SPECIAL OFFER: - Limited Time Only!
(The ad below will not display on your printed page)
If you're like many women who color their hair, you don't want dramatic change -- just hide the gray and add body and shine.Covering Gray
Starting to see silver strands? Try a semi-permanent formula, such as Clairol Natural Instincts ($6.99), that covers the surface of the hair shaft, enriching the natural hue as it camouflages, without lightening hair. Upkeep: No-maintenance. The color gradually washes out after 24 shampoos, making semi-permanent color a good choice if you're a little gun shy.
If you have a lot of gray, go for a permanent formula, such as Garnier Nutrisse Conditioning Color Masque ($7.29). Permanent color penetrates the hair shaft to lighten the natural color and deposit new pigment. Hair can go up to three shades lighter or darker. Upkeep: You'll need to retouch roots every 4 to 6 weeks because roots will show as new growth comes in.
For the most natural-looking results, the play-it-safe rule is not to go more than two or three shades darker or lighter than your natural hair color. Hair-color pro Stuart Gavert at Gavert Atelier, in Los Angeles, offers these guidelines.
When you color your hair, do you ever wish the results could be even brighter and shinier? Thanks to new technology -- so new, we can't even tell you its name -- you can get what you pray for. Experts at Procter & Gamble have developed new agents for permanent formulas that allow more pure color to penetrate the hair shaft. (With old-style formulas, some of the color just sat on the surface of the hair and was quickly washed away.) The first at-home coloring kit to contain these new agents is Clairol's Nice 'n Easy ($7.99) -- available in 40 fabulous shades. We tried it and were absolutely thrilled with the even, shiny results and by how well it hid every strand of gray. Look for the new Nice 'n Easy in stores in February.What's New for Brunets?
Blonds don't have all the fun. In fact, shades of brown and red are hot-sellers.
Until now, if your hair was dark and you wanted to add reddish glints with permanent hair color, the results were disappointing. Reddish tones faded quickly -- if they showed up much at all -- because they didn't contain enough pigment to deposit in the hair shaft.
L'Oreal's latest launch, Feria Power Reds Permanent Haircolour Gel ($9.99), available in Blowout Burgundy (a deep wine tone), Ruby Rush (a rich auburn), and Flaming Red (bright copper), has been formulated with traditional dyes and a special color-booster that allows more intense color to penetrate the hair shaft. One of our staffers tested Blowout Burgundy. It gave her hair, which is naturally the color of black coffee, a glossy, reddish finish.
Q. Should I shampoo before I color my hair?
A. If you're using a permanent formula, let your hair go a day or two without shampooing before you color it, says David Johnstone, hair color director at Yves Durif Salon, in New York City. Your natural oils protect your hair and allow the shaft to accept the color more efficiently. If you use semi-permanent color, your hair should be clean, since the dyes coat the surface of the hair.
Q. Is it okay to wash hair the day after coloring?
A. Wait 24 hours, especially if you've used permanent color, which opens up the hair shaft, says Johnstone. It takes 24 hours for it to close. Shampooing too soon pulls out some color.
Q. Do I need a special shampoo?
A. Use products for color-treated hair, which are especially gentle.
Whether you color your hair or not, you can boost its hue and shine with a color-enhancing conditioner. Two formulas to try: Redken Color Extend Injection Color-Charged Conditioners, available in six shades ($11.95; for salons, call 800-733-5368) and Biolage Earth Tones Color Refreshing Conditioners, available in five shades ($14.95; for salons, 800-662-8749).
Red revs up shades of red and reddish-brown hair.
Copper warms up light to medium red and brown hair.
Red-violet adds a dramatic wine tint to dark tresses.Red-violet adds a dramatic wine tint to dark tresses.
Lavender neutralizes brassy tones.
Gold keeps tones of light blond and light brown vibrant.