A Guide to Achieving Your Best Hair Color

03/26/2015 06:54 am ET | Updated May 26, 2015

We all know that a great hair color makes you look (and feel) like a better version of yourself, but how can you tell if that uber-white blond will be flattering before you hit the bleach?

To navigate the minefield of dyes, foils and purple shampoo, we've enlisted the help of Dana Ionato, a lead colorist at NYC's Sally Hershberger Downtown. You know, where Chelsea Handler goes.

Red fades faster than any other hair color, so a good colorist will apply three separate formulas (to the roots, mid-length and ends) to create dimension rather than one flat hue. More tips.


If you want to go platinum--as blond as chemically possible--be prepared for multiple visits to the salon in one week. More tips.


The secret to Leto-worthy ombré is subtlety. Ionato uses dyes that are just a shade or two lighter than clients' natural hair color, then delicately applies highlights with a paintbrush so that strands grow out without the aid of touch-ups. More tips.


The best shade of brown is your natural color kicked up a notch. If your hair is prone to frizzing, going just a shade or two darker can be almost as good as finding a new anti-frizz product, says Ionato. More tips.


Salt 'n' Pepper
Warmth is crucial for believable gray, so Ionato uses an array of ash and neutral tones instead of traditional black and white. More tips.


More from PureWow: