Choosing your hair color is an intimate choice, with so many factors weighing into the decision. How do you view yourself? How do you want the world to view you? And, when it comes right down to it, will you look good if you go brunette?
Switching shades can do more than make your locks shine – it can give you a whole new aesthetic. Consider Elle Fanning, who swapped out her recognizable blond tresses for a much more sophisticated brunette hue. If even starlets like to change it up once in a while, why shouldn’t you?
Before you do, though, considering the following.
Your complexion definitely matters. If you have very dark or olive skin, be careful with the shades of brown you choose. Honey-brown, auburn and chocolate can all look a little strange if your skin is Mediterranean or African in origin. If you’re Asian, your hair may look more natural if you streak some brown in rather than dye your whole head.
On the other hand, if you have very rosy or pale skin, stay away from warmer colors. Pale skin appreciates contrast, such as dark mahogany, rather than lighter reddish-browns, which can come off a bit too brassy. And if you go way darker, make sure to match your eyebrows!
Unfortunately, one of the drawbacks of going brunette is that it does provide greater contrast with your scalp than lighter red or blond tones. If you have thin hair, therefore, you might want to think twice before darkening it, because the overall effect can be that of even thinner hair. Not great.
If on the other hand you have thick hair already, then you probably don’t have anything to worry about. And especially if your hair tends to be dull or brittle, going brunette can be a great move, since it will make your hair shinier and healthier-looking.
Your hair color will, to some degree at least, dictate what you can wear. Cooler brunette tones benefit most from bright colors that provide nice contrast to the deeper shades of brown. Warmer brown shades, on the other hand, pair nicely with earth tones and autumn colors. If your complexion and personal aesthetic doesn’t jive with one of these (or both), then steer clear of the accompanying brunette shade.
Before you dye, you should also take into account how you’re going to be perceived. It’s simply a fact that different hair colors send different messages. If you’re a successful blond waitress, statistically you’re likely to lose tips by dying your hair darker (the world ain’t fair, girls), whereas if you’re a brunette you’re likely to be taken more seriously and perceived as more intelligent.
Of course, none of the factors listed above will define your life, nor should you let them prevent you from experimenting with a shade you really love. When in doubt, ask your stylist, who can offer a professional opinion.