What hair color is for you?

One thing that I come across all the time is that women don’t know what haircolor is best for them, or they have a color that doesn’t compliment their skin tone.

Familiarize yourself with color terms

When you know some of the industry’s correct verbiage for hair color, it helps you to communicate better with your stylist.  Whenever you and your stylist have an exact understanding of what you would like the end result to be, you will be able to achieve maximum results from your color service.

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Know that all hair color is not equal….

Semi, Demi, Permanent, Bleach, and Fashion

There are different colors for different processes. What is best for you? What gives the maintenance that you would be comfortable with?

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(Note, in some color lines SEMI and DEMI are the same thing.)

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Hair Color Vocabulary 

Level: Hair color stars off by identifying the “level” or darkness of the hair. Standard hair color levels are defined on a scale of 1 to 10 with level 1 being the darkest, blackest color and level 10 being a very light blond color. (Some color lines do not recognize Level 1.)

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Foiling: Foil highlights are used to create highlights placed very close to the scalp. They can also be used to make thicker, heavier pieces, if chunkier look is desired. Foils allow for greater versatility, as both bleach and color can be used at the same time, giving a multi-dimensional result. There are many different foiling techniques used by stylists.

Balayage: Best for natural looking highlights. Traditionally it’s done with bleach. Hair is sectioned off into pie-like slices, and thin, unstructured highlights are painted from top to bottom. The pieces start out finer towards the scalp, and get progressively thicker towards the ends of the hair. Cotton strips or plastic sheets are often used to separate the hair sections. This gives a more natural look, as the tips will have a heavier concentration of lightness than the top, mimicking how hair looks after a summer at the beach.

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Ombre: Ombre is a technique that can be done with foils or balayage. Hair is painted with bleach from the mid-shaft down, concentrating to make the densest area the bottom 1/3, or ends. After the hair is lightened sufficiently, a toner is applied to make the color appear less “raw”. If a more blended look is desired, the hair can be toned darker at the demarcation line, and lighter towards the tips.

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Sombre: Sombre is a softer version of ombre.

Flamboyage: Flamboyage is a new hot trend and a low maintenance hair color technique. It is a combination of ombre and balayage

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Slices/Panels: Slices or panels are when larger sections of hair are highlighted, which results in a much more dramatic, chunky look. It’s usually used to create more playful, edgy, artificial looks.

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Lowlights: All the above methods can be used for lowlights. Lowlights consist of adding pieces in the hair that are DARKER than the base color.

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Is your skin warm, neutral, or cool?

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If there is ONE thing that I could ever teach you about beauty that will change your life, it’s determining your skin undertones. I know it sounds trivial, but when you know yours and then adjust your make-up colors accordingly, something magical happens and you’ll light up a room. Here are a few of the best ways to detect yours:

1. Stand in front of a well-lit mirror in the privacy of your bathroom wearing only a pure white towel/bath robe and wrap your hair under a white towel. Drape another white towel over any furniture behind you because the more you are surrounded with white, the easier it is to see what colors are hiding beneath the surface of your skin. Now what do you see? Does your skin look blue-ish? If so, you have cool undertones. If it looks yellow-ish, you have warm undertones, and if it’s green-ish, you have neutral undertones.

2. Hold up a piece of silver jewelry next to your skin, then a piece of yellow-gold jewelry and determine which one looks better, regardless of your personal preference (I love a yellow-gold necklace, but if I hold both up to my skin, silver is much more harmonious because I have cool undertones). So if the silver/platinum looks better on you, you have cool tones, if the yellow gold looks better, you have warm tones. If both hues look equally good on you, you probably have neutral.

3. Look at the veins on your underside of your forearm or underarm in the sunlight. If your veins are blue or blue-purple, you have cool undertones. If your veins are yellow or olive, you have warm undertones. If you have both blue and green veins, you are neutral.

Cool skin:
• Skin Color: blue, pink skin undertones
• Eye Color: blue, violet, grey
• Hair Color: blonde, brunette
You’ll generally look best with a warm hair color. Golden or red tones work well to warm up your skin.

Warm Skin:
• Skin Color: fair or light pink, olive, yellow skin undertones
• Eye Color: all
• Hair Color: all
In general, a cool hair color will look the most flattering and natural on you. A color with violet, blue, or neutral tones to cool down your skin.

Neutral Skin:
• Skin Color: yellow, orange skin undertones
• Eye Color: brown, green, hazel
• Hair Color: brunette, red, blonde
Lucky you neutral gal, you can wear either warm or cool colors!

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What kind of maintenance are you looking for with your hair color?

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High Maintenance
• You would like to try two or more different hair colors at once (highlights or two-tone hair colors).
• You are willing to spend time and money on color touch ups at the salon every 4 weeks.
• You are willing to use a hair color that requires at home care, hair care products to combat fading and are willing to keep your hair in good condition.

Medium Maintenance
• You would like one solid base color that is only a few shades lighter or darker than your natural hair color.
• You are willing to have your color touched up every 6 weeks.

Low Maintenance
• You would like a hair color that is as close to your natural hair color as possible.
• You are willing to have your hair color touched up every 8 to 12 weeks.

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Decide on a color for you.

Blonde
Blonde hair color for light skintones: Opt for a golden, strawberry or light blonde. Warming up your hair with highlights can add some color and interest to your locks and your face. But because you are fairer skinned, stay away from shades that are white, ash and reddish.
Blonde hair color for medium skintones: Because your skin has more color to it, you can add more color to your hair. A golden hue is beautiful, as is a beige-blonde or even a light blonde. Just be sure to maintain some warmer tones to match your skin. Ashy or orange-based tones will make you look washed out.
Blonde hair color for dark skintones: Stick with darker blonde shades on your hair. Remember, you don’t want to move more than two shades from your natural hair color, so if you have dark skin, chances are your hair is naturally darker too. Caramel or golden highlights can be beautiful. You should avoid tones with too much white, platinum or orange because these will look unnatural with your darker skintone.

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Brown
Brown hair color for light skintones: Staying within two levels of your natural color most likely means keeping your hair a medium brown shade. Warm red tones can look beautiful as well as lighter strawberry tones, particularly as highlights. Unless you were born with it, avoid really dark hair—faired-skinned women usually don’t have enough pigment in their skintone to carry this off.
• Brown hair color for medium skintones: 
For those with sallow or yellow undertones, medium browns are great. You have more versatility here and can go lighter or darker from a caramel shade to a rich, auburn shade. Just keep it more neutral and don’t go too warm (blackish) or too cool (blondish).
Brown hair color for dark skintones: 
For olive skintones, dark colors work best and look the most natural. You can pull off deep tones of brown with darker red highlights. If you have pink undertones in your skin, try something softer, like an amber shade. Again, stick within two shades of your current color. And (again, unless you were born with it), avoid going too light as this will clash with your skin.

Black
• Light skintones: Dark neutral tones that border on the dark brown side are best. Don’t go too dark though because it will wash you out and highlight any red pigments in your skin.
• Medium skintones: Choose a shade that is dark brown, almost black, to complement the color in your skin. Just avoid a reddish-black hue because it will bring out too much yellow in the skin.
• Dark skintones: Because you have a darker skintone, you can go with a super-dark-and-bold brown or black hair color. Steer clear of anything with a blue-black tone though. It will bring out too much olive in your skin and may give it a green hue.

Red
• Red hair color for light skintones: 
Fair skin looks best with a light, golden, strawberry blonde to a bright copper or red. Avoid wine-colored red and burgundy though because these shades will make you look too pale.
• Red hair color for medium skintones
: Because your skin has more pigments, your hair can too. Opt for a medium coppery blonde to medium auburn shade. Just steer clear of dark eggplant hues as these shades will make your skin appear yellow.
• Red hair color for dark skintones: 
Darker skintones look gorgeous with a medium auburn to chestnut brown shade. Super red hues, however, have too much blue in them and will make you look green, so be careful here.

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**This article is written by me. These pictures are a collection from around the Internet and not my work.**

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