L’Oreal Hair Color Advice

Learning how to apply hair color at L'Oreal's HQ

Last month, thanks to TotalBeauty.com, I had the pleasure of joining my fellow beauty bloggers to meet with Julia Youssef, VP Of L’Oreal USA Technical Center and her team for a demonstration and tutorial on their hair color line.

Here are some of my learning outcomes from the Q&A portion:

Q: What is the difference between coloring your hair at home and in a salon?

A: Both can give you a great experience; both can give you a terrible one.  It’s about the application and quality of the product, not the price or location.  But if you do it at home, it generally helps to have someone else apply it, especially in the hard to reach areas in the back.

Q: When do you set the timer for leaving it in?

A: Do not start your timer when you begin application; you should start the clock once you’ve finished.

Q: Any  advice for gray hair?

A: If you are partially gray, start by applying to your gray areas first, before going to the rest of your head.

  • Use Feria for color impact (if you are less then 30% gray), Preference/Excellence for gray hair.
  • Do not use semi-permanent hair colors for gray hair.

Some additional points:

  • Make sure you look at the shade selector based on your natural hair color when picking your color, especially when touching up roots.
  • Some best practices for color treated hair (especially for red heads); make sure you use color treated shampoos/conditioners.  Volumizing and other shampoos can lead to fading, as can sun exposure. If you go to the beach, be sure to wear either a hat or a UV filter hair product.
  • Don’t wash your hair the day you intend on coloring it, since hair oil acts as a buffer and is very beneficial.  Be sure to follow the directions on the box and use the leave in conditioner, and wait at least a day before washing your hair after the initial rinse out. It takes 24 hours for the cuticle to normalize.

If you have any questions or concerns about coloring your hair, call L’Oreal’s Customer Affairs division at 1-800-631-7358. With many of their experts having more than a decade of experience with these products, they can definitely give you any advice you may need to get your color perfect.  And yes, you do get a real life person who actually knows what they’re talking about, and not some automated service that will give you the run around. May that never change.