Hair Color Info
Advice & information on choosing the right hair color,
hair color products and general hair health.

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How To Choose The Right Hair Color For You

choosing a hair dressing color


As is important to arrange a preliminary consultation before beginning coloring.

Conduct the consultation in a well-lighted room. If you are making your color selection during the day, work if possible, in a room which has a strong north light. If color selection is made at night, or if natural daylight is not available, use the best artificial light. For this purpose, incandescent lighting rather than fluorescent lighting is preferable.

Find out whether your customer wants to brighten her natural color, make a drastic change or to cover gray hair. Frequently, she knows in advance the color she wants, but sometimes because of skin tones or the present color of her hair, the color she has selected would not be becoming or advisable. Discuss the range of color choices and suggest the color you think would be most becoming so that you will have a happy and satisfied customer.


Women with olive skins or skins with a yellowish cast will find the ash colors and darker colors most becoming. Fair or creamy complex- ioned women have the whole range at their disposal and can be as daring as they wish. Women with a florid or a pinkish cast can choose dark or light colors, but they look their prettiest in colors with little or no red.

Gray haired women are apt to want to go back to their pre-gray color, but because there has been a lightening of pigmentation in skin as well as hair, a shade or two lighter than the original color is more becoming. The lighter colors are far more flattering and younger looking.


Explain the importance of upkeep. Tell your patron the cost of the first treatment and how often she should have her hair retouched to keep it looking its best. A color very different from the natural color will need more frequent retouches than one closer to the natural shade. Blonde tints on dark hair, for example, will require frequent retouches. If gray hair is tinted to match the natural pigment it will need less frequent care than if a decided change is made.


One of the most important reasons for the success or failure of a color treatment is the proper or improper selection of color. The reason many women return month after month and year after year to the same beautician is because of her skill in color selection and blending.

Some rules to follow in color selection are:

  • When selecting color, be sure your patron's hair is clean and dry.
    Soiled or wet hair always appears darker than it is. Thus, when
    the hair is soiled or wet, you may find yourself selecting a color
    that is too dark.
  • Have a Color Chart available, issued by the manufacturer of the
    product you are using. This will show you the range of colors and
    give you their names and numbers.
  • Match the patron's hair with the color closest to it on the chart.
  • When matching haircolor, observe the hair nearest the scalp at
    the back of the head. This is where it is darkest.
  • Do not look down at the hair. Raise the strand and observe it by
    pushing the hair up with the hand against the scalp. To study the
    color properly, look through the hair. In this way, you see depth
    as well as highlights.

Specific steps in color selection depend largely on the properties of the particular products you are using. Further instructions on color selection appear in the chapters on different methods of tinting.


It is a well-known fact that certain individuals, for undetermined reasons, may be allergic to certain foods, drugs, cosmetics, and many other substances; and some people have such an allergy to haircoloring products.

Such persons may be called allergic or hypersensitive. The condition itself is called allergy, idiosyncrasy, hypersensitivity or predisposition.

The Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act of the United States pre­ scribes that a Patch Test or Predisposition Test must be given before each and every application of permanent haircoloring whether on a full head or retouch. This test is prescribed to protect your patrons as well as yourself and the entire beauty profession.

Allergy is an unpredictable condition. A person may be free of sen­ sitivity for a period of weeks or years and may suddenly develop an allergy. Without giving a test you cannot be sure that your patron has not become sensitive since her last treatment.

Checking the Color on the Patron's Head.


This Patch Test must be given 24 hours before each treatment.

To determine whether a person is hypersensitive to haircoloring, d. the following:

  • With bland soap and water, wash an area about the size of a
    quarter on the inner fold of the elbow or behind either ear, and
    extending partly into the hairline. Dry by patting with clean,
    absorbent cotton or towel.
  • Prepare a test solution by mixing a few drops of the exact color
    or mixture of tint colors to be used with an equal number of
    Clairoxide or Pure White Creme Developer.
  • With an absorbent cotton-tip applicator, apply the test solution to
    the area previously cleansed.
  • Permit the test area to dry. Leave uncovered and undisturbed for
    24 hours.
  • After 24 hours examine the test area. If there has been no re­
    action, then the haircoloring should be applied immediately.
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