Women and men alike choose to color their hair for a variety of reasons. Some are attempting to look younger by covering graying hair, some are just going for a new look, and still others have no special liking for their natural color. Trends in dyeing also indicate that some people are trying to project a certain image.

Whatever your motivation to color your hair, you probably want it to look as natural as possible. Sure, there are some people that intentionally go for exotic colors for effect, like those that put blue or green streaks in their hair, but many adults prefer to maintain a color that blends with their skin tone.

The first step is to find a hair color expert in a reputable salon. Sure, it may be more economical to purchase a box color at the drugstore, but an amateur dye job is going to damage your hair shafts and ends, no question about it.

Plus, most box colors do not include the highlights and lowlights of natural color, leaving you instead with a flat all-over color that may appear glossy but is actually hiding the frayed wake of heavy doses of ammonia.

Some stylists will hand you a color wheel or color book to select a shade from, but a truly skilled artist will consider the look you are going for, the appropriate shade to match your skin, and the healthiest approach for your hair. Be aware that for dramatic changes, you may have to visit with your stylist more than once, as I had to when I lightened my dark hair to blonde.

In order to make your color change look more natural, it can be helpful to lighten or darken eyebrows. Again, NEVER do this on your own with a box color. The strong chemicals can get into your eyes even when you are careful, and this can send you to the emergency room.

Permanent color isn’t as permanent as it sounds; it can wash out, especially when you are using hot water. You see, the heat opens the hair shaft, in which the color is stored, and it tends to slip right out as you wash and condition your hair. So wash and condition using cool water to keep your color intact longer.

Roots tend to creep in fairly quickly, so be sure to make a regular appointment for a touch-up. About every six to eight weeks should do the trick. Though salon color is better for your hair, it is still important to deep condition regularly, too.

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