Nearly every millennial remembers the iconic scene in “Clueless” when Cher (Alicia Silverstone) rinses out Tai’s (Brittany Murphy) bright crimson hue in the bathtub, revealing stunning, perfectly toned chocolate locks in mere seconds. Unfortunately, that kind of movie magic just doesn’t exist in the salon, meaning that it may take weeks or months to achieve your desired color. And that’s only part of the equation. Keep reading to learn the top five harsh truths to keep in mind the next time you want to color your hair.
Truth #1: Color is a commitment
Even if you opt for just a few hints of balayage, altering your natural color in any way isn’t a decision to take lightly. Yes, hair dye eventually washes out, fades away or grows out, but that doesn’t mean that you won’t experience the aftermath of coloring your strands, whether it’s hard-to-tone tresses or residual color that won’t lift. Before taking the plunge, ask yourself if you’re willing to not only sport your shade for a prolonged period of time (read: longer than a couple of days) and if you will stay on top of the required upkeep. If not, make your life easier and opt for temporary, wash-out color spray instead.
Truth #2: Color requires patience
If you plan on making a drastic transformation, you must be willing to sit in the chair for multiple hours at a time, several times throughout the year. You also need to be patient during the coloring process—some shades can be created in one appointment while others take several attempts to achieve the perfect hue. You can’t rush the process—one wrong move and you may be left with brassy, straw-like strands for years on end.
Truth #3: Your color requires constant care and endless TLC
Unless you enjoy throwing money down the drain—we’re going to assume that you don’t—you must take proper precautions when it comes to maintaining your color and boosting its longevity. So what does that mean? While each color has its own requirements, common necessary tasks include using only a color-safe shampoo and conditioner, deep conditioning a couple of times a week, using a toning shampoo one to two times a week, limiting heat styling, etc.
Truth #4: Your hair may become damaged
We hate to break it to you but altering your hair from its natural state (heat styling, bleaching, etc.) compromise your hair health, it's just a natural part of it. For example, if you have gorgeous, thick, long, healthy dark brown strands and want to make a change to a platinum shade in one sitting, don’t be surprised when your ends start breaking off due to processing, causing you to make a major chop. Keep the current state of your hair in mind, along with with what color you want and the steps required to get there, when making a major hair move.
Truth #5: Hair color should be an extension of yourself
Yes, it’s tempting to try out the latest shades taking over your Instagram feed, but if it isn’t flattering or something that you’re into, you’re not going to love it. Always opt for shades that obviously 1) You love, 2) Flatter your skin tone and 3) Make you feel confident. Don’t feel tempted to try every trend simply because everyone else is doing it. Choose colors that make you look and feel amazing—and all of the time and maintenance will be worth it!
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