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Bright and fun colours are all the rage in this social media age, and bleaching your hair to get your desired pink, blue and purple are now the norm. Even if you’re not into pastel hair colours, chances are you’ve had highlights done on your hair, or coloured it to a lighter shade to complement your skin tone.

We speak to our award-winning hairstylists to find out what you really need to know before your next colour job, and how to best care for your coloured hair at home.

1. Your hairdresser needs to know your hair colouring background.


Winning look for the L'Oreal Professionnel Style & Colour Trophy 2017 (Singapore) and International Cut & Style Award at the global stage; from Den Ng of Prep Luxe

Before you choose a new colour, you should inform your hairdresser what you’ve previously done and what you’re looking to do. This is especially important when you are switching hairstylists. Says Den Ng, hair director at Prep Luxe: “Hair colouring is also about correcting worn-out shades and planning for colour correction in the future to give you a smooth transition.”

 

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2. Choose a darker shade if you want your hair colour to last longer.


Second runner-up: Noel Ng of Harts, created this look for the L'Oreal Professionnel Style & Colour Trophy 2017 (Singapore)

Pastel colours like cotton-candy pink, lilac or silver fade quickly – we’re talking about four to ten shampoos. “Darker shades like midnight blue, violet and wine red tends to last for months,” elaborates Karl Ko, senior stylist at Salon Vim.

3. At-home care is important if you want your hair colouring job to last.


First runner-up: Timothy Ting of Mi the Salon created this look for the L'Oreal Professionnel Style & Colour Trophy 2017 (Singapore)

Karl and Timothy Ting, senior stylist at Mi the Salon, both emphasise the use of hair mask every day, especially if you’ve bleached your hair. You should also use a shampoo and conditioner for colour-treated hair. “You should a leave-in conditioner too,” adds Timothy.

“Don’t was your hair for 48 hours after colouring it,” advises Karl. This allows the colour to “set” into your hair, and makes it last longer.

Noel Ng, director at Harts agrees. “The wrong products can damage hair, especially if it’s bleached. The right ones help prolong colour and may even lengthen the period between salon visits,” he adds.

Last tip: Wash your hair with cold water as hot water also strips away colour (and damages your hair), says Den.

 

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4. Try the colour-melting technique if you want to minimise the need for touch-ups.


Media Choice Award Winner: Karl Ko of Mi the Salon created this look for the L'Oreal Professionnel Style & Colour Trophy 2017 (Singapore)

Colour-melting – an immensely popular hair-colouring technique right now – means colouring the hair roots in a darker shade that fades seamlessly into your previously coloured lighter hair. There is no harsh transition line that makes you look like you’re colour-blocking your hair.

“This technique can be used on a wide range of colours, from brown to pink – the key is to match the hair colour to your skin tone. And it means easier maintenance because you don’t have to go back to your hairdresser for touch-ups as frequently,” says Den.

5. A good hair colourist can choose the right hair colour for you.


Noeveau Talent Award Winner: Finn Tan of Top Image created this look for the L'Oreal Professionnel Style & Colour Trophy 2017 (Singapore)

They need to take into account your skin tone, hair length, occupation and lifestyle habits before giving you input on what colour and shade works for you.

“If you work in a conservative environment and want to try bolder colours like rose gold, ash-purple, ash-grey and pastel pink, your hairstylist can use more subtle colouring techniques. For example, they can use babylights or highlight just certain parts of your hair. You can tie up your hair to reveal the bold colours after office hours,” says Finn Tan, junior stylist at Top Image.