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Demi permanent, permanent, glazes, toners, highlights, balayage..... there are endless options when coloring your hair. But what's right for you?!

I'm asked all the time - especially by first time clients when booking their first visit - what should they be getting? And regular long term clients also often ask if it's time for permanent hair color... is it time to make the leap? It can all be so confusing.

And there can be so many variables too - How much gray do you have? What is your commitment level for upkeep & maintenance? How much are you willing to spend on your hair? What is your tolerance level for roots - are you freaking out the second you see a sparkle of gray near your scalp or are you just kind of finally realizing you need a touch up when you have over an inch of regrowth?

The gray starting to bother you? In the world according to Hal the best place to start is with a basic highlight & lowlight. It's like the ground floor of hair color. Think of it kind of like starting with a facial or just a little botox before you go completely under the knife & get a full facelift. This service will blend the gray & grow out more naturally - not giving you such a strong line of demarcation - or a root in layman's terms. Because you don't have such an intense root you can often go longer between appointments too. The only downside is your stylist can't possibly get every single gray hair into a foil so you will be leaving with some grays still showing - but they'll be camouflaged amidst a sea of highs & lows. If you don't want to see not one gray hair this won't work for you but if you don't mind a little hidden here & there this is your lowest maintenance option.

Next pit stop on your road to permanent color would be a demi permanent. Demi permanent hair color uses an alkaline agent as well as a developer such as hydrogen peroxide to color your hair - but in a much lower concentration then permanent hair color. So basically it's a little softer on your hair then the permanent option. It is deposit only - meaning it cannot lighten your hair like a highlight or permanent color. So it's pretty conditioning & soft on the hair. It also washes out over a 4-8 week time period. So - again - you don't get a strong root like you do with permanent varieties. A high end brand will often have some dimension & not be as flat as a permanent hair color. The downside is depending on how resistant your grays are there is no promise it will cover them 100% - sometimes it can be a little transparent. I suggest all my clients try demi permanent to see how well it covers before jumping straight to permanent.

The last step on our little road trip here in the world of color according to Hal is permanent hair color. It can lighten the hair & deposits more deeply then a glaze or demi permanent color. It lasts the longest & promises more full, 100% gray coverage. You'll never see a gray strand poking through in the sun in your rear view mirror like you might notice with blending highlights or demi permanent. Now all that being said you have to be prepared you will have a strong root line in a few weeks & have to commit to coming into the salon to get routine root touch ups to avoid looking awful. So this option will involve a little more time & money. Also - if you're coloring your hair a lot with permanent color you can sometimes run the risk of your color looking flat & possibly a little more unnatural. For my routine touch up clients I also will use a glaze or a highlight every once in a while to ensure dimension & a more natural & high end look.

Here are some examples of permanent hair color.

Hope this answers your hair color questions - at least for starters. Any more you can ask me here or over on social media or come see me at the salon!

Cheers - Hal

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