More than 70% of women colour their hair. We are all used to seeing different tones and colours in women’s hair.
It’s a little bit different for men.
We’re not so used to seeing men who colour their hair for a fresh look, and any missteps in colour selection can be quite noticeable. Men don’t have the benefit of shared knowledge which builds up over the years of salon and girl chat about hair colouring products, choices, techniques, triumphs and fails. This knowledge helps fine-tune colour selection choices and outcomes.
Often the first time that men stop to consider their hair colour is when they notice a lack of colour in their hair. The ‘grab-the-first-supermarket-colour-box-which is-ball-park-close’ approach, unsurprisingly, does not typically deliver great colour results. As a colourist I know that there is a lot more to consider – base colour level, stubborn greys, secondary tones. I also know that not everyone is so interested in the finer details, and they just want to find a colour that works for them.
The two biggest pitfalls I have noticed for men who colour at home are:
- Too much warmth in the colour. Golden brown tones sound nice and can look great on the right complexion and in longer hair. On short, predominantly grey hair, golden tones can present as orange, because the lack of pigment in greys emphasises the warm secondary tones, and it can all go horribly wrong.
- Lego hair. Lego hair is seen when short, close-cropped hair has been coloured with a darker colour than would naturally work for that person and their complexion. Even if your natural colour was midnight black, as our complexion changes over time, a slightly softer version of your natural colour is often the most flattering.
Here’s the best way for men to achieve great colour results at home which cover greys, blend with their natural colour and which delivers a colour outcome which doesn’t look obviously coloured:
- You can achieve natural-looking colour results by keeping your colour goals realistic and close to your natural colour. Complete our colour consultation and focus on picking your correct natural colour level. You then want to either colour match (recommended if your natural colour is lighter) or select a colour which is one level lighter than your natural colour (best for darker hair colours) to achieve subtle, natural and effective hair colouring results. Don’t get too creative or inspired – your aim is to add natural-looking colour to cover greys, not to draw attention to new and interesting tones in your hair.
- Neutral colours are the best to cover unwanted greys. Grey/white hair has an absence of all pigments, and neutral colours reintroduce an even balance of secondary tones. Warm secondary tones can have a brighter, redder colour result when they are covering greys.
- If your greys are colour resistant (very common), then try pre-softening before you colour to boost colour absorption. Pre-softening literally softens and lifts the hair cuticle before you apply the colour, so that the colour can be deposited within the hair cuticle to give you a permanent colour result with complete grey coverage.
- If you have/had naturally darker hair colour, avoid Lego hair by selecting a slightly softer version of your natural colour. A colour which is one colour level lighter than your natural colour will give you a result which blends perfectly, and which flatters your natural colourings.