Choosing your colour
The first thing to decide on is what shade to go for.
Colours are classed according to a specific scale used by professionals.
This international scale recognises 10 main colour levels, from the lightest to the darkest, and then there are highlights, which are separated into warm (gold, copper, auburn and red) and cold (ash-grey and iridescent shades).
To find out what type of shade suits you best, take a look at the tables on the side of the packet which clearly indicate which colours are best suited to your natural shade.
Permanent or temporary hair colour?
Temporary dyes fade out after 6 to 8 washes, while semi-permanent ones last for 6 to 8 weeks. Permanent dye doesn't ever disappear; you need to wait until the hair grows back before your natural colour returns.
The first two types of dye don’t contain ammonia because they simply tint the hair, and as a result of this they cause less damage to the hair. However, these products only partially cover grey hairs.
Only permanent dye can both cover the majority of grey hairs and darken or lighten hair.
Precautions to take
- Check that you’re not allergic to any of the contents of your dye. Ammonia is extremely toxic and harmful: it can irritate or burn some scalps.
- Avoid contact with the eyes. Dye isn't just like shampoo. After you’ve applied it to your hair, rub your forehead and hands with half a lemon to help wipe away the dye which doesn’t come off easily with soap.
Steps to take
Do a patch test 48 hours beforehand and prepare the mixture at the last minute before applying it.
For all-over application
If you’re colouring your hair for the first time, you’ll not have to worry about roots. Spread the product evenly on the lengths and ends and leave for 10 minutes. Then apply the dye to your roots and leave for the time indicated in the instructions.
Is your hair already coloured and sensitised? Apply the dye to your roots only and leave for 20 minutes. Then spread all of the product on the lengths and ends. Leave for a further 10 minutes.
Once time is up, lather into a mousse with a bit of warm water, mix, add a bit more warm water again, mix and rinse. Finish by using special shampoo for coloured hair.
- The night before you dye your hair, use a nourishing shampoo to revitalise it.
- Follow the instructions step by step and don’t skip any steps!
- Don’t forget you need to use the gloves!
- Rinse for a long time after dyeing.
- After colouring, be sure to use special shampoo for coloured hair. If you’re going on holiday, take a shampoo that contains sun filters.
- To ‘fix’ the colour, apply hair masks to nourish all over, including your scalp. Carry on caring for your dyed hair.
- Don't subject your hair to drastic colour changes (blonde to brown to blonde again) - it damages the hair.
- Be careful with henna dye: only use it if you’re totally sure its what you want. Henna doesn't override ordinary dye and using one immediately after the other is strongly ill-advised. You should wait for your hair to grow again.
- If it’s your first attempt at hair colouring, avoid colours that are too dark or that stand out a lot because you’ll need time to get used to your new head of hair.
Photo: Franck Provost