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Ask the expert: Everything you need to know before colouring your hair


“I think the most important thing a woman can have - next to talent of course - is her hairdresser.” Joan Crawford said that well-known quote many years ago but it’s still just as relevant today. Having a good hairdresser is important, especially if you’re considering colouring your hair.

For decades, one of the biggest names in Irish hairdressing has been Peter Mark. Founded in June 1961 by brothers Peter and Mark Keaveney, the first shop they opened was on Dublin's Grafton Street. Today, they have 70 salons in Ireland.

At the moment, they are offering €20 off full and half head Easi-Meche highlights with cutting or €10 off colour with cutting. So, there’s never been a better time to try out a new hairstyle.

We spoke to Holly O’Keefe, Head of Education at Peter Mark to find out everything you need to know before taking the plunge and colouring your hair.

Preparation is key

Before you colour your hair, it is important to make sure that it is in good condition as this can dramatically affect the results. 

“Healthy hair is the most ideal canvas for a great colour result,” explains Holly. “If the hair is weak or damaged, this can have a dramatic effect on the colour. In some cases, colouring poorly conditioned or damaged hair will not be recommended.”

So, what’s the best way to guarantee your tresses are in good order? Holly recommends using bonding products.

“Prior to colouring your hair, discuss bonding products with your stylist. L’Oreal Smart bond is a two-step system added to the colouring product to protect and strengthen the hair during the colouring process. This will leave the hair stronger, healthier and shinier which in turn will lengthen the life of your colour.”

Work with your colourist

Remember that your colourist wants you to end up with shade that you absolutely love. There are two things that you can do to help them to achieve this.

Firstly, you should always bring photos with you.

“Bringing photos with you when consulting with your colourist is always recommended,” states Holly. “They can help the colourist fully understand and manage your colour expectations, which in turn allows for realistic hair goals on the day.”

Secondly, always book a skin allergy test before your appointment.

“A skin allergy test will detect if the client has any sensitivity or allergies to the chosen colour. I advise all clients to have their skin allergy test updated every 6-12 months depending on the frequency of colouring.”

Choosing a shade

When it comes to colouring your hair, there are certain things that you need to consider before choosing which hue you would like.

“Skin tone and eye colour need to be taken into consideration when advising clients who wish to colour their hair,” explains Holly. “As a professional colourist, it is our aim to compliment and enhance the client’s natural skin tone to create a beautifully balanced result.”

You should also be mindful that it might take a few appointments in order to reach your desired shade.

“It may be necessary to apply multiple colourants on the same day if the client is looking to change their hair colour noticeably,” explains Holly. “Or the client may be advised to do so gradually over a number of salon visits depending on the degree of change. Clients may also opt for creative colour work where it may be necessary to apply a number of toners to achieve a bespoke colour result.”

The importance of aftercare

One of the best ways to maintain your new hair colour is to undertake an aftercare regime.

“After the initial colour application, I would recommend using a post colour treatment to lock in the colour,” states Holly. “Then use a professional colour shampoo and conditioner with a weekly colour mask for a home treatment. There are now pigmented shampoos and conditioners available that when used at home regularly, will maintain the colour for longer. Between all colour appointments I would recommend that clients return after 3-4 weeks for a toner or semi-permanent to maintain the tone and shine.”

Do you want to stand out with colour? Call or book your next hair colour appointment* online at the Peter Mark website.

There has never been a better time to change up your look with €20 off full and half head Easi-Meche highlights with cutting* or €10 off colour* with cutting.

*Skin allergy testing is required 48 hours before your appointment.

*Excludes pop colour, masking, floodlights and T-bar services.


Online Editors