Some handy tips to pick the right hair colour for you

With the festive season around the corner, we've rolled out a handy hair colour guide, curated by Mumbai's best experts. From shades that suit your skin colour to hair makeovers, here's how you can make heads turn


1.  The first steps
“You are always ready for colour. But making sure that your hair is healthy and strong is a great way to start your colour journey. Prepping your hair for colour by having treatments done to nourish and strengthen them is an ideal way to start,” says Shimsha Shetty, senior salon director, BBlunt.

Celebrity hair stylist Sapna Bhavnani of Mad o Wot salon, also believes that the quality of hair, length of hair and one’s personality determines what colour one should pick. “Also, weather is important. Rainy season is a complete no-no for any technical treatment as it promotes frizz in most hair,” warns Bhavnani.

2.  How to pick the right shade?
Picking one’s hair colour can be a fun yet serious subject as a permanent hair colour will stay with you for a long time.
Saddam Hussain, barber, Truefitt & Hill Khar says that one should pick a colour not based on their face structure but the skin colour. Dark browns work well for fairer skin tones in comparison to black which can look like a stark contrast, unless you are aiming for it. “It’s nice to get an expert opinion by having a thorough consultation by your hairstylist or hair colour technician. Colour complements your skin tone and can directly affect it’s vibrance or dullness depending on the colour choice and it’s placements,” says Shetty.

Colour always finishes a nicely-styled haircut and the placement of colours depend on the shape of the haircut. “The only thing that I keep in mind in deciding the technique is the hair quality. Very fine hair looks great with some colour on it; the colour can be placed strategically to make your hair look fuller. For example, if your hair is dark, your hairstylist can create lighter highlights that will diminish the contrast between your hair and your scalp. He or she may also create a multidimensional look — with two or three shades, such as a medium base with highlights and lowlights — to give the illusion of movement. Also, hair colour actually expands the hair shaft slightly so it will appear thicker and more voluminous. However, too much bleach or overlightening can lead to damage or breakage of fine or thick frizzy hair,” advises Bhavnani. Most importantly, your stylist will be able to judge the colour you need based on your personality and the confidence you exude.

3.  For the Indian skin
While Bhavnani rocks a platinum white hairdo currently, if you want to take it easy, getting a match for your skin tone is important. Indian skin tones could vary from warm to cool. “It’s easy to figure this. Take a gold and silver cape and place it on you and you will see which cape brings out your skin tone. You will be amazed with the results. If you are a warm skin tone then reds, mahogany and deep copper reds work.

Kangana Ranaut

If you love blondes then go for gold, rose gold and deep copper blondes for sure (in pic, actress Kangana Ranaut). If you are a cool skin tone then you can go with violets and burgundies. If you like the blondes, ash, olive and beige are your colours,” advises Shetty. Browns are a favourite for all skin tones. And absolutely avoidable is going yellow blonde. Try platinum or ice blonde instead.

4. What’s trending now?
Shetty tells us that two-tone, three-tone colours  are in this season, also various painting techniques and soft strokes of colour on hair are a big hit.

If you wish to go bold, reds, violets and all tones in this family is a favourite. Though choosing the right colour for your skin tone is what will always be in fashion she feels. “Blues, greens, violets and grey are so in trend with the ones that can carry them off. Although red is my all-time, all season favourite,” says Bhavnani.

5. Strict no-nos
Avoid too much bleach if you have fine, frizzy hair. Do not mix different chemical services. “You cannot go blonde on chemically straightened hair or hair that has gone through excessive keratin services.

Don’t opt for light shades; for example blonde, in one sitting of colour service when you have  been colouring your hair dark for years. It will take two to three sittings over a period of three to four months. Both of these can cause excessive breakage and damage of hair,” warns Shetty. Doing a skin test when colouring your hair for the first time is always recommended.

6. Post colour regime
Hussain suggests using a vitamin shampoo and conditioner post hair colour treatment and if you have dry and thin hair, opt for a thickening shampoo. Post-colour-treatments are a must. “It’s important to reload the hair with the necessary moisture and nourishment after a colour service. This helps maintain the lustre and integrity of the colour.

Protein treatments are the best choice for post care,” advises Shetty. A regular ritual at home should include shampoo, masque, leave-in conditioning spray, and serum or a light oil.  Trimming your hair regularly and indulging in conditioning treatments is a great way to keep your coloured hair gorgeous.

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