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This color does something unusual: it makes rainbow hues look sophisticated. We’re used to bold colors on celebrities like Katy Perry and Ke$ha, who definitely rock the look, but not in a way that most of us would want to adapt for our own heads. In fact, bold hues are a trend that most people are still afraid of, probably because they picture something that looks very alternative. But this look, even though it’s made of ruby red and grape purple, looks very polished. The secret is in the contrast, the placement, and the structure. With these three elements in balance you can make any color look high class. Click through to learn more. –– Laura Martin 

Contrast: Using colors that are a full step apart on the color wheel provides contrast that still feels harmonious. Red and violet as pictured here are a classic pairing. Other great combinations include copper and gold, or olive and navy.

Placement: Vivid colors don’t need a dramatic placement to stand out. Using a classic technique like ombre or the delicate highlights pictured above adds elegance.

Structure: When going for a bold color palette a strong, classic cut like the shoulder-length bob pictured here keeps things in balance. Pair strong colors with an edgy shape and you’ll just end up looking messy.

Special thanks to Laura Martin for this post. Laura is a professional hair stylist, former senior educator at ARROJO cosmetology school, and a creative non-fiction MFA student at Georgia College, Milledgeville, GA. Follow her inspirations on twitter @LarMarStyle

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