There’s a woman I know who has the most glorious red hair. It gets compliments from strangers. It draws a crowd. She draws a crowd.
It’s dyed, of course. It’s a red that looks very natural, but it’s also the sort of red that is very, very, rare. Think Christina Hendricks at her reddest. One day I asked her what her natural hair color is. “Red,” she said. “But not this red.”
What is it about a color that makes us love it?
That particular shade of red made her feel herself in a way that her natural hair color didn’t. And that’s exactly why many women dye their hair — it’s like putting on a gorgeous outfit that makes you feel just like yourself, but better.
But as you look across the vast array of shades available, it can be hard to identify which color is going to give you that glowing feeling. So here are a few tips to help you choose.
Start with your original shade
Your original hair color tends to “match” your eyebrows and skin, so by using that as a starting point, it’s much easier to figure out how to get the right shade. Anything within 2 shades or so is going to look good, for sure. But if you’re feeling bold, there’s more you can do.
Add your skin tone
If you wear make-up, you’re probably aware of whether you are warm or cool-toned. Staying in the ashy shades if you are cool, and in the ruddy shades if you are warm, is going to help you make good choices if you range further from your natural hair color.
Think about your hair’s pigmentation
Here’s where we get complicated. Your hair’s natural color is created by a combination of different pigments. These pigments are eumelanin (black-brown), and pheomelanin (red-brown.) Every color of hair is made with these two pigments, even the fairest platinum-blond. They just contain very, very little of it. The easiest way to tell which one is dominant is to see what color of highlights you get in the sun. If you get red tones, you have more pheomelanin. If golden, you have eumelanin. If you match those highlights with a new hair dye, your dye job will fade less because you are matching the undertone of your hair.
Got more questions about hair dye? At Salon Antoine, we’re happy to answer all your questions.