Color your tresses without breaking the bank
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- Previous Next10 of 10Courtesy of Clairol; John Frieda; eSalon
Love Your Locks1 of 10
By Woman's Day Staff
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Skip the Shampoo2 of 10
Don't wash for 24 hours before coloring, or you'll remove the natural oils that help protect your scalp from chemicals. (And rinse extra dye with water only—shampoo can strip color.)
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Certainly Condition3 of 10
Use a deep conditioning mask the day before you dye. It will help ward off any damage, and color looks more vibrant and deposits more evenly on moisturized hair.
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Follow Directions4 of 10
Many women ignore written instructions or just go by the pictures. Pay especially close attention to the processing time. Leaving dye on for even a few minutes too long can give very different results.
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Don't Go to Extremes5 of 10
Never attempt to change your color to more than three shades lighter or darker than your natural base. To make a drastic change, the formula needs to be customized by a pro.
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Double Up6 of 10
Pick up two kits: If your hair is very thick or long, one box may not be enough. If you don't use the second one, you should be able to return it to the store, or save it for the next time you color.
Tress Test7 of 10
Doing a strand test is the only way to see how the color will really develop on your hair. Snip a small section at the nape of your neck (where hair tends to be darkest) and apply the product as directed.
Even Does It8 of 10
Ensure that you apply color evenly. Divide your hair into four or five manageable sections using clips or elastics. Starting with the lower sections, unclip, apply the product generously from roots to ends, then move up to the next section.
Choose Wisely9 of 10
It's crucial that you pick the right formula. Permanent dyes lift color from hair, then lighten or darken it one to two shades. They provide great gray coverage, but require upkeep to deal with root regrowth. Demi-permanent will fade after about 25 shampoos, so roots are less of an issue. Semi-permanent is color-depositing only (you can't make hair lighter) and will wash out after four to eight shampoos. When in doubt, check the box for color-result images.
Kit Picks10 of 10
Here are three of the easiest-ever new coloring kits. Clairol Natural Instincts develops in just 15 minutes, and the subtle, demi-permanent formula lasts up to 28 shampoos, $9 at drugstores. John Frieda Precision Foam Colour helps you skip the drips—just pump this permanent-dye mousse into your hand and apply to your hair, $13 at drugstores. Newcomer eSalon Custom Formulated Haircolor is very clever: Enter your hair type and color preference online to receive custom-blended color with personalized instruction, $20 at eSalon.com.
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