Want to Know the Best Kept Secret in Salon Hair Color?

by August 26, 2020

Brunette woman with long hair smiling

Image by Madison Reed


Have you tuned into one of our Hair Color House Parties yet? If not, RSVP to our next Hair Color House Party. At a recent Hair Color House Party we unpacked one of the best-kept secrets in the world of salon hair color...how to get professionally gorgeous, shiny hair color at home. The salon secret? What we like to call the Perfect Pair.

So here’s the thing—professional colorists know you shouldn’t apply permanent hair color all over your hair every time you color. Doing so will eventually make your hair color turn too dark and dull, which can be a common complaint for people who regularly color their hair at home. What you may not realize is that when you get your color done in a salon, you most likely aren’t getting the same permanent color applied all over your hair every single time you have an appointment. Instead, your colorist usually applies permanent color only at your roots and your re-growth. Then your colorist will apply a semi-permanent color to the mid-lengths and ends of your hair to refresh your color without over-darkening it or causing color build up. This is all just part of getting your hair colored at a salon, so if you color at home, you might think you should be getting the same result using just permanent hair color. Every time. All over your head. But...you really shouldn’t be doing that.
That’s where the Perfect Pair comes in: permanent color + a semi-permanent gloss together, otherwise known as the salon-secret system for rich, shiny, healthy-looking hair color. It was such an a-ha moment for us when we realized that not everyone who colors her hair at home knows about this whole color + gloss thing. So we decided to shout it from the rooftops, and your screens. THE PERFECT PAIR! It’s shiny, it’s gorgeous...and it’s incredibly easy to do yourself at home.
As we covered during our Hair Color House Party, the Perfect Pair is about first applying permanent color to our roots, and after that, using gloss on our mid-lengths and ends to get these stunning salon-quality results. Our master colorists Susan Roberts-Cooper and Shvonne Perkins helpfully walked us through the two-step coloring process (and took questions after). From her salon du moi, our editorial director Susannah Murdock showed us how she uses the Perfect Pair every four weeks to color her roots, mid-lengths and ends. Says Susannah: “Gloss is a phenomenal product. It adds a ton of shine. It adds a light refreshing of color, too...but it’s really the shine I crave.”

The Best Way to Color Your Hair at Home

Using the Perfect Pair will really take care of your mid-lengths and ends, while giving your roots fully saturated color (and maximum gray coverage as needed).
1.Mix your permanent Radiant Cream Color and begin applying to your roots and new growth. 

2.Work your way through your roots of your hair in rows about ¼” apart, one section at a time. 

3.When you are done applying your permanent color, start your timer for processing, then begin applying the gloss.

Around the nine-minute mark of our video, you'll see our model, Susannah, demonstrate how to apply color to your roots. 
How to get the perfect gloss at home
1.Color Reviving Gloss requires no mixing, but you’ll want to rinse any permanent color off your gloves to open the tube.

2.Next, apply the gloss to your mid-lengths and ends, starting where you stopped coloring your roots. Work one section at a time. If you get gloss on your roots, don’t worry. The gloss will not affect the permanent color.

3.Massage the gloss down the entire length of your hair to the ends. Use a wide-tooth comb to help distribute it evenly. Then simply put on your processing cap and relax while your color processes.

Around the twenty-minute mark of our video, you'll see Susannah demonstrate how to apply gloss to your mid-lengths and ends.
The Perfect Pair results in seriously shiny, healthy-looking hair color, but one of our favorite parts is the tip. As in, you tip yourself. 20%? 25%? We suggest being quite generous, because by using both color and gloss at home, you’ve just given yourself gorgeous, professional-level hair color, no appointment necessary—boom.