Expert Tips on Choosing a Hair Color

Jodie Michalak
professional hair color

There are many important things to consider when choosing a hair color. Whether it be to cover gray hair or just to change your look, hair color is a chemical service that requires both professional advice and application. LoveToKnow spoke with Makeover Maven Sherry Gilderoy, a stylist and makeover expert with over twenty years experience, to get her tips and expertise on selecting and caring for your hair color.

Tips on Choosing a Hair Color

Determining the Right Color

LovetoKnow (LTK): How do people know what looks best on them when choosing a hair color?

Sherry Gilderoy (SG): I always schedule a consultation first. Skin tone is primarily the deciding factor. Then lifestyle, age, and percentage of gray.

Considering Blonde

LTK: Can everyone wear blonde hair?

SG: Many people can wear blonde, in various shades. In my opinion, it's all about the desired result... if the technician is excellent, the result can be flattering. Take Mary J. Bilge for example! It's fun and very well done.

Flattering Highlights

getting blonde highlights

LTK: What is a popular look in the world hair color?

SG: Creating a rich base color and then adding highlights only where the sun shines is the most flattering. Having an entire head of foiled highlights/lowlights is not only unnecessary, but it is not natural looking. Cover gray, or "bump-up" the natural shade first then add highlights to make the color multi-dimensional.

Consider Maintenance

LTK: What's the maintenance that should be considered when choosing a hair color?

SG: All color has maintenance! Even if it is a semi-permanent shade. If you can't make an appointment at least every 8 weeks, do not get artificial hair color.

What Not to Do

LTK: What's your number one hair color "don't"?

SG: Don't get highlights just to "blend-out" gray. It doesn't flatter the skin and if you are thinking it camouflages the salt and pepper...think again!

Advice for Budget Color

home hair coloring

LTK: For budget-minded fashionistas, what's your advice?

SG: I suggest your stylist get you going first. Then, give a "home-color" formula than can be done in between. Sally's Beauty Supply has a variety of colors and my clients are all able to follow directions for application. If you are a quality stylist, you want your customers' hair to look great! Formulating an in-between touch up solution is the best way I have found to get them in the right shade without stressing their budget. They always come back to me for the big bang.

Treat and Protect

LTK: How can blondes keep their strands from turning brassy after coloring?

SG: Less frequent shampooing will help. Most women like the neutral shade of medium blonde they may have had as a child, however, this is also the "level" of hair color containing the most underlying "orange" pigment. As the hair looses some of its "artificial color", the orange becomes more intense. Using a blue-ing shampoo or conditioner will help. Careful not to overuse or the result will be "flat" and lack that brightness a new color has. FYI -- "violet" colored shampoos cut yellow, not brass!

LTK: What are some good remedies for moisture-starved hair?

SG: I like the 'ol standby, Fermodyl Special for Chemically Treated Hair. It changes the porosity and allows the hair to actually retain moisture. Then, use a "moisturizing treatment" without protein. Protein can be over drying if too much is used!

Men's Hair Color

LTK: Any tips for men to trek into the world of choosing a hair color?

SG: Go to a professional! Do not use "blend-out-gradually" products. They build up and leave the hair looking artificially colored. Even if the hair was originally dark, keep it lighter. Lastly, there are NO artificial colors that "match" gray hair.... it ends up looking like a calico cat!

About Sheila Gilderoy

Sherry Gilderoy

Sherry began her career 25 years ago in Phoenix, Arizona. Along with working with many talented stylists in her career, Sherry mentored under famed stylist Jose Eber, later becoming the Artistic Director for the Jose Eber team in Dallas. Sherry proved herself an invaluable asset to the company and later became promoted as the Executive V.P. of Jose Eber Salons.

With her passion for fashion and interest in serving the community, Sherry took her career to a new place: the airwaves. She began dishing out beauty and fashion advice during weekly segments on the radio station 103.7 in Dallas, Texas. Her current weekly stint helps her share her knowledge and her gift of gab.

Organizations such as The American Cancer Society, The Human Rights Campaign, DIFFA, Girls Inc., and Gilda's Club have inspired Sherry to continue on a path that empowers women and girls to feel beautiful...inside and out!

For more information, fashion and beauty tips, visit Sherry Gilderoy online.

Expert Tips on Choosing a Hair Color