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(Peter Nguyen,

When it comes to hair color and coffee, people often assume that darker is better. Who wants a weak brew or a diluted hue? But darker doesn’t necessarily mean better tasting or more beautiful. Dark roasted coffee beans can be overly bitter and super rich hair color can be harsh and stark looking. A light touch can actually lead to greater complexity. Light roast beans have a bright, fruity taste and lighter brown colors are shinier and reveal tertiary and quaternary tones. The shade pictured here has violet, gold, and silver undertones for a cool, pearlescent finish. Get the formula and application tips in the notes. –– Laura Martin

Application: Apply the color below from roots to ends, saturating thoroughly. When application is complete, check for dry spots and reapply anywhere the hair doesn’t look wet. Process 30 minutes.

Formula: (on natural level 7)

Goldwell Topchic 2 parts 8SB + 1 part 9GB + 1 part 6BP with 20 Volume

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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