Shades apart: discovering the perfect brunette shade for your style

Expert Advice - Colour

Shades apart: discovering the perfect brunette shade for your style

23 Nov 2016

Image credit: The colour studio, The Chapel Tunbridge Wells

Brunette hair is a classic colour that can be adapted to suit almost anybody: regardless of eye colour or skin tone. A consultation with your stylist will help you find your perfect match: whether it’s a warm or cool tone, best suited to your shorter layered cut, or whether it lends itself to longer lengths. To help you on our way, here’s our guide to discovering the perfect brunette shade for you.

Hair samples at The Chapel, Tunbridge Wells
Image credit: Hair samples at The Chapel, Tunbridge Wells

Tailored to you

Your natural skin tone plays a huge role in determining which brunette shade might be best for you. When holding a white card, or placing a white towel underneath your face carefully note the colour reflected. A yellow tone will mean you are best suited to warm shades and colours that use golden and rich in description. A slightly bluish tone means cooler browns with ash in the title will flatter.

A light brown will flatter both cool and warm tones, and when kept in good condition can look give a healthy glow to any style. The richer tones of chocolate and espresso work well with olive and darker skin tones. Brunette colours can sometimes look flat, but with some clever colouring they can provide a great base to add honey highlights. Those who are naturally brunette, have the upper hand beginning with a great base that can be warmed with copper and amber tones, or cooled with ash elements.

Planning on going for a lighter brunette shade from a darker colour? If you are looking to lighten from a very dark brunette shade, this may mean a few trips to the salon to change gradually without causing excessive damage. Another alternative is adding lowlights to your hair which will help grow out the colour without root regrowth being visible.

If you are looking to go darker, and you are feeling a little apprehensive try out a demi-permanent dye before going permanent. It will ease you into the transition if you have lighter hair and help you define your suited shade. If you are going from bleached hair to brunette be aware that the red pigment may be more visible, always test a section of hair and ask your stylist for advice on the possible result.

Your colourist will be able to advise on possible concerns, such as a green tinge appearing on bleached or pre-lightened locks. The porosity of your hair will also affect the result, so before any colour treatment, it’s a good idea to get your hair to the best condition possible before carrying out any colour service.

The Chapel, Tunbridge Wells
Image credit: The Chapel, Tunbridge Wells

Deciphering your hair type

Tumbling curls look beautiful when golden and honey tones are mixed with a rich brunette base. Using a toner can help pick up brunette colours in between treatments and isn’t damaging to hair. Shorter cropped styles look dramatic and sharp combined with darker bitter shades of brunette to suit paler skin tones, and if you have green or blue eyes can add some serious drama to your look. Curly hair benefits from some carefully placed balayage to lift a brunette base, with a mixture of warmer and cooler shades can be used with the ash shades towards the roots, and warmer shades on mid-lengths and ends. Simple up do’s of classic chignons and buns are perfect for a day to night transition, and vintage hairstyles such as finger waves with a little serum to show shine are ideal for brunette locks.

Redken's Heat Design range is our top choice for protecting your brunette hair
Image credit: Redken's Heat Design range is our top choice for protecting your brunette hair

Maintaining beautiful brunette

Remember your hair care routine: keeping up your hair’s condition with regular pamper sessions and hot oil treatments to promote a healthy scalp. Not forgetting trims to remove any dry and damaged ends. Avoid overdoing the heat styling and always use heat protectant to avoid telltale marks or faded areas from straighteners: brunette hair is very unforgiving, with damaged hair appearing frizzy and dull. Unless your hair is thicker, keep temperatures adjusted to lower levels to preserve your bold new brunette colour. Argan oil products are great at helping maintain healthy looking brunette hair and can be found in shampoos and conditioners, as well as colour specific products.

Ready to make the transition to brunette? Talk to one of our expert stylists who would be happy to help you begin the process.