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Slideshow: Your 'Get Gorgeous' Tour of Hair Color

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smiling woman with curly hair

Why Color?

Few changes rock the mirror like a new hue for your hair. And the glow of beautiful tresses may brighten your mood, too. Nine out of ten women say there's a link between their hair and their self-esteem. But which hair color option is right for you? A hint of henna -- or a bold salon blonde? Read More

portrait of mother and daughter

Give Your Hair a Second Childhood

Whether you’re an old pro or coloring for the first time, here’s a bit of wisdom: Just because you can pick anything from platinum blonde to jet black doesn't mean you should. Look at photos of yourself as a child. That's probably the color that's most flattering for you. If adult life has Read More

womans face with color bar

Complement Your Complexion

If you want to try a color you've never had naturally, think about your skin tone and eyes. People with fair skin and light eyes can pull off the widest range of shades, though the wrong dark shade can be aging. Those with olive or dark skin and dark eyes can go darker, but not too light. And if Read More

woman with red hair in bun

'Try on' Color First

Temporary dyes give you a faster escape plan, if needed. A rinse washes out in one to two shampoos. Semi-permanent dye comes out in eight to12 washes. Demi-permanent lasts up to 28 shampoos. They have no ammonia, so they don't sink too deeply into the hair shaft. You can darken hair, or add Read More

woman with short blonde hair

See a Pro for Dramatic Changes

Permanent color -- the most popular kind -- can take your hair in a totally different color direction. Home kits offer an endless palette of blonde, brunette, redhead, or glossy blacks. For platinum or any hue that's more than three shades off your natural color, head to a salon to get it Read More

woman with dyed dark hair

Go Darker in Baby Steps

Do it in stages. If the results are too subtle, you can always deepen the shade the next time around. Or, add highlights when you go dark to steer clear of a solid "helmet " of hair. Both options are easier, and will probably leave you happier, than if you start too dark and want to scale back. Read More

redheaded woman flipping hair

To Go Ginger, Find the Right Red

Red can be spectacular! It's one of the trickiest colors to pull off, though, so mind a few tips: Stay away from blue reds -- they tend to look unnatural. Cedar reds are usually warm and luscious colors on natural brunettes. Henna, made from a plant, is another way to add some red or Read More

woman shaking her blonde hair

Dance the Two-Step to Blonde Beauty

Blonde hair with dark roots is trendy, but hard to pull off. You'll get a softer look as hair grows out by using more than one color. Already-blondes can apply permanent color to take hair two shades lighter. Then, add highlights or dark blonde lowlights for a natural look. Dark hair needs Read More

woman with highlights in hair

Do Highlights and Lowlights Right

You need really good skills to handle highlighting at home. It's tough to avoid damaging your hair or creating hard-to-fix, patchy results. Better to head to your salon and ask for highlights and lowlights (strands of darker-than-natural hair). The deep color adds depth and makes Read More

woman with dyed gray hair

Three Ways to Cover Gray

If you're just starting to go gray, you can blend away the intruders with a mild semi-permanent color. If your hair is more than a quarter gray, you'll need a stronger demi-permanent product. These choices will gradually rinse out as your roots grow in, preventing a streak of gray at your Read More

woman looking down at her hair

Keep Hair Glam by Not Overdoing It

Good news: You’re not likely to damage your hair by coloring it. Just don’t leave bleach on for too long or lighten the ends over and over. This can leave hair porous and brittle. If you're coloring at home, follow the instructions about how long to leave color on the ends and how often to Read More

smiling woman with curly hair

Keep Hair Products in Line

Whether you straighten your hair or use a perm to add long, loose curls, do it before you color. You may be able to use semi- or demi-permanent color the same day -- check the directions on the box to be sure. Before applying permanent color, wait seven to 10 days and wash your hair at least Read More

woman with bad dye job

If Dye Goes Awry, Get Help

Your hair came out too light, so you try to fix it by applying a warm shade of light brown. Now you're sporting pink! Trying to fix a bad dye job yourself often takes you from oops to OMG. See a good colorist right away. It's easier to fix the original mistake than to work on a correction gone Read More

pregnant woman dying hair

Pregnant? You Can Still Color

Your hair can still look lustrous as your belly gets bigger! Very little, if any, hair dye gets into your system and reaches your baby. If you're still worried, don't color your hair in the first trimester, when a baby's most important development takes place. To avoid fumes that can make Read More

woman combing wet hair

Special Care for Colored Hair

To keep your new color rich and shiny, use a conditioning shampoo and follow that up with a conditioner that contains silicone. Wear a hat in strong sun or try a sun-protective shampoo. The sun's UV rays can fade your gorgeous hair color, especially Read More

Reviewed by Debra Jaliman, MD on November 06, 2012

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