What To Know Before You Dye Your Hair


Before you dye your hair, keep one thing in mind: Chicks dig gray hair. Okay, not if you’re 19, but … actually, maybe even then. However, your hair could be going gray in an odd way — a big patch of it in one spot, instead of salt-and-peppered all over your head. Or maybe you just don’t want to be a guy with gray hair, at least not yet. So you’ve decided to dye your hair.

Thing is, problems can easily arise if you don’t know what you’re doing. And by “problems,” we mean you could look like a complete idiot. For tips on how avoid this, we spoke with Alex Contreras, hair stylist at Michael Blunt Salon in Fresno, California.

• Dark hair can be accented by most shades of brown or auburn, particularly if you’re tan. But stay away from platinum highlights; they turn black hair orange. Not that you’d try to dye your hair platinum … right?

• You don’t need to erase the gray altogether; there are store-bought dyes made specifically to keep some of the gray in, and salons can do it for you, no problem. You normally need to die your hair every four to six weeks to maintain, but leaving some gray in will allow you to let more time elapse.

• “I look at the inside of the arm and under the chin when assessing skin tone,” Contreras explains. Your skin and lip tone will help determine which colors work best with your features. If you’re pale, stay light in color. If your skin tone is even, going darker than your natural color is fine. It’s also fine if you’re in a goth band. Being in a goth band? Probably not fine.

• Black hair can emphasize darkness around the eyes, so going jet black may make you look like you took a crane kick to the eyeballs.

• Spending the money to dye your hair professionally and then using the wrong products to maintain it is like buying delicious steaks and then cooking them in a microwave. So don’t do it. Instead, use a shampoo like Phyto ($18), which is engineered to help prevent colored hair from fading. Dying your hair can damage it, so you should also use something like Phytocitrus masque ($42), which use added almond proteins and illipe butter (we have no idea either) to nourish and restructure your hair follicles