Today I am going to suggest various ways you can experiment with different colours, but minimise the maintenance. I will also define some hair terms you have probably heard used recently, such as Balyage, Ombre, Root Drag, Babylights and Colour Melt.
Balyage. This term is a freehand technique not a look. It describes the way the colour is applied. It is a French word, that means to sweep. It can take more than one session to achieve your desired shade, as the hair is not incubated in a foil. It gives a more natural result.
Ombre. This refers to colours transitioning from dark to light. So instead of fighting your dark roots, you can make them part of your style. Generally the complete bottom section of the hair is coloured a contrasting colour to the top.
Root drag. After the root colour has been applied, it is combed down, to defuse some of the colour through to the ends. This adds dimension to blondes, for a more multi tonal effect.
Babylights. Very fine woven highlights.
Colour melt. When colours are blended into one another, so there are no lines. You could have a darker colour at the top, a medium one mid lengths, lightest on the tips.
Most photographs clients show to me from the internet, are the result of a combination of these techniques. Traditionally, colour would either be applied all over, for a uniform look, or a cap or foils used to add additional colours. The trouble with an all over colour is that when it grows out, a band of regrowth is very obvious. Now it has become popular to leave your natural hair colour, and have the colour you want, (whether that be blonde, red, coppers) blended through the ends to the top. There are some examples of this below. This means you are not tied to have your roots touched up every six weeks. It is a very personal service, and as you are not applying a block colour, it means it is easier to change the look of your hair,
This is obviously not as beneficial for women with gray hair they wish to cover, as the roots will still need to be coloured. But it would still cut down on the appointment time, as instead of having foils and roots each appointment, you could have just your roots, rather than the blonde each time, like with foils.
If you fancy a bright colour but are not sure if your work would allow it, you could have a few bright panels under your hair, that can be hidden or shown off, depending on where your parting is,
If you decide to go for something different, be patient, Often it can take several appointments to achieve a look, as most people have colour on their hair already, which can limit the hairdresser, until your hair has been lifted, It also requires patience as the hairdresser cannot predict how well your hair will respond to being lightened, or colour removed,
I hope this gives you some ideas. And remember, even if it will take time to reach your goal, it could ultimately save you a lot of time, as you won't need to maintain your colour as often.