4 Things You Should Know Before Coloring Your Hair for the First Time

Dyeing your hair for the first time can be exciting and nerve-wracking. You’re finally making your dream of going from Jackie O to Marilyn Monroe a reality. And although knowing what color you want is the fist step, it's definitely not the only step. So keep these tips in mind before following your tin foil bliss.

1. Choosing a colorist is just as important as choosing a color

Before you jump right into dyeing your hair, spend some time finding the right stylist and salon for you. It can be worth it to look around and check out multiple options. Celebrity hair stylist and salon owner Angelo David knows exactly how to pair a stylist with a client. “Find the right fit for yourself when it comes to a salon,” David says. “We offer consultations for people just to come in and talk.” The best part about going for a consultation is the lack of commitment! You can talk with different stylists and figure out who you will work best with. David suggests finding out who’s the best person in that salon to work on the color you want, because going to the highlight specialist isn’t going to be in your favor if you want to go for a darker color.

2. Before picking a color, keep your lifestyle in mind

You’re used to a standard cut, dry, blow out, and maybe you’ve branched out and done a keratin treatment or two. But color is a different ball game. This stuff won’t wash out in a week. With that being said, before you pick your color you need to think about lifestyle. It all depends on who you want to be. “You have to ask yourself, do you want to be in the salon every 2 -3 weeks,” David says. That jet-black color might be what you want in theory, but in reality, it might not be something you can keep up with financially and time-wise. Kayla Graniero, a recent graduate of Pace University, suggests not rushing the process. “Don’t be scared to change your mind,” she says. “It’s okay to just take a few months to think about it.”

3. Go in with realistic expectations

With so much color inspiration on Pinterest and Instagram, deciding on a color is the most fun part of dyeing your hair. You'll probably have a pretty clear vision of what you want your locks to look like. But Rome wasn't built in a day, and your color may not be finished in one sitting. According to David, the most common mistake people make when coloring their hair for the first time is having unrealistic expectations.

“Don’t push the envelope,” he says. “Let the professional do their job properly; you can’t just feel you want to go platinum blonde in one sitting.” This goes back to the idea of lifestyle – do you have the time, money, and patience to keep up with the process? Instead of getting overwhelmed, Graniero suggests testing out hair colors with an app or even wigs to decide what you really want. David supplies wigs and hair extensions at his salon for those who decide they want a change without committing to dye.

4. Questions help you and your stylist

Both you and your stylist need to ask each other questions. David’s favorite question to ask is, "what's the worst thing that has ever happened to your hair?" If you have any anxieties about coloring your hair, you need to get specific with your stylist. Is your biggest fear going to dark? Going too light? Even though you’re a newbie, you should update your stylist on how you care for your hair. Do you straighten it often? Have you ever done a Keratin or Japanese straightening treatment? Any chemical processes or damage you've done to your hair can affect the dye. If your stylist knows your hair history, she will be better equipped to give your hair the love it deserves. 

Related: I Dyed My Hair Platinum & Here's How it Went Down

If only hair could be colored like nail polish, but sadly, time, thought, and money go into dyeing your hair. Yes, coloring your hair for the first time might seem a little intimidating, but it doesn't have to be! All you have to do is prepare by finding the right colorist, thinking about color maintenance, and telling your stylist your hair history.