Beauty confidential: Colour yourself beautiful
Over the past year, sales of home hair-dye kits rose by 12 per cent, to £321 million. But how easy is it to get that just-stepped-out-of-the-salon look? Top hair colour expert Scott Cornwall, from TV’s Ten Years Younger, explains how to get great results . . .
Top hair colour expert Scott Cornwall, from TV’s Ten Years Younger, explains how to get great results
Q. Can you create professional looking highlights at home?
Yes, if you use the balayage method, where highlights are painted straight on to your hair from the base to the tips with a brush, by hand. (Balayage is French for ‘to sweep’).
For highlights, choose a light ash blonde
You can do this yourself easily and it creates subtle multi-toned highlights.
For highlights, choose a light ash blonde (try Garnier Belle Colour 111 in Extra Light Blonde, £4.50, Asda). Mix up the colourant following its instructions and apply the colour to dry hair, plucking out fine strands at random around the parting and hairline and, using a toothbrush (my top tip), lightly coat each fleck of hair getting close to the root.
Leave to develop and rinse off. After five weeks, simply add a few more highlights.
You won’t get the precision you get with foils at a salon, but this way you’ll never overload your hair with dye or get obvious roots showing through either.
Plus, if you are trying to save on the cost of salon treatments, this is a great quick fix for bad roots.
Q. How long will my home colour last?
There are numbers on the hair dye box telling you how long your colour will last.
Level one refers to temporary colour, which can be washed out after eight to ten washes, such as Clairol Nice and Easy Colorblend Foam (£4.99, Superdrug).
Level two is semi-permanent colour that won’t change your hair colour dramatically, but lasts for longer — around 24 washes. Try L’Oreal Casting Crème (£6.49, Superdrug).
Up to 75 per cent of colourants are level three and permanent
Up to 75 per cent of colourants are level three and permanent, such as Schwarzkopf XXL (£5.49, Boots).
After colouring hair, it is important to use a colour protection shampoo and conditioner, such as Trevor Sorbie Warm Golden Blonde or Warm Rich Brunette Shampoo and Conditioner (£5.10, Boots).
But don’t wash your hair for 48 to 72 hours after colouring, as it could dilute the colour.
Use a deep conditioning treatment once a week. Try Philip Kingsley’s Elasticizer (£26.25, lookfantastic.com). A less expensive option is Andrew Barton Colour PROtect Repair Mask (£3.99, Asda), which contains argan oil to help strengthen and hydrate the hair shaft.
Q. How do I choose the right colour to go chocolate brown like Kate?
You should always go one to two shades lighter than your own colour, as you tend to think your hair is darker than it is. Also, the colour on the box is usually one shade darker than it will appear on your hair.
If you are warm-toned, try golden, copper or red tones (such as light golden blonde, medium copper or red brown). If you are cool-toned, opt for ash, beige and platinum tones (dark ash blonde, medium beige blonde or platinum blonde).
When in doubt go for a neutral hair colour, such as a natural medium blonde or a natural light brown (colourants with the letter N at the end of them).
If you want the Duchess of Cambridge¿s rich, chocolatey shade, choose a light brown or dark blonde such as John Frieda Precision Foam Light Natural Brown 6N
If you want the Duchess of Cambridge’s rich, chocolatey shade, choose a light brown or dark blonde such as John Frieda Precision Foam Light Natural Brown 6N.
This is a warm shade, so for cooler tones opt for a colour that includes ash in the name (John Freida Precision Foam Light Ash Brown 6A, £6.99, Boots).
If you make a mistake don’t panic — first try Decolour Stripper (£12.99, Boots), which removes artificial and natural colour pigments and since it doesn’t contain ammonia, you can colour over the top of it afterwards.
Q. Should I just let my hair go grey naturally?
Not everyone goes grey in the same way, so there’s no universal answer.
I¿d opt for a warm blonde or honey-coloured shade ¿ such as Garnier Nutrisse Nourishing Foam Spectacular Permanent Colour in 8.3 Honey Blonde
If your natural hair colour is red, auburn or golden, you may go grey in patches.
Or your hair could take on an unflattering yellowish tinge, in which case I wouldn’t recommend nature taking its course.
Instead, I’d opt for a warm blonde or honey-coloured shade — such as Garnier Nutrisse Nourishing Foam Spectacular Permanent Colour in 8.3 Honey Blonde (£4.49, Superdrug).
To cover grey and retain a natural redhead feel, opt for L’Oreal Sublime Mousse 740 Flaming Copper, £6.99 (Boots).
The best tip with home colour is to work with what grey is coming through. If you have spot grey coverage, choose a colourant that is two shades lighter.
Don’t worry about doing the whole head — just cover the areas that need it with your tint brush or toothbrush.
Q. Can I use colour to make my hair look thicker?
A couple of sprays of coloured dry shampoo will do the trick because when it is sprayed into short hair, it provides volume and texture.
Try Batiste Dark & Deep Brown dry shampoo (£3.99, Boots), which contains a temporary colour pigment that can also disguise the odd grey hair.
Highlights, whether done at home or professionally at a salon, will generally make hair look thicker because it will produce texture.
They can also help to prevent the colour from looking too solid, which can be unforgiving on hair that is very fine.
THIS WEEK’S BEST BEAUTY NEWS…
A New Ready Eye Palette from BareMinerals (The September Issue, £35, bareminerals.co.uk) has
been specially created to coincide with tomorrow’s launch of London Fashion Week. With apt names such as Couture (a glimmering clove) and Tres Chic (apricot creme), the palette is a must-have in any fashionista’s make-up kit. The eye shadows — which contain cold-pressed borage oil, caffeine and cucumber, known to deliver anti-ageing benefits — look like powder, but feel like a cream on the eye. They deliver a strong, long-lasting colour, which is easy to apply.
Revlon has been creating nail polish for 80 years and the brand is still at the forefront of the latest
trends. Its new ColorStay collection (£7.99, Boots) gives a high-gloss gel-like finish that lasts for up to 11 days, and comes in 28 shades.
Maybelline New York has introduced some pretty shades in its Forever Strong collection. Porcelain Pink and Ceramic Blue are sweet pastel shades, while Golden Brown is a molten gold that works well on short, square nails.
NATURAL BEAUTY UNDER £10
Pure, a new skincare range from M&S, is an affordable, natural skin collection. The products have
been created with 95 per cent naturally derived ingredients and essential oil fragrances, including chamomile and geranium — all British-grown. Try the Instant Radiance Hot Cloth Cleanser (£9.50), which removes make-up and leaves skin feeling clean and refreshed. The range also includes a wonderful facial oil, Super Active Overnight Oil (£6), which is fabulous for dehydrated skin, and Super Active Moisturise (£9.50, marksandspencer. com/beauty), which absorbs easily with no oily residue.