Jennifer J, Style Collective Bio

Now that the Oscars are over, we're brimming with ideas on how to color our hair—thanks to some serious red carpet inspo. Should we go high-gloss chestnut, ultra-blond, jet-black or fiery red? With which shade to start? (And do we have to choose just one?)

Of course, as any celebrity knows, the key to engaging in serious color play without stripping your stands is practicing pre and post-treatment care. So before going full color chameleon, we checked in with celebrity colorist and E! Style Collective member Jennifer J for must-do prevention and post-color care tips, aimed at getting stronger color and healthier hair—no matter what the change.

Double down on conditioning.
For many celebs, awards season means a spike in hair color changes—and a toll on their tresses. Our pro suggested this trick to keep your strands in shape: "After big events or color processing treatments, back-to-back deep-conditioning is necessary," she said. "I love to add oil and heat to deep conditioning treatments to maximize moisture and prevent breakage."

We also suggest using Pantene Pro-V Repair & Protect Shampoo and Conditioner to not only help create a great foundation for coloring hair, but to also help repair damage.

Prime your hair for color.
Before dying your hair a darker shade of brown, the hair guru suggested this color-maximizing trick: "Brunettes should refrain from washing their hair for two days before coloring. This allows the natural oils in the hair to build up and coat the strands, preventing the dye from drying out already-porous ends."

Meanwhile, those going red should head to the salon with clean tresses. "When the hair color is pulled through the ends, it will deposit as much dye as possible, and the color won't fade as fast," Jennifer explained.

Finally, blondes should prep for highlights by brushing hair with a boar-bristle brush before going to the salon. "Dispersing the natural oils can help protect the hair from harsh chemical processing," she said.

Engage in after-color care.
After having hair colored, brunettes and redheads should wait 48 hours to shampoo. "You want the color to settle in, and washing it right away may pull some color out," the stylist warned. And since the high heat of a blow dryer can fade a fresh dye job, Jennifer thinks that it's important to use a bit of oil or heat protector before styling.

Blondes should wait three or more days to wash their hair after a color treatment, Jennifer J. noted. "Blondes tend to have the most porous hair. Natural oils help maintain shine and stop hair from drying out, especially while using heat." she said.

Following these pro-tips to get the most of your color? That's the easy part. What shade should you go? Well, that's a whole 'nother story. 

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