Everything To Know About Coloring Your Hair

November 30, 2016

Cable Knit Sweater on Meghan Donovan of wit & whimsy lifestyle blog

I’ve been coloring my hair for nearly a decade now. I started when I was in college and began with subtle highlights that seemed to get blonder and blonder every year I stayed in California. But it wasn’t until my hair started changing in the past couple of years due to health issues and then when it started growing so fast that I thought more about the upkeep of my dyed locks.

I decided to get more educated about hair coloring and figured you guys may benefit from my curiosity as well! I turned to my number #1 hair colorist who has been painting my tresses for over three years now: Franchesca Cordero, senior colorist at Warren Tricomi.

Fran has been a colorist for ten years and specializes in balayage, custom blending and color correction. She particularly loves working on blondes (lucky for me!) and I love how natural she always makes my highlights look. She recently gave my blonde a cooler tone and I’ve been obsessed with the new look. (I’ll be back in her chair Friday for a touchup for the holiday season!)

Without further delay, read on for all my pressing tress color questions and Franchesca’s great advice! Do you color your hair? Do tell about your experience!

What’s the benefit of coloring your hair?

One of the many benefits of adding color would be for someone with limp locks as the hair color adds body by plumping the hair shaft and temporarily making it thicker. Hair color also adds shine and dimension so adding subtle color can help add a pop to the hair.

What do you recommend if your hair is experiencing damage as a result of coloring?

If your hair is experiencing damage from color you can ask your salon about the three-step Olapex. The first step helps begin repairing hair. The second step is conditioner after the color is processed which is left on for 10-20 minutes to help restore broken bonds. The third step is take home conditioner. Olaplex helps to prevent the hair from breakage, keeping it shiny!

How often should you be getting your hair colored?

My blonde clientele normally color their hair between every 4-8 weeks. Ombré clients often come in twice a year. Those covering grey come in anywhere from 10 days to 4 weeks all depending on how fast their hair grows.

What are some favorite products you recommend to use for color-treated hair?

My favorite products for maintaining color treated hair are Kerastase Discipline Bain Fluidealiste and sulfate free shampoo.  Kerastase Bain Therapiste Balm Shampoo is also great for over processed hair.

What are some favorite products you recommend to use for color-treated hair?

To help keep your hair looking like you just came from the salon, I would recommend a violet base shampoo. It is great for clients who want to keep their hair from getting brassy and keeps it refreshed. (Note from Meghan: The Oribe blonde shampoo/conditioner has been a favorite combo of mine of recent.)

Any at-home techniques to help keep color looking like you just came from the salon?

For blondes specifically who want to keep their color intact as long as possible I would suggest Shu Uemura Color Lustre Shade Reviving Balm Infinite Gloss. It comes in violet and golden blonde.  A small deposit of color for maximum protection against fading. (Note from Meghan: I started using this after Fran recommended it and it definitely helps extend color! You will have to use gloves while applying however – FYI!)

Any types of hair that should avoid hair coloring?

Anyone with Japanese straightened or relaxed hair should avoid doing any highlights. Sticking to one process color is best.

In the salon often you apply a gloss following the dye, what does this do and why is it important? Is it used after all professional hair coloring?

After all color services I always apply a gloss as it closes the cuticle and can also add shine or tone to the hair.

Any words to the wise about attempting to color your hair at home?

If you are attempting to color your hair at home I always recommend going with a semi-permanent color and go a half shade lighter than you may be looking for. Boxed color is always darker then what it appears on the box.

Meghan’s Favorite Products for Blonde Hair:


You can see Franchesca at the Warren Tricomi downtown location in Flatiron – let me know if you end up booking with her! Many thanks Fran for all your wisdom!

p.s. where to get pampered in NYC and how to wash your face according to a facialist.

[Bekka Palmer Photography]

comments +

  1. Diana Pearl says:

    I’m a dirty blonde who gets highlights every so often, so love these tips! I need to try that Oribe shampoo, too!

    x Diana // http://www.dianapearl.com

  2. Merritt Beck says:

    I get highlights quite often so I love seeing all these questions answered for all those who are considering getting their hair colored!
    xx, Merritt
    The Style Scribe

  3. Rachel says:

    This is such a good post! So helpful. Thanks for sharing!


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