In honour of my much awaited salon appointment today (two inch dark roots on peroxide hair not long enough to even skim the shoulders has got to be the worst look in the book), this week's Boardroom Beauty is in honour of all things unnatural in terms of hair colour. Having been almost every shade under the spectrum (including a few that nature deems biologically impossible) since the age of 14, I feel that despite lacking expertise in other areas of beauty know-how, this is one arena in which I can hold my own. So now, without further ado, allow me to introduce to you my very own tried-and-tested Do's and Don't's of reaching for the bottle.
...your research. Thoroughly look into the means and methods of getting your hair coloured and whatever your modum operandi, look for reviews online of both products and salons to make sure you're choosing the best option for your hair and budget.
...consider your environment. Although I'm all for pushing the fashion boundaries in your workplace, nothing can look more out of place than an ill-advised foray into unnatural hair colours. If your office is more casual and relaxed towards appearances then, by all means, go for that hot pink dip-dye you've been dreaming off. If, however, your nine-to-five role habituates in a more conservative leaning environment, then consider opting for a more natural approach.
...think about aftercare. No matter how hot you look walking out of the salon (or bathroom) post dye job, these beauty enhancing effects need great care and attention if you wish for them to last. Again, thoroughly research the amount of maintenance your new do will require before opting to take the plunge. If you'd rather gnaw your own arm off that delve into a rigorous new routine, stick as closely as possible to your natural tone and perhaps opt manly for high and lowlights to accentuate natural shadowing. If your heart is set for something more flashy, look carefully at the products that can maintain such a style for as long as possible between applications. Ice blonde, for example, will require lots of preening with violet toned products to knock out any sign of brassiness.
...skip the skin test. When I first dyed my hair at home (as black as the colour of my 14 year old, angst ridden soul), I skipped over the boring part that told me to dab a small amount of dye on myself and wait 48 hours for results. I wanted new hair now, goddamit! Thankfully I was lucky, but a friend of mine had a severe allergic reaction that made her face swell up like the images you see in shock articles. All good salons should require you to complete one of these before they even step near to your hair with ammonia and peroxide and you should also make this a pre-requisite every time you complete the chore at home, with a new test for each and every change in product.
...idly follow trends. Vanilla blonde was HUGE on the Spring/Summer catwalks. However, just because this particular tone looks great on the supermodels doesn't mean it will suit you. Consider your skin tone carefully before opting for a new shade: even with unnatural tones, the last thing you want is your colour to mismatch your underlying complexion, leaving your hot new tresses looking like a wig. It is also important to think about the wider implications on your style: your standard makeup look and clothing style may look great now, but could possibly be in need of tweaking or a complete overhaul if you jump in at the deep end of something entirely new.