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Is That Brown Hair Color Right for You?

Updated on September 14, 2015
Does your dark hair suit you?
Does your dark hair suit you? | Source

You’ve decided that you want to change your hair color. You now want a brown hair color, instead of the red, blonde or whatever other color you currently have. The problem is that not all browns will suit you. You need one that works with your complexion, eye color and personality, among other things.

There are just so many browns to choose from. Some are very light—closer to blonde—while others have deep red and even purple tones to them. You may love the dark mahogany options but are they really right for you?

Over to You!

What shade suits you best?

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Think About Your Natural and Current Hair Color

Before you pick any brown hair color, you need to think about your natural and current hair color. If you have blonde hair, it likely doesn’t have the red in it that many browns will need. This could lead to the brown not standing out as well or keeping its color past the first or second wash. There are some ashier shades available, which are worth looking out for.

Going to a professional hairstylist will improve the chances of switching to a darker, redder shade. However, think about going back to your natural and blonder colors. You will then need to strip the red out of your hair; again, this requires a trip to the hairdressers. If you opt for lighter, ashier shades, you will avoid the issue of too much red that you need to get rid of from your hair.

If you have naturally dark hair, you’ll need to consider the chances of going to a lighter brown, without professional help. It is much harder to go from black to light brown/blonde. Not only are there other colors that you need to think about but the dark colors are much stronger. They will hang around for a long time. Even professionals will struggle to take you from a darker to a lighter color right away. They recommend doing it gradually by opting for a couple of shades lighter at a time.

Before you opt for brown hair with red tones, make sure it works with your complexion
Before you opt for brown hair with red tones, make sure it works with your complexion | Source

Does That Brown Hair Color Match Your Complexion?

If you have naturally pale skin, darker colors can be very draining. The deep, chocolate brown hair may be sexy but it could make you look withdrawn, pale and ill. A lighter shade will make you look healthy and warm, which makes you look much sexier than the alternative. If your hair is dark, olive-toned or even black, you will be lucky that most shades will suit you.

Really think about your complexion. If you want a taster of the way it looks, consider trying on a wig in the same color. You can check it out in the shop to determine whether it will react badly with your complexion.

Most hairstylists recommend to avoid opting for more than two shades darker (or lighter) than your natural hair color. This will help you match your natural complexion. You may find that those darker, luxurious brown hair colors don’t actually suit you because they don’t match your skin tone.

Opting for very dark with darker skin tones can be boring. You could use highlights of honey colors to lighten your hair up a little. This will require a trip to the hairdressers, where the highlights will work with your tone and you can get professional advice.

A Video to Help with Matching Hair Color to Skin Tones

Your Eye Color and Your Hair Color

You may not think it makes a difference but your eye color will seriously affect the type of brown dye that you choose. Warm tones (those with the red in) work better for those with hazel, brown and dark blue eyes. If you have light blue, green and amber eyes, you’ll usually find that the cooler, ashier tones work better.

Your eye color is usually linked to your skin tones. If you have paler skin, more often than not, your eye color will be lighter. It makes sense that the cooler and lighter shades will work better for you. However, this isn’t always the case! It does depend on your DNA and you will need to check the brown hair colors for you personally.

For those with darker skin tones and wanting a warmer shade, Garnier Nutrisse has a beautiful chestnut brown color.

Try on wigs to test if a brown hair color suits you.
Try on wigs to test if a brown hair color suits you. | Source

Trying Out the Brown Hair Colors

Trying out the shade is the best way to determine whether a brown hair color is right for you. You can trial it for a set time length, change colors at will and even try out different hair styles to see if that suits you better. Here are some options to try out these brown shades.

Opting for a wig is a great way to see if a color will suit you. However, you may not have the benefit of this option, especially if you have no wig shops near you. This is when you need to look for other ways to try out the shades. You could try semi-permanent hair dyes.

Semi-permanent hair dyes will last for a set number of washes, usually between eight and 20 depending on the company. They are a great way to try out a color, see if it makes your hair and whole look stylish and determine whether you need to go for lighter or darker colors. There are henna versions too, which are healthier for your hair.

You can even buy temporary colors that last for just one wash. This is excellent if you don’t want to risk looking so bad that you can’t go out for days/weeks.

Once you do find a brown hair color that works for you, you can then opt for a more permanent option. These are extremely common and last until your hair grows out. After about six to eight weeks, you will likely need to recolor your hair as hair grows at the rate of about half an inch a month.

Is that brown hair color right for you? It is really worth thinking about your eye and skin tones before you opt for a permanent color. All browns will not suit everybody and constantly redying your hair will just damage it. Do some research and then try out a limited number of them to find the best one to suit you personally.

Don't forget to protect your hair once you have dyed it. You will need to find shampoo and conditioner that will help you keep the beautiful tones and shades. Here is a great option for those with any shade of brown hair. KeraCare offers a range of options for shampoos and conditioners for color treated hair.


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