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How to Choose the Right Hair Color

Side by side photos of four women with different skin tones
If your skin tone is cool and blonde is your goal; here’s what to do and what not to do.

Laura asks:

Hi, I am pretty confused about what skin tone I am. I can get REALLY tan, but I usually burn before I tan (at least at first). I am a natural brunette, medium to dark, but I get blondish high lights very easily (sometimes they are reddish). My veins are blue, though. I have never dyed my hair and I want to go blonde but I’m scared that I’m too dark for it. Then I see celebrities like Jessica Alba who have a darker complexion rocking blonde and it makes me hopeful. Should I chance it, and if so, what shades won’t look horrible with my skin tone??

,,
Jessica Alba- warm blonde  . . . uuuugRihanna Short Hair Style
Jessica Alba- too blonde!Jessica Alba – warm and cool tones

Hi Laura:

I think Jessica Alba is a good choice to look at when considering a hair color change such as you are. From the above description I think you fall into the ‘cool’ category as does Jessica Alba. That doesn’t mean your skin tone has the same depth of color, but you both still have cool skin tones, cool natural hair colors and cool eye colors.

Consider high lights rather than an all over color to lighten your hair! My eye says, Jessica Alba looks much better when she stays closer to her natural hair color than going too light. My favorite hair colors for her are the chestnut browns with mostly cool (and some warm) highlights. These hair colors compliment her skin tone and eyes best. Darker hair compliments blue and brown eyes better than a light blonde hair color.

The best way to go lighter with your hair is by first placing two or more shades of highlights around your face. Keep your high lights within two shades of your own natural hair color and it will look more natural. Two or more shades of highlights will add dimension to the hair. Start slow and see what you like best. You’ll hear compliments if your hair colorist gets it right.

Don’t make the mistake of opting for such a drastic hair color change all at once (from your dark brunette to an all over blonde.) This especially holds true if you have never colored your hair before. Slight changes with hair color will make a big change in your appearance and not compromise the health of your hair as an overall lightening would.

Another big thing to consider when choosing a new hair color is the time and $$ you are willing to spend on upkeep. To go an overall blonde, you will need a root touch-up every 4 to 6 weeks. With highlighting, you can go possibly 2 to 3 months between tough-ups!

I don’t recommend the over-all blonde for you. I think it could wash you out, like it does on Jessica Alba above. Opt instead for the more natural looking highlights, no more than two shades lighter than your own hair color, and I think it will be just what you’re looking for!

 

  



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Grey Hair Dye

Grey Hair Dye

Is Grey Hair Dye Going Mainstream?

I have been spotting celebrities going grey haired everywhere. Some let their natural grey hair shine through and some use grey hair dye to achieve this look. Celebrities from Emmylou Harris to British star Pixie Geldof are all turning to this grey hair dye trend.

Grey Hair Dye
Young British Celeb Pixie Geldof with Her Grey Hair Dye Style

I’m not sure that there is an actual grey hair dye product on the market, but I think instead, these young celebrities are going grey haired thanks to an ash or blue based hair color. The process could take a while, especially if you are starting with dark hair. The process would involve bleaching or lightening hair to the palest of yellow or blonde and then coloring the hair with not grey hair dye, but an ash based one.

Grey Hair Dye
Jamie Lee Curtis Doesn’t Need Grey Hair Dye for Her Look

If you know that under all that hair color, you have a full head of grey hair and you want to go for that look. You can get there by touching up your re-growth with a semi-permanent hair color instead of the usual permanent. The semi-permanent hair color will allow your grey hairs to grow in gradually and blend your previously colored hair with your newly grown in grey hair.

“Grey Hair Dye
Trend is Hot”
So who is grey hair for? I wouldn’t say that many people can pull this look off in their teens and twenties. I’d say to hold off on the grey hair dye look and go grey gracefully as you age if that’s the look you are going for.

So why is grey hair dye or letting your natural grey come through so popular these days? Perhaps it’s because it’s something different for young celebrities to try. As for aging celebrities and the rest of us, it is low maintenance to go grey naturally and that may be why they choose it.

Next time you place an order at Amazon take a peak at “Going Gray, Looking Great! by Diana Lewis Jewell,” she’s the guru on the topic.

Don’t miss our complete guide to hair coloringfor more in-depth information

  

 



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The Right Hair Colors for Your Skin Tone

The Right Hair Colors for Your Skin Tone

Get the right hair colors for your skin tone in sync!

Your skin tone plays a major role when determining what the right hair color is for you. And, getting the right hair colors for your skin tone right is not as easy as product manufacturers might have you think. One thing you may have learned the hard way from box hair color is, ‘what you see is not what you get.’ A note to the wise . . . always read the chart on the back to determine what hair color you can expect to come out with when put on your strands.
“The Right Hair Colors for Your Skin Tone”
Back to your skin tone, the right hair colors for your skin tone can make you glow, or even melt away the years.The wrong hair color for your skin tone will make you look sallow, sickly, worn out or freaky! And if that’s not bad enough, harsh contrasts or flat tonalities will emphasize lines and angles, Yikes! So, what is the right hair colors for your skin tone?

the right hair colors for your skin tone
Your Skin Tone, Warm or Cool?

You may be stumped as to whether you fall into the warm or cool category when determining the right hair colors for your skin tone. Here are some questions to answer that will help. Using the basic color chart above, which colors look best on you?

  • What color are your eyes?
  • What is your natural hair color?
  • What are the color of your veins on your inner wrist?

You are a COOL tone if:

  • Your eyes are deep brown, black brown, gray blue or dark blue, hazel with gray, white, or blue flecks
  • Your natural hair color is black, deep coffee brown, medium ash brown, dishwater blonde, salt and pepper, white
  • Your skin tone is, dark brown, brown with pink undertones, olive as most Asians and Latinos, medium with no color in cheeks or pink cheeks, medium with golden undertones, pale with no color in cheeks or pink undertones or brown or bronze when you tan.
  • Your veins on your inner wrist are blue

You are a WARM tone if:

  • Your eyes are — golden brown, green, green blue or turquoise, hazel with gold or brown flecks
  • Your natural hair color is — deep brown with gold or red high lights, medium golden brown, auburn, red, strawberry blond, golden blond, gray with a yellow cast
  • Your skin tone is — brown with golden undertones, pale with peach or gold undertones, freckled, ruddy or golden brown when you tan.
  • Your veins on your inner wrist are green

For more great looks check out our Pinterest Hairstyles for Warm Skin Tones Board

What if you cross over the lines and have both warm and cool traits?

The most basic principles of color theory applies when trying to find the right hair color and your skin tone. Take a look in your closet and see if you see a trend happening here. Using the color chart, what colors look best on you warm or cool? If you can’t be objective, ask a few friends whose opinions you value. It’s easier to evaluate what we like on others than on ourselves don’t you think?

Find the Right Hair Colors for your Skin Tone

Here are the basics for what hair colors will go well with your skin tone. But, I need to emphasize that all hair colors have different values, or how deep or light they can be formulated and that will also have a bearing if the hair color will be right for your skin tone.

Natural Cool Skin Tones Can Wear:

Natural Cool Skin Tones Should Avoid:

  • Gold
  • Yellow
  • Red
  • Bronze tones

Natural Warm Skin Tones Can Wear:

  • Deep Chocolate
  • Rich golden browns
  • Auburns
  • Warm gold and red high lights
  • Golden blond shades
  • Natural looking coral, oranges and reds

Natural Warm Skin Tones Should Avoid:

  • Jet Black
  • Blue
  • Violet
  • White

If you want beautiful, multi-dimensional hair color like you see on the celebrities, you should leave it to the pros. Even if you are set on coloring your hair at home, it could benefit you to consult with a hair colorist first or choose a highly reputable salon. You can check this out for sound recommendations. They may or may not try to talk you into their chair, but they also can evaluate your hair and skin tone and give you direct hands-on advice.

 

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