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25 Colour-Treated Hair Styling & Designing Tips

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Hair colour can be a terrific way to bump up your style. There are so many colours and techniques available that you can switch up your look every month if you want to. Then, you can play around with various styles to enhance your colour-treated hair, from braids and ponytails to different types of updos. Below, the professionals at Matrix offer some styling tips for colour-treated hair.

1. Begin by deciding what colour(s) you want your hair to be.

Because of the huge variety of options for colour-treated hair, you’ll need to decide if you want your hair to be soft and natural-looking, or vibrant and bold. The colouring possibilities run the gamut, from single all-over colour to multi-hued styles. What you do will depend upon your personal style.

2. Consult your stylist when deciding how to change your style with colour-treated hair.

Professional stylists are trained on how to determine the best colour and style for you. Never neglect this important step in deciding how to colour your hair, and which products to use.

3. Opt for temporary hair colour for a zero-commitment.

Temporary hair colour lasts for one to two shampoos. This is a good choice if you want vibrant splashes of colour to add funky, temporary style, or if want to try out a colour without committing to it long-term.

4. Gloss or blend with semi-permanent colour.

These peroxide- and ammonia-free formulas can last for up to 12 shampoos. When opting for semi-permanent hair colour, ask your salon professional for a no-ammonia conditioning semi-permanent formula that will help rebalance porosity. This is a good option if your hair needs colour balancing or toning, grey blending or coverage, colour correction or glossing. 

5. Consider demi-permanent colour for shine, colour refreshing or lowlights. Demi-permenant colour, which might contain low levels of peroxide, can last up to 20 shampoos. If your colour-treated hair has any damage at all, request a non-alkaline, ammonia-free demi-permanent formula that contains fruit acids and fruit oils to smooth and condition the cuticle. 

6. Choose permanent colour for long-lasting results. Permanent colour won’t wash out of your colour-treated hair. It will fade and change shades over time, but to completely change your permanently coloured hair, you’ll have to cut it off or colour over it. Permanent hair colour is used when changing the colour, or for grey coverage. Ask your stylist for a permanent hair colour with conditioning properties that will keep your colour-treated hair healthy and vibrant-looking between touch-ups.

7. For pink skin tones use hair colour that has cool or neutral undertones.

Neutral lighter shades such as ash and champagne or darker shades like espresso and chocolate are good choices for those with pinkish complexions. For paler skin with a yellow tone, stick with warmer shades such as ginger brown or strawberry blonde. Hair colour with orange and gold in them aren’t good matches with skin that has a naturally rosy glow. 

8. Olive skin tones look best with darker shades of colour-treated hair.

Women with olive-toned skin (Asian, Latin or Mediterranean heritages) can enhance their look by using formulas with hints of gold, honey or auburn in them. To keep it natural-looking, it’s a good idea to stay within two levels of your natural hair colour. 

9. If you have a dark skin tone, use your skin colour as a guide in picking a hair colour.

As with your olive-skinned counterparts, if your complexion is dark, it’s a good idea to select an all-over hair colour that isn’t too far from your natural colour. You can use your skin’s undertones as your guide to picking a hue for your colour-treated hair: If your complexion has touches of green or blue, request a shade with warmer golden tones. If your skin has a pinkish tone, balance it out with a cooler, ashier shade. Request a hair colour with natural oils to keep your colour-treated hair lustrous. 

10. How To Cover Grey Hair. For grey coverage, you have two choices.

Demi-permanent colour will softly colour and blend your grey until it gradually fades after 6-12 weeks, and is ideal if your colour is less than 50% grey. Permanent colour will completely cover your grey, and will not fade away. It’s ideal for you if your hair is more than 50% grey. Your stylist can guide you to the best formula for your amount of grey.

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11. Highlights add dimension to colour-treated hair, making it look fuller and more vibrant.

When getting highlights, if you want a more natural look, it’s best to stay with colour hues that are one to two shades lighter than your base colour.

12. For more dramatic hair highlights, opt for chunkier pieces of colour.

If you want a piecey look, ask your stylist for fewer highlighted strands on your colour-treated hair so the highlights won’t blend together. Go for shades that are a little farther from your natural colour, or opt for vibrant hues that scream out to be noticed. The possibilities are endless. 

13. Ask your stylist to create the hair colour combination that best complements you.

When opting for dimensional colour styles, ask your stylist to recommend a combination that fits your existing hair colour and your unique needs and wishes. For example, light brown hues can be given a few peek-a-boo blonde highlights to create a playful look for work or evenings out. Having both highlights and lowlights can add a textured look to colour-treated hair that is stylish on straight, wavy or curly locks. Ask your stylist to use an ammonia-free hair-colour formula that will smooth and shine your colour-treated hair. 

14. Adding shiny golden ends creates a soft ombré look.

This can be done on any colour of hair, but looks particularly lovely on medium brown shades. To change up the style, use a curling iron to add bounce, and finish the look with a colour-protecting hairspray to hold the curls in place.

15. Gently graduated ombré colour gives the appearance of “melting” colours into each other.

To incorporate two or more hues on colour-treated hair without a chunky effect, ask your stylist to give you this technique, which gently graduates one colour into the next. This style looks great worn straight or with curls. Finish the look with a light-hold colour protecting spray wax to define your colour design. 

16. For brunette and golden blonde dyed hair, try blending the colours of the sunset.

Transitional blends of gold, orange and red tones create a dramatic affect on blonde and light- to medium-brown hair. To add flair, try backcombing the hair lightly and finishing with colour-enhancing hairspray. 

17. For a romantic look, add touches of colour around the face.

For a romantic ombré hair style, try having the ends of your colour-treated hair lightened and then have a few splashes of colour added around the face. This look is particularly pretty on long hair, but can be worn on medium-length locks as well. To create a variation, try wearing your hair braided, or apply a colour-protecting gel and pull it up into a twisted updo for a dressy finish. Spritz on a colour-safe hairspray to hold the updo in place.

18. Darker brown and black hair paired with vibrant violet overlays creates a trendy look.

If you have brown or black colour-treated hair and a medium skin tone, violet-hued highlights will give you a funkier style. Thicker, straight hair is especially lovely with grape shades. Be sure to request a conditioning hair colour with reflective dyes. To vary the style, a twisted half-up, half-down look is a perfect way to show off these lively colour combinations. Apply a moisturising gel before pulling the hair up, and hold the style in place with a colour-protecting hairspray. 

19. Dip-dyed hair colour styles typically involve two colours, but can be multi-coloured as well.

Dip-dyed hair continues to be a trend in Hollywood and elsewhere. This technique creates a style that literally looks as though the ends of the hair have been “dipped” in hair colour. The “dipped” portion of colour can be any length, from just the tips of the hair to halfway up the head. This creates a distinct style for colour-treated hair, and can be worn on any length, though longer hair shows off the colour fade more dramatically. Any colour combination can be used on your colour-treated hair, but the darker colour is generally on the top of the head, with the lighter colour(s) worn below. This two- or multi-tone style for colour-treated hair can be worn long and sleek, wavy, with curls or pulled up into updos.

20. For subtle dip-dyed looks, use similar hues on your colour-treated hair.

To create softer styles, pair complementary tones, such as medium or light brown with light auburn or golden blonde. To enhance the softness and change the look, sweep the hair up into an updo, leaving loose tendrils around the face. Add light hold with a colour-protecting finishing spray. 

21. For fierce dip-dyed hair styles, use a natural colour with a vividly contrasting hue.

Partner black or dark brown colour-treated hair with cherry red, blue, violet or magenta for a striking look. To add to the drama, try backcombing the hair at the crown a bit, and finish with a heavier-hold colour-safe hairspray. Or, for another trendy look, create a textured herringbone braid on one side. 

22. For the boldest of colour-treated hair styles, pair two vivid, unnatural hair colours together.

If your goal is a real head-turning style for your colour-treated hair, try using two bright colours together, such as dark blue on top with light blue on the bottom, or purple on top with pink on the bottom. Be sure to ask your stylist to use a no-ammonia, conditioning formula on your colour-treated hair. To change the style, try gathering up the hair into a messy knot, and spray it with colour-protecting hairspray to hold it in place. Or, apply a smoothing serum for shine and pull the hair back into a tight ponytail for high-impact style.

Once Your Style is in Place, Take Good Care of Your Colour-Treated Hair

To get long-lasting results and keep your colour-treated hair healthy, be sure to use products that will enhance and protect your tresses. Here are a few rules of thumb on product usage:

23. Shampoo less frequently, and use colour-protecting shampoos and conditioners only.

Try not to shampoo more than twice a week, three times tops, and use colour-protecting conditioner every time you shampoo. A colour-safe dry shampoo will keep colour-treated hair looking fresh on the off days.

24. Use deep-conditioning treatments, leave-in conditioners and hot oil treatments to smooth and moisturise your colour-treated hair.

Deep-conditioning treatments add shine and luster to your colour treated hair, and can be used once a week. Leave-in conditioning treatments can help detangle your hair and protect it from heat tools, the elements and other damaging forces. Hot oil treatments add moisture and sheen to colour-treated hair and are simple to do at home.

25. Stick with colour-safe styling products on colour-treated hair

– When styling colour-treated hair, be sure to use gels, mousses and sprays formulated to protect and amplify coloured hair.

Color-Treated Hair Styling Tips Hair Color

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