Everything You Need to Know About Dying Your Hair

Emma Stone

The sometimes-blond Emma Stone shows off her signature red mane at the 68th Annual Cannes Film Festival; image:

Tips for Coloring Hair at Home:

  1. For long hair, buy two boxes so you have enough dye.
  2. As a rule, when applying your own hair color at home, stick to one to two shades lighter than your natural color. For anything more drastic, it is wiser to seek the help of a professional colorist to minimize damage.
  3. Be aware that the hairs along your hairline are naturally finer than the rest of your texture. Thus, use a slightly lighter formula along the hairline than the rest of your head for a more natural and less flat, obviously-dyed look.
  4. Do a strand test to preview results and make adjustments accordingly.
  5. Since the tips of your hair are more porous and absorb color quickly, work the dye from your roots to your ends so the color will be absorbed evenly.
  6. Wear gloves when distributing the color so your hands won’t be a mess.

Tips for Caring for Color-Treated Hair

  1. Don’t use sulfate shampoos. They will strip the hair. Use moisturizing, sulfate-free shampoos instead for a conditioning cleanse. Aura likes Shu Uemura Color Lustre Sulfate-Free Brilliant Glaze Shampoo ($48).
  2. Deep condition often. Coloring your hair will make it look pretty, but it isn’t necessarily healthy for your tresses. The process damages your cuticle layer, leading to dryness, breakage and a dull, coarse appearance. Use a hydrating, repair mask or deep conditioner to nourish and restore some of the softness, luster and life.
  3. Strengthen your hair. Coloring can weaken and damage the hair; thus, strengthening it is important. Aura recommends treating your hair with an Olaplex treatment once a week. “Olaplex adds links to the disulfide sulfur bonds in your hair,” explains Aura. “The disulfide sulfur bond of the hair is the rope that keeps the hair together. When you color your hair, you’re essentially breaking the bonds by creating gaps. This product fills those gaps by adding links to the bonds, which in turn makes your hair stronger.”
  4. Limit heat styling. “Heat opens up the cuticles and when the cuticles open up, the color molecules fly out,” says Aura. So, use leave-in conditioners or protectant oils to seal the color in and prevent it from fading when blowdrying, curling or flat ironing your hair. Try Shu Uemura Color Lustre Brilliant Glaze Thermo-Milk ($38).
  5. Extend your touch-ups. Because curly/coily hair grows in a spiral formation, it takes a longer time for your natural root color to be noticeable. Plus, dark roots can help balance out a lighter color on darker skin tones.
  6. Try a gloss treatment. Gloss treatments add shine and luster, keeping your color looking fresher and healthier-looking longer.
  7. Protect your hair from the sun. “Leave-in conditioners are great because they coat the hair by creating a barrier that protects your mane from the sun,” raves Aura. SPF sprays work, too. And hats are another chic option.