Colorful Mama

Hair color… Is it for everyone? Throughout my career as a hairstylist I have heard several reasons why women choose not to color their hair. These reasons include: Maintenance, money, time, and damage. Reasons people choose color: Highlight facial features, brighten face, cover grays, turn heads, and enhance a dull, natural color (sometimes known as “dishwater blonde”, “ashy”, or “mousy”- those words pretty much sum up my hair color haha!).

First, I will state that if someone comes to me for a consultation about hair color I am very honest with my guest. If they have a rich, natural color that really compliments them, I will say “Be natural! It works!”. In most cases though, natural shades are not that shiny and can be enhanced a bit.

Let’s address maintenance. Many women believe that once they get color they will have to be in the salon every six weeks to get it touched up. If you are doing all over color that is multiple shades lighter or darker than your natural color then yes, you will be retouching your roots often. But, there are options that give you more time in between coloring. The number one low maintenance and trendy color right now is ombre’. Generally, ombre’ is darker at the roots and lighter at the ends. Ombre’ is a great way to have brightness around your face without the up keep of your roots. I always tell my guest that it looks like they spent lots of time at the beach over the summer and their hair has now grown out from being sun bleached. There are some pretty extreme versions of ombre’ out there. I lean more towards the subtle, nicely blended ombre’. I am actually rocking some ombre’ in my hair right now!

Notice how my hair goes from a dark strawberry blonde at the roots to light blonde at the ends? Very subtle

Notice how my hair goes from a dark strawberry blonde at the roots to light blonde at the ends? Very subtle.

This is the extreme ombre' I am not a fan of. It just looks like she has roots!

This is the extreme ombre’ I am not a fan of. It just looks like she has roots!





Not a fan of the roots look? Try getting what we call at my salon “brightening” or “face framing high lights”. This usually consist of around six to ten foils in a shade that is just a few shades lighter or darker than your natural color. Many salons offer this as an add on service (with a haircut, conditioning treatment, blow out, etc…) for a very reasonable rate. Only $30 at my salon!! (Zonolite Hair Studio)

Face framing high lights

Face framing high lights



Low lights

Low lights

Are you more of an all over kind of person? Would you like to just enhance your natural color? A demi permanent gloss is a nice option. You can choose a color that is a richer version of your natural color. The shade you choose may be more golden or red to give your hair a nice shine. The great thing about demi permanent color is that only about 50% of  the color stays in your hair permanently. So, as your hair grows the color fades out a bit. With this option there is no urgency to get those roots done because they are barely noticeable. Demi is also great for coloring gray hair (50% gray or less) because it makes the grays in your hair just look like high lights.

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With lower maintenance options, that lowers how much you would be spending on color as well. As a mother it becomes a difficult task to take time for yourself and especially spend money on yourself (even though you deserve it!!). If you are still not interested in spending money at a salon on your hair as much as I hate to say it, there is always the store bought option… I frown upon this because store bought (AKA box) color can be unpredictable, more damaging, and incredibly difficult to fix if you choose the wrong color. Also, if you choose the wrong color and can’t fix it yourself it can be expensive when you go to the salon to have a stylist take care of you. Worst cases are when women end up with darker hair than what they wanted and desire to be a couple of shades lighter. This service in the salon is known as corrective color and has been know to take 4+ hours and cost $200+ to fix. ***Remember color cannot lift color***  Bleach is usually required to lift box color.

If you do choose to go with box color, please be cautious!!!! Try demi permanent for going darker. If you are going lighter take this into consideration: Box color only has the ability to lift 2 levels of color. So, if you want to be more than 2 levels lighter than what you are you will have to use bleach (in a salon we can lift up to 4 or 5 levels with color). If you have dark brown hair and you put light blonde box color on your hair, your hair will just look medium brown that is very “brassy” or orange. When bleaching your hair, timing is everything. If it is on too long, you will end up with super blonde hair that could possibly be very damaged. If bleach is not on your hair long enough, you will have orange hair that then has to be toned.  There are lots of variables that go into doing your own hair color. That’s why I strongly recommend leaving it to the professionals to take care of.

Worried about damage? The more levels you lift your hair the more your hair cuticle opens and hair becomes slightly fragile. Also, depending on what type of hair you have, color can damage it more or less. Fine hair is the most fragile (be careful when going lighter). Coarse hair can withstand many levels of lift with little damage. If you do not want to damage your hair here are some options: Use demi permanent hair color instead of permanent for going darker, only go a couple of shades lighter when lifting your hair, and choose foils instead of all over. These options will not noticeably compromise the integrity of your hair.

When deciding what hair color to choose for yourself it is important that you determine what skin tone you have in order to know what colors look best on you. Eye color plays into this as well. This website will be helpful in determining what your skin tone is if you are unsure:,,20475181_20591842_21153816,00.html           (side note: this website has hair care advertisements. I do not recommend these products because they are not natural/organic)

Well, that sums up our lesson on hair color! If you guys have any questions regarding any of the information I write on this blog, feel free to call me or come see me at my salon! I work Wednesday 4-8, Friday 3-7 and Saturday 10-4. Zonolite Hair Studio 4042491543


Nicky Nocera

Next Blog Topic: Natural/Organic Hair Care


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