07/14/2011 05:48 pm ET | Updated Sep 13, 2011

On the Case

Jury duty is my civic obligation, which I respectably accept. Waiting to be called to serve on a case, however, is nothing short of torture. I have been sitting in this room for almost two days with the exception of the occasional respite. I find myself staring at the other potential jurors. Their heads are bowed as they fidget with their handheld devices or laptops. All I notice is the sea of hair that surrounds me. I find it impossible to ignore the sundry hair colors. What better place to look for the latest hair trends than this snapshot of the denizens of New York?

I quickly realize that overall, brunette is the most popular color. Honey blonds run a close second. The women with red hair are barely peppered throughout the audience, but impossible to ignore. Waiting for my name to be called for a voir dire, I begin my search for the hottest trends in hair color.

BRUNETTES are not boring anymore! Chocolate browns are the dominate color trend of 2011. Catherine Middleton, Kim Kardashian, Penelope Cruz and Mila Kunis all sport the new chocolate shades. They led the trend of making brunette the new "go to" hair color. The new tones are rich, shiny and vibrant. They should never look opaque or monochromatic. Pick a color one shade darker than your natural color. This will allow the nuances of your own hair color to show through, maintaining a soft, natural, and believable hair color. TIP: Short or one-length hair can be worn slightly darker. The dark color will emphasize the shape and shine of your hair. Layered hair styles should be slightly lighter at the tips. This will help to highlight the movement layered hair creates.   

BLONDES are sizzling hot! The warm burnished golds and honeys have all but overshadowed ash blond and platinum shades. Cool blonde shades look dull next to the new warm tones. TIP: Your hair color should never be similar in tone to your complexion. Always make your hair color slightly deeper at the roots. This will create contrast with your skin color and give you the flexibility to wear your hair as light as you desire. Madonna started this controversial trend years ago. She proudly wore her uber blond hair with obvious severe dark roots. The glaring roots are now replaced with a softer gradation of color from dark to light, creating a more natural look.

RED HAIR is the quintessential "Look at me!" hair color. It begs to be noticed. This is because there are so few natural redheads. The new red shades are strawberry, copper and auburn. Burgundy and eggplant shades should always be avoided. They almost always look harsh and artificial. TIP: Pale complexions can wear any shade of red. Olive or rosy complexions should choose a deeper auburn hair color. Florence Welch of "Florence and the Machine" and Kristen Stewart from the "Twilight" series have re-ignited the redhead trend.

Remember, hair color is fashion and that means it is always changing. The right hair color choice for you is the shade that flatters your complexion. Hair color should do the same thing that makeup does. It should make you look more beautiful. WARNING: If you find yourself wearing more makeup to keep your new hair color compatible with your complexion, then you have picked the wrong shade. I hear my name being called. I'm off to do my civic duty. Happy  coloring!