Beauty Fix: Hair dye dilemmas? We have the all the answers!

Welcome to the revamped Beauty Fix: what was once a daily hit has now expanded into a weekly beauty advice column! In our first instalment, we’re offering up tips on everything to do with hair colour. From decoding the latest trends to your best bets for colouring at home, we’re here to help you navigate through various hair dye dilemmas.

Read on for all the answers to your hair dye questions! »

I have lingering bad memories of my mom’s at-home dye jobs—it smelled like ammonia and stained her hairline for days—so I’ve never touched up my own. Am I being unreasonably wary of box dye?
Your mom probably dyed her hair at home to keep the process private. Back in the day, it was considered a faux pas to colour your hair, so dying at home kept it a secret. Now that coloured hair is completely kosher, our hesitation may be persisting through lingering memories of our mothers’ misfortunes. Lucky for you, the technology behind box dye has matured to reveal new solutions for old problems. Foamier solutions, like Garnier Nutrisse Mousse ($11, at drugstores) and John Frieda Precision Foam Colour ($15, at drugstores) have a meringue-like consistency to help control application and leave your hairline drip-free. You’re also likelier to find the exact right shade amongst an increasingly wide range of colours. Wearing gloves is probably still the same level of annoying as it was for your mom, but at least your hair has a better chance of looking professionally processed after 25 minutes in the comfort of your very own home.

My hair started showing a little grey streak at an early age. For a while, I dyed it to match my dark hair, but colour fades quickly and I’m somewhat tired of the process. Will it make me look older than my age if I let it grow out?
I think you should consider yourself lucky to have a stand-out feature that’s very easy to maintain! A grey streak in your hair is just as alluring as a spattering of freckles or a space between two front teeth. (I was shy of my incisor tooth until Lindsey Wixson became all the rage and imperfect smiles made a comeback.) I think a strike of silver looks regal and it would stand out especially well with an extra kick of glossiness that reflects light in the sun. Forget the dye and book a shine treatment, like DIA Light Photo Gloss by L’Oréal Professionnel (prices vary, at salons), at your next appointment—it will enhance your natural embellishment like a shiny medallion does a proud pony, and age has no tarnishing effect on that.

Is ombré hair still a trend for summer? I know it’s been popular for a while but I have yet to try it and would really like to!
In my mind there’s no such thing as being “too liberal” with your beauty. By this I mean having the freedom to create whatever you wish with your hair, makeup, and style whenever you feel inspired to do so. A friend of mine was inquiring about the rise and fall of trends the other day and we were trying to pinpoint the exact point of creation for new fads. When it comes down to it, everything is cyclical, where top trends today were augmented from the previous infatuations of yesterday to shape something new. Neons, for example, are a natural progression from past seasons’ bold colour blocking in bright shades. So, if you’re still digging ombré, go for it! The trend has barely been here long enough to be gone but, if you’re still concerned with looking dated, consider extending the ombré high into the nape of your neck and keeping the colour divide jagged—it’s a variation on double-colour hair that we’ve seen most recently on runways for next fall.

I’ve lifted the colour of my natural strawberry-blonde hair to platinum for the greater part of 10 years. What is the safest and most flattering way to wean myself off hair dye so I can grow naturally with grace?
Actually, I don’t think your timing could be any more perfect—as I just discussed, double-colour hair is really on trend. The best execution is when your roots reach beyond your temple to juxtapose your natural colour with just a hint of harshness. (That harshness is what looks so cool!) However, getting to that length can take months, so dye your hair with a semi-permanent colour that best matches your roots. It will fade progressively as your roots grow out to create a subtle divide between the two shades. A tip: bathe your hair regularly in a nourishing oil to satiate each strand and prevent breakage. Try: Essence of Argan’s 100% Pure Moroccan Argan Oil ($93,

I want to do something with my hair that’s creative, but not too crazy. A friend suggested going for an undercut, but I don’t like the thought of growing it out. What else can I do?
You’ve got so many options it’s insane—we’re living in a period of creative expansion where anything goes! My suggestion: add a touch of colour. Painting candy-coloured embellishment into your hair may have once been considered overboard but today it’s definitely on trend. Try soaking your hair in electric shades like canary yellow and cherry red: simply pick your preferred shade of eyeshadow and crush one corner using a makeup brush to loosen the powder. Prep your hair with a waxy product, like Redken Rough Paste ($24, at salons) to create a texture that will grip the pigment once you start finger painting. The obvious benefits of this trend are that the colour is temporary and the creative possibilities are endless—and there’s no bothersome grow-out phase.

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