Become Your Own Master Colorist

Celebrity Colorist Dwayne Ross shares his DIY coloring tips.
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Become Your Own Master Colorist

Celebrity Colorist Dwayne Ross shares his DIY coloring tips.

-Dwayne Ross

jennifer lopez katy perry

While we all admire JLo’s honey blonde highlights and Katy Perry’s ever-changing hues, the maintenance is time and cost consuming. There’s a new generation of at-home color that’s easy and mess free. Celebrity colorist Dwayne Ross, whose clients includes Jessica Alba, Jessica Simpson and Kate Beckinsale, gives us a crash course on becoming a master colorist.

Get started by finding someone whose color you really like. An easy way to know if it will look right on you is if they have similar skin tone to you. Finding a beautiful hair color on someone whose hair and skin tone differs from yours can spell disaster! If you’re still feeling lost, dig up some childhood photos. The further away from your natural color you venture, the more unpredictable your end result will be.

If you have “virgin hair” (hair that’s never felt a drop of color!), follow my below color key suggestions.

If your hair is black or dark brown. Deep reds like wines and/or purples like plum reds will look the best.

If your hair is medium brown to light brown. Ash high-lift blonds with 40 volume peroxide will work best.

If your hair is dark blonde. You have the option of either ash or golden high-lift blondes.

If your hair is medium blonde or lighter. Gold high-lifts with 30 volume will look great.

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 If your hair has been previously colored the color tones above still apply, but first you will need to highlight your hair with a bleach to remove the previous color. Follow my below color key suggestions after the bleaching process:

If your hair is black or dark brown. Highlight with a bleach to a reddish/orange and then wash and dry. Then apply the above recommendation.

If your color is medium to light brown. Highlight with bleach to yellow. Wash hair and dry. Then apply a level 8 (light blonde) ammonia free color over entire head. If you cannot reach a true yellow with no orange in it then apply a level 7 neutral ammonia free color instead.

Dark blonde. Highlight with bleach and 10 or 20 volume peroxide to a light yellow then wash and dry. Apply an ammonia free level 9 or 10 golden blonde all over. If you cannot reach a light yellow with the bleach switch your ammonia free color to a level 10 neutral blonde.

• If you are a previously colored medium or lighter blonde. You can treat your hair the same as the virgin suggestion for your category except increase peroxide to 40 volume when using a high-lift color.

If you’ve gone grey and want to return to your natural color, you need to be a little experimental. When your hair loses pigment (making it grey) your skin loses some pigment as well. To make it look more natural, try one shade lighter and slightly warmer to balance the loss of pigment in your skin.

Follow my below color key to hide your grey:

• Use natural tone colors ranging from level 2 (dark brown) to level 7 (dark blonde). Levels 8, 9 and 10 will not give 100% grey coverage. Nor will ash colors or pure red/auburn’s colors at any level, as natural tone colors are balanced to cover grey.

• If you want something lighter than a level 7, add highlights after coloring the grey roots.

• If you like reds and you have grey, you need to mix a percentage of natural color to your red color (ie, you want to be auburn but are 25% grey. Your formula is 25% natural shade and 75% desired auburn shade).

• Wait a minimum of four weeks between covering your greys. If you color more often, the temple area of your hairline will gradually get darker and darker even though you didn’t change your color. This is called color build-up and it can be a nightmare to get off. The best solution is to use hair-color make-up sticks between your four week colors.

How to successfully color your hair at home, up next!

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