“My natural color tends to get a little dull and drab toward the end of winter. I want to freshen it up without looking totally different.”
Health reader Katherine Elkington wanted to enhance her natural shade without making a drastic change. To the rescue: hair pro Marcy Cona’s do-it-yourself tips.
2 of 6David Hamsley (all)
Step one: Choose the best color
“Brighten it up with a demi-permanent dye in a warmer version of your natural hair color,” Cona says. Katherine opted for Clairol Natural Instincts in Sedona Sunset ($8.99).
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Step two: Apply the right way
First, detangle hair with a wide-tooth comb, like Jilbère de Paris Comb ($1.59). Mix the dye according to directions, then (wearing gloves) apply it to your roots, working from the front to the back of your head. Massage in the dye then use the comb to pull the formula through to the ends.
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Step three: Rinse and condition
After 10 minutes, rinse your hair until the water runs clear. “To prevent the new color from washing out, skip the shampoo,” Cona notes. Instead, distribute a hydrating conditioner (most kits come with one) from your roots to your tips.
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Step four: Blow-dry hair smooth
“Hair is more reflective when it’s smooth, so your new shade will look brighter if you straighten your hair,” Cona explains. Blow-dry in sections, wrapping each around a round brush and holding taut until hair is dry. Try Mega Hot Smart Heat Ionic Dryer ($59.99).
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Step five: Finish with a color-enhancing styler
Once hair is dry, smooth on a serum or balm with a UV filter to prevent color from fading. Try Logics Color DNA Polisheen Gloss Balm ($22), which has tiny mica particles that reflect light so your color looks even more vibrant.
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