Julia Youssef, Assistant Vice President, L'Oréal Technical Center answers your frequently asked questions about hair color:
Coloring Roots at Home
I get my hair colored in the salon but I'd like to extend time between visits. Is it okay to do my roots at home? How do I match the color?
In many cases, you should be able to do your roots at home, especially if you got the most common process, which is a single color applied with a permanent dye. But speak to your colorist! Tell him or her what you'd like to accomplish and ask the following questions: Was the color permanent? What was the level? (This should be represented by a number between 1 and 12, and those same numbers are found on most at-home hair color boxes, right next to the shade names, making it easy to find a match.) What was the tone? (Your colorist may use words like auburn, bronze, copper, gold, ash, beige or iridescent. These are code words for combinations of red, orange, yellow, blue, green and violet that give hair color its punch. Look for similar
Shampoo for Color-Treated Hair
What are the difference between shampoos and conditioners for color-treated hair and my old standby? Is it necessary to switch after coloring my hair?
Good shampoos and conditioners for color-treated hair contain UV filters to protect color (which gets faded by sunlight, just like an article of clothing hung out to dry on a sunny summer day) and more gentle cleansers (to prevent premature rinse-away). But there are also shampoos and conditioners that are "safe for color-treated hair," which usually just means they're very gentle. You may want to try shampoos, conditioners and treatments by L'Oréal VIVE. They're all safe for color-treated hair. VIVE Color-Care, of course, contains those UV filters that are especially protective of color-treated hair.
Going Natural from Bleached
I would like to go from bleached blonde to my natural color. What's the best way to do this? Do I have to wait until the old color grows out?
No. You don't have to wait to go darker. Simply buy an at-home hair color product that's permanent and comes in a shade very close to your natural color. If you want to maintain some of the warmth you achieved by bleaching your hair, choose a golden shade. If you want to neutralize the warmth you achieved by bleaching your hair, choose an ash shade. If you can't decide, and just want to look natural, choose a natural or neutral shade. No matter how dark you dye your hair, and no matter how permanent the product is, be prepared for a bit of fade over time. It's the price to pay for bleaching your hair. But you really shouldn't worry about it. I'm talking about a subtle fade that will look quite natural. Just touch-up and refresh every four to six weeks until your natural color is back. Also, consider cutting your hair a bit shorter and a bit more often if you get impatient.