Handy dandy hair color guideWhen I was a kid, I had the most amazing golden blonde hair. Now, I know that may sound pretty boastful but I can’t help it. Whenever I look at pictures of my toddler self with shimmering blonde pigtails, I feel a little wistful tug at my heart.
That hair color was gorgeous.
Unfortunately, sometime around age 10, my hair started getting darker… and darker and darker and darker… until I wound up with a dirty blonde color that looked as drab and boring as dishwater. Since then, I’ve practically made an art out of changing my hair color.
Along the way, I’ve had more than my share of hair color disasters (like the time in college when I wound up with orange-y red hair that could have given Ronald McDonald a run for his money) so I know how painful and scary they can be. If you’re itching for a change but are terrified of winding up with a hideous shade, here are a few tips for picking out a color that you’re guaranteed to love.
Let’s face it –we’ve all heard the old adage ‘Blondes have more fun,’ so it’s hard not to want to give shiny golden locks a try. But blonde is one of the toughest hair colors to get right, so it’s important to choose the right tone. If you had blonde hair as a kid, chances are good that there’s a color out there that will work for you. For fair or light skin tones, super light shades like platinum and ash are your best bets. If you’ve got medium toned skin, go warmer with a honey or strawberry blonde. Dark skinned gals should try darker shades like a rich golden blonde with brown lowlights to keep the look more natural.
Brown is an ideal color if you’ve got dry or damaged hair since it reflects light really well – and it’s a pretty low maintenance color too. But while it may be a more forgiving shade than blonde, you should still let your skin tone guide your shade choice with brown hair color too. Fair-skinned girls shouldn’t go too dark because it may wash them out. Instead, opt for a light golden brown if you’ve got warm undertones or an ash brown shade if you’re cool-toned. For a medium complexion, go a little deeper with a chestnut or a light auburn shade. If you’ve got dark skin, go all out with a rich chocolate brown or sleek sable color.
As someone who’s tried just about every copper, auburn, and strawberry hair color under the sun, I can safely say that not all red shades are created equal. While there’s a red color out there for most skin tones, fair or light skinned girls with cool undertones are usually the best candidates. No matter what your skin tone, stay away from purple reds, which never look natural. Instead, try strawberry, copper and auburn shades. Strawberry and copper are perfect for girls with warm undertones, while auburn works well with cool undertone