6 Things to Do Before You Dye

In the final celebration of our search for the best Latino hairdressers in America, we bring you six crucial things to consider before changing your hair color. Next month: We reveal our 10 winners!

1. Think. Really hard. Don't act on a whim. This is a long-term commitment, so go to a salon for a consultation. A specialized colorist can determine which shade will work best with your skin tone.

2. Consider the cash. Sure, at-home hair color kits are cheap—for a reason. If you don't get the exact color you crave, a salon color correction will run you about $200, and that's not including the $100 or so you'll then pay to get it dyed the right shade.

3. Assess the damage. Remember, dying your hair will dry it out, so if you've got coarse, brittle strands, you might not want to put them through a harsh color process. Consider using semi- or demi-permanent dyes, which are temporary and have fewer chemicals.

4. Leave it to the pros. If you're making a drastic color change—such as going from blonde to black—then go to a professional. This involves getting a double process, where strands are first stripped of their natural pigment and then dyed the desired shade. When done incorrectly, the process can leave your hair a green or orange hue. So not cute.

5. Bring pictures. "Honey blonde" can mean one thing to you and something entirely different to your stylist. Save yourself the trouble of describing the color of highlights you want and just bring a picture of J. Lo with you to the salon.

6. Lather, rinse, repeat. If you're brave and decide to color your hair at home, wash it first with clarifying shampoo. It'll remove product buildup from strands so that the dye can penetrate evenly.