At-home hair color can be tricky. Once you've decided on the hue you're after, you're faced with a number of other choices in terms of what formula you'd like to use to dye strands. Semipermanent, demipermanent or permanent? Liquid, cream or foam? Here are some quick tips to help you find your perfect match.
If You're New to Coloring Your Hair
Semipermanent dyes are best for neophytes. Semipermanent dyes contain no ammonia, do not penetrate into the cortex of hair strands, will gradually wash out in about 25 shampoos and won't expose roots when hair begins to grow out. If you're really hesitant about trying out a new shade on your full head of hair, brush the semipermanent color onto a few tips or strands first. Semipermanent foam dyes offer the most foolproof application if you want an even tint. Try: Clairol Nice 'n Easy Non-Permanent.
If You Want to Catch Every Gray Hair
To conceal gray strands, no matter where they are, hair experts generally agree that you should use a demipermanent or permanent foam that distributes color evenly throughout your hair. Demipermanent dyes typically have smaller molecules that penetrate the cortex of hair strands, while not altering the color, while permanent dyes contain ammonia to permanently alter the hue of your strands. For seamless gray coverage without pesky drips during application, try Garnier Nutrisse Nourishing Color Foam, which can be massaged into your hair just like shampoo and nourishes strands with avocado, olive and shea oils.
If You Want a Dramatic Change
For this commitment, cream or liquid permanent formulas tend to deliver that desirable brilliant, rich tint. Since liquid formulas can be messier than cream ones, ask a friend to help apply the color to your roots or take extra care to prevent splatters and stains. Try:L'Oréal Superior Preference.
If You're Ready to Hit the Big Leagues
If you're looking for salon effects, like frosting, highlighting and chunking, seek out kits designed to achieve such results at home. While these kits can't replace a stylist, products like L'Oréal Touch-On Highlights, offer tools to attain dimensional techniques.