A great hairstyle becomes even better when it is complemented by great color. To look more polished, more pulled together, more modern, you need a dynamic hue. It is an opportunity to brighten up your best features. Hair color draws more attention to your face, especially the eyes. Color creates magic. And one thing we’ve noticed on the blog is the popularity of our color inspiration posts, which tend to drive the most traffic. (Thanks to you for checking them out!) So we asked celebrity stylist Nick Arrojo to share with us his key thoughts for great hair colors. He came up with ten tips, including everything from the pre-color thought process to trends to upkeep. Click style notes for the exposé. 

— Virgin heads and conservative types should keep it safe and simple –– the more complex, the more things can go wrong. And repairing bad color is one of the toughest challenges. Go gently, and think about how far you can go without risking the integrity of your hair.

— One way to ensure this is to stay within three to four levels of your natural color. So if you are a dark brown, the furthest you should go is to lightest brown/dark blonde. 

— A subtle combination of highlights in two or three compatible colors creates dimension, beautiful effects, and a detailed look of quality –– without the commitment of putting a new hue all over your head. 

— If you’re growing out color, put a demi or semi permanent color into your roots, to mask the unsightly re-growth. This will keep you looking lusty, and it’ll soon fade or wash away, allowing you to go back to natural without ugly lines of demarcation. 

— After 4-to-6 weeks single-process color starts to fade. If you want to keep the same dynamic hue, it’s time for a redo.   

— Color is expensive, so know what you want and need from a salon service. If you have long hair, and have recently had highlights, for example, you can do a half-head of highlights on your next salon visit. That will gloss over the roots and give you the shine and luster to maintain the wow-factor. 

— If your hair is light and you want to go lighter, I recommend golden tones; they offer you more light reflection, more shimmer and shine. 

— As we age our skin gets paler. Think about this with regard to hair color. As your skin tone lightens, so should your hair color. If you keep your color the same as you age, it will eventually make you look pale. Lighten the color to soften your features. 

— Modern media means that celebrity and fashion color trends come to us faster than ever. I advise people to use them for ideas and inspiration, but don’t fall into the trap of thinking you have to go in a particular direction just because a Kardashian did. Remember that celebrities have an entourage to maintain an outrageous look, probably hour-to-hour. You can be fashionable with a color that is easy to care for. 

— Finally, always follow a color treatment with after care. Color safe shampoos and conditioners are a must; and if you’re in the sun a lot, so are hats, headscarves, and UV formulated styling aides.


Special Thanks to Nick Arrojo for sharing his expertise with Style Noted. 

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