Expert's Opinion

Secrets To Youthful Hair Color

By Philip Pelusi, Internationally recognized stylist and product artist | April 9, 2012

How can hair hues take years off the clock? Philip Pelusi explains.

One of the biggest beauty challenges we face as we grow older is finding our most perfect, youthful hair color.When we are younger, any hair color just seems to work no matter how bold.But making the right selection as we mature can be tough.What’s the secret to finding this holy grail of hair color?High quality hair fabric and teamed with the right level of lightness and tone.Here are some tips to accomplishing both no matter what your age.

Your hair color should make you look more vibrant and youthful.Stay away from shades that are too dark and too solid, and of course cover those gray roots.Above all, seek the guidance of a professional colorist who will customize the color to your skin tone and eye color.To look younger, first get the right base hair color with great gray coverage without going too dark.Next, add lightness around the face and throughout the hair with 1-2 shades of highlights.Not necessarily blonde, but slightly lighter than your base color to create a multi-dimensional look with light and deeper colored pieces, creating dimension and making your hair appear thicker.Adding lightness around the face brightens the skin tone and adds warmth making skin look healthy and glowing.Thinning hair is often a sign of getting older, so a multi-dimensional look with help.

All over solid hair colors should be almost completely eliminated.When your gray roots get touched up also make sure to maintain a slightly dimension look with varying lighter pieces especially around the face.Also steer clear of very dark shades as they will most definitely make your appear older.This doesn’t mean you can’t be a brunette but instead of dark go for a deep honey or caramel color.Conversely, all over too-light colors should also be avoided.You can still be a blonde just make sure the shade is soft and diffused with a multi-dimensional slightly deep blonde to medium blonde shaded pieces.When hair has dimension it appears thicker and healthier.

The right follow-up home maintenance products make a significant difference in protecting your color investment.Make sure to shampoo with a gentle cleanser and follow up with a color protecting conditioner.Look for shampoo and conditioner regimen that contains organic color protecting antioxidants Chinese foxglove, milk thistle, reishi mushroom and ku shen.These herbals help protect the color from fading by warding off free radicals and other pollutants and also help protect the hair strength as these free radicals also degrade and weaken the hair fabric itself.

Try Tela Beauty Organics by Philip Pelusi products Color Guard Shampoo and Color Guard Conditioner.

The tone of the hair color is important to keep hair color looking youthful.Look back at your baby photos from when you were 2 – 5 years old to look for your most natural highlight shades.Also look at your eye color in a magnifying mirror and look for the various specs of color.If you see golden flecks then go for warmer toned highlights.If you see blue-green or hazel specs then go for slightly more neutral to cooler tones.Blondes with pale skin should keep the hair color cool and bright.This will brighten the face.Also avoid a heavily highlighted look against a dark background base color.This can be aging,` so instead lighten the base color if adding highlights for a dimensional look.When color is more of a yellow-blonde, the skin can look sallow and tired.If your skin has a warmer tone, then add a few golden toned highlights.Keep the actual highlighted pieces on a smaller side as big chucky highlights can look dated.

Redheads can keep their hair color youthful but should avoid too maroon or too ruby shades.Either go with a warmer red tone or a mixture of warm and cool red shades to create a more neutral red.If you want a little dimension, be sure to go with very subtle highlights only 1 shade lighter and avoid light stripy highlights.

Brunettes should avoid all over dark colors and most definitely solid blue-based brunette shades as these can be very aging and make the skin look tired and gaunt.But also going too light can appear artificial, which also can be aging.The solution is to go with slightly light pieces around the face.Deep caramel or honey color highlights are most always flattering against a warmer brown base color.Also lighten your base color slightly.One caveat to the baby-picture rule for hair color is the brunette witholive complexions.They are usually very deep cool brunettes when young and this is not youthful on a maturing face.

The maturing hair fabric can be more porous because of coloring, texturizing, styling and even routine daily maintenance.This means we can lose the tone of our hair color more quickly.One of the best ways to extend your color and keep it from looking faded is to apply a coloring conditioner.A color conditioner should be used instead of a color shampoo because you will get a much better tone deposit with a conditioner as it will not contain any color stripping surfactants.Look for one that contains natural flower dyes that stain the cuticle, allowing you maintain your color a week or two after your color service in the salon.Also make sure you work with your stylist by asking them to custom blend a color conditioner shade that perfectly supports your tone.
  • Try P2 by Philip Pelusi Fade de Phy Shampoo and Color Boost Conditioners.
If your natural color is now fully gray, consider this.Gray hair can look stunning with the right skin tone, eye color and texture.The all gray look is best on thicker, smooth gray textures and with blue or green eyes and a fairer complexion.Select lowlights can also be placed into mostly gray hair to add depth and contrast and keep skin tone from not looking washed out.Also clear glossing services on gray hair and tinted glossing services on duller hair can really boost shine from the inside out.The loss of melanin, nature’s perfect UV absorber, as hair becomes more progressively grey exposes the hair to more and more UV damage.This damage manifests itself in damage to the hair fabric and a dull appearance.

Therefore, and most importantly, protect your hair fabric from damage and keep it looking shiny and in top condition as this is an equally important key to younger looking hair color.Look for a product line that has a hair protecting groom that contains a true SPF rating, preferably as high as SPF 18.UV rays from the sun are beneficial and life-giving, but also break down hair’s structure, breaking down the outer protective cuticle layer and inner cortex layer of the hair.By degrading these layers, hair color is left vulnerable and will fade much more quickly.And when paying a premium for professional color, consumers should then be using a premium product that will protect this investment.
  • Try Tela Beauty Organics Guardian SPF 18.
Lastly, look into new advances in salon texture-altering services.Look for a texture enhancing service that does not open the cuticle but instead seals the cuticle and locks the color molecules inside, making color services last even longer.The service should be able to be applied immediately after the color is shampooed off the hair.This not only saves the client and the colorist time, but is also the absolute perfect time to lock in this freshly-applied color.This is a unique way to address both holding onto this fall’s new hair color trends and controlling any texture issue the client may have.Look for ingredients such as organic quinoa, patent-pending hydro-charged ceramide complex, organic sugar cane, sugar maple, marshmallow root, reishi mushroom and Solomon’s seal.And look for hair strengtheners organic sprouted soy, burdock, red sage and horsetail.These advanced-technology services should also be formaldehyde free, contain no aldehydes or formaldehyde derivatives, non-toxic with no harsh chemicals.Hair will be left feeling silky, healthy and shiny with long lasting color protection.
  • Try Tela Beauty Organics Girls That Love Curls Anti Frizz Curl Enhancing Smoother with 85% Certified Organics for enhancing and defining naturally curly or wavy styles and Tela Beauty Organics Phyto-Keratin Smoothing Treatment Blow Out with 85% Certified Organics for smoothing and de-frizzing wavy hair textures.

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About the Author
Philip Pelusi is an internationally recognized stylist, photographer and product artist. Having gone from one salon to 13 locations as well as a magnificent industry centerpiece in New York City, Pelusi has created a philosophy, 2 product lines, P2 by Philip Pelusi and Tela Beauty Organics by Philip Pelusi and systems for success. Philip created and trademarked, within the industry, the phrase “A Cut Above The Rest” to coincide with his creation of the registered Volumetric haircutting technique around which he built his empire.

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