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Understand basics of using color


Almost everyone has a home color disaster or two lurking somewhere in their past. While color disasters are correctible and not the end of the world by any means, many people only cause more problems when they try to correct their color. Then, ball cap in place and tears in their eyes, they march to the salon only to pay big bucks to fix a problem that could have been prevented in the first place.

One of the most common mistakes made by people who color their hair at home is to make the problem worse by applying the wrong color to correct their first mistake. For example: Have you ever colored your hair and ended up with a color that is too red or brassy? To correct this problem, many people try to pull the red color out by lightening their hair. This only causes more problems and more brassiness. Other people try to darken their hair again only to have it turn too dark. Both of these approaches are wrong and you will understand why with a quick course in color correction.

ostwald color star
Have you ever seen a color wheel used by painters? It looks like a wheel with a different color between the spokes of the wheel. You can create your own basic color wheel by taking the primary colors, red, blue and yellow, and positioning those colors equal distances around a wheel or circle. Next, take the spaces between the primary colors to list the colors that are made when the two colors next to each other are blended. For example: yellow and blue make green.

Once you have done this you can easily correct color that is too red or too green. All you have to do is look at your color wheel. If your hair is orange, look at the orange space on your color wheel. Then, look directly on the opposite side. What color is there? It should be blue. Colors with a blue base are considered beige colors. So, to counteract or cancel the orange color, you need to choose a color with a beige base. You don’t need to darken or lighten at all.


So, the next time you have a color dilemma, don’t try to strip the problem out of your hair. Simply use your color wheel to cancel out the unwanted color. Doing so will save you a lot of time, heartache and money. You can learn more about general color theory here.







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