THE BLOG

How to Choose the Right Hair Color

06/12/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

When I look at a woman for the first time, I almost always check her out from head to toe. I look at everything, from her body to her face, her hair color and her haircut to her manicure and the clothes she's wearing. I believe this gives me some insight into the personality of the woman. Then I must admit I often start to give her what I call a "conceptual makeover."This is making a mental list of everything I would change to make her more beautiful. I know that if most women knew what I was doing they would find this to be a terribly annoying habit and I would probably have no women friends left. But this is my secret, or at least it was until now.

Today I will write about hair color exclusively. Making the correct color decision seems to be confusing to so many women. In fact, I think the number-one question women consistently ask me is if they made the right hair color choice. This can be a difficult decision because there are so many exceptions and variations to the rules. The good news is that if hair color is a little off tone, it is usually easy to adjust. It's only the big color changes that take more work.

The old rule of hair color was that if you had cool skin tones, you should wear a cool hair color. If your skin color had warm tones, you should choose a warmer palette. This "sure fire" rule went out the proverbial window in the last ten years. Warm colors became the fashion trend. All of a sudden ash highlights and overall colors looked old, grayish and draining to the complexion. Almost overnight I had more requests for golden, honey and other warm tones. Warm tones are seen as youthful, vibrant and bright. Cool or ash tones are thought to be dull. Reading this, I think it is a "no brainer" to figure out which color tone became popular.

The fact of the matter is the right color tone is the one that looks best on you. I, too, prefer the warmer tones. I,too, think they look more vital. But if they are not flattering, some adjustments must be made. One solution is to choose a more neutral shade, a middle shade. This will solve the problem if you think that either color family -- warm or cool -- clashes with your skin tone.

Some women have excessively red skin. They should always avoid light blond and red shades of hair.

These colors will exaggerate the redness of the skin tone. Soft warm shades will make the excessive redness of the skin less noticeable.

The next big question is how light or dark should you make your hair color. Making hair darker can be beautiful. It shows off your complexion and accents your eyes better than any makeup. The tip is not to go more than two shades darker than your natural color. Going too dark will eliminate any nuances of your natural color. This will make your hair color look artificial. It can also draw attention to any darkness under your eyes, giving you a harsh and severe look.

The flip side of this issue is when you choose to make your hair lighter. Hair that is made blonder can light up your face. Light hair can be a very addictive drug. Women often think that if a little lighter is brighter, then being still blonder will look even better. This is not always true. You must find the right degree of brightness that complements your skin tone. Too dark will not light up your face or soften your features. Too light will wash you out and make you look ghost-like. To find the right shade, you should visit your hair colorist. You can maintain the color at home once you have a shade that works for you.

Color is probably the easiest way to look prettier, more vital and simply your best. Most coloring processes only take an hour or two. Hair color is truly the quick fix that works. Don't waste another minute. Color your hair today.

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