Hair Color Basics

Know Before You Go: Hair color basics

We understand that your first time receiving color at a new salon can cause a great deal of anxiety. Our job is to make your first visit for hair color (or any service for that matter) as relaxing as possible.

One of the reasons hair color can be so nerve-racking are the many options and variations available to you. Where do you start in order to end up with the look you want? What color will look best on you? What words do you use to explain the look you want? We’ve created this page to help you answer questions about hair color so you feel confident about your decisions- before you even arrive to In Touch Salonspa!

The key is to communicate with your colorist before he/she starts mixing the color. Explain — or show a photo of — the look you’re after so he/she can outline the options for getting there. To make sure the two of you are speaking the same language, it helps to know the lingo. Here is a primer:

Temporary color, which contains no ammonia and only a small percentage of peroxide, can only darken hair and will provide minimal grey coverage. Over time, the color fades to a translucent stain. We do recommend retouching the new growth and ends every 4-6 weeks to prevent a mis-matched look.

Permanent hair color, which consists of both peroxide and ammonia, can make hair darker or a few shades lighter, and provides excellent coverage for gray. The color lasts until hair grows out. New growth needs to be touched up every 4 to 6 weeks.

Toning: This process involves placing semi-permanent color on the hair for a short period of time to darken hair slightly or to change its tonality (for example, changing an ash blonde to golden brown). This process is used most often at the shampoo station to create the perfect highlight or lowlight color. Toning with a clear gloss is also available to add shine to hair without altering the color. Toning the hair can be done on an “as needed” basis as decided between you and your stylist.

Highlights, which involve the use of bleach or permanent color to lighten hair, are great for blending grays, adding brightness and or dimension to your base color . The roots need to be touched up every three months.

Lowlights are used to darken sections of over-lightened hair or to add a richer tone to your base color. Lowlights can also be used to blend grays. Roots should be touched up on an as-needed basis — usually at least every three months.

Maintaining Your Color

To prevent your color from fading we recommend using color- enhancing shampoos and conditioners as a part of your at-home maintenance program. Make sure to keep your hair away from salt water, chlorine and the sun as much as possible. If you are planning to be in the sun or a pool for an extended period of time (summer time), we recommend using an SPF/ protective spray designed specifically for hair to keep your color looking as amazing as it did the day you left the salon! Finally, wash hair as little as possible to prolong the brilliance of your freshly colored hair!

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