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At its best, brunette hair colour is hyper-shiny, healthy and rich, but on bad-hair days, it can look mousy and dull. Here are some at-home hair colour hacks and maintenance tips to keep your brunette mane fresh as there are plenty of ways to try out, and maintain, the best brunette for you.
At-home colouring hacks
When you want to DIY your dye job, you’ll need to figure out what colour you fancy (is it a light chestnut brown, a dark mahogany or something in between?) and decide how long you’d like your colour to last. There’s permanent hair dye that will provide full grey coverage, semi-permanent hair dye that washes away in four to eight shampoos (fun for a fling with a bold colour) or demi-permanent hair dye formula. Have you ever wondered “What’s demi-permanent hair dye?” Well, it’s the sweet spot between semi-permanent and permanent. With demi-permanent, the commitment is low: It lasts up to 28 shampoos and subtly blends away grey hair without giving you any obvious root regrowth. Try L’Oréal Paris Casting Crème Gloss. It’s an ammonia-free hair colour that truly gives shimmering results and seamlessly blends away greys. Perfect for novice DIY at-home colourists because it’s a non-drip creme formula (which means it sticks to exactly the spots you’d like to cover without sliding around on your scalp or dripping down past your hairline). As for choosing the right shade, use the hair swatch photos on the side of the box as your guide. The results of demi-permanent hair colour will vary depending on your natural hair colour, so if you can’t make up your mind between two shades, choose the lighter of the two.
Switch to sulphate-free shampoos
Once you get your colour sorted, brunette shades are usually super-rich at first, but the hue can fizzle over time with exposure to heat tools, the sun and even water when you shampoo. One of the best hair colour products to stock in your shower and fight the fade is sulphate-free shampoo. It’s the best shampoo for colour-treated hair because it’s incredibly gentle; it gets hair clean without the use of harsh detergents so your colour investment won’t slip down the drain. Follow with a conditioner so strands will be silky soft and easy to brush and/or style. The best conditioner for colour-treated hair is one with repairing ingredients like shea butter. It helps to create a protective barrier against the elements and prevent your dye from quickly washing out. Make sure to condition every time you shampoo, even if you have fine hair. If you’re extra-dry, try L’Oréal Paris Color Radiance Rapid Reviver Daily Conditioner. It’s almost a hybrid between a conditioner and a hair mask as it has two times more colour protection than a regular conditioner, but it only takes one minute to use.
Get that lustrous look
So how to get shiny hair? A moisturizing, colour-safe shampoo will keep hair at its peak hydration so it looks healthy and shiny. Try a deep conditioner once a week, especially where hair gets dry (frazzled ends!), to preserve silky hair texture. A great tip to give hair extra gleam is make sure that you always blow-dry your hair with the nozzle pointing down, from the roots to the tips—this is a must for a smooth finish so hair reflects more light. That little nozzle helps streamline the airflow, so there are fewer tangles and split ends, and protects hair from excess heat, which is better for hair health and styling.
So how to take care of your hair before styling? A major key for brunettes is to use heat protection to guard against the extreme temperatures of blow-dryers, curling irons and flat irons. Generously spray a heat protectant on damp hair before styling, or use a leave-in cream in the shower. This will help colour stand up to heat during styling sessions. To minimize shampoo sessions throughout your week, a dry shampoo is a brunette’s BFF. Try L’Oréal Paris Magic Invisible Dry Shampoo. Just shake it and then spray it into the root area. Once it’s massaged into the roots, it leaves zero white residue.
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