Julia Youssef, Assistant Vice President, L'Oréal Technical Center answers your frequently asked questions about hair color:
Coloring Over Highlights
I have highlights in my hair. If I color my hair over the highlights, will the highlights appear as a lighter shade?
Yes, they'll appear lighter, brighter or both. Just how light and bright? That depends on your highlights. Some women get very subtle streaks just a shade lighter than their base color, while others go for bold chunks much lighter than their base color. Therefore, when shopping for an at-home hair color product, base your shade selection not on your base color but on your highlights. Don't try to go lighter
Adding Highlights Over Color
Is it safe to add highlights on top of permanent, allover color?
It's safe, but also unpredictable. That's because the first chemical process
Blonde Color for Olive Complexions?
I have always wanted to try blonde hair but everyone advises me against it because I have olive-toned skin. Will blonde hair make my skin look green?
When it comes to choosing hair color, how dark or light your skin is matters just as much as how dark or light your hair is. But tone
Fixing Unnatural Highlights
I gave myself highlights at home, they don't look natural (the streaks are too thick). What can I do next time to achieve a more natural look?
First, apply your highlights with a lighter touch. The trick is to apply the lightening formula on only a few strands of hair at a time. For very natural-looking results, you may want to start with a base color to use all over your hair. Then add highlights in a coordinated kit. Another good idea is not just to highlight, but to start with a coordinated base color for more natural-looking results.
Going Lighter Without Bleach?
My husband wants to try highlights but says he doesn't want to "bleach" his hair. Is it possible to go lighter without bleach?
A lot of people don't want to use bleaching or highlighting kits because the word "bleach" reminds them of that common household cleaning product. But it's not quite the same thing. In hair color, it's an ingredient that lifts natural pigment out of the hair, creating either a beachy, bleachy look (when applied all over) or highlights. That said, for highlights that really show up, you do need bleach. But if a subtle lightness on selected strands would make him happy, he can use a permanent hair color product, applied with fingertips or a toothbrush. Again: If he wants dramatic, visible highlights, a little bit of bleach is necessary.
What is the best technique to apply highlights?
There's no one right way to apply highlights. That said, in my experience, the trend for women who do their own highlights at home seems to be brushing them on with a wand. It's an at-home version of a French technique known as baliyage. That's why some of the better new highlighting kits are based upon brush-on application. Another popular at-home option is the frosting cap.
Lightening Turned Orange
I'm Asian and when I tried to lighten my hair it turned orange! How can I correct it? What should I do next time?
Wait at least a week before doing anything. Has the color improved? Do you like it more? Great! If not, try recoloring using the same brand but one level darker (a light brown instead of a dark blonde, for example) but with a different tone. Try something with the words "cool," "ash" or "iridescent" in its name. The new, cooler color will combine with the old, brassy color and give you a rich brown. Next time you color your hair, consider using a permanent hair color product with dyes formulated exclusively for women with dark hair. They may not be able to take you from darkest black to lightest blonde in one step, but they can give you a much lighter color without any brassiness at all. That's because they have both extra lifting action (so your hair gets lighter than it would with a traditional dye) and extra toning action (so your brassies get more "toned down" than they would with a traditional lightener). Here's another alternative for you: Go a deep red, again using a hair color product made specifically for dark-haired women. The natural red tones in your hair will work with
Getting the J.Lo Look
I'm Latina and have wavy reddish, dark brown hair. I would love to go lighter, like J.Lo. How can I get hair that looks like hers?
If you have dark hair