How to Choose the Right Hair Color

Before you make a mistake, read Louis Licari's hair color tips

When I look at a woman for the first time, I check her out from head to toe. I look at everything -- from her body to her face, from her hair color and haircut to her manicure and the clothes she's wearing. I believe this gives me some insight into her personality. Then, I must admit I often start to give her what I call a "conceptual makeover." I make a mental list of everything I would change to make her more beautiful. I know that if most women knew what I was doing I probably wouldn’t have any female friends left. But this is my secret, or at least it was until now.

When it comes to hair color, making the correct color decision can be confusing to women. The most common question women ask me is if they made the right hair color choice. It can be hard to find the right color because there are so many exceptions and variations to the rules. The good news is that if hair color is a little off tone, it is usually easy to adjust. It's only the big color changes that take more work.

The old rule of hair color was that if you had cool skin tones, you should wear a cool hair color. If your skin color had warm tones, you should choose a warmer shade. This sure-fire rule went out the proverbial window at least decade ago. Warm colors became the fashion trend. Suddenly, ash highlights looked old and draining to the complexion. Almost overnight, I had more requests for golden, honey and other warm tones. They're more youthful, vibrant and bright.

The fact of the matter is the right color tone is the one that looks best on you. I prefer warmer tones but if they are not flattering, some adjustments must be made. One solution is to choose a more neutral shade -- a middle shade. This will solve the problem if you think that either color family -- warm or cool -- clashes with your skin tone.

Women who have excessively red skin should always avoid light blond and red shades of hair. These colors will only exaggerate the redness. Soft warm shades will make the excessive redness of the skin less noticeable.

The next big question to ask is how light or dark should you make your hair color? Making hair darker can be beautiful. It shows off your complexion and accents your eyes better than any makeup. The key is not to go more than two shades darker than your natural color. Going too dark will eliminate any nuances of your natural color. This will make your hair color look artificial. It can also draw attention to any darkness under your eyes, giving you a harsh and severe look.

On the flip side of this issue is if you choose to make your hair lighter. Hair that is made blonder can light up your face. Light hair can be a very addictive drug. Women often think that if a little lighter is brighter, then being more blonde will look even better. This is not always true. You must find the right degree of brightness that complements your skin tone. Too dark of a shade will not light up your face or soften your features. Too light of a shade will wash you out and make you look ghost-like.

Color is probably the easiest way to look prettier, more vital and simply your best. Hair color is truly a quick fix that works. Don't waste another minute. Color your hair today!

Louis Licari, the self-proclaimed "King of Color" believes the right hair color can lift a complexion and take years off a woman's face. From actresses to runway models to business women, devotees flock to his New York and Beverley Hills salons for highlights and color. Got a question for Louis? Visit his expert page and ask away!

Plus
• Give yourself a virtual makeover
• How hair can help you land a job
• The hottest celebrity hairstyle: braids

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