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Freshly Tinted!

Have been wanting to colour your hair but jittery about taking the plunge? Sohini Dey offers some handy advice for beginners.

Gorgeous hair is, without a doubt, an asset and deciding on a change in colour can be a big decision. Far too many women simply contemplate a change and never actually make their way to the salon. Getting your hair coloured, however, is less daunting than it seems. Read on to know the ground rules…

Get to the root
Why do you want to colour your hair? Indulging in colour for fun is very different from seeking colour to cover ungainly strands of grey. The basic need must determine the kind of colour and coverage you eventually get.
The texture and condition of your hair is an important factor to consider when choosing hair colour. Damaged hair may seem a major obstacle in getting tinted tresses, but the right products and prepping are sure problem-solvers. Using superior quality hair colourants is essential for damaged hair. Speak to your stylist about choosing a brand suitable for your hair type.
Also, remember to check the list of ingredients and make sure you are not allergic to any of those.

Tête-à-tête with stylist
The most superior quality hair colours prove inadequate in the hands of inexperienced stylists. If your regular hairstylist has not specialised in colouring, he/she may nevertheless lead you to the right person. Ask around and talk to those who have experience colouring their hair. Read customer reviews before making an appointment at a salon.
Begin your meeting with a conversation. Most salon disasters stem from insufficient communication with the stylist. Trying colour for the first time can be confusing and you are likely to have many questions. Don’t hesitate to put those forth to the stylist. Ask them about the kind of colour they intend to use, its ingredients and durability, and the possible effects on your tresses. If the stylist uses an unfamiliar term, ask for clarification. A healthy discussion will ensure that the final hair colour is the right balance between your needs and the stylist’s recommendations. The stylist will also be able to suggest the appropriate post-treatment care for your coloured locks.

Tips and tricks
Getting your hair coloured is only half the battle won. Even the loveliest shades fade ungracefully if left without post-colour care. Invest in a shampoo and conditioner meant for coloured hair; using the same brand as the hair colour ensures that the pH levels of your scalp remain balanced. Tinted hair can be adversely affected by rain, chlorinated water and excessive exposure to the sun, particularly shades of red, blue, purple, etc. Make that bottle of protective leave-in conditioner your best friend and make sure the product is enriched with SPF. Make time for regular keratin treatments; not only are they relaxing but the treatments also ensure that the colour retains its lustre longer.