As with cutting, doing your homework will ensure the result is in line with your desired look, but if you enjoy following fashion, there are colour trends you can consider. “But you have to remember, the colour that’s right for you is the one that best suits your skin tone and eye colour,” cautions A-list colour expert Daniel Galvin. Your colourist will have a trained eye and years of experience, so if you’re looking for a tailored shade, a salon treatment (rather than a DIY) may be the right route to follow. Plus, the pros can mix individual colours together to create the perfect hue for just you. “Level 1 is black and level 10 is blonde,” explains Kilshaw.
“Each number has a tonal value. The first number determines how light or dark the shade is and if there’s a number after a decimal point, that refers to the amount of tone. With a third number, as in 10.23, the 3 would be the tone you see when light catches the hair.” Your stylist will keep a record of the colour combination they’ve used each time, so they can make any adjustments you want in the future. If you prefer to colour your hair at home, Galvin’s golden rule is to never go more than two shades lighter or darker than your natural hair colour. “If your skin’s very fair, you can’t go too blonde as it can make you look translucent,” says Douglas. Dyeing your hair too dark can make your complexion look dull and tired, and if your hair is really red, you’ll want to avoid cooler tones. Style station Once you have your perfect cut and colour, it’s time to find your day-to-day style. “Unless you’re the exception, most people can only wear a couple of looks,” says Kilshaw.
The trick is not to go too far away from your natural hair type. “With curls, for example, you can still have variety – creating a softer or tighter curl, going smooth or adding volume – but you’re still curly, that’s your signature look.” Tools will help you create and maintain your style, but you still need to protect your strands. If you’re using straightening irons or curling wands, for example, tailor the temperature to suit your hair type to minimise the risk of damage. “For fine or bleached hair, set a temperature of about 140°C,” advises Kilshaw. “If you have thicker, coarse hair, you can use 190°C.” Some tools go as high as 220°C, so it’s crucial to pay attention.
Once you’ve worked out how to sculpt your base style safely, shake it up a little depending on when you wash your hair. After a shampoo sesh, your hair will be softer, lighter and bouncier as there’s no build up of product, so you might want to take advantage and go for a more natural look, advises Kilshaw. If you’ve got curly hair, for example, she suggests applying serum or argan oil to wet hair before letting it air-dry into bouncy waves. “On day two, you could go for less definition, loosening your curls with a wand and applying a shine serum. On the third day, maybe opt for an up-do with soft tendrils falling around your face,” Kilshaw tips. Take some time to experiment and create a lookbook of workable styles for different occasions (such as work, the gym or a hot date). Invest in a little prep, and you’ll have no-fuss styles you can call on every day of the week.
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