10 Rules for Perfect Haircolor

As lead color educator at Bumble and Bumble, Clayton Lee not only spends her days giving her clients lustrous, multidimensional color, she also teaches fellow colorists how to do it. Now she teaches you.

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1. The sun fades haircolor

“Wear a hat or a scarf and use UV products so your color won’t oxidize and get brassy.”

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2. Don’t forget your brows

“I’m a huge fan of darker eyebrows with lighter hair. A strong brow creates really nice definition. And sometimes darker hair looks good with a lighter eyebrow—it softens the deepness of the hair.”

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3. Don’t over-highlight

“The purpose of highlights (as opposed to single-process color) is to add dimension to your hair, so your face looks younger and brighter. But too many highlights and everything is one color again. Partial ones are much more flattering.”

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4. Do deep treatments weekly (but no more than that)

“A weekly mask adds shine and moisture. But because of the high amount of protein in many treatments, you can overdo it and damage the hair. I like to use a few tablespoons of olive oil (no protein!), particularly on my ends, for half an hour or so.”

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5. Shampoo less

“After coloring, wait 24 to 48 hours before washing to lock in color. And don’t wash your hair every day. Use hair powder or wash hair by just using conditioner on the ends to freshen up instead.”

6.  Go opposite your skin tone

“If you have pinkish skin, gold is a bad idea because it brings out pink—you need cool, like an icy blond. An olive skin tone looks washed out with cool shades—it needs warm, honey tones.”

7.  Watch the bleach

“Extreme bleached hair is trendy, but if someone’s hair is really dark, they’ll have underlying pigments of red and yellow that’ll look brassy when they’re bleached. Platinum just comes out better on light
brunettes or blondes.”

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8. Address roots and ends separately

“Many at-home coloring mistakes occur because color you put on already-colored hair looks different than color you put on virgin roots.”

9. Take a cold shower for shine

“Rinse your hair with cold water at the end of your shower so your hair looks smoother and reflects the most light possible. It really works.”

10. Get creative to disguise roots

“Change your part or create a soft braid in the front, which lifts the hair off the scalp so it’s not so obvious. Adding some curl does the same thing. And hair powder really covers up the evidence— for a few days anyway.”

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