How To Color Your Hair Without Damaging It

Ultimately, the technique and what’s used will be decided by the colorist. (As it should, they’re the professionals after all.) However, being an informed client can help you understand why certain decisions are made and how you can better work with your colorist.

For example, if ingredients are a point of concern for you (be it for health, a sensitive scalp or whatever reason), talk to your colorist about what formulas they have available at the salon. As I’ve noted, modern options are much better for you—and there are many types that use natural extracts, are less irritating, and skip questionable ingredients. 

Your colorist can also use specific painting techniques to avoid touching your scalp too much, if you’d prefer no skin contact altogether. “Foils can help keep the color of the scalp,” says Cunningham. “I have a client who is allergic to color, and I’ve done a whole head of color using foils so it never touches the skin.” 

Or, if you know you’re someone who stretches time between appointments or wants to be as low-maintenance as possible, find a look that allows for a longer grow-out phase, such as balayage, notes Haliti. “I always aim for less is more,” she says. “My client is someone who wants to look clean, but she doesn’t wanna look like she’s colored. So how do we make this woman look like she’s not officially dyed?”

Another important thing to remember is that hair ages, just like the skin, muscles, and body as a whole. This is a natural part of life! With age, hair might become more dry, the scalp more sensitive, and of course, you might see more grays.

When you start to experience age-related changes to your hair, chat with your colorist about how you should be adjusting your color accordingly. There are many options available for those with graying hair, so don’t be afraid to change and evolve your look as you get older.  

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