, will the gray make it look thinner? Thanks so much!
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Posted on 14/09/10 14:14 by: Heather

I was born with ginger hair and dark hazel eyes, and the typical pale freckly skin of a redhead.  As I grew older my hair darkened to a dark brown with gingerish highlights. I have been dyeing my hair now for a number of years but can never get a colour to suit me.  Red tones don't look right and dark brown looks flat.  The probelm is my eyes and natural hair colour should be on a different skin tone which is yellowish white.  Can anybody like me advise what colour would suit me?
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Posted on 20/09/10 17:44 by: Katy

Taylor - just my opinion, Casting Creme Gloss is a great dye to use but the colour of amber is quite a lot darker than the picture on the box. When I used it on my mid-lightish brown hair it went a natural-looking darker ginger. I guess it would probably be ok for you to use between trips to the salon, to blend in with your roots. Hope that helps! :)
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Posted on 28/09/10 10:42 by: Robs

Hi, I have strawberry blonde hair and want to dye my hair. I am fair and have greeny blue eyes. I want a change and am getting sick of my hair. I don't know if I should go more blonde or brown. When I dye it will I ever be able to get my original hair colour back? Thank you!
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Posted on 02/10/10 05:02 by: april

My hair is currently a medium blonde. If I were to put the same color all over my hair instead of a root touch up, would it be the same color? I have short hair that gets trimmed often so damage isn't a worry. I know that when my hair was dark brown and I put dark brown on it over and over, the ends were almost black. Is there the same problem for blonde color?
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Posted on 12/10/10 12:33 by: Charlie

April, if you have had that problem with your roots before, it may happen again with an all-over color. To avoid that, follow the root touch-up procedure for the first 20 to 25 minutes and then apply; comb the color (with a wide tooth comb) through to the ends for the last 5 to 10 minutes maximum. The ends of your hair tend to be drier anyway and so more porous, soaking up more color. That is why less time coloring them will still work to give you a good overall color.
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Posted on 03/11/10 07:27 by: Alyssa

Hey, I was just wondering if I could get some advice on what colour to dye my hair? I'm 15 with medium brown hair and I think it's a little dull, I have dark brown eyes and pale skin but the thing is my skin somehow seems to have pink undertones and then sometimes peachy yellow ones...  anyway I want to stay brunette but a more interesting shade only I'm not sure what type. I've been thinking of a lot of different things from cherry brown to dark urban to mahogany. I think chocolate brown is pretty but Im not sure if that will be boring too. I wear standard 'light' foundation and I have no idea if its cool or warm. So can you think of something that would go with my skin and brown eyes? Thanks for all your help or even if you cant help me thanks for bothering to read my long comment anyway! PS I'm going to use all over semi-permanent dye (I'm not into streaks).
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Posted on 20/11/10 17:53 by: Emma

My hair is a mousey brown colour and when I was younger I was blonde. Does this mean if I die my hair blonde again like it was when I was little it will suit me?
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Posted on 22/11/10 12:37 by: Charlie K

Emma, a lot of hairdressers will tell you that if you stay in the same color tones you had as a child, they will always work for you. I'm not sure that is always true. Our skin tone also has an impact on which hair color will look best on us. If your skin is about the same as it was then, then I think your assumption is correct. You can always do a color test before actually applying the color to make sure.
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Posted on 24/11/10 02:48 by: Gin

I'm mustering up the guts to dye my hair (for the first time) some time in the early summer. I have typical Asian hair, and just want to get a subtle hint of color (any color as long as it's subtle and doesn't mess up the texture!) without bleaching or going to a hair stylist. Do you think a brown or deep red would show up? And how much damage do you think I could potentially do to my hair? (There's nothing abnormal about it. Usually no frizz, and I never find too many split-ends or strange-looking strands. Just bland, straight black hair). By the way, your article sounded very helpful :)
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Posted on 30/11/10 21:35 by: Charlie

Gin, if I were you I'd opt for a color glaze in red or brown and see how that works first. Even if your hair is in perfect condition, haircolor is likely to damage it somewhat. If you decide to color, stick with semi-permanent color and don't go more than a shade or two lighter. Another options is just to add streaks of lighter color throughout your hair with a hair-painting kit. Hope this helps!
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Posted on 04/12/10 05:15 by: Shannon

I noticed a lot of people wanting to remove reddish or greenish tones from their hair. A simple way to do that is to go to a beauty supply store. You can purchase products that will remove certain tones in your hair and you can recolor it. It's also a great place to get advice on color correction, what product/color best for you and how to do it. Hope this helps!
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Posted on 16/12/10 07:24 by: Nadia

Hi! I have dark hair and eyes along with quite fair skin, I think its warm but it often has pink in it. What would be the right shade of brown (possibly a very dark red or reddy/brown) for me?
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Posted on 07/02/11 07:50 by: niki

I have hazel eyes and I'm a natural brunette, med - light brown. I have fair skin (freckles) yet I tan with ease. I'm really wanting a change, as I dye my hair a deep chocolate brown and recently put a chocolate through that has got alot of red tinge in. I was wondering if going "copper" would be too dramatic and wash me out?
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Posted on 15/02/11 08:47 by: Atika Haris

I am married, have no kids. I'm 20, my complexion is wheatish. My hair color was blackish brown. Yesterday i had my hair dyed ash brown, and I am looking weird now. It doesn't suit me. What should i do now??
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Posted on 19/02/11 13:31 by: Charlie

Atika, did you dye it yourself or have it done for you? If you had it done professionally, chances are the salon can offer you assistance. They might not even charge you full price (or anything) given that you are dissatisfied. If you did it yourself, you really need to wait a few weeks before attempting to redye your hair. Then much depends on the type of dye used, etc. If you can give me more information I can probably help you better.
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Posted on 25/02/11 14:06 by: Kayla

I am 15 and would like to dye my hair for a change. I have had black, dark brown, medium brown, and blonde highlights. I am mixed black and white, my skin tone is medium light color and I am thinking about dying my hair auburn. Does anyone have any suggestions about what to dye my hair or if auburn will look right on me?
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Posted on 27/02/11 20:42 by: Mary

I am 57 and have been having my hair professionally done for a few years. I have med brown with highlights. I am thinking of doing my own, due to affordability, but nervous about what color to choose and want one that would cover grey. I'd like a lighter color. Can I put a semi-permanent color on and then hightlight with a cap? If so, how long should I wait and what color would you recommend? I have olive skin and hazel eyes.
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Posted on 02/03/11 13:11 by: Charlie

Mary, coloring hair yourself at home has never been easier. However, it is crucial that you find the right color for the job to be done. Often colors are made to cover gray OR to lighten, but not both. Be sure to read the product label carefully in selecting a color to choose one that does both.

Second, almost any hairdresser will tell you not to lighten and highlight your hair together. There is however one good product on the market that allows you to do that relatively safely. It is Couleur Experte from L'Oreal. That's because the haircolor and the highlighter are made to go together, thus preventing damage and breakage of your tresses.

A hint in choosing color, though. Remember that the color on the box is not the color you will likely get. Instead, look for a place that has actual color swatches available beneath the box color. That will give you a truer look at the color you can expect. If you can't find that, keep this as a rule of thumb. Your hair will skew one to two shades darker than the box example. Therefore, move a shade or two lighter. Hope this helps.


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Posted on 09/03/11 23:45 by: kylie

I'm fifteen and kinda pale. I want to dye my hair black, but I'm not sure if that would look good.
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Posted on 24/03/11 01:45 by: Stefani

My hair is a dirty blonde with a hint of red. I decided to not dye my hair red underneath, because I saw people use red koolaide I just wanted to try it. So I did. When I wanted the red out I dyed dark brown over it. That dimmed it but it was just dark red instead of BRIGHT. So eventually I had it bleached once to pull out the color I dyed over that brown, haha the color of the red was fluorescent pink after being bleached. This time the brown covered it, but it still looked red! A month or so after I dyed my hair a copper color, but it faded to red. My hair won't stop with this red color! So just yesterday I dyed my hair blonde, Loriel 9C color - a warm blonde - but my hair didn't dye blonde, it's now reddish copper. What should I do to get my hair to be blonde? I don't want to ruin my hair, but how do I get the light bright blonde I want WITHOUT bleaching my hair?
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Posted on 26/03/11 18:06 by: Allaiy

I'm colouring my hair for the first time but I'm not sure what will suit me. I'm Irish so have pale skin, freckles and mousie brown hair. I'd prefer going darker than lighter - what colour do you recommend?
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Posted on 30/03/11 12:48 by: Charlie K

Have you tried a color remover? There are one or two available on the market today that say they'll remove all color back to the natural shade. However I honestly don't know if they will work with the koolaid factor. Still, it might be worth a try.
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Posted on 31/03/11 17:21 by: judith

So I dyed my hair a lighter brown (I have dark brown hair) and on top of that color I had highlights (blondish-brown). I now want to dye it auburn. I can't afford to go see my stylist right now, so I was thinking of buying a box. Would the color come out funky? Like an orange if I decide to dye it with a dark auburn?
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Posted on 11/04/11 01:39 by: Jess

I am a 27 year old female with shortish hair and have had it dyed a  dark dark brown colour with a bit of red through it and it is very curly, I was thinking of getting copper highlights put in on the ends. Would this suit me? Or what colour would you suggest?
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Posted on 11/04/11 13:06 by: Charlie

Adding highlights might be pretty but be careful. Check the dye you used to see if it will combine well with highlight colors. Some dyes do not. If you are in doubt, check with the hair color's hot line which is usually provided somewhere in the packaging. If you get the go ahead, I think copper might be lovely for you.

In the future when you dye and highlight at the same time, try L'Oreal's color that comes with both dye and highlight powder. It is made to go together and they provide just the right highlight shade for the color chosen.


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Posted on 11/04/11 13:08 by: Charlie

Judith, I don't think you have to worry about orange colored hair if you are going darker. That usually only happens when you are trying to take dark hair lighter in color and the bleach isn't of sufficient strength to achieve the desired outcome.
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Posted on 20/04/11 21:01 by: Lauren

Hi, I'm 17 years old and have never dyed my hair before. My hair is a dark auburn colour, and I want to go for a medium brown colour. I have quite pale skin. Anyway, I don't really know if it would suit me and I'm scared it will ruin my hair. If I dye it, and then don't like it, is it be possible to go back to my natural colour?
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Posted on 21/04/11 16:23 by: Lauren

Hi, so I tried dying my hair (never done it before) with a shop-bought dye and it didn't work. The dye just won't work on my hair, it didn't even darken it a little, my hair is the exact same as before. What will i have to do to dye my hair?
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Posted on 23/04/11 03:21 by: Bree

Thank you for the advice. Due to budget issues I will be buying a product to do at home. It will be semi-permanent. I know the color I want but I can't seem to find it in the store; I would like a burgundy dark brown. Is it possible to buy two boxes, one burgundy, one dark brown, and mix them together, provided they are the same brand? Thank you for your time.
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Posted on 30/04/11 13:20 by: Mimi Williamson

I think I probably already know what you will say, but I am 60, have dyed my hair for a long time, most colors except black. Now I want to dye my short pixie hair blue black and don't want to be slapped on the hand for being too old to experiment that way. I have fair to medium skin, brown eyes. So gals, what do you say? I should probably add that I have been a lifelong non-conformist and free-thinker all my life, so different is OK with me.
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Posted on 05/05/11 20:10 by: Charlie

Mimi, I'm 61 and I sometimes dye my strawberry blonde hair bright red for fun. My daughter hates when I do that but it makes me feel good about myself, which is all that really matters. I say go for it, but use a temporary color that will wash out in a few shampoos in case you decide you don't like it. Experimentation can be fun as long as your hair is in good condition and you are up for the challenge. After all, that is what hair color is for?
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Posted on 07/05/11 14:45 by: Rhianna

I have ash-blonde/dirty-blonde hair, and want to have it dyed a slightlly unnatural ginger colour. I dyed it with red hair dye and it came out the exact colour I wanted, but it was only semi-permanent and I know that colour varies greatly. Is there a way I can get the colour to be basically permanent without using anything that might damage my hair?
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Posted on 10/05/11 17:15 by: Charlie

Rhinna, no hair color is really permanent because of the roots, obviously. If you want a longer lasting color, I'd go with a professional job if you can afford it. No boxed haircolor is likely to give you the kind of permanence you are looking for.
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Posted on 14/05/11 22:10 by: Lisa

Hello! I have been highlighting and lowlighting my hair for many years. I'm no longer thrilled with the way it looks and would love some advice on what may be best for me. I have skin that is on the fair side but not ultra fair, it can tan... but with a reddish undertone and some freckling. I have been told it's "Irish skin". My eyes are hazel.

I've been coloring it a blonde tone for several years. My natural color was blonde when I was younger then it turned a light brown/dark blonde ashy/mousy color. Thinking a non-ash would be better, I've always tended towards the warmer blonde tones but it has been looking a little brassy over the years. 

The past few times, I've been trying to go a little less blonde with more lowlights but the most recent color turned out a platinum type highlight (or very light ash blonde) with a warmer almost a light copper colored lowlight in spots (maybe an effect from going over the top of a previous lowlight) and more of a warm light brown/dark blonde in other spots. I feel a little strawberry, and like the colors clash with each other...and always a little brassy. Not sure what direction to turn and came across your thread. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!

Oh, and I don't color myself since my mid 20's. I'm perfectly content going to a stylist but want to point her in the right direction. I'm tempted to dye the whole thing and start over but I've heard the colors underneath will peak through after a few washings. Should I remove color and start over?? I'm so at a loss....Thanks!


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Posted on 15/05/11 12:45 by: Charlie

Lisa, our hair changes as we age, and begins responding differently to color than it once did. That can be frustrating because we aren't certain what we will get when we color. If you are truly unhappy with what you have but your hair is still in good condition, you might want to remove your current color and begin again. On the other hand, if your hair is stressed and you can possibly live with what you have a little longer you might want to try some deep conditioning treatments and healthy hair vitamins before you make a change. Not being able to see your hair, it is hard for me to know.

As for next time you color, trying to describe what you want can be confusing and your hairdresser often just makes a guess at it. My best advice is to take a picture of yourself during the time your color tones were right to the hair stylist. Another option is to visit a wig shop and find a sample of the color tones you want and, again, take that with you to the stylist.  Most colorists will do their best to give you what you want but they are human and sometimes miss the mark.  Hope this helps.


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Posted on 17/05/11 13:30 by: Dayna Howard

Thanks for putting this up!  I've been wanting to dye my hair for ages. It's blonde now but I hate it and really want it the same red color Ashlee Simpson's was!!
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Posted on 28/05/11 03:42 by: Deb

I have dark blond to light brown hair, with a tanned olive skin tone. I am considering getting some lowlights done in some dark red shades (auburns) and such my hair stylist even wants to go with the purpleish eggplant color! Do these colors sound like they would match in ok with lighter brown hair? Or would they stick out like a sore thumb? Just wanna make a right choice before such a drastic step.
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Posted on 29/05/11 12:29 by: Uzma

Hi....I had highlighted my hair golden blonde and ash blonde c 2010 and currently my highlights have moved down since my hair has grown. My original hair colour is dark brown. I'm tired of my highlights now and I want to change my hair colour without going back to dark brown. I want to use a colour with the help of which my highlights could become a little subtle and also my regrown original dark brown hair could also get a good shade. Pls suggest which are the possible shades that I could use to colour my entire hair... Thanx!
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Posted on 30/05/11 00:04 by: Charlie

I suggest the help of a professional colorist to achieve so many things at the same time. Without actually seeing your hair first hand, it is impossible to recommend a specific color. Sorry!
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Posted on 02/06/11 17:27 by: Mundie L

Hi I am a teenage girl with light- to dark-reddish brown hair, long and slightly wavy.  I am worried that if I dye it permanent my fringe will look awful when the roots grow through! Also not sure what colour... I thought maybe either a darker auburn or a strawberry kind of colour.  Also what brand gives good results without killing your hair? I bought some john frieda hair dye but it looks pretty evil to me! Thanks.
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Posted on 08/06/11 06:04 by: Darbyfar

I am a natural light blond and dyed my hair reddish burgundy that is supposed to wash out in 28 shampoos. It's been about 10 shampoos and I want to go back to my natural blond. Can I dye it blond with the same kind of store-bought box kit that washes out in 28 shampoos? It said something about not putting it on progessive dyed hair - is that what I did? Can I do it again now?
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Posted on 13/06/11 12:50 by: Charlie

I would recommend using a color remover that will take your hair back to its natural shade. It is called Oops Hair Color Remover. If you can't find it locally, you can purchase it on line for under $10.
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Posted on 20/06/11 00:10 by: Laila

I wanted to ask a question. I had henna on my hair like more than 5 months ago, and now it's gone cos I didn't do it very well in the first place so it didn't seem to stick. It was light red but now I don't see it anymore. I got the light ash blonde Garnier Nutrisse dye with olive oil and am dying to use it but hear it might be wrong to use dye after henna. My hair is darkish brown and my skin tone is between light and medium... will it be ok? :) I mean, will it be good in the first place on me, and will it work when I feel the henna is long gone? Thanks a lot for your help :)
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Posted on 24/06/11 17:01 by: natalie

My natural hair colour is dark blonde. Last year I was growing my hair and having highlights as I was getting married, however I was finding it difficult to find the £78 every time for the trim and highlights, so after the wedding, after 3 long hard years of patiently growing my hair, I decided to have a new style and a short crop, then am ashamed to say decided to go blonde by doing it myself! I hate it - it is now golden blonde, I really can't afford to go to the salon to get it done, but would like to try a semi colour in a warm light brown as I do not think my hair could take a permanent dye. I guess my skin colour is slightly golden, my eyes green/blue. Any suggestions?
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Posted on 27/06/11 13:21 by: Charlie

Natalie, I know how you feel. I tried the golden blonde look myself and it was horrible on me. Try choosing a hair shade in the same tone as your natural color. For example if your natural blonde color is cool in tone, then choose a cool brown. Since golden blonde doesn't suit you, I suspect that might be the case. Warm tones may not go well with your skin color. Don't go too dark at first. Stick within a shade of two of your natural color, even though it is brown and not blonde; you can always go darker the next time you color if you want. However, as you found out the hard way, once it is too light, it creates another mess of problems. Also, stick within the same product brand to prevent extra damage to your hair. Good luck!
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Posted on 28/06/11 20:51 by: Chloe

Hi! My mom just gave me permission to dye my hair red. I don't want an orangey color but I don't want something to intense and fake looking either. I want a dark nice red color, but I am not sure what to do. I will be going to a salon and a professional. I am 13 and my hair is med-long and mid-light brown with natural light-golden brown highlights. My skin tone is cool-ivory with a kind of pinkish undertone and very pale. I also have some light freckles. My eyes are bluish-dark green. What color should I get that's not too intense and that will emphasize my eyes? Any help is much appreciated. Thank you!
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Posted on 29/06/11 07:10 by: justine

Thank you for this post. This is really helpful. 
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Posted on 29/06/11 16:41 by: Charlie

I would opt for an auburn shade. The brown undertones will keep the red from being too coppery. Auburn comes in light to dark. Explore the color palate of home hair colors just to see what "hue" you like best and then tell your hairdresser when you go. She or he may even have a color chart to help you pick just the right shade. Without knowing the brand your hairdresser will use, it is hard to recommend a specific shade here. Rely on the experts, telling them just what you stated here. 
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Posted on 05/07/11 05:43 by: Michelle

Where can you find "Good Look Color Mousse"?
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Posted on 07/07/11 09:21 by: Natalia

I have dark brown hair colour but now it's dyed reddish brown. I want to try something new and different, not just red all the time. I have green-brown eyes and my skin tone is like medium beige.
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Posted on 11/07/11 07:13 by: Home security companies

I really like your writing. Thanks so much, finally a decent website with good information in it.
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Posted on 13/07/11 09:55 by: Sharz

Hi. I have been having my hair coloured at the hair dressers for about twoish years now. I have naturally med-dark brown hair and I bleach it to a platinum blonde/ash blonde sort of colour.  I was just wondering if it was possible for me to do my roots at home? I have been asking friends who do their hair at home and one mentioned using Nordic hair dye. Is this just a bleach, will I need to put a colour over it or is it right to just leave it? And what is your opinion on actually dying it using Nordic? I was planning on using the Manic Panic toner.
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Posted on 15/07/11 10:40 by: Logo Design Company

The post is written in very a good manner and it has much useful information for me. Thank you for the post.
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Posted on 17/07/11 14:52 by: Charlie

Michelle, you probably have to look at a beauty outlet store.
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Posted on 17/07/11 14:54 by: Charlie

Natalia, there are a world of options for you. Try a deeper shade of brown that is ashy in nature (as opposed to red) or consider highlights and lowlights for depth of color.
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Posted on 17/07/11 14:56 by: Charlie

Sharz, I personally wouldn't recommend bleaching your own hair as there are so many things that could go wrong. The process must be perfectly timed or the results could be disastrous. Sorry!
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Posted on 20/07/11 01:23 by: mj

I really want to dye my hair. I am 21 and have still never dyed it. I'm not sure what color to dye my hair at all. I've thought about going lighter and I've thought about going darker. My skin is like a yellow tan. I'm hispanic and I have sorta copper eyes. I have a formal event coming up and I don't want to ruin my hair but i want to look the best I can... What should I do?
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Posted on 31/07/11 23:08 by: Saffron

Hi, my skin color is like caramel and I would like to dye my hair. What hair color would suit me best?
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Posted on 03/08/11 01:08 by: xylidin@deviantart.com

I have an important question. I've been dying my hair for years, and right now it's bright orange after being bleached. Since I'm looking for a job I need to dye my hair back to a brown, any brown but ash or super light, and I was wondering how I do that without it looking super flat. Everyone always says what tones to use, but how do you get rid of that flatness I always experience when doing this?
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Posted on 04/08/11 19:55 by: Britt

This really helps me a lot because I have a deeper cool skin tone and I thought different colored hair won't look right on me. I brought some burgoyne hair spray to try the look. My next step is to get it dyed.
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Posted on 09/08/11 22:16 by: Fleur

Hi, I really wanted to dye my hair white. However, the color I chose is uncommon with most brands. In fact I haven't found it anywhere except for in cheap and low quality stores.  I was wondering if anybody knew a good brand that a sold non-permanent white color. I was also wondering if, since my hair right now is a medium brown, would I have to bleach it before? And what would I do about my eyebrows? My skin tone is, mmm, not pale at all, but not exactly tan. I'm only in high school but and I realize the damage it could cause, I would just really like to know please. 
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Posted on 10/08/11 00:03 by: Pattie

Hey! Thank you for writing the blog! it was great! :) Anyways, I was wondering what would a good color be for me. I am 14 years old and have never dyed my hair or gotten it cut professionally. My mom cuts it. I have an oval face, medium color brown eyes and I have curly dark brown hair. My skin coloring is a medium brown and I would like to bring my eyes out. What would be a good hair dye color for me ma'am? :) Thank you in advance!
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Posted on 13/08/11 22:40 by: Glenda

I am about 30% grey (naturally medium ash blond) with ash blond highlights to disguise the grey.   I look awful (really old and drawn) if I colour my hair dark brown all over.  However, I've been instructed to colour my hair for dancing competitions periodically because an all-over colour is best on the floor under lights.  What I'm looking for as a result is a colour that will wash out really soon so that I can use it for a competition but am not stuck looking like an old hag for months afterwards.  Please can you suggest a temporary product that might do the trick?
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Posted on 15/08/11 13:24 by: Charlie

Glenda, try L'Oreal color pulse. If you can't find it locally, try a beauty supply store. If they don't have it either, chances are they can steer you toward something they sell that is similiar.
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Posted on 19/08/11 04:51 by: jonathan greenwood

Hi my name's Jonathan and I have quite bright natural ginger hair with pale complexion and blue eyes. I really want to dye my hair either mousy brown or dark brown. Not sure whether to get semi-permanent or permanent but im scared my hair will turn green in either case. Could u suggest any dye and maybe a better colour for my complexion?
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Posted on 22/08/11 04:18 by: Charleigh

Hi. I am a 13 year old girl who is African American, Right now I have dark brown medium length hair, I was thinging of dyeing my hair either a type of red or jet black, or a light brown! Which one do you think i should do?
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Posted on 22/08/11 15:52 by: Charlie

Jonathan, with pale skin and eye color, you don't want to go too dark. Think about a chestnut brown that is in the same tone as your natural color. That way it will look more natural. Go semi-permanent at first until you are sure you like the results. ALWAYS do a test curl before putting the dye on your head. Just cut off a piece of hair somewhere it won't be obvious. It needs to be big enough for you to be able to tell the shade you'll get. Then follow the instructions provided with the dye to do the test. If you like the color on the test curl, then go for it. If you don't chances are you won't be happy with the results. Then I'd suggest you try a professional colorist to do the job.
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Posted on 23/08/11 14:06 by: Charlie

Charleigh, without being able to see your skin tones, it is hard to advise you. But since you said your hair is already a medium brown, I would think staying in the brown family might be better, like a red brown or the medium brown you spoke of. Few people your age can pull off the stark black look easily. It tends to wash out a complexion.
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Posted on 02/09/11 01:44 by: Dany Mars

Hi , I was wondering if you could help me choose a method of dyeing hair and also a color because I didn't see any examples for people that have my skin tone? I am a mix of black and Indian so my skin tone is quite dark. My hair is completely black and has been all my life! I never changed it because i always found so hard to chose a color and method that would suit me and my hair. So you can have an idea of my skin tone, famous people that have the same tone are actresses Sanaa Lathan from the movie "Aliens vs Predators" but the one that I think is even more similar with mine is Tayana Ali, Will's cousin from "Fresh Prince of Bel Air". You can give more than one suggestion if you like :) . Thank You for your help.
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Posted on 02/09/11 13:37 by: Charlie

Dany, my suggestion would be to add some highlights and lowlights to your hair. My daughter is very dark skin as well. It comes from her American Indian and Polish decent. She has medium dark brown hair and looks beautiful with carefully placed highlights a few shades lighter and reddish lowlights. I usually don't recommend dying black hair because it is so difficult. If you really want to do that, I definitely suggest a professional colorist.
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Posted on 07/09/11 23:18 by: Lucille

My hair is dark brown with natural red highlights & my skin is tan. I've had my hair dyed the color Autumn Red several times by my friend who owns her own salon, but my hair never takes. Why is this & how does she correct this so that my hair takes the red?
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Posted on 12/09/11 15:20 by: Charlie

Lucille, I have to say that's a new one on me. Usually hair will accept color, although often at varying degrees. Have you tried highlighting to bring out the natural red in your hair? Going lighter (a little or a lot) generally brings out the red naturally. If that doesn't work, I'm stumped, to tell you the truth. You might consult a professional colorist who can examine your hair texture etc. and better advise you. Sometimes they'll do a free consultation just for that purpose alone.
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Posted on 17/09/11 19:05 by: Sarah

I want to highlight my hair a little lighter. I'm naturally blonde but i have dark eyebrows. Will making my hair lighter look silly with my dark eyebrows?
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Posted on 21/09/11 17:16 by: Linda

Hello, I'm north European, my skin is quite light, I have blue/grey eyes, my natural color is something between brownish & greyish. I have had black hair for many years and I like it and I think it was fitting well. Almost for year I changed it to blond - I liked it even more than black hair. but I always had short hair and I have decided to grow my hair long, and I'm bit afraid from this very blond tone (it's cool blonde - almost white), I just think when hair is long it will be too strong and won't fit so much with my personality. I'm wondering to which tone I could change? Maybe to something not so intensive? Maybe blond a little mixed with gray or something... I'm not very sure but I think my tones are cold ones, so I'm not so sure about all golden honey tones, but more wondering about cool blonde? Which blond color I should aim for? ash blond...? Thanks a lot!
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Posted on 06/10/11 14:56 by: Charlie

Sarah, highlighting doesn't change the color of all your hair. As long as you still have darker strands that more closely match your brows you should be fine.
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Posted on 06/10/11 14:59 by: Charlie

Linda, I agree with you. If you grow your hair out, the severely light blonde color may be too much. Stick in the same color palette if you want to stay blond but go a couple of shades darker. Remember however, split ends and breakage is going to show more with long hair so be sure not to overstress it. A good colorist can help you find both the right shade and a color that suits the condition of your hair as it grows out.
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Posted on 23/11/11 00:30 by: janey bobs

Hi, my hair was pre-lightened and coloured bright red (pillar box/pink). I returned to the salon and asked for the same, as my roots had grown.

My hair was dark red and the same colour it was before pre-lightening.  The salon owner asked why it was so dark and the stylist said she didn't know as she'd used the same colour as before, it was the build up of colour and that my hair could not continually be pre-lightened.

I'm confused, how can the same colour come out a different shade entirely? Is the stylist not telling the truth.  Need advice please as my hair is at least 10 shades darker.


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Posted on 15/01/12 15:24 by: Charlie

Janey Bobs. Sometimes colors are changed by the manufacturer so different lots come out different shades. There also could have been a mistake made while mixing the color. No matter the reason, however, you have a right to demand the colorist fix the color unless your hair is heavily damaged. If that's not the case, I'd demand they fix it or report them to the governing agency that holds their license. If you don't want to do that, demand your money back instead and then go to another colorist. Before paying them, make sure they are certain they can fix the problem or are willing to stand behind their results.
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Posted on 23/01/12 19:10 by: Taylor payne

Hey so I'm a 14 year old girl, and I've been thinking about dyeing my hair. My skin is pale, but not really pale and I have short medium-ish brown hair with chopppy layers. I have hazel colored eyes.

I'd like to dye it an unatural color like pink or blue or something like that. So if you could tell me what you think would look good, that would be great.

Please don't tell me I'm too young to dye my hair or that hair looks bad when dyed an unatural color. I'm the one who has to live with it not you. Plus there are other people I know who dye their hair so I wouldn't be the only one, but it's not like everyone does it so it would still be considered unique which is what I'm going for. I'm not trying to be like eveyone else.

Any ideas? Thanks!


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Posted on 03/03/12 10:13 by: Nazli

My real hair color was light to medium brown.  I've dyed my hair for the first time with Schwarzkopf perfect mousse to a permanent color like mahagony brown. So it's looks like dark brown from far, but reddish from near. I'd like to go more reddish. So if I dye my hair again with a red color on my dyed hair would it give a good result? What product would you recommend?
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Posted on 30/05/12 18:02 by: Mirzana Mujanovic

Hi, I'm Mirzana. Im twelve going thirteen years old in August, and I'm going to eighth grade. I have brown hair with some blonde/sparkly strands, and I highlighted it maybe in February. Anyway, it's about shoulder length. I have freckles all over my nose, and some near other face areas. I have brown eyes. I wanted to know which color would suit me, considering I want a makeover and I honestly desire red hair dye, yet I'm not sure if it would suit me. I don't mean the dull natural orange type, the kind of bright and RED type. If you need a picture, www.facebook.com/ememattack
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Posted on 12/11/12 07:23 by: Ariana

Hi! Lately I've been thinking that I need a change for my hair and when i say change i mean something completely different! Because honestly it has looked about the same since 6th grade and right now I'm in 9th grade. So I'm already planning to cut my hair like shoulder/chin length, but I also want to change the color. But seeing as I've never had my hair dyed before (I've had highlights) I have no idea what color to dye it. My friends suggest that I get some kind of red, a pastel blue/pink, or maybe a sky blue? But right now my hair is this boring ashy blonde/brown color and my skin is pale-ish (my skin barely ever changes color, even in the summer!) and I'm planning to have it dyed professionally. Do you have any ideas on what color to get?
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