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What You Need to Know About Dyeing Virgin Hair, According to a Top Hair Colorist

Switching up your shade can be a daunting process, especially when you’re jumping into the color game for the very first time. Between selecting the ideal inspo image, prepping for your first appointment, and purchasing the perfect post-color products, its easy to get overwhelmed. Before you make a major change, it’s best to consult somebody in the know. Somebody like celebrity colorist and Redken ambassador Cassondra Kaeding. We sat down with this killer Mane Master to get a little insight as to what you should know before dyeing your virgin hair for the first time. Read on for her must-know tips and tricks!

Do Your Research

Switching up your shade is serious business. It’s important to understand the process before dyeing your hair for the first time. Cassondra recommends doing a little research before committing to a major change. “Having more knowledge about changing your hair color can help your understanding of the process,” she says.

Source Your Inspo Carefully

When sourcing your inspiration photos, Cassondra suggests selecting images of someone with a similar skin tone and eye color to your own. “This will help you choose a hair color that will work well with your complexion,” she shares. She also recommends setting up a consultation with your colorist before settling on a shade. They will be able to tell you what colors and tones will suit you best, as well as what to expect in your first session.

A Pre-Treatment Mask is a Must

“I would recommend doing a hydrating hair masque at home before your first appointment,” Cassondra suggests. “This will help with hydration.” Healthy hair is easier to lift, which is especially handy when dyeing virgin hair. A pretreatment mask will rehydrate and rejuvenate your strands, allowing your colorist to lighten those locks a level or two lighter than you might have initially expected.

Manage Your Expectations

Achieving your ideal hue is not a one-and-done process. You may need a few follow-up appointments before you arrive at your desired shade. In general, you want to kick off your coloring journey on the slow side. “I always tell my clients that it’s so much easier to add a few highlights than it is to take away,” Cassondra shares. “You always want to see if that’s really the color you feel comfortable with.” A slow and steady approach to the coloring process will help preserve the integrity of your hair and ensure you get the exact results you were hoping for. Chemical color treatments can also impact and change the natural texture and overall health of your mane. Keep these potential changes in mind when switching up your shade.

Go for a Gloss

If you’re worried about doing damage to your tresses, Cassondra recommends an alternative route to a drastic change: color gloss. According to her, a color gloss can change the tone of your tresses and add a little bit of shine without incurring any bleach-based damage. “I also recommend adding a few subtle highlights and seeing how bleach affects your hair integrity,” says Cassondra. “Once the hair has been compromised it can take months to repair.”

Don’t Skip on the Maintenance

At-home care is key, especially for first-time forays into the hair color game. Be sure to consult your colorist for product recommendations specific to your coloring process and hair texture. “If you are doing a base color, gloss, and or an all-over color you would want to get a color-treated shampoo and conditioner,” says Cassondra. “I recommend Redken’s Color extend magnetics. It’s sulfate-free, lightweight, and gentle on the hair.” If you’ve opted for highlights, balayage, or any other lightening service, hydrating shampoo and conditioner is your best bet. Cassondra recommends Redken’s All Soft line to add a boost of moisture and shine to newly lightened locks.

After you dye your hair for the first time, be sure to invest in THESE color-protecting products that will make your color last!

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