Choosing and Maintaining a Creative Colour

Is it time for you to change up your colour?

Creative colour to us is anything that doesn’t look like natural colour, be it vivids, pastels or two-toned hair. Choosing and maintaining a creative colour isn't always easy, but we have the insider knowledge on how to get the most from your bright or muted hue.   

We’ve been working with bright and pastels for many years. While they once used to shock and surprise and were often reserved for Avant Garde hair shows, nowadays they’re highly requested fashion choices. What’s more, there’s certainly no age limit on creative colours; pastels look incredible in naturally grey or white hair, and since many of the more striking tones can fade faster than natural colours, they’re often favoured by those who are new to colouring their hair.

Get all the facts before you change it up.

For expert tips on choosing and maintaining a creative colour, we turned to Ellie, Senior Salon Stylist and Salon Technician in our Stafford Street branch. Ellie loves to work with beautiful bright colours, and here she guides us through the decision making that goes into getting creative with your colour.

"I've always enjoyed the excitement and anticipation of seeing the final result of a creative colour." Ellie tells us. While some might shy away from bright or bold shades, Ellie thrives on it. "You just have to trust yourself." she says. "It's always so fun to watch the transformation. It can completely change a clients whole image and boost their confidence."

We love being imaginative with colour, but we also want to give our clients all the facts before they make their decision. We wouldn't dream of going ahead with a drastic change before giving you details on how best to care for your unique look! 

A thorough consultation is key

We always consult with our clients before having a new colour, but a creative colour change needs to be even more in depth! We have to make sure we’re on the same page, (photos are a wonderful help) that what you want is achievable and will suit your skin tone as well as your lifestyle. Also, there's a practical side to it; we tend to order your colour in specially for you. As beautiful blush pinks or icy blues aren't created regularly in-salon, we order these ad-hoc to avoid waste.

Prepare for fading

Maybe you’ve already taken the plunge and gone red or copper or are already experimenting with bright creative colours, in which case you’ve likely experienced one thing that’s made you question your decision; the colour fading drastically, and quickly. First off, some practical advice: don't use lightly-coloured towels, or allow your wet hair to drip onto light tiles or bath mats, unless you'd like them permanently tie-dyed! 

Having sat through hours of colour change, it’s devastating to watch your vibrant shade wash down the plughole. Your once violet hair is now lilac, bright red fading to a peachy pink. 

“Pastel tones fade quickest of all, but any creative colour will wash out faster than your classic shades.” Ellie tells us.

Be open-minded and enjoy the stages

Speaking of fade, we’ll always talk you through the potential shades your colour may turn as it washes out. This might influence your final decision. This depends of course, on how often you wash your hair. If you can get your wash down to once a week, this will work wonders for maintaining your chosen shade. The colder you can stand the water the better, to avoid opening the cuticle quite so much. 

Ellie often finds that the final colour choice comes down to how her client wants the colour to fade.  

"Of course, everyone’s hair is different, but blues often fade green, purple generally fades to an eventual silver, while pinks fade to peach." she says, so be prepared to go on a journey no matter how meticulous you are with your aftercare. 

The deeper and brighter the tone the harder the upkeep, but it can be a bit of a paradox, as it's often difficult to remove these colours completely. Blue is said to be the most difficult to completely get rid of or change, as well as being one of the hardest to achieve (you’ve got to be ashy-haired to make this happen; we know that any hint of yellow + blue= green!) 

Be prepared not to get your first choice

Preparing most hair for creative colour involves pre-lightening, so we might take a strand to lighten before we make any set-in-stone decisions on shades. For example, if your hair only lifts to an orange shade, we’re going to have to rethink that periwinkle blue!  

In this instance, we’d guide you to a beautiful copper, red or auburn hue, or, if you’re up for the journey, beginning the process of lightening your locks with highlights and a lot of love and care.  

Your hair’s health comes first

We’d never want to rush the lightening process (and risk the integrity of your hair) no matter what your colour plans are, but this is especially important if you want to get the best out of your colour. Vibrant shades look amazing with an intense shine, and shine starts with great hair health. 

And healthy hair is the mainstay of our business; there are many occasions where Ellie and the rest of our colour team have gently steered clients away from anything that will harm their hair. Even with the introduction of products like Olaplex, often the gradual route is the best by far. The main takeaway here is, don’t risk the long-term health of your hair for a short-term fix.

Damaged hair might lead to an uneven fade, with over-processed hair either clinging to the colour more or not holding onto it at all, creating that patchwork look no one asked for.  

A less intense shade or even a burst of colour with a money-piece can still transform you and your hair with less damage.

The work doesn’t stop in-salon

During your consultation, we can advise how long your appointment will be and the price of your service, but we can also advise you on the price of aftercare and how often you’ll need to return for maintenance.  

“I always ensure my clients, and potential clients, know the work involved in choosing and maintaining a creative colour.” Says Ellie.

“Correct homecare is so important for longevity. I’d always advise a salon quality shampoo, conditioner and a heat protector to take home.” Our Hydrate shampoo and conditioner are the perfect duo to take care of your colour at home. Protect it from fading under heat with our Blow Dry Crème, and nourish from within while adding shine with our Gloss Oil.

Some supermarket shampoo and conditioner have the unfortunate ability to strip the hair of colour and are therefore even worse for your colour than others. “Ensure there are no sulphates or parabens in your chosen products,” Ellie advises, “and avoid washing it too often.”

“Always cover your hair when you’re in the sun or swimming, or using sunbeds, make-up or fake tan,” says Ellie. "These factors have the potential to strip or change the colour."

Tempted to change? Now you know the facts on choosing and maintaining a creative colour, why not arrange a no-obligation consultation at one of our city centre salons? 

We suggest calling your chosen salon to arrange a date and time to avoid disappointment!

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