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What color should I dye my hair for the first time?


Deciding what color to dye your hair for the first time can be exciting but also nerve-wracking. There are so many colors and options to choose from! A few quick tips before diving into the details: consider your natural hair color and skin tone, opt for semi-permanent color for the first time, and ask a trusted hairstylist for advice. Read on for an in-depth guide on picking that perfect first-time hair color!

Should I go lighter or darker than my natural color?

When choosing a new hair color for the first time, it’s best to stay within 2-3 shades lighter or darker than your natural shade. Drastic changes are risky for beginners and can damage hair. If you have dark brown hair, go for a medium brown or caramel highlight. If you have light blonde hair, try a fun pastel pink or peach. Subtle changes let you experience something new without the drastic maintenance required of major color shifts.

What are the best colors for warm or cool skin tones?

Determining whether your skin has warm or cool undertones is key for picking a flattering hair color. Check the color of your veins – greenish means warm, while blueish means cool. Warm skin tones look great with golden blonde, auburn, warm brown, and red orange hues. Cool skin tones are complemented by ash blonde, chestnut brown, black, and jewel-toned colors like purples, icy pinks, and cool reds. Stay within a color palette that flatters your skin’s undertones.

Should I dye my whole head or just highlights?

For first-timers, highlights or lowlights are a great way to test out a new hair color without full commitment. Highlights involve dyeing strips of hair lighter than your base color, while lowlights dye strips darker. This “two-tone” look provides dimension, adding layers of color for a subtle change. You can do small thin highlights or larger chunky ones. Full dye jobs instantly change your whole look, which can be jarring at first. Start with highlights or lowlights to see if you like the new color!

What type of dye should I use?

When dyeing your hair for the first time, steer clear of permanent dye! Permanent color cannot be removed and must grow out over time. Semi-permanent and demi-permanent dyes are gentler on hair and fade out over several weeks. This allows you to test drive a color without long-term effects. Organic dyes with naturally derived ingredients help avoid damage and allergic reactions. Consult with a stylist to determine the safest option for your hair type and desired color results.

What if I don’t like the new color?

Don’t panic if your new hair color turns out differently than envisioned! For semi-permanent dyes, undesirable colors can be corrected by dyeing again or using color-removing treatments. These gradually strip the molecules, pulling color from the outer hair shaft. Be patient – it may take a few applications over several weeks to fully remove stubborn hues. Permanent dyes are harder to alter, but color correction is possible. See a professional stylist immediately to determine the options. They may recommend contouring, highlights, toners, or further dyeing to achieve your color goals.

Should I dye my hair at home or at a salon?

While home dye kits provide convenience and affordability, visiting a professional hairstylist is best for a first time color application. Experts can accurately assess your hair’s condition, desired look, and scalp sensitivity. This ensures proper product selection and technique. They are also trained in carefully applying foils and mixes to achieve precise, even results from root to tip. The salon environment is ideal for maintaining the integrity of your hair. Plus, stylists can tweak colors and tones during your service until you see the perfect shade.

What maintenance is required after dyeing?

Preserving your new hair color requires diligent maintenance between salon visits. Use a sulfate-free shampoo and cold water washes to keep color locked in. Condition frequently with products containing UV filters. Reduce heat styling, and allow hair to air dry when possible. Glossing treatments added every 4-6 weeks refresh faded color with a quick mini-dye boost. Schedule follow-up appointments with your stylist regularly to monitor your color’s tone and condition as your hair grows out. Consistent care keeps color looking rich.

How often should I dye it again?

Most semi-permanent dyes begin fading after 4-6 weeks, while permanent color can last 6-8 weeks. To maintain vibrancy, aim to re-dye every 6-8 weeks. Those with quick-growing hair may need to dye more frequently to keep roots looking seamless. How long you can wait between dye jobs also depends on your hair’s integrity and porosity. Damaged or porous hair absorbs color quickly but holds it poorly. Healthier hair retains pigment longer. Your stylist can assess your hair’s condition and recommend a custom re-dye timeline. Avoid over-dying by timing touch-ups around when you notice significant fading.

What are the best hair colors for my complexion?

Complexion Best Hair Colors
Fair Skin, Freckles Strawberry blonde, golden blonde, platinum
Medium Skin, Brown Eyes Caramel, chocolate brown, deep red
Olive Skin, Brown/Hazel Eyes Rich chocolate, dark brown
Darker Skin, Black Eyes Warm black, jewel tones

What are some fun, trendy hair color ideas?

If you’re looking to make a splash with your first dye job, here are some fun color trends to consider:

– Vibrant rainbow roots – Dye the top section of your hair in a rainbow of bright hues like blue, purple, pink and orange. Leave the rest of your hair natural. As roots grow in it creates a colorful ombre effect.

– Rose gold – A mix of gold and rose tones creates a soft yet eye-catching metallic hue perfect for blondes or light brunettes.

– Purple ombre – Dark hair ombred into light purple ends is an edgy yet playful statement. It works well on curly or straight locks.

– “Expensive blonde” – A touch of platinum subtly weaved throughout brown hair mimics how the sun naturally lightens hair. The contrast looks glamorously multi-dimensional.

– Pastel peach – For an unexpected softer take on pastels, try light peach. Its warm, pinkish tone flatters a wide range of complexions.


Dyeing your hair for the first time opens up a fun new world of possibilities! Before taking the plunge, think carefully about your natural color, skin tone, maintenance requirements, and whether to go professional. For beginners, subtle highlights and semi-permanent dyes are best. Pick a hue within 2-3 shades of your own that compliments your complexion. See a stylist to achieve ideal results! With the right prep and aftercare, you can rock a fabulous new hair color.