Coloring your Hair
How to get beautiful, healthy hair
By Natalie Tsang
September 21, 2011
Most professional stylists recommend staying within two shades of your natural color, you don't want to look radically different for your wedding. You dont want your wedding hair to upstage your wedding dress. However, if you change your color periodically and already picked out a shade that you've done before, then go for it. Just make sure to take into account your new hair color when perusing wedding gowns.
Before you color your hair, try to get it as healthy as possible. No hair color will look good on hard, damaged hair. Lay off the harsh products. If you regularly dye or perm your hair, try to give it a rest. Get regular trims and be sure to condition. Deep conditioning at the salon is great if you can afford it, but you can whip up a batch from natural ingredients at home.
At least three months in advance, start making healthy lifestyle changes like exercising and eating right. Even light exercise can send blood and oxygen flowing to your scalp, which is important for healthy hair. Youll also notice changes in your skin and nails.
There are three levels of coloring: semi-permanent, demi-permanent, and permanent. Although there are now gentler alternatives to ammonia and peroxide, chemicals like these help the color penetrate the hair shaft. Semi-permanent color, adds color without changing your natural color. It generally lasts 6 to 12 shampoos and should be done about a week before the ceremony. Any longer and the color will wash out before your big day. The demi-permanent color lasts 24-26 shampoos and can be done a few weeks before. It contains a small amount of peroxide. From the name, permanent color permanently changes the color of your hair, although you'll need a regular touch up every 4 to 6 weeks to eliminate roots. This should also be done two weeks before.
You need to make your color choice based on an analysis of your natural hair color, eye color, and skin tone. You can check out celebrities with similar skin tones and eye colors to see what colors will look good on you. There are even websites that let you upload a picture of yourself and try different hairstyles and colors. Also, be sure to a strand test. If you want to lighten your color, you will have to bleach it first.
Katy Perry's recent transformation from raven to lavender was done in several steps to keep the hair healthy. Although, most brides won't go neon any time soon, do be aware that a dramatic color change can take months and should be planned out at least six months in advance.