Your Guide to Different Types of Hair Color
Most of us have probably colored our hair at least once. I have more times than I can count. I just recently had my hair colored by a professional for the first time. For the last 20 plus years, I have colored my own hair at home with color from a box. Over the years the options for at home hair dye have changed, for the better as far as I'm concerned. From brands and names we've come to trust over the years to new ones, I've compiled a list of brand names and pictures to help you identify them next time you make a trip to the store.
Today I share my findings with you about the different types of hair dyes and hair colors available on the market, some pros and cons, tips and other useful information. Keep reading for information on various names of brands of at home hair color complete with pictures. Happy coloring!
Most experts agree that any substantial hair color changes should be reserved for the experts. Due to the chemistry aspect, that is probably the best idea. Those that are more comfortable with the risk can chance it, but big chances do mean big risks. It is definitely something to consider when thinking about hair dye.
What Are the Different Types of Hair Color?
The main types of hair color are temporary, semi-permanent and permanent.
Obviously, temporary hair color is just that- temporary. And being that it is temporary, it's a great way to try something new without the commitment of a permanent dye. Especially if you've never colored your hair and scared to try something different. Or if you've only ever had your hair colored professionally. Or if you want to try a really "out there" color such as hot pink or neon green, but definitely aren't up to a permanent dye commitment.
Semi-permanent hair colors are a much gentler hair dye option. They are less damaging to hair because they don't penetrate the hair shaft. They wash out gradually over a few weeks so they are another good option if you want to try something different, but aren't quite ready to take the plunge into a permanent dye. You can make your semi-permanent hair color last longer with shampoos that are specially formulated for color treated hair and by washing your hair less often.
Maybe you've tried some of the temporary or semi-permanent options and are ready to take the plunge. Maybe you have been wanting to dye your hair and don't feel the need to try a temporary option. Whatever the reason, if you want to make a change that stays for a while, permanent hair color is the way to go.
Permanent hair dye changes hair from the inside out, working from the hair shaft to lighten and remove natural color and then replace that color with the dye. Permanent hair color lasts until you either dye it another color or it grows out altogether. It can fade, but it won't fade away completely. Some shades are more likely to fade, such as red or black, but at least a hint will remain.
Permanent hair color is the best option for covering greys.
Temporary Hair Color
Most retailers carry several brands of hair color now.
Loreal's Colorista Washout line has 13 shades of temporary colors for you to try. From bright, vivid colors to lovely pastels.
Another option in the Loreal Colorista line is their Temporary Hair Color Spray. It is the most temporary as it is spray in and wash out in one wash. Additionally, you can spray your hair multiple colors all in one day to try the multicolor trends, like mermaid hair. You can be extremely experimental with the color sprays by layering colors over one another. See below for pictures.
Semi-permanent Hair Color
Many different hair color brands offer semi-permanent dye.
Loreal's Casting Creme Gloss is a good example. Ammonia free and gently formulated to coat your hair delicately with little to no damage. It gives full coverage of grey hair and last up to 28 washes.
If you're looking for wild and vibrant colors to try on a semi-permanent basis, Manic Panic's award-winning High Voltage Classic Cream Hair Color is a great go to. Manic Panic began in 1977 bringing wild and fun colors to the NYC Punk scene. Their line today has grown to include pastels, JEM inspired colors, and more. The original High Voltage line is available in 41 colors. Check out their website for a huge list of colors in fun names.
Manic Panic is also cruelty-free and vegan.
For a natural looking, ammonia free semi-permanent hair dye option, try Clairol Natural Instincts. 36 shades of coconut oil, aloe and vitamin-infused colors to try without the long-term commitment of a permanent dye. Great reviews of the product also state it has a pleasant scent and covers grey very well.
Permanent Hair Color
Several different name brands offer permanent hair color options.
Loreal's Excellence Permanent Hair Color is natural looking and covers grey.
Probably my personal favorite for at home hair color brands is Feria by Loreal. Feria comes in over 40 shades of varying colors, from platinum blonde to darkest black. It also offers a variety of pastel shades that are very on trend right now. The names alone of some of the colors make me want to try them.
Madison Reed's line of permanent at home hair color is free of ammonia, parabens, gluten and other harmful ingredients. Additionally, it contains keratin and argan oil so the dye ends up making hair even healthier than before applying color. Answering a few questions on the website can also assist you in choosing the right products.
Another hair color line by Clairol is Nice 'n Easy. It comes in 54 shades, so you're sure to find one that suits you. Product reviews state that it covers grays nicely, has a pleasant smell and is easy to use. The new formula also is gentler and less likely to create an allergic reaction.
I've always been a fan of @clairolcolor! They make the at home hair coloring process #NiceNEasy! When I can finally find the time in my busy mom schedule to dye my hair, in between picking playdough out of the rug and cooking dinner for my family, it's Clairol Nice'n Easy I reach for! It never lets me down! I'll be using this lovely Dark Brown shade to switch it up a bit and #ColorFearlessly! Thanks to @clairolcolor & @PinchMe for the complimentary products. . . . #hairdye #haircolor #athomehaircolor #haircare #hairproducts #clairol #clairolniceneasy #BeautyProducts #beauty #pinchMe #HappyPincher #GotItFree
John Freida Precision Foam Colour gets high marks especially for long hair. Reviews state that the foam makes application super easy. Additionally, it covers very well and evenly.
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Revlon Colorsilk is a brand that has stood the test of time. Revlon Colorsilk has been on the market for as long as I can remember, it is one of the least expensive brands, and always has nice results. It is available in 41 shades and leaves hair in great condition.
Esalon.com is a great option if you are unsure what shade to pick. You don't have to worry about checking your hair color with the pictures on the box and figuring out what is the right choice for you.
You begin by filling out a questionnaire, explaining what you want to accomplish with your color. Then a team of expert colorists create your custom hair color.
Your personalized hair dye is delivered to you. Upside: no trip to the store to stand in the aisle for an hour trying to decide what brands to buy.
Esalon.com is designed to bridge the gap between drugstore box kits and expensive salon visits. There's even an offer on their website right now for half off your first order.
While I have not personally used this before, reviews are very favorable. L'Oreal Paris Excellence Creme comes in 38 shades. The texture of the dye, a thick creme, and the application comb, make it very easy to apply evenly. Reviews also state that is covers gray hair very well.
What You Need to Know about Different Types of Hair Colors
We all look at the pictures on the box and hope to get that color. But there are some things you need to know when choosing shades to make sure you get the result you're looking for.
Going too light also has some big risks. If your hair is rather dark and you attempt a light blonde or platinum, you can end up with very orange or brassy tones. Take your skin tone into consideration to avoid looking washed out. Typically, experts recommend blonde tones with "ask" in the names.
Products that are specific to blondes include nourishing masks and treatments, as well as silver shampoos. These should be done once or twice a week. These products help to reduce brassiness and keep bleached hair healthier.
Understand that going very dark brown or black is a big commitment. You may have to go to a salon to have it removed, or lightened, in the future, unless you plan to let it grow out. I recently dyed mine a blue-black and it did eventually fade enough that I could color over it with a dark red.
When dyeing your hair red, your current hair color is THE determining factor in the end result. If you have very light blonde or grey hair, you can end up with pink hair rather than red. So take the color you choose based on the pictures on the box and switch it out for a couple of shades lighter to compensate. If you have dark brown hair you'll need to go a couple of shades darker for it to show up.
When Different Types of Hair Color is an Art
With so many hair trends, it is hard to choose which one to try next, and going to the salon can get expensive. If you're daring enough, there are at home options for trendy art-inspired hair dye. Many of the names you already know have trendy options to try at home.
Loreal offers at home ombre and dip dye kits as well as highlighting kits, in a variety of shades and colors.
Another great brand for at home highlights is Madison Reed Light Works. The two step system lightens the selected strands and then tones them with the color of your choice. Madison Reed Light Works creates beautiful natural looking highlights that definitely don't look like they came out of a box kit.
Sometimes it is difficult to find a highlight kit at the store. A good trick is to a buy a hair dye a couple of shades lighter than your natural color and then use a new (cheap) toothbrush to paint on some highlights.
Loreal Couleur Experte Express is one of my personal favorites. This kit combines all over color with coordinating highlights. It does take longer than just all over color or highlights, but does create a salon quality look. I always get compliments when I use this kit.
Another at home hair color kit I definitely have experience with is Revlon Color Effects Frost & Glow. It is the first at home hair color I ever used, at the age of 12. It is more time consuming than the highlight kits that have a little brush, but the pull-through cap helps to keep the highlights even.
Tips for Helping Your Hair Color Last
The main problem with coloring your hair, whether you've colored it a home yourself or had it colored by a professional, is keeping the color fresh between coloring. There are several products available now to help.
Overtone's line of conditioning treatments and daily shampoo and conditioner can help keep your fantasy color looking its best until it's time to color again. The deep conditioning treatment is meant to be used weekly and deposits extra color. It comes in several different colors and you can even purchase samples through their website.
dpHUE is another line of products meant to help take care of hair that has been colored. GLOSS is available in 5 shades for blonde, red, brown and black hair colors. It contains semi-permanent dye as well as a hydrating conditioning formula to make your hair continue to stand out for weeks between official coloring sessions.
Also, using sulfate free shampoo to wash your hair is a must! There are many different brands with varying types of sulfate-free shampoo. L'Oreal's EverPure line now has a dandruff shampoo in addition to their already existing line of hair products.
Try to blow-dry your hair to style it, rather than using tools such as curling irons and flat-irons. Also, if you must use heat to style your hair, use heat protectant products.
Install a filter on your shower head if possible. Much of the damage to color-treated hair is done just with the chemicals in tap water. Protect your hair with a filter if you can.
A little trick to help with root coverage is to find an eyeshadow or mascara that matches your hair color. While this won't work indefinitely, it can buy you some time until your next hair color!
Tips for At Home Hair Color
Consider the length, texture and thickness of your hair! Depending on your hair type, you may need to buy more hair color.
If you have very short hair, one box should be fine. But, if your hair is at least shoulder length, you should invest in two boxes of hair color.
From experience, it isn't fun to be in the middle of the hair coloring process and run out of hair color. Thankfully, when I experienced this I was coloring someone else's hair and could stop and run to the store to buy more hair dye. Evern since then, I have always bought two boxes of hair color whether coloring my own hair or a friends. If your hair is very long, and thick, you many even need a third box of hair color.
Before beginning the hair color process, follow these steps.
Lay out all of your hair color supplies. You will need different items at different points in the process and you don't want to be scrambling for them when you need them.
Prepare your clothing. Some of us may just choose to wear an old bra and shorts, but if you need a little more cover up than that, be sure to wear an old button-front shirt or robe. You do not want to pull clothing over your head when it is covered in hair color.
Also, it's a good idea to cover surfaces with plastic, particularly is you a using a dark hair dye, as it can stain. I'm very careful with hair color and have still managed to drip some dark red hair dye over the years and stain tile floor or countertops.
Next, section your hair! The instructions state to section your hair in four to six sections, and it is a necessary step. When dyeing your hair, always start at the top with the roots. It would also be a good idea to invest in a color brush from a beauty supply store. It is much easier and much more precise to paint the color onto your hair.
Okay, so I'm going to be really honest here and admit that I have never actually done the hair strand test as recommended in the instructions. It really is the smart choice. I have had mishaps and I probably could have avoided some of them had I actually taken the time to do the hair strand test.
One thing that is always important to remember is that there is actually chemistry involved in hair color. As a veteran of at-home hair dye, I recently had an experience with "hot roots" that had me running to the store fairly late for yet more hair color to cover up my mistake. It can happen to anyone, and knowledge is power.
All hair dye, no matter the color, will only reflect the color on the box if your hair has never been colored, or if the color has completely grown out. Otherwise you end up with "hot roots" like I did.
Well, there you have it! Our favorite types of hair color and why. Have fun picking out your next hair color choice!