There is no doubt - a mane of shiny, full, color-rich hair makes a girl feel great. And especially if you have thinning hair, or hair that appears fragile due to factors such as lifestyle, aging, stress, hormonal changes, medications or chemical processing, the question becomes, what's the best choice for me to get the color I want, without the damage? We combed the aisles of beauty supply, grocery stores and drugstores to share our recommendations for choosing the best color.
The 3 most popular formulas available that are better for your hair are:
Permanent, ammonia-free Demi-Permanent Semi-Permanent Though your individual brand choice may vary, understanding these 3 options is good to know when making your at-home color decision.
1. PERMANENT HAIR COLOR This is the longest lasting form of color, lasting about 6, up to 8 weeks. The advantage is the promise of 100% gray coverage, and the ability to literally change your current hair color. Whether you are trying to recapture your original color, or change it up to something new and fresh, most permanent color kits use a two-step process (usually occurring simultaneously) which first removes the original color of the hair and then deposits a new color. The downside is that this process repeated overtime can cause hair to become brittle and lifeless as potentially harsh-to-your-hair ingredients in these formula's are the chemicals needed to make the change. Good news, many brands are coming out with ammonia-free formula's, which though not eliminating all the ingredients needed to change your color, is on the right track. Recommendation: For 100% gray coverage or to change your color, look for permanent color options that are ammonia-free. Celebrity Stylist Francky L'Official, says “Most ammonia-free color disappears gradually each time you shampoo" which means a more natural look as the color fades. "I personally love working with ammonia-free color because of the shine of the color and the way it makes hair feel.”
2.DEMI-PERMANENT HAIR COLOR
This type of color is the "middle" type of hair color lasts about 4 weeks. With demi-permanent, color is simply deposited on top of the hair, and it will cover gray hair much better than semi-permanent hair color. This type of hair color often looks more natural than permanent hair color, because it allows the hair to retain more of its natural color and color variance, starting to gradually fade after about 28 shampoos. It is made with an alkaline agent as well as a developer such as hydrogen peroxide, but in a much lower concentration than permanent hair color. This means that hair is not actually lightened when it is colored with this type of dye, and demi-permanent hair color does not contain ammonia. Recommendation: Choose demi-permanent to compliment your natural hair color or slightly enhance your color, and to naturally blend and cover grays.
3. SEMI-PERMANENT HAIR COLOR
Designed to stay in the hair for six weeks, just like demi-permanent options, the color slightly fades when the hair is washed. Semi-permanent colors contain pigments that coat the outer cortex of the hair, and are mainly used to enhance the natural color of hair and add shine and gloss to the hair. Dull and faded-out, drab hair appears refreshed with a new color tone. Semi-permanent hair color only deepens or lightens the natural hair color, without penetrating the entire hair shaft. Recommendation: Choose semi-permanent if you don't have grays you want to cover, and when you are looking for a pop of color and shiny gloss to enhance your natural shade. Now, it goes without saying that if you are under a doctors care, its always recommended to keep your doctor informed. And if you have general questions, help lines exist for almost every brand on the shelf - you can simply make the call from the aisle and get the answers you need.