Hair professionals work their magic with scissors, hairdryers, and thickening products, but did you know that dying your locks is another trick to making your hair look thicker? Creating a fuller mane with color is much easier than you think, and it won't break the bank, either. Whether you've been saving up for a professional hair transformation or you're ready to make yourself over at home, use the best techniques to achieving thicker-looking hair with color.
Whether your hair is the deepest brown or golden blonde, blending multiple hues can give your hair a thicker appearance. Similar to makeup contouring, hair contouring uses light and dark colors to create dimension and flatter your facial features. Highlights are bleached and toned sections of hair, while lowlights use deeper hues to add contrast and texture. Colorists use the balayage method to freehand paint natural-looking highlights onto your hair, leaving your roots and sections of natural color untouched. Using one or a combination of these techniques creates a multi-tonal look that adds a visual density to your locks.
Coloring techniques have come a long way over the years. Modern dye processes are cost-effective, more customizable, and less damaging to fine hair. Babylights are very subtle highlights applied in small sections, mostly concentrated at the crown and the ends. The resulting color is not as dramatic as balayage or ombré highlights but still adds contour and brightens your style. The shadow roots technique avoids bleaching strands altogether, creating depth by darkening hair at the roots instead. With a deep base color and multifaceted highlights, tresses appear more voluminous.
Highlights and multi-tonal colors aren't for everyone. Sometimes, you want a subtle lift to your mane without making drastic changes to your signature look. Enhance brunette hair with espresso lowlights and bronze face-framing layers. Use ribbons of gold or chestnut to deepen blonde locks. Red hair gets an instant lift with darkened roots, adding a flattering contrast to the brilliant shade. Hints of color that elegantly pop in the sunlight are more subtle, and they also keep you from overprocessing fine or thin hair.
The chocolatey-toned locks of a classic brunette are mysterious as they are multi-faceted. A bolt of sunlight is all it takes to illuminate the depth of color, whether it's the amber undertones of chestnut curls or ribbons of warm caramel woven through dark brown strands. It doesn't take much color processing to warm up chocolate tresses — good news for those with thinning or fine hair. Unless your hair is very dark, bleach lightening isn't necessary for multidimensional brown color.
Golden blonde tresses are naturally brilliant, brightening the face like a natural halo. The downside is that blonde roots can appear extra-fine unless your hair color provides enough depth and contrast. For this reason, multi-tonal color is best for fine blonde hair because it draws in light and makes strands appear fuller. Consider neutral blonde, a happy blend of warm and cool hues that flatters almost every complexion. Light and dark tones create a chunky, more natural-looking hairline, so you can go much longer without touching up your roots.
Just because you're going gray doesn't mean you have to overhaul your color routine. Give the world a chance to admire your silver locks with defining layers of color and light. Silver and white highlights gracefully blend grays into blonde locks, while light golden and silver layers can add depth to red or salt and pepper tresses. Add silver streaks to graying temples for a touch of sophistication.
Bold hair color is a statement of confidence and yet another trick to make your hair look thicker. Bright shades add unexpected depth and texture with a touch of playfulness to your style. You can also limit costly touchups by investing in tinted shampoos and conditioners. Add depth to brassy highlights with a wash of turquoise, or draw attention away from fine baby hairs with bright pink ends. Apply a brilliant hue to your crown and roots to hide grays and as a vibrant take on shadow roots.
If you can't make it to the salon, or if you prefer coloring your hair at home, you can maintain a multi-tonal style. Blend two or three colors, keeping lighter shades around your face and darker hues underneath for dimension and depth. During the color process, dyes expand the hair shaft so that each strand can absorb the new shade, literally making your hair thicker. Formulas work faster on fine or thinning hair, so you may have to wash out the dye sooner than recommended.
Avid committing to hair colors that aren't practical for your lifestyle. If touch-ups are too expensive or time-consuming, choose an affordable, more convenient routine. Your stylist can help you come up with a color scheme that ages well between appointments. In the meantime, hide your roots with a texturizing spray or powder. The extra volume emphasizes your existing color and its nuances.
Even if your color looks good in the mirror, your greying roots and brassy undertones will give you away at the flash of a camera. Fading color loses its dynamic quality and can give you a thinner-looking hairline in photos. Invest in color-protective haircare products and tinted shampoos to keep your dye job fresh, and try not to overwash your hair. When in doubt, apply a small amount of root touch-up color to your crown. The tinted spray or powder texturizes fine hair at the scalp, preparing you for selfies and group photos.
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