Thinking Of Going Brunette? You HAVE To Read This First!

Expert Advice

brunette hairSource: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

It’s undeniable; brunette is THE spring 2019 hair color trend and we’re living for it. Literally, all the top A-Listers are trading in their blonde locks in favor of rich chocolate tones from Charlize Theron to Emilia Clarke. If you feel like switching up your locks is a bit of a daunting prospect, we hear ya but we’ve got ALL the deets to help you avoid a hair coloring disaster! We got in touch with Maria Dowling, the Creative Director of Maria Dowling Salon and the Middle East’s ‘Queen of Color,’ to get the full scoop. It’s time to see if brunettes actually have more fun! 

Find Your Shade 

The most important factors to keep in mind when thinking about trading in your current color are your skin tone, your undertone, and of course, your current hair color, as well the vibe you’re looking for. Figuring out your undertone is super easy, just check out this quick guide. Unlike foundation, hair colors work better when they contrast with your undertone. The general rule is those of us with cool undertones suit a warmer shade, and those with warm undertones, look great with a cool, ashy brown. Maria explains “It’s important to be aware that not all color shades suit everyone. For example, going too dark on fair skin tones can be aging. Tones go from light, medium, and dark, and warm and cool. Your skin tone, eye color, and original base color will determine your ideal color palette.”

brunette Source: Jeffrey Mayer/Getty Images & /Getty Images

Ask The Experts Aka Your Hairdresser 

If you’re new to the world of faux-color, it’s possible that you’d need some professional help. Seek out an experienced hair colorist and have a consultation to determine what you’d like from your new look as well as which shades, depths, and tones will look best on you. A hair colorist will be able to work closely with you and find a personalized color scheme rather than simply hoping for the best with a box dye. Always make sure you’re prepared prior to your appointment: we’re talking a gallery on Instagram and a Pinterest board to match! Maria suggests, “Make sure you take lots of images for your colorist to get a better idea of what you’re looking for. Have a consultation beforehand so you agree together what you’re having done.”

If you’re already feeling like going brunette might be a step too far, then check out the new, low-maintenance blonde hair trend we’re loving for summer.

Think About Your Brows

You also want to take a second to look at your brows. As a general rule, you want your hair to be one or two shades darker than your eyebrows. So, if you’ve got dark brows, it’s a good starting point when figuring out a hair shade that’ll work for you. If you’ve got light brows, you may find that you’ll have to dye your brows (or fill them in a bit darker) to complement your new locks.


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It Isn’t For Everyone…

As Maria says, “Every head of hair is different, so if you’re a natural blonde and want to go to a dark brown, it will probably not suit you, but being a dark brown and going a lighter brown will more than likely work for you if we put in some pieces of color rather than a full head of color. This allows you to retain the depth of hair color by lifting the base color a couple of shades then bring in the lighter browns in the form of slices.”

Be Careful When Dying At Home

Whenever you’re acting as your own hairdresser, there are some things you need to bear in mind to avoid a hair color mishap. Most importantly, be aware that box dyes come with a relatively weak 20 volume developer, which is perfect if you’re looking to go two shades darker but not great if you’re wanting anything more dramatic. Developer is the agent that contains hydrogen peroxide that aids in the bleaching/toning process – essentially what opens up your hair’s cuticle to let the dye in, the higher the volume, the more open the cuticle becomes, but, the more damaged!

Also, always read the instructions on the back of the box to help predict the final color. It’s also mega important to buy enough hair dye to avoid running out of product while you’re in the process of dying. We always buy an extra box in case of emergencies. Experts say that for hair below shoulder-length you will need at least three boxes. Prior to dying, make sure you’re in a well-lit room so you can see any bits you might have missed, and have a handheld mirror on-hand for those hard-to-see spots. For more tips, read our full guide to coloring your hair at-home here.


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Know How To Maintain Your New Look

As with any change-up, you’ve got to alter your routine a little to maintain your new color. Maria advises, “Buy a color shampoo to make sure the color stays locked in. If you have gone a lot darker than your roots, the maintenance will be every 5-6 weeks as the roots will look lighter as it grows out. If you’re going for a cooler shade, opt for a purple pigmented shampoo that will act as a toner and keep any warmth out of your new brown.” Purple shampoos are everywhere but our fav is the Silver Shampoo from L’Oreal Series Expert.


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Dos and Don’ts For Brunette Bombshells

  • DO weekly masks: The reality is; dying your hair will cause damage, no matter what. So, to keep it healthy you need to show your hair some love and do a hair mask weekly, as well as the occasional deep conditioning treatment. This will not only keep your hair healthy and able to maintain that shine but it’ll keep your color looking fresh for longer.
  • Don’t wash your hair daily: To help retain the color, avoid over washing your hair as this can cause the color to fade quicker. Dry shampoo will help you spruce up your ‘do in-between washes if you start to get a little greasy.
  • Don’t make any rash decisions: Finally, don’t dye your hair on impulse! Make sure you think about it as it’s a pretty major change that requires a lot of upkeep. So if you’re going through something intense, maybe think twice before trading in your current color.

If you’re still a little unsure, check out our guide on what hair color flatters your skin tone, here. Then again, you can take our advice and do whatever you want; it’s your hair, and it’s up to you!