Is it just me, or is a color overhaul a little terrifying? Sure, chocolate brown looks hot on Jessica Biel, but frankly, a clown wig looks hot on Jessica Biel. So to help you pick the right color, follow this three-step plan and we guarantee you'll end up with killer shine and pretty tone-on-tone dimension.
Robin Immerman Gruen
Step 1: Enrich your natural base color Don’t try to cover up the color you were born with. Enhance it. Work with your colorist to figure out what hues are hidden below your surface. The idea is to find shades in your hair color’s family and bring out the warm, rich tones by adding more of that color . For example, if you have dark brown hair, chances are you also have some auburn/red in the mix. Bring those tones out by adding lowlights all over, suggests Adrian Wallace, colorist for Rita Hazan salon in New York City. Next page: Step two Step 2: Look to the stars for shade Check out celebrities wearing the color you covet, and observe how they switch their shades for the season, says Doug Macintosh of Pashah Salon in New York City. Ask yourself, "Whose look can I realistically copycat?" Don’t try to rock Penelope Cruz’s color if your natural hair and skin tone are more Scarlett Johansson . Stay within one or two shades (darker or lighter) of your current or natural hue. Next page: Step three Step 3: Now, customize it Now that you’ve narrowed down the shade you like, bring the photo along on your consultation so you and your stylist can develop a personalized look, says Brad Johns, hair color director for Red Door Spas. It's also smart to ask questions. Talk about the colors in your wardrobe -- are you more browns, grays or blacks? Pastels or bold colors? This will help inform how much of what color is placed where. Next page: Trends for blondes ... Blondes: What's hot now Swap sun-soaked, bleached highlights for a glimmering gold. Avoid chunky streaks and precise, striped strands. Instead, opt for all-over permanent color, which allows your natural highlights to shine through without looking too contrived, Wallace says. Color inspirations: Cate Blanchett, Kate Hudson, Gisele Bündchen Next page: Trends for brunettes ... Brunettes: What's hot now Cinnamon lowlights create a halo effect of color by adding dimension and contrast. Johns recommends asking your stylist to work the color into small sections of the top layer of your hair, all around your head. Color inspirations: Emmy Rossum, Maria Menounos, Halle Berry Next page: Trends for redheads ... Redheads: What's hot now Try a vibrant shade with hints of auburn , suggests Macintosh. The look is warmer and richer than strawberry blonde. To get the depth and make the shade pop, ask your stylist to use permanent color and highlights. Color inspirations: Debra Messing, Julianne Moore, Bryce Dallas Howard Next page: Trends for black hair ... Black hair: What's hot now Wallace recommends experimenting with butterscotch or toffee shades to break up a dark mane and add radiance says Brad Johns, hair color director for Red Door Spas. But use it judiciously. Highlights in dark hair can look overly done, says Johns, so ask your colorist to create highlights around the crown of your head with the shade. Color inspiration: Catherine Zeta-Jones, Sandra Oh, Ashanti Pretty Curly Hair Photos 12 Fun Braided Hair Styles Fried Hair Rehab Subject Subject Subject Message Message Message http://www.google.com /content/package/c_hair_color/