Changing the look of your tresses with a kick of color is a sure-fire way to a sense of red-hot renewal. It’s also the path to test-driven proof of what works and what doesn’t. But how can you master the tricky task of homing in on the perfect hue?
One rule of thumb: Hold up two fabric swatches to your face–one gold, one silver. If gold looks better, try warmer colors like reds, golds, coppers, and golden browns. Silver means you’re a “cool season” person, so think
ash browns or blue-blacks.
Also take into consideration eye color, explains Robert Allen, owner of Robert Allen Salon and Spa in Fort Lauderdale and Sunny Isles, Florida. It’s the “true navigator in bringing out your best,” he says.
The bottom line: For the best look, stick to your palette. Darker skin, darker tones. Lighter skin, lighter tones. For the perfect match, Allen says, stay within two levels of your skin tone. “Two levels lighter or darker will complement your skin tone,” he says. “You want to show contrast while also framing the face.”
In other words, if you’re fair skinned with blonde hair, go for cooler, icier colors, advises Marco Pelusi, owner of Marco Pelusi Hair Studio in West Hollywood, California. Dark skinned with dark hair means adding warmth in the form of highlights such as caramel shades.
Those with medium complexions and brown hair have the most freedom to play. They can go either warm or cool in the form of red or gold highlights, or go for an overall color change, he says.
Season is important to consider, too. Many women choose deeper, richer shades in the fall, darker in the winter, and brighter and lighter in spring and summer.
And while staying within your color family is important, there are options for experimenting, thanks to the range of glazes and highlights offered by hair-care pros.
Allen’s best advice? “Always stay true to yourself, but let a professional look at you objectively before you move forward.”