Every once in a while, we need to mix things up. Try something new. But there are levels of change. A tweak or a smidge keep us well within our comfort zones. A makeover is a full transformation that earns oohs and aaahs from our friends and family.
But sometimes we just feel the need to GO FOR IT. That’s when we make a change that is not only new, it’s unexpected. It’s a change that wakes up our partners, lights up our DMs and makes us truly unforgettable. Because there are times when we want to look in the mirror and surprise even ourselves with who we see. Nothing accomplishes that goal better and faster than certain shades of hair color. They don’t call it getting ‘a wild hair’ for no reason!
Single Process Yields Double-Takes
We spoke with celebrity stylist and #betternaturepartner Marcus Francis for the 411 on how to play with these unique pigments to get a color result that will showcase a new side of your vibrant personality while still taking extra gentle care of your locks.
Francis is a fan of fashion shades as “a fun way to play with your hair” as long as “you know a few of the rules for getting the most gorgeous results.”
First off, virgin hair – meaning hair that has never been colored before – is not at all mandatory, but it is ideal because “you’re not trying to lift any previously deposited color.” And if darkening, it also “won’t cast a random tone onto the color you’re trying to achieve.”
There are other considerations if you have gray hair because grays contain zero pigment. Francis explains that if you’re using a fashion color on any percentage of gray, “take into consideration those strands will show up as highlights in that color tone.” If you are trying to cover grays to match the rest of your hair color, “you need to have an N (natural/neutral) as part of your color formula.”
Among the fashion shades, if you have 50 percent gray hair or more, “8BA would help to accentuate this color because gray – like blue - is a cool tone,” Francis says. By comparison, RR and NRG applied to predominantly gray hair will deliver a more uneven result that will look like “more intensely colored highlights in the shade you’ve deposited.”
When choosing a vibrant tone here are some pointers that will give you ideal results, going up in levels from dark to light.
Intense Red (5RR): This scorching shade is recommended for dark brown to medium brown hair. If you apply to hair that is a level 4, according to Francis, “you will still see the vibrancy in the color and tone.” However, more than one level darker and the underlying pigment too strong and “will shadow the pop of color you were going for.” If you want more a more dramatic ‘fire engine’ result you can apply to lighter hair. Be prepared to stop traffic.
Before choosing to go red, take into consideration that reddish hair tends to be higher maintenance. Why? Because red pigments, due to the way they are structured, require more safeguarding to minimize fade than other colors do. All the more reason to take extra good care of your red with Better Natured™ Color Care Shampoo and Conditioner. When used together they keep your hue fresh and bright for up to nine weeks!
Very Violet (6VV): For ladies with medium brown to dark blonde hair who are ready to channel their inner violet vixen – bold and a bit mysterious - this is your shade. Applying to lighter levels delivers ultra-violet results, and when using on mostly gray hair add 6N to your formula.
Steely Blue (8BA): This singular shade makes its strongest statement on dark blonde to blonde hair, delivering results that are so cool they’re haute. For even more of a steel blue hue apply to lighter levels, or on mostly gray hair add 8N to the formula to deliver a chic, natural result.
If you are a brunette, don’t bother going blue. The warm undertones in brown conflict with the cool tones of the blue and the result is ‘so so’ instead of ‘hey hey’. So if you are a level 7 or below, say adieu to blue.