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Everything You Need To Know Before Coloring Virgin Hair

photo of woman with freshly colored hair

For seasoned pros, coloring your hair may seem like a no brainer. After years of experimenting with different hues and hours spent in the salon, it can be tricky to remember a time when your hair wasn’t color treated. However, there are those who still have yet to take the color plunge.

If you have virgin hair—defined as chemically unprocessed human hair—you may be stumped on what to expect the first time you update your hair color. Breck Csicsai, Matrix artist and brand ambassador, breaks down everything you need to know before coloring virgin hair.

What changes should you expect once virgin hair is colored?

Whether you’re ditching your naturally light locks for a darker hue or opting for a vibrant fashion color, you should expect your hair to go through changes in texture and appearance once it’s colored. Csicsai says your choice of color plays a major role in how much your hair will be affected by the change.

Every hue has its own set of hair care rules, but one thing is for certain: A salon quality product routine is a must-have for any head of colored hair.

“Using the proper shampoo and conditioner for the specific color of the hair is a must,” Csicsai says, recommending the Matrix Total Results Color Obsessed Shampoo and Conditioner system to help protect against fading and extend the life of color vibrancy.

Between hair color and the damaging effects of bleach, regular color sessions can take a serious toll on the look and feel of your strands. There’s no way to prevent the damage from happening, but the right products can help restore the look and feel of your mane’s moisture and softness. Csicsai suggests incorporating a leave-in treatment like the Matrix Total Results Miracle Creator into your hair care routine.

As for products to avoid, Csicsai says to be wary of products that are not recommended by salon professionals.

All set to head to the salon? Before you do, Csicsai offers his top three tips everyone should know before committing to a new hair color.

Bring inspiration photos to the salon.

When it comes to changing your hair color, a picture is worth a thousand words to a stylist. Stylists are pros at turning our hair color dreams into a reality, but Csicsai insists that having a few inspiration photos is the most efficient way of knowing you will leave the salon satisfied with your fresh new ‘do.

“Look up inspiration photos! Find some that you like and dislike and think about what’s best for your own hair, and complexion,” Csicsai says.

Be prepared for the upkeep.

Let’s face it: As much as we love the idea of a fresh touch-up every four to six weeks, it can be a serious bank-breaker. Before signing up for a new color, Csicsai recommends making sure that consistent trips to the salon fit your lifestyle and hair care budget.

For first-timers, consider gradually changing your color before committing to a major change. A shade that doesn’t stray too far from your natural color will be much easier to maintain. If you’re itching for something totally new, opt for a balayage or ombre to avoid constant root touch-ups.

Expect to spend more time at the salon.

It’s a common misconception that stylists can take you from chocolate brown to platinum blonde in one appointment. However, Csicsai advises that new clients should expect to hit the salon more than once for drastic color changes. Stylists can only lift the color so far in one appointment to protect the integrity of your hair.

Now that you’re equipped with all there is to know about coloring your virgin hair, head to the salon and wear your new color with confidence!