Are you sitting in the chair at the salon and looking for a change? Want your stylist to help you completely reinvent yourself, and just you a huge boost of confidence? There’s only so much that can be achieved by simply cutting your hair, which is why hair color for men has such an explosion of popularity in recent years.
Whilst women have been proudly modifying the color of their hair for centuries, the convention for men used to be to use hair colorants to cover up greys or create a natural and seamless color. Men simply didn’t admit to coloring their hair. But not anymore!
With celebrity heartthrobs such as Zayn Malik and Justin Bieber wearing their hair color with pride, now more men than ever are taking to the salon chair and asking for a big change!
With that in mind, here are the do’s and don’t of coloring your hair to ensure you look more Justin Bieber, and less Justin Timberlake circa 2002 (a look that no one could pull off, not even him!)
Don’t Go Too Dark
Nothing looks more unnatural than hair that is too black, particularly if your natural hair color is light or grey.
Nobody has naturally black hair: even the darkest hair color (which might be categorized as being black) is actually a very very dark brown. This is because all hair has a pigment or a color, and black is actually an absence of color.
That means that if you use a black hair dye then your hair color will immediately look synthetic and unnatural. If you are hoping to recreate a Gothic or unnatural look then black is perfect for you! But if you want to have dark hair that looks rich, full and natural, then choose a very dark brown color instead!
Award winning actor Patrick Dempsey is a great example here. When his naturally very dark hair began to turn grey (featuring a prominent grey sweep to the front of his fringe) he chooses to color it using a dark brown permanent shade and re-inject a more youthful edge to his overall look.
Do Look After Your Hair
Hair that has been colored tends to be weaker, more brittle, and more prone to breakages than natural hair. This is especially true if you have chosen to lighten your hair, a process that involves bleach and other harsh chemicals that can be damaging to both the shaft and follicle of the hair.
If you have colored your hair then it is important that you start using products that suit your new hair color, and that you choose a gentle shampoo specially formulated for color-treated hair.
This will help to protect your color, ensure that it doesn’t fade and maintains in tip-top condition for as long as possible, and protect your financial investment. The more you look after your color treated hair, the longer you will be able to go between appointments with your colourist.
This is particularly important if you have long hair, to help you avoid split ends that will leave your hair looking untidy, no matter how long you spend styling it! Here are some great product options:
Don’t Do it Yourself
If you are touching up your natural color to cover up a few grey hairs, or want to change the color of your hair very subtly (by no more than a shade or two) then it is possible to do this yourself at home.
L’oreal make a home hair color specifically for men to cover up their grey, and Just For Men have been manufacturing similar products for decades. Simply follow the instructions on the box carefully and you will get the subtle change your looking for. These colors are so gentle, that it’s likely no one will notice the change but you!
However if you want to make a bold change, go blonde, or use bleach on your hair then don’t do it yourself! Hair colorists train for years to change the color of your hair whilst causing minimal damage to it.They will also have the skills needed to make your hair look textured and interesting, rather than flat and one dimensional.
Changing your hair by more than one shade should always be undertaken by a professional because otherwise you risk getting a one color, helmet head look (a la Donald Trump) and no one wants to risk being compared to him in the style stakes!
Whether you decide to color your hair yourself or have your hair colored at the salon, once the process has been completed you should regularly apply a colored gloss to your hair.
This will make it look much healthier, add interesting texture, and give a beautiful healthy sheen to any hair strands that may be dried out as a result of the coloring process. It will also help you to maintain the natural PH balance of your hair.
Here are some great examples of colored hair glosses perfect for injecting extra life into newly colored hair:
Do Be Bold
Bright fashion colors are bang on trend this season. Hair color for men is about so much more than simply covering greys: now you can use your hair color to make a real style statement, to be bold, and to demonstrate your inner personality.
And if you do have grey hair then why not work with that too? Grey and silver tones are bang on trend this season, adding a touch of both high fashion and a distinguished edge to your look. Add silver highlights to work with your existing grey hair.
Don’t be afraid to inject flashes of acid-bright shades, but do be aware that unless you have naturally blonde hair, your hair will need to be bleached before the vibrant color can be applied. Most bright colors will also fade gradually each time they are washed, so you will need to have the time (and the cash) available for regular reapplications.
Gucci and Acne both championed unexpected flashes of hair color on the runway (Gucci model pictured below) so if you do decide to take the plunge then you’ll be in good company with the high-fashion pack.
Remember to work with your natural skin tone, even if you are choosing the most unnatural hair color. If you have very pale skin then look for warm hair colors: rich yellow blondes, red and orange shades, as well as pastel pink tones will all work well for you.Ash/Grey tones will also look great, although they may make you look paler.
If you have warm or olive skin then darker shades will suit you better: browns, subtle purples and even green shades (yes, we’re thinking of Heath Ledger at the Joker here!) are all great colors for warm toned men.
Remember that as we age our skin looses its natural pigment, meaning that your skin tone may become softer or paler than it once was when we pass 30: keep your current skin tone in mind when choosing a colour to suit, and if in doubt ask your stylist to work with you to choose the best tone.
Finally, before you take the plunge, think about what the response in your workplace will be! Whilst many corporate offices now have a more casual dress code and a fairly liberal approach to fashion and self-expression, you don’t see many bankers with bright orange hair! Think about what your boss will say (and if in doubt, check your company dress code policy) before you take to the stylist’s chair!
Hair color is not just for the ladies: your hair is your crowning glory and is often the first thing people will notice about you. If you really want to attract attention for all the right reasons (and you’re not afraid of being christened a peacock) then why not really brighten it up!
With so many modern celebrities choosing to color their hair, you’ll be in great company. We love the idea of adding a pop of color before party season to ensure that you really shine. Why not color your facial hair too, to ensure that you’re presenting a consistent (and eye catching) look?!