6 Must-Know Tips For Dying Virgin Hair

by Lindsey Rose Black

Rocking au natural hair, but on the verge of taking the plunge and popping on some dye? If it's your first time changing shades, don't miss these tips for dying virgin hair. I consulted with professional colorist and color director of eSalon, Estelle Baumhauer, to get the scoop on making the transition so you will know everything you need when making the big change.

I was 12 when I first decided to color my hair. I'd saved up my allowance for like ever and brought in a pic of Jennifer Aniston's Rachel cut (duh) to the stylist and asked for highlights and lowlights. Sadly my allowance only got me highlights, but I loved them and have been hooked on changing up my hair since! After highlights, I played around with being a red head, going dark brown, and even rocking that crazy colombre trend. Yowza.

Apparently I'm not alone in being motivated by celebs to try out fun trends. Baumhauer shared a super interesting statistic with me from eSalon claiming "a whopping 90 percent of women have colored their hair to look like a celebrity," and "73 percent of women have colored their hair because of a current trend."

Whether it's Kylie Jenner's ever-changing rainbow locks, Emma Stone's sexy red hair, or the pumpkin spice latte hair trend, scan these tips before you take your first dye plunge!

1. DIY Versus Salon

I asked Baumhauer her thoughts on salon vs at-home color for first timers, and she said that it "depends on the look you are going for. If you are lightening more than 2-3 shades, [stylists] would recommend going to the salon for the first time. eSalon is perfect for changes and variations under 3 shades because an actual colorist can help you select a color and guide you through the process." So, for those of you wanting to turn dark brown hair platinum, it's best to make an appointment! For those of you who want to make a more subtle change, opt for an at-home hair dye, like eSalon or your trusty box dye.

2. Picking A Color

Not sure what color to reach for? Baumhauer says, "You should base your new color on the tones and shades of clothes and makeup that look good on you. If you look best in warm colors, the same concept applies to your hair as well." Find out if you're warm or cool-toned!

3. Hair Routine Changes

Heart Lock It Color Safe Shampoo, $15, eSalon

To keep your color in top shape, Baumhauer suggests using "color-safe shampoos, nourishing masks and pigmented shampoos [to] help your hair look and feel better while keeping your color looking as fresh as possible." And, yes, good old coconut oil makes an epic nourishing hair mask.

4. Dye Maintenance

As for how often you'll need to get more dye, Baumhauer shares, "If you have a strong percentage of gray, [stylists] usually recommend color application every four weeks. If you have less than 50 percent gray, color can be done every six or eight weeks." She also notes, "If you just want to add a glossy tone to your hair and have no grays then the color application is done about every 3 months if you are using a permanent color."

5. Reversing A Dye Job

"If you hate [the new color], it is always a bit complicated to get back to the same color as before," says Baumhauer, "especially if it is permanent color." If you go too dark, "a a specific process will be done to remove the darkness on the hair but you will still see some of the original shade come through. Then you can apply a simple gloss to readjust the color to get it as close as possible to the original tone." Phew.

I know this isn't awesome news, but I once dyed my hair way (way) too dark, but my stylist worked with me over a few months to help it gradually fade and lighten. While changing your color back takes time, it is certainly easier than removing a tattoo!

6. Switching Colors

According to Baumhauer, "As long as you are treating your hair correctly, and not going for too many drastic changes in a short period of time, you can change colors safely every 8 weeks or so. If you are using processes that can damage the hair like bleaching, you should seek the help of a professional stylist to make sure your hair remains healthy." Remember to keep your hair moisturized in between dyes.

Good luck, have fun, and most importantly, own your new beautiful hair color!

Image Credit: Author's Own; Courtesy of Brand