Finding the perfect haircolor shouldn't have to be a trial-and-error process. To help you get the haircolor you're looking for the first time around, we turned to an expert! We tapped hairdresser, and L'Oréal Professionnel Artist, Jo Blackwell to find out how only a professional colorist can find the best haircolor for you.
"When a client wants to color their hair-or change their haircolor-I look first to see what their natural color is and what it does for their skin. Does it enhance it or take away from it?" Blackwell explains. "Next I asses their skin tone and their eye color. Once I do this, I'm able to see if they can be warmer or cooler."
From there, Blackwell asks her client two questions:
1. "What is your maintenance level? If they want to make a big change, but they aren't willing to maintain it, it won't work," she says.
2. "Do you want your hair to whisper, speak, or shout?" Blackwell says you can have a haircolor that's soft and pretty, fun and playful, or bold and brilliant. "Some people want a haircolor that's part of who they are and some want a haircolor that shows up before they do."
If you haven't tried on a wig in your desired color or played with different ideas, Blackwell suggests asking your stylist to hold swatches against your skin to see how they work with your look.
"Next, I check out their haircut," she says. "If you have a strong haircut, the color should be on the subtle side. If both your cut and color are strong, it just creates shock value." If you have a simpler cut you can have a little more fun with the color.
"Once I get the family of color-blonde, red, or brunette-I can assess for tone. Blondes can be as blue as steel or as yellow as strawberry and everything in between. Platinum, honey, butterscotch, gold, caramel, these are all words we use to describe blonde." Next up, Blackwell will ask how light or dark the client wants to go within that color family and tone.
While most colors need to be customized to your skin tone, Blackwell says the absence of color suits everyone. "Black or white pretty much works on everyone," she says. "That's why grey is so popular right now. It's not warm or cool, it's the absence of color."
Set on a color that may not work with your skin tone, your eye color, or level of maintenance? Your stylist is on it! Blackwell suggests keeping the tones that best work for you closer to your skin and asking your hairdresser to place the color you want away from the your face-ombré is perfect for this.
Tip: Don't underestimate the value of photographs. "By using pictures, you can show your hairdresser what you like, even if you don't speak the same language." So, remember to do your homework and bring a few visual cues for inspiration!