Pros Share Their Color-Enhancing Secrets (Brighten Hair With Kool-Aid?)
We reached out to an assembly of the world’s most gifted pro stylists and colorists and asked them: “What is your best advice for enriching flawless NATURAL hair color?”
Are you ready for a truly colorful conversation?
Because this edition of our HAIR / TALK Pro Tips series is all about color!
Of course, if you favor color-treated styles, chances are you already trust your look to a salon.
But whether your balayage highlights or ombré waves are the work of a pro colorist...or your own home-styling skills…
...there’s something crucial for you to know:
COLOR TREATMENTS CAN BE HAZARDOUS TO YOUR HAIR!
A new color is all about giving yourself a fresh lease on life.
But far too often, you can wind up with brittle, dried-out, vulnerable strands...sometimes damaged beyond repair!
That’s because salon-grade coloring treatments are typically formulated with abrasive chemicals...designed to warp the natural structure of your hair, from without and within.
“Store-bought dyes promise “a whole new you”...but they can bring a whole new set of problems for your hair!”
A NEW WAY TO BRIGHTEN YOUR DAY
So, when we reached out to an assembly of the world’s most gifted pro stylists and colorists…
...we took our color conversation down a different path...and asked them:
“What is your best advice for enriching flawless NATURAL hair color?”
Because you may not think so...but your natural shade is bursting with vibrant potential.
And the suggestions these color experts shared will help you ignite that energy...and make your original hue feel like new!
BLONDE HAIR: HANDLE WITH CARE
Natural blonde tresses have a gossamer glow like nothing else in this world.
But according to Alain Larivée, a creative consultant for the internationally acclaimed John Frieda salons, that glittering glamour also brings with it a surprising built-in fragility.
“Hair has three layers,” Larivée explains. “The medulla, the cortex, and the cuticle. And in naturally blonde hair, there is no medulla.
“This makes blonde hair finer, more fragile, and more susceptible to dryness.”
And one of the key consequences of dehydrated hair: Dull, lifeless color!
For your blonde locks, violet-tinted products work best. These purple-shaded formulas, says Larivée, “kill the brassy off-tones” blonde hair can sometimes take on.
“Cool toning shampoos and conditioners help your blonde hair light up any room you enter!”
Another essential tool for battling brassiness is a shower head designed to filter hard water.
Larivée doesn’t mince words about this: “Hard water is your enemy.”
That’s why you need to take special steps to ensure hard-water residue buildup doesn’t strip away your hair’s golden sheen.1
Larivée’s advice will ensure that when people say “blondes have more fun”...it’s you they’re talking about!
BRUNETTE HAIR: TIME TO SHINE
If you skipped the previous section to get to these hair care tips...you’re far from alone.
In fact, a recently published paper from the University of Pennsylvania estimates over 90 percent of people in the world have naturally brown or black hair!2
But don’t worry: Even with the world’s most widespread hair color, your tresses are still ready to sparkle with uncommon beauty and shine!
All it takes, says colorist Kyle White of New York’s Oscar Blandi Salon, is a smart combination of shine-maintaining treatments and products.
Like blondes, says White, “Brunettes tend to get brassy.” But if you have darker hair, your biggest brassiness risk factor is over-shampooing.
“A well-thought-out shampooing schedule is vital for keeping brunette hair full of shine.”
White recommends limiting your washing to no more than two or three days a week...and making friends with dry shampoo, to maintain freshness on those in-between days.
He also says regular use of a nourishing gloss is critical for keeping your strands sleek and luminous, with a touchably soft texture.
And, when it comes to keeping darker shades balanced, White’s favorite “hair products” aren’t on your vanity…they’re in the pantry!
To even out brunette tones, White suggests an occasional rinse with coffee or grape Kool-Aid.
“I’m not kidding!” insists White. “Simply comb the coffee or Kool-Aid through your hair, and leave it on for up to 15 minutes before shampooing out.”3
So, you may rely on coffee to get you going in the morning…
...but don’t be afraid to trust that energizing drink to wake up your hair, too...and help you stand out in a sea of dark tresses!
RED HAIR: BRIGHT, BUT NOT SUNNY
Red is the rarest of all hair shades...only about three percent of the world’s population.
And if you’ve got red hair, that unfortunately means you’re also facing the driest strands.
Thankfully, UK-based professional colorist Pete Campbell has some ideas for keeping your red locks full of head-turning fire.
First, Campbell recommends applying a deep conditioning mask once a week, to lock in your existing moisture and ease your hair’s often rougher texture.
Also, he says, “remember to apply conditioner every time you shampoo”...which he insists you don’t need to do on a daily basis. “Once every three days is fine.”
Campbell also notes, “Red hair is very vulnerable to the surrounding environment, and can be affected by the elements.”
“Everyone loves the sun...but too much of it can be damaging to naturally red hair!”
Excess heat and heavy UV sunlight are among Campbell’s chief red-hair-threatening culprits.
So, to keep your sensitive strands well-protected, Campbell recommends:
- Always choosing products formulated for enhanced UV protection, whether it’s a volumizing treatment or a shine-enhancing laminate
- Using a heat protectant spray any time you’re working with a heat styling tool
- ...and, if you don’t have access to UV-shielding products, accessorizing with a scarf or hat to preserve your crimson color...and give your ensemble a pop of extra style!4
The old idea that redheads have wild tempers is, of course, just a myth.
But trust Campbell’s ideas to guarantee your own scarlet locks never give you a reason to rage!
THE COLOR COMES FROM YOU
Dyeing or bleaching your hair can often seem like a shortcut to a revitalized look.
But chemical-based treatments may not be worth the abuse they can put your hair through.
Not when all it takes to re-energize your style, and put the confidence back in your stride…
...is skillfully enhancing the power and majesty waiting inside your natural color!
We hope the tips these savvy stylists have shared help you get the most from your authentic hue.
Because whether your locks are a brilliant blonde, bold brunette, or ravishing red…
...the beauty that lasts the longest, and shines the brightest...is the beauty within you!
- Kwan, Karen. “Blonde Ambition: Hair Care Tips for Blondes.” Elle Canada, 13 Apr. 2011, www.ellecanada.com/beauty/hair/article/blonde-ambition-hair-care-tips-for-blondes.
- Gomez, Alexandria. “14 Struggles Only Brunettes Can Really Understand.” Women's Health, Women's Health, 25 May 2018, www.womenshealthmag.com/beauty/a19897840/brunette-problems/.
- White, Kyle, and Mary Galloway. “How To Make Your Hair Color Last Way Longer.” Refinery29, www.refinery29.com/hair-color-maintenance.
- “Hair Care Tips for Natural Redheads.” Everything for Redheads, 18 Sept. 2016, everythingforredheads.co.uk/hair-care-tips-for-natural-redheads/.