20s: Try Something New
This is the time when anything goes, says Jan Marie Arteca, a Ted Gibson colorist. Blondes, brunettes, and redheads can experiment with their hair as much as they'd like. You don't have to worry about covering gray yet, and you're young enough to play around with color.
Try color-depositing and enhancing shampoos and conditioners.
For black hair: CHI Organics Tone & Shine in Black Orchid
For red hair: Ted Gibson Color Shampoo and Conditioner in Copper
For blonde hair: Paul Mitchell Platinum Blonde Shampoo and Conditioner
For brown hair: L'Oréal Professional ARTEC Brunettes Color Depositing Shampoo
20s: Rock Visible Roots
Don't be so paranoid when it comes to covering up your roots. Leaving them a little untouched is perfectly fine, especially if your hair color is in the same family as your natural color, like Rachel Bilson. If you're experimenting with color, use semi or demi-permanent treatments to give yourself more freedom.
Try Clairol Natural Instincts Rich Color Crème, $8.99; walgreens.com
30s: Lighten Up the Ends
Transition your color into more neutral shades as opposed to bold and brassy colors, Arteca says. For added dimension, try lighter streaks around the face and at the ends. For dark brunettes or naturally black hair, opt for caramel streaks around your face and the ends for a color boost.
Try L'Oréal Paris Touch-On Highlights, $11.88; walmart.com
30s: Vibrant and Shiny Hues
Keep your color bright with a protein conditioning treatment. This will help fortify the hair cuticles and keep them protected when you touch up or change colors.
Try Fekkai Protein Rx Reparative Treatment Mask, $29, sephora.com
40s: Face-Framing Streaks
A few face-framing streaks will make you look younger and give definition to your cheekbones. Arteca suggests trying multidimensional hair colors to blend in your grays. Also important: Make sure to use a leave-in UVA/UVB protectant to shield your strands from the sun and preserve their color.
Try Redken Color Extend Sun Sparkling Shield Leave-In Smoother, $13.59; sleekhair.com
40s: Rich, Deep Colors
Based on your skin tone, choose a color that will complement your complexion. For darker skin, deep brunette hues will make you look sophisticated and your skin radiant. For lighter skin, opt for a darker blonde or lighter brunette shade so you don't wash yourself out. Using a sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner will prolong the life of your new hue.
Try Garnier HerbaShine Color Crème with Bamboo Extract, $7.99; drugstores
Yes to Cucumbers Color Care Daily Makeover Shampoo and Conditioner, $8.99 each; walgreens.com
50s: Lighten Up...but Not Too Much
The days of bleached-blonde hair should be long behind you. Opt for softer yet bright shades like Christine Baranski. Choose a permanent color to get more consistency with your shade and for full gray coverage.
Try L'Oréal Professional INOA (Innovation No Ammonia) Color. Check inoa-us.com for salon locations.
50s: Maintain Shine
As you get older, your hair begins to lose its natural shine and may feel coarse, Arteca says. Bring a shine treatment into your weekly hair routine to avoid this. If you want a no-muss, no-fuss solution, try Ted Gibson's Brazilian Keratin Treatment. It works to condition and restore your hair while keeping frizz under control and can last up to three months.
Also try John Frieda Luminous Color Glaze in Clear Shine, $9.99; ulta.com