8 commonly asked questions about coloring your hair

by Jess Quandel

Deciding whether to start coloring your hair is a big step if you have never done it before. You may be feeling a bit nervous especially after reading some of the horror stories out there…hair falling out, damaged hair, brassy orange hair, just to name a few. So to help put your mind at ease we came up with the top 8 commonly asked questions about coloring your hair.

Commonly Asked Hair Coloring Questions 

1. Should I color my hair myself or go to a professional?

If you are coloring your hair for the first time, you should go to a licensed professional . A professional hairstylist will be able to consult with you on what color would look best with your skin tone. Also, having a professional do a strand test is the best way to make sure you are not allergic to the products and to ensure that your hair will get the desired results you are looking for without damaging it.

2. Will coloring my hair damage it?

If you are using a permanent hair color you have to lift the hair using hydrogen peroxide (developer). This process raises or opens up the cuticle layer of the hair to allow the color molecules to penetrate the cortex depositing the color which could damage the hair if not done properly. If you use the wrong level of peroxide or if you constantly change your hair color (over-processing), this is what will cause damage to your hair. However, if you use a semi-permanent or demi-permanent they will help add extra shine and condition to the hair but will only last a couple of shampoos.  For more information on how color can damage your hair, see our post on ‘Does Hair color Damage Your Hair?‘. 

Question about Hair color

3. What’s the difference between semi-permanent, demi-permanent, and permanent?

Semi-permanent hair color does not contain peroxide so it can not lift the hair, therefore it can only make the hair darker and not lighter. The color will only last about six to twelve shampoos because it only deposits the hair color on the outermost layer of the hair. This is a good choice to try if you are afraid you may not like the color. Also, semi-permanent will enhance the shine and condition of the hair since it is not lifting.

Demi-Permanent hair color contains low amounts of peroxide which unlike semi-permanent, it can lighten the hair slightly. Demi-permanent deposits the color between the cuticle and cortex, therefore, making it last longer, anywhere from 12 – 26 washes.

Permanent hair color just as the name suggests, it is a permanent hair color and will last until the colored strands grow out. Permanent hair color can lighten hair up to 4 levels anything more than that is not recommended as it can cause damage to the hair.

Coloring Your Hair

4. Will the color cover my grey hair?

Yes, hair color will cover your grey hair depending on what formula and brand you use. If you have more than 50% of grey hair it is probably best to use permanent hair color.

5. How often should I shampoo my hair after receiving a color service?

After you receive your color service, wait at least 24 hours before shampooing your hair…48 hours is even better. Try and limit your washing to 3 times a week, especially if you have a more intense color like, red.

Men's Hair Color

6. How long do I have to wait before re-coloring my hair with a different color?

This all depends on the condition of your hair. It is best to consult with your hairstylist about your options. If you have damaged hair, it is probably best to wait until your hair is in better condition or until the color grows out. If you don’t like the color of your hair, talk to your stylist about a color corrective service. Learn more about how often you can dye your hair in our Beauty Tips sections of our blog.

7. Can I get color and highlights all on the same day?

Yes, as long as your hair is in good condition, you can get a color service and highlights all on the same day.  

Coloring Hair Red

8. Can I lighten my hair a couple of levels without bleaching or stripping the color?

If you are trying to go from a dark shade color to a light shade of color, you will need to bleach the hair. To lighten the hair, you have to use some type of bleach or peroxide to remove the pigment in the hair. Once the pigment is removed, the hair cuticle lifts allowing the hair color to be absorbed. See our post about ‘Do you have to bleach hair prior to dyeing it?‘ for more information on bleaching.

Adding color to your hair allows you to achieve a variety of different looks from funky and bold to a more natural subtle look. There are many different hair colors and brands out there, to find out which is the best for your hair consult with a professional or visit your local beauty school for their expert advice. Be sure to also check out our article on how long it takes to dye hair for more information on coloring hair.

If you are interested in hair color or how to color hair, a career in beauty could be just for you. Our cosmetology program teaches all sorts of hair styling expertise, including coloring, cutting, texturing, and more. Schedule a tour today and meet with a Career Planning Specialist to see if Empire Beauty School is the perfect fit for you.

January 28, 2012

11 thoughts on "8 commonly asked questions about coloring your hair"

  1. I wanted to know if there is a healthier way to color my hair with developer and a color dye of my choice. I researched that some stylist use developer to avoid bleaching a clients hair and though it might not give the client a dramatic light effect, they can gradually lighten the hair through various hair sessions. I have colored my hair (relaxed hair) before and it was bleached and If I can avoid that then that would be great. Is this true and if so is there a negative side effect to just using a developer?

  2. I have professional highlights from a permanent haircolor that lifted the hair using a hydrogen peroxide (developer). This process raises or opens up the cuticle layer of the hair.

    Now the highlighted part is frizzy. What can I do to reseal the cuticle? A semi permanent?

    1. Sally’s beauty supply has a great after color treatment, as well as an after color sealer that are designed to return the hair to it’s normal ph and slam that cuticle shut! Be sure and use a moisturizing conditioner after each of these, followed by a cool water rinse. I use both of these directly after coloring just to be safe, and then the sealer a couple times a week after shampooing and before conditioning with great success. HTH. 🙂

  3. Hi imy hair was darkr brown, I bleach my hair and the colour now is golden blonde brown red, I wana know will light ash blonde Nice n Easy take away Brazzy tones, I want a nice shade of blonde!

  4. Hi i have applied fashion coloured(golden) streaks on my hair. I just want to know that after how much time these streaks will fade out & my general hair colour that is black will come back, since it has been bleached before applying the golden streaks colour.

  5. hi i was think about dying my hair for the first time from a dirty blonde to like a shade darker. Is this a good idea? Will it look bad? Will it damage?

  6. I’ve been dyeing my hair for 10yrs now and have never had an issue with my color other than having to get used to it until now… my hair was a dark blonde with lighter highlights and it was time to re color my hair cuz my Roots were about an inch grown out… I wanted to go darker for the winter but not super dark so I got a light Brown dyed my hair and where the highlights were my hair turned grey so I bought a natural Brown and dyed it again and it still looks grey… What should I do to get rid of the grey? This has never happened before I go from dark to light and light to dark all the time… :/

  7. In 30 years, we have never been asked any of those questions. Now what we have been asked repeatedly:
    1. How much will it cost to get a head of highlights?
    2. The last salon didn’t cover my grey hair. Can you?
    3. I just got my hair colored, and I don’t want to go back to the salon where it was done. Can you fix it today?
    4. How much do you charge for an all over color?
    5. How much does a haircut and color cost?
    6. I’d like to get a color consultation, when can I get one?
    7. I colored my hair black, and I want to be blonde. How much will it cost?

  8. I color my hair last april with black color and then i color my hair now with ash blonde but the color has effect only in the roots of my hair then in the middle its black and on the tip of my hair is dark sh blonde… What will i gonna do? I like to color my hair ash blonde

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