Our internet friend Rachel wrote:
Like many recessionistas, I’ve finally decided I’m ready to face home hair coloring again, even going so far as to consider a coloring-highlighting combo. As an unabashed nerd, I began searching around in cyberspace for advice, and I distinctly remember one of you posting about your love for L’Oreal Experte. Sadly, your search engine came up empty, but I’m certain I remember this post.
That said, might I request from whichever diva created the original mention that you post it once more … along with whatever tips you have to share for those of us whose last home-highlighting experience was back in a 1987 college dorm room? I — and I am certain many others — would be eternally grateful.
Indeed, I freely admit to coloring my hair myself, with L’Oreal Couleur Experte. I posted about it once before here. Ever since, there have been requests for more details about how to color at home. Here is what I wrote to Rachel:
The best thing to do first is to find a stylist who will work in your price range. If you have a relationship with someone, ask if they can “throw in” services, for example, if you pay for a pricey color and highlighting, ask if they’ll do the haircut for free. If you ask nicely,
especially at a one-woman hair boutique, you may get a “yes.”
That having been said, indeed Francesca has been coloring her own hair ever since her own just-out-of-college, parents-won’t-support-Francesca-because-she-must-build-character days. Once she found a color that looked SO NATURAL THAT NO ONE KNEW SHE COLORED IT, she stuck with it.
It is IMPERATIVE that you find a color that looks very, very natural on you. Do not stray far from the color of your eyebrows. None of this Bozo-the-clown magenta, OK? No going blonde unless your hair is already very light. No going raven black unless you are Native American. We understand? The idea should be that once your roots start to show, there is so little difference between the roots and the color that your friends are hard-pressed to even see that your roots are showing at all. You want to find a color that is “you, plus.”
If you want to do something very dramatic, Do Not Try It At Home. The chances of choosing something all wrong for your skin tone are just too dire. You will come away looking either like a washed-out vampire or like a pink newborn piggy.
(The only exception is if you are the artsy or goth or rebellious teenager or college student and we are talking about colors like green or purple, in which case Francesca says to go for it and be creative in whatever way you like, while you are still young and free and need not worry about getting the corporate job.)
Next. Regarding the highlights in the L’Oreal product. Indeed they make all the difference. Our hair naturally has highlights and lowlights, so the highlighting makes everything look natural …
… IF you do them properly. This means following the instructions exactly. It means giving yourself only the teeniest, tiniest of highlights on very leetle, itsy-bitsy strands of hair. No dramatic streaks!!!
It is important not only to put highlights on the top layer of hair, but to pin up the hair and highlight a few strands around the bottom, then a few more strands in the middle layer, and finally a number of strands around the top of the head. Again, we are talking about itsy-bitsy strands.
Also, make sure the highlights are not evenly spaced. Evenly-spaced highlights are a tip-off that they are man-made.
Again, I cannot stress enough that this process works well for Francesca only because she has had much practice and knows what she is doing.
But it does work for her, and it is quite convenient, and the money she saves she uses to buy more dresses from Igigi.
Good luck! xoxo!