Hair color tips and techniques

Expert advice for optimal results

If you’re one of the millions of people who take coloring matters into their own hands (or if you’re not and you want to understand what the heck your stylist is up to back there), check out our index of articles below.

You’ll learn professional tips and techniques for a wide range of processes from highlighting hair with foils to coloring grey hair, and more.

Highlighted sandy blonde hair colorBrowsing the hair color aisle, the range of options can be overwhelming. Boxes of color, row upon row, it can all become a bit of a blur. These articles will help to demystify the art and science of coloring your own hair.

Browse the entire section or use the quick links (at right) to quickly find what you’re looking for.


Knowing how to distinguish different tones of a color and levels of darkness is so important for determining what will suit you best. Our hair color photo galleries show a broad range of tones and levels throughout the color spectrum. At a glance, you can clearly see the progression of tonal changes.





Be prepared before you begin…

Minerals from water, chlorine from swimming pools, and build-up from styling products can all impede the formula’s ability to do it’s thing. Use Matrix Alternate Action shampoo once or twice before coloring to help eliminate these impurities. Starting with a clean slate with allow for the best possible finished results.

Using a porosity equalizer before (and after) coloring your hair will ensure that the color absorbs evenly, preventing blotchy results. This one from Zotos helps hair retain the color longer as it contains thermal protectants and sunscreen.

Having the right tools is key to success. Just like any other artistic endeavor. If you do regular home hair coloring, do yourself a favor and get a set of tools! This hair colorist tool kit has everything you need to make the process as simple and professional as possible.

Cleansing products can strip color molecules from your strands. Prevent premature fading by caring for your new hue with products formulated to protect color, like Biolage Colorlast Shampoo & Conditioner. It really does make a huge difference!

basic chemistry

The inner workings
Understanding the color wheel and underlying pigments is key to achieving good results and avoiding damage to your hair. read more

removing haircolor

Strip out dark pigments
Oxidative color removers are effective for lifting out dark artificial pigments. Read our tips on what to look for and how to use these products. read more

hair toner

What, when and how
Undesirable orange/yellow hues can be neutralized using hair toner. Learn the ins and outs of using toners to combat unwanted pigments. read more

color back

Going from blonde to dark
Adding pigment back to chemically lightened hair can result in undesirable ‘muddy’ tones. Learn how to avoid this and get a nice result. read more

Red hair highlightsFoiling hair allows for so much creative freedom. It’s really just a barrier between the colored section and the surrounding hair.

Having sections wrapped in foil provides more control over the process and ensures that bleach stays moist for proper lightening. Get all the info on creating beautiful hair highlights using the foiling method.

blonde-hair23Advice on mixing, application and processing for good and safe results with hair bleach. Bleach is extraordinarily effective at lightening hair, but it can also reduce it to a brittle, straw-like condition, or just plain mush if not used properly. Get professional tips for bleaching hair to ensure a good experience with this powerful lightener. It CAN be your friend!

pink hair color

punk hair

Tips for achieving vibrant, punky hues. It’s not as simple as applying a bright color product.

The hair needs to be pre-lightened in preparation for the bright shade to be applied and visible. It’s like coloring on a dark piece of paper compared to coloring on a light piece of paper. The light background shows the color far more brightly. Learn about how to create vibrant, punk hair colors.

precision cut bob hairstyle with fuscia highlighting

hair color trends

A color change can completely transform the feel of a style without even changing the cut. A change of cut and color together? That’s gonna have an impact! Check out these fun new hair color options to refresh your look.

grey hair

Essential tips for success in getting good coverage. Grey hair can be resistant to taking color and consumers can get confused about whether a color formula is suitable for covering grey hair. Learn about what to look for in a product and a few tips to ensure good results.
Read more

haircolor & pregnancy

Factors to consider if you are pregnant and wondering whether you can safely color your hair.
Read more


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