Ask A Colorist – Clairol Colour Tips with Luis Pacheco

Let me jump right in by admitting something, I love colouring my hair. Since I was about 15 years old I have colored my hair at home every few months and tried just about every shade from bleach blonde to hot red. The only colours I never tried were very dark brown or black because I didn’t want to look dead.

I love that by simply changing my hair colour I can give myself a new look. My favourite shade by far being a very deep red, but cost (it was one of the few colours I had professionally done) and time to maintain makes it a no go anymore. I need something that looks great and enhances my eye colour without being too hard to keep up.

One of my favourite colours, dark red.

I was thrilled when I received a personal colour recommendation from Luis Pacheco last year at the PG Mom conference and wasted no time in running out to get a box of Clairol Natural Instincts Vibrant in 8G. The colour not only suits me, it suits my lack of time and interest in maintaining my hair colour. I can let it grow out a bit without looking like I have 2 toned hair. When I was offered the chance to interview Luis Pacheco about colour trends for the coming season and more, I jumped at the chance.


  1. What trends do you see coming up this year?

I think hair colour is taking a bit of back seat to fairly structured hair styles this year. It’s all about maintaining that healthy-looking shiny colour to allow those extreme haircuts to take the spotlight. I’m seeing a lot of reds, coppers and warm tones that are a little more subtle pop up as well.

  1. If you could bring one hair trend back what would it be?

There are so many – but I loved Mia Farrow’s pixie cut in Rosemary’s Baby. That was an iconic moment in time for the industry.  

  1. Is there any way you can prep your hair before colouring?

Be sure not to wash your hair before colouring because your natural oils will protect your scalp and hair.

  1. Should you get a cut before or after a colour?

This depends on the type of colour you’re getting. If it’s a one-colour application, you should cut afterwards. If you’re doing a more complex technique, like highlights or ombré, always cut beforehand.

  1. What can you do to hide roots in between colouring?

I recommend that my clients use Clairol Root Touch-Up by Nice ‘n Easy in between colour treatments. It’s a great quick fix when you’re in a bind. If you’re looking for a styling trick, try getting creative with your part!

  1. Should a patch/strand test be done before every colour even if you always use the same one?

It’s advisable to do so, yes.

  1. What products should I use to maintain my colour?

Always choose products that are safe on colour, from your shampoo and conditioner, to your styling products.

  1. Any tricks for coloring a redhead whose hair does not take bleach?

There are many really great shades in Clairol’s Perfect 10 collection. If you have no greys, use a demi-permanent like Natural Instincts in Light Auburn #16 or Medium Auburn #23R.

  1. Can you go from a Dark to Light colour without bleaching?

Not effectively, no. You would have to bleach.

  1. How can a person choose the color best suited for them?

The best way to choose the right colour is to let your skin tone guide you. If you have a warm skin tone, stick with a warm shade of hair colour, and if you have a cooler skin tone, go with a cooler shade of hair colour. As a rule of thumb, always stay within 2-3 shades of your natural colour when colouring at home.

If you are curious, below is my personal color colour Consultation:

If you really want to move away from the red shade, I could recommend that you try a shade that is around a level 8.  If you find that your hair is still too warm (in other words, it has too much red in it for your liking) opt for Clairol Perfect 10 by Nice ‘n Easy in 7A (Dark Ash Blonde).  However, I really do think that the Clairol Natural Instincts Vibrant in 8G is very flattering for your skin tone. But, this is the beauty of hair colour – you can experiment and have fun with it!

Thank you so much Luis for your time!

Catch up with Luis on Twitter, Facebook and if you are in the Toronto area, at his salon – Hair on the Avenue.

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2 opinions on “Ask A Colorist – Clairol Colour Tips with Luis Pacheco”

  1. I had a lot of fun listening to Luis and the rest of the P&G beauty team at the event last fall, great time never to be forgotten! Thanks for sharing your questions and Luis insightful answers!

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