At the Salon
Prep your hair. Apply a deep-conditioning hair mask a couple of days before your appointment, says Hazan. The moisture will help your hair hold the pigment better. And if you have a sensitive scalp, avoid shampooing the day before. “Chemicals used in color can irritate the skin,” she says. “Your scalp’s natural oils will protect it.”
A picture says it all. You may tell your colorist “honey” but wind up with a rich, amber brown instead of the golden color you envisioned. “Words mean different things to different people,” she says. “Bring a photo to clear up any confusion.” A good colorist can match the shade or steer you toward a color that will be more flattering for you. Consider the upkeep. Be realistic about how much maintenance you can handle. If you know it will be difficult (or expensive) to get to the salon for touch-ups every six weeks, stick with a shade that’s close to your natural one, or just go with face-framing highlights. “Enhancing your color instead of drastically changing it will give you the most bang for your buck,” says Hazan. And because you’re staying close to your own shade, your roots will be less noticeable, which means you can go longer between salon appointments.