brunette and blonde hair friends

The Expert’s Chair: Blonde or Brunette

September 10th, 2015

Beauty Blog

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By Jill Marcordes, Cosmetology Technical Director at Tricoci University

In my career as a cosmetologist, I’ve seen really beautiful hair, but even more really bad hair color. Why? Most people have a difficult time answering one question: “am I a cool or a warm?”

Believe it or not, this simple question makes all the difference in the world and is the deciding factor as to whether or not you end up with a great hair color…or a not-so-great hair color.

So, how do you determine whether you’re a “cool” or a “warm?” The easiest way is to take a white piece of paper and hold it next to your face when looking in a mirror, then examining the undertone of your skin. If you’re a “cool,” your skin will have a blush, pinkish undertone; if you’re warm, your skin looks golden or olive.

To add to the mix, you can be a cool blonde or brunette – or warm blonde or brunette (confused yet?)!

  • Cool blondes appear ashier – Think about the beach’s sandy shoreline.
  • Warm blondes will appear to be more golden – Think sun-kissed and warm.
  • Cool brunettes look ashier – These colors are cooled off usually with rich blue/violet undertones.
  • Warm brunettes appear more golden – These colors are more caramel and bronze.

Here are a few helpful things to keep in mind when picking your new hair color:

  • Cool blonde colors look best with a fair complexion. The cool tones in the hair help balance the flushed look in the skin while highlighting pale blue undertones.  Be careful not to go too light – this can make you look wash out.
  • Warm blonde colors look best on olive skin or on skin with greenish undertones. The buttery color helps soften the skin’s natural tendency to look sallow.
  • Cool brunettes’ color looks great on both on cool and warm complexions. The richness of these colors tend to soften the features, making skin appear younger while brightening your complexion.
  • Warm brunette colors look best on olive or darker skin tones these bronze tones will spotlight a more subtle natural dimension look in the hair, your eyes and teeth will look whiter.  When looking for a warm color avoid colors that seem to have a lot of orange in them, these colors have a tendency to produce and unnatural brassy look.

We all want to feel better, look better and younger; so stick to colors that compliment your skin tone don’t get trapped in the wrong hair color.

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