Hair Color Ideas

Choosing a hair colour is simple, right? Not really…From permanent, natural dye to correction, our hair is a delicate business. In this article, we intend to answer all your queries, enlightening you to change, experiment and ultimately adore your locks. Brand comparison and some simple methods will undoubtedly expose the secrets of hair colour and dye, making your life easier. To help you find the right hair colour for your skin tone, we will provide you with the basic knowledge of cool and warm hair shades.

1) Hair colour and Dye:

– Permanent

– Semi-permanent

2) Bleach treatment and hair colour Correction:

– brand comparison

3) Choosing the right colour hair for your skin tone

Hair Color Ideas 1 - THEN AND NOW SHOP

1) Hair colour and Dye:


If you’re after a long-term commitment, permanent color is the way. First things first, make sure the color of choice suits you; your skin tone, eyes, brows, and importantly wardrobe. If you have paler skin and want a lighter blonde color but your wardrobe consists mainly of beige suedes and soft chestnut tones you will disappear into your clothes.

The majority of permanent colorants contain ammonia, which strips away the original color replacing it with the new. As this is quite a harsh chemical, there are now brands like Garnier that have created products with similar, and at times better, results than dye containing ammonia. The product we recommend for a natural color and permanent dye is Garnier Olia Permanent Hair Color, which will give you a vibrant outcome with smooth and healthy looking hair.

Feeling adventurous? Unnatural color dyes are now the favoured trend. However, not many brands are selling them in beauty stores. Some could be worried of the effects of the dye, how the hair will take the color or how to get rid of the color in the end. Schwarzkopf offers permanent and semi permanent dyes. Our pick of best hair color ideas are: Pillar Box Red, Turquoise Temptation, and Shocking Pink. Speaking from experience, this dye is an excellent choice. It leaves the hair conditioned and feeling surprisingly healthy whilst having a strong color. For the best outcome, follow the rule that the lighter or whiter the hair, the stronger the color should be. For those wanting to lighten their dark locks, you’d need to bleach or dye your hair with a blonde colorant strong enough to take dominance over your natural color. For many, this could be too much energy and time just for an unnatural color, but if you’re up for a challenge and want to stand out, this is most certainly worth it.

Hair Color Ideas 2 - THEN AND NOW SHOP


A less risky business than a long-lasting color is semi permanent dye, as it only lasts up to 8-10 washes (not to be confused with demi permanent which lasts up to 20 washes). Semi permanent dye is much less problematic than permanent as the dye is much weaker in strength meaning the color will not be too bold and the dye won’t be as damaging to your hair.

Schwarzkopf and Smart Beauty provide a longer lasting color than other brands with semi permanent dye but not enough variety. Bleach London and Crazy Color offer a wide range of different colors but the dye is not very long lasting and the color is usually quite weak. Manic Panic not only gives a wide collection of color that is reasonably long lasting, but also the chance to mix colors together, creating completely different shades and new pastel tones.

Hair Color Ideas 3 - THEN AND NOW SHOP

3) Bleach treatment and hair colour Correction


The B word for hairdressers: Bleach. Even though hairdressers insist you go to the salon for any bleach treatment, there are great DIY products you can purchase in any beauty store. Jerome Russell B Blonde and Bleach London both provide salon quality although you must find a friend you trust for the end results. Depending on the desired effect, we’d recommend starting from the roots of the hairline; this is the strongest part of your hair meaning the bleaching process would take slightly longer in this area. The ends of the hair take bleach and dye quickly because they are much weaker.

The following is our advice for using any products containing bleach. Firstly know the effects of the product and don’t use it on a regular basis (we recommend at least a week interval between applications). Secondly, don’t leave the bleach in your hair after the required time. It won’t go lighter after a certain point and you may end up ruining your hair. Third, make sure you wash out the bleach in 3-4 washes before applying any other dye, during which time we advise using a reconstructing conditioner or shampoo like Bleach London Reincarnation Mask, Lush Rehab Shampoo or John Frieda Full Repair Deep Conditioner Mask. These bottles may say to leave for 5-10 minutes, but that isn’t long enough in our opinion. Of course it depends on how your hair has reacted to the bleach, but generally the longer the better. Several hours or even overnight may be best in some cases.

If you lust for lighter hair but you do not want to damage it, we have a solution for you. You don’t necessarily need bleach to be blonde, although this alternative option might take you a little more time. Schwarzkopf Max Blonde or Schwarzkopf Absolute Platinum and Garnier Nutrisse Ultracolour Ultra Light Natural Blonde are the products we stand by for this method. Using one of those products, you would need to routinely dye your hair a couple of shades at a time for the wanted result. On the plus side however, this is much healthier for your hair and gives an overall more natural appearance than bleach.

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Mistakes happen, but there is always a way out of any hair dye disaster. Whether it be outgrown natural hair creating uncolored roots or if grey coverage is needed, Clairol Root Touch Ups, is the advised product for these types of corrections. The strength of the dye, the seamlessness with which it blends with the rest of the color, and the small correction brush makes the whole situation simple.

A common problem when one is bleaching their hair is the unwelcome orange brassy color. Depending on how dark one’s hair is, there are certain pigments that could undermine the bleaching method. If the color is quite light, we’d recommend a silver and/or purple toner such as Paint Box A Whiter Shade of Pale or Pro:voke Touch of Silver Brightening Shampoo. As these are only shampoo-based products, they will be too weak when the brassy color is strong and bright so leave them in for several hours or overnight. Like the reconstructing conditioners, the longer the better.

When the brassiness is much brighter, Bleach London White Toner or Scott Cornwall color Restore is the way forward. These do contain dye, meaning they will create a more resolute finish but we would still recommend using more shampoo-based products on just bleached hair, as this approach is less abusive to your locks. The reason we suggest toning hair after dye or bleach is because the color may not have spread evenly and could look patchy. Toning combats this.

Unhappy with any hair dye color results? There is a solution: Color B4 Hair Color Remover. This product is only for those with unwanted natural color dye i.e. reds, browns, blacks and blondes. We would advise the extra strength version of this product if you are very unhappy with your color. ColourOops and ColourB4 erase the darker tones of the dye existing on the hair. Even if your real hair color is darker, after using this product your hair will appear lighter. For any non-natural color dye in need of correction, we would suggest Bleach London Washing Out Liquid for lighter colors and the reconstruction products, mentioned previously, for any darker or intense colors.

When changing hair color from one to another, make sure the next dye is in the same color range as the one you have. It is very difficult to change from a red to blonde or a pink to green and end up with a natural-looking result. More successful dye transitions would be blonde to brown and pink to red as they are in the same color scale. If you wish for a change of color range, you would need to lighten your hair to a very light blonde or white hair color beforehand.

For those who fancy something unusual, Lush Henna Hair Dye is an organic and healthy way to change hair color, with choices of Marron, Noir, Rouge and Brun. Nevertheless, the best natural hair dye products as tested by are; Clairol Nice n Easy for blondes, Revlon ColorSilk for brunettes and redheads, and the overall dye winner for all shades, Clairol Natural Instincts.

3) Choosing the right colour hair for your skin tone

It isn’t just about blonde, brunette and red. There are a range of tones held within these hues, each working differently with your complexion.

To find the one right for you, understanding these tones will make all the difference between choosing a flattering colour, or an awkward shade. Hair colour has the ability to emphasise your skin’s undertones, your eyes and your face. If you understand the basics of tones in accordance with your skin’s colouring, then you are set to make the right decision for your hair.

Here the basic knowledge of cool and warm hair shades.

Skin tone:

Firstly you need to understand your skin tone. This comes within three categories: Warm, cool and neutral.

Warm: You will have yellow and golden undertones.

Cool: Your skin will have pink and blue undertones

Neutral: Lucky you- You have a mixture of both warm and cool undertones and will pretty much look good with any hair tone.

The vein test

Not entirely sure on your skintone? The easiest way to test is looking at the veins on your wrist. If they are blue, you have cool undertones. If the veins look a green colour, you’re warm toned.

Eye colour

Your eye colour will tell a lot about your skin tone. People with cool skin usually will have blue, grey or green eyes. Warm skinned people will typically have brown, amber or hazel eyes. However, this is not a fixed rule – everybody is different after all.

The basic guideline is to match to a hair tone that is opposite to your skin tone. So those of you with warm skin should go for cooler colours, and cool skins warmer shades. But sometimes this is not always the case, as you will find out later…

So now that you know the fundamentals, let’s go through the different hair colours with the matching skin tone.

Hair colours and tones

Cool blonde colour

Hair colour and tones - blonde colour

This cool blonde works well on girls with red-pink undertones, as the blue in the hair colour neutralises this. Icy cool blonde is great for those with a pale complexion. The paler you are, the lighter you can go with your hair. Try blue-based colours such as platinum blonde, champagne and flaxen.

Seen on: Kate Bosworth and Christina Aguilera

Warm blonde colour

Hair colour and tones - Warm blonde

Warm blonde works best with those who have cool undertones. Hues with honey, gold, strawberry blonde and copper look better with these tones, as they create a glow upon the face. These shades are also great for olive toned skin.

Seen on: Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Blake Lively

Cool red colour

Hair colour and tones - red colour

Dark auburn, burgundy and cherry all work well for those who have pale skin with red undertones, as it works as a counteractive colour balance. It flatters the redness of the skin and gives you a vibrant glow. It is a shade that will bring out brown and blue eyes.

Seen on: Lily Collins and Kristen Stewart

Warm red colour

Hair colour and tones - Warm red

Warm red works for pale skin tones with cool and natural undertones. Shades of golden copper, warm auburn, strawberry blonde and natural ginger will make the skin look creamy and glowing. These shades work for those with pink undertones to create a warmer complexion.

Seen on: Emma stone and Jessica Chastain

Cool brown colour

Hair colour and tones - brown colour

This hair colour flatters all skin tones. It looks refreshing on pale and cool skin, and makes blue-grey eyes pop. It also works particularly well on warm toned skin with yellow undertones, as it creates a contrast that gives the skin radiance.  Try espresso, chestnut, mocha and chocolate shades. To soften the look, try adding multi tonal ashy highlights for a gorgeous effect.

Seen on: Olivia Palermo and Bianca Balti

Warm brown colour

Hair colour and tones - Warm brown

This shade works on olive and warm skin tones of medium to tanned skin, as the caramel hues complement the yellow and golden tones of the complexion. Try a colour range of honey, golden brown, cinnamon, and mahogany.

Seen on: Jennifer Lopez and Miley Cirus

Cool black colour

Hair colour and tones - black colour

Cool black is best for those with pale skin, but who have warm and neutral tones. This gives the skin a porcelain effect and makes your features stand out. This shade tends to make cool and pink skin tones a little washed out, due to being a harsh colour. Try shades of liquorice, deep black, blue black and dark neutral brown.

Seen on: Bella Hadid and Kendall Jenner

Warm black colour

Hair colour and tones - Warm black

Golden and chocolatey blacks work on those who have medium to deep skin and warm undertones to create a soft, natural look. It also works well for those with a fair complexion, who wish to go dark. It is a great option for pale skin, as this tonal range helps to prevent you from looking washed out by adding warming balance. Try shades like ebony brown, bitter chocolate, and dark mocha for this colour option.

Seen on: Joan Smalls and Kim Kardashian