4 Things No One Tells You About Dyeing Your Hair

Like, it can actually be good for it? Maybe?

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You know what you're getting into when you color your hair—damaged cuticles and straw-like strands come to mind. But it's not that cut and dry when it comes to dye jobs. In fact, there are some things that your stylist probably won't think to tell you. (That's why we're here.) We caught up with Laura Estroff, Head Colorist at Kennaland, to get the dirty deets:

File this under Too Real For Real Life. "Color allergies and sensitivities can develop overnight," says Estroff. "Luckily, if you feel you have a growing sensitivity or are concerned about the future possibility of developing one, companies such as Wella (with their line Innosense), are developing new lines catered to people with color sensitivities." Estroff recommends scheduling a patch test with your colorist if you're at all concerned, and waiting 48 hours before going through with the whole appointment.

"If you are planning to lighten your hair, try adding Olaplex to your lifting agent AKA the chemicals used to lift color from your hair," says Estroff. "It's a cool treatment that repairs damage to your hair by fixing itself to the broken bonds. When you add the molecule to bleach, it actually prevents breakage." Talk to your stylist to see if the treatment is right for the color you want. 

"You won't always know the most suitable color for your complexion, which is why you should always consult a colorist, especially if you are venturing into pastel colors," says Estroff. "A colorist will be able to choose a complimentary color for your skin tone." 

If you're thinking of colors already (or won't heed this advice and are planning to do at home), as a general rule of thumb, light goes with light and dark goes with dark. "If you have lighter eyes opt for natural, light hair colors and if you have a darker complexion, choose darker shades."  

And make sure to pay attention to your skin's undertones. "If you have traces of pink in your skin, you should avoid warm colors because it will make you look rosy," says Estroff. "Women with olive skin should choose gold colors, which tone down to green in your skin and bring warmth to your complexion. If your skin tone is neutral, with no traces of pink or green, you should go for warm or cool blonde shades."

"Many people like to dye their hair themselves because it is convenient and it saves money," says Estroff. "Which is cool.  But! If you're looking to do a 180, you should seek a professional. If bleaching isn't done properly, you can severely damage your hair or turn it orange."

Samantha Leal
Senior Editor

Samantha Leal is the Deputy Editor at Well+Good, where she spends most of her day thinking of new ideas across platforms, bringing on new writers, overseeing the day-to-day of the website, and working with the awesome team to produce the best stories and packages. Before W+G, she was the Senior Web Editor for Marie Claire and the Deputy Editor for Latina.com, with bylines all over the internet. Graduating from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University with a minor in African history, she’s written everything from travel guides to political op-eds to wine explainers (currently enrolled in the WSET program) to celebrity profiles. Find her online pretty much everywhere @samanthajoleal.