hair color buying guide
If you want to reinvent your look or maintain your youthful appearance, adjusting, changing or enhancing the color of your hair is a great way to begin. Today's home hair color products can produce beautiful, salon quality results, provided you choose the right product for your needs.
permanent hair color
Want your hair color to last for as long as possible? Permanent hair color provides long-lasting results wash after wash. Hair color products classified as permanent cause a chemical reaction that deposits the color deep in the strands and permanently alters the hue of your tresses. With proper care, results from permanent hair color often stay vibrant until you cut the chemically-treated part of your hair. As new hair grows in, you’ll notice a difference in color at the roots, making it necessary to perform periodic touch-ups for maintenance.
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semi-permanent hair color
This type of hair color produces a permanent change. The pigments in semi-permanent formulas are deposited only on the outer portion of the strands. Gradually, the hair color washes out, fading with every shampoo. This eliminates the marked difference in the color of the chemically treated hair and the hue of the roots as hair grows, but means that all-over color treatments must be performed more frequently to maintain results. Some women prefer semi-permanent color because it has less of a drying effect on the tresses; however, semi-permanent color can typically only alter the natural hue of the hair by a difference of two to three shades. Semi-permanent products are a good choice for people who want to experiment with color but aren’t ready to commit to a long-term change.
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temporary hair color
If you're looking to dramatically alter the look of your hair for a special occasion, temporary hair color may be the ideal solution. These products modify the look of your hair by leaving color only on the surface of the stands. The next time that you shampoo, the temporary hair color is washed away, leaving your hair its natural color once more. These products come in many different forms, including creams, sprays and gels. You can even find chalk and crayons for providing temporary color. Typically, they can only be used to make the hair appear darker or to add vibrant hues like red, blue, green or purple.
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Highlights are a special type of hair color treatment that alters the color of just certain portions of your tresses rather than your entire head of hair. Also available are lightening and brightening treatments, including chemical reactions enhanced by the sun. The purpose of highlights is to add dimension to natural or dyed color. Highlight kits can be used to recreate the natural variations of light and dark in chemically treated hair. The term “highlights” is often used to describe any type of streaks in the hair; however, in hairdressing terminology, highlights are streaks that are lighter in color than the rest of the hair, while "lowlights" are streaks that are darker in color.
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Many men and women color their hair to cover white and gray growth that often begins to develop as we age. While you can use any type of hair color product to address hair-related signs of aging, there are products designed specifically for covering gray growth. These products include permanent and semi-permanent hair color formulas in shades meant to match a man or woman's natural color. Some kits include specially designed applicators that allow you to apply the color only to gray growth or to the roots. There are also kits made for covering gray in men's beards and mustaches.
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natural hair color
Traditionally, at-home hair color treatments typically involved using chemicals to alter the color either temporarily or permanently. The increased interest in natural beauty products has led to the introduction of numerous at-home natural hair color kits. Instead of chemicals, these products use pigments found in plants and other natural ingredients to change or enhance hair color. Men and women whose hair has become damaged and dehydrated due to frequent coloring may benefit from switching to natural hair color, which is often less harsh. Those who develop scalp sensitivity due to the chemicals in hair dye may also prefer natural hair color products.
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