What hair color you should have.

If you know me you know that I hate to over complicate things. Especially beauty things because I’m always afraid I’ll scare people away with making something seem overwhelming when most of it really isn’t.

BUT I also hate to over simplify something down to the point that it becomes a flat answer that only clears up a small aspect of something.

I feel like beauty magazines and professionals have been telling us “rules” about things for years that get stuck in your head and then even if the rule is good in some cases it often has me screaming “IT’S NOT THAT SIMPLE!” For the case of the “what hair color you SHOULD have.” I decided I’d lay out my opinion on the matter and the rules I live by.

Some people say “You should always keep your hair color within 2 or 3 shades of what you are naturally

The rationale being that for most people in most cases that will flatter your skin tone the best. You were born with that hair and that skin and they generally go together nicely (thanks mother nature!)

And if skin tone was the only factor in hair choice that’s where this post would end..short sweet and simple! Stick with what you have or a variation close by! While that is certainly a great option it isn’t your only option cause there are many other factors involved…so let’s get complicated! 🙂


Eye color: One of my favorite things about dark hair is it brings out light eyes! I also love blondies with dark brown eyes and redheads with green eyes are THE WORLD. If your eyes are one of your favorite features it is fun to contrast them with your hair.

Makeup & Upkeep: Another factor is how much time are you willing to put in here? For instance I’m a natural dirty blonde and I  dye my hair dark. That means my blonde lashes and brows look somewhat crazy without makeup on. And since I’m so far off from my natural tone I have to do my roots every few weeks (I do them myself most the time so I’m not bothered about that but if I had to schedule and pay for an appointment each time this would be a deal breaker) Most of the time your natural color  is going to be the least upkeep of all in both respects. (with ombre as a close second for dye time:)



Hairstyling preferences: If you love the look of braids and intricate updo’s you probably want a color with a lot of dimension, blondes and browns with a wide color variation. Dark/monotone hair will camouflage and flatten those styles quite a bit. Inversely if you love blunt striking styles and cuts you might be more inclined to choose something monotone.


Commitment: If you are naturally or chemically very dark and wish to go blonde buckle up! It can be done but you’ll need to be COMMITTED! You’re in for some not so great hair color weeks/months, some damage and a lot of waiting. As long as you really want to try it and you’re expectations are realistic there’s no reason you can’t but it’s just important to be aware and prepared.

Face Shape: For those whose face shape is one of their best assets a contrasting color (light/medium skin-dark hair and dark skin-light hair) is going to really draw attention to and intensify the structure of your face.  If your face shape is not your favorite or something you don’t really care about (most people maybe?) this won’t really matter to you but it definitely does matter to some.



Hair health: While platinum hair may meet your qualifications in every other factor you also want to have hair that can handle that kind of pressure. That’s not to say that only those who were born with super blonde or strong hair have that option. Just that if you have weak hair you might have to either: baby it in every other way (meaning easy of the hot tools and blow drying), rely on clip-ins or cut it short.



Personality! Of course your personality is going to be a big factor here. Everything from loving to stand out and be different (bright colors?) to the way you dress (pastel pink hair doesn’t go with everything…) to that inexplicable “I’m just a blonde at heart” feeling and there’s no arguing with that!




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  • Reply
    September 22, 2015 at 6:01 am

    Great post, but I have just a question : what about skin color?
    I have a dark olive skin and dark hair, and I feel any other hair color will look off on me. What do you think?

  • Reply
    Kris and Jack Blog
    September 22, 2015 at 6:30 am

    Great post!! Thanks for the tips!!!

  • Reply
    September 22, 2015 at 6:31 am

    Cara, what kind of product do you use to upkeep your roots between salon appointments? My salon uses Aveda (love) but I, too, would hate to go every few weeks for roots (I am dark but show sprigs of gray – wah!). Thanks for the tip.

  • Reply
    September 22, 2015 at 7:00 am

    I’m a natural medium brown and dyed my hair blonde for many years. Until my hair stared seriously thinning. I cut it shorter and grew out the color back to natural. This of course was boring, so now I have a few bright pink pieces so the hair doesn’t get completely damaged but I still have fun.

  • Reply
    Jackie W.
    September 22, 2015 at 8:03 am

    Your hair always looks healthy and perfectly styled! Since you color your roots at home, can you provide the type of haircolor you use? I.e., brand, etc.? Much appreciated!

  • Reply
    September 22, 2015 at 8:18 am

    I never would’ve thought so many things went into finding the best hair color!

    Mary Kate

  • Reply
    September 22, 2015 at 8:29 am

    Here’s my obligatory comment to tell everyone to LET YOUR SILVER SPEAK!! Lol. I’m 34 and fairly gray. I started at 21 and covered for years. But I’d been coloring since 14, so it was just habit. But then I started using Wen and following some of Cara’s other fantastic tips for growing long hair, and it just started growing too fast to keep up with covering the silver roots. So I LET IT GOOOOO. Haha. I seriously have never gotten more compliments than now. And, I do ombre/balayage the ends, which still allows me to have fun with color without the constant internal conversation over whether or not I need to pickup a box of color next time I go out.

    • Reply
      September 22, 2015 at 10:27 am

      I’d love to see a pic of your grey/ombre color, sounds so cool.

  • Reply
    September 22, 2015 at 11:04 am

    Cara, this is just what I needed to read today! I have made an appointment for tomorrow to go platinum (my hair is naturally brown). I have needed a huge change and decided to make the leap! Thank you for your encouraging words and sharing this topic!!

  • Reply
    September 22, 2015 at 11:13 am

    Cara, can you please post the link to the braided hair pic?

    • Reply
      September 22, 2015 at 11:29 am

      I found the link…never mind 😉

  • Reply
    September 22, 2015 at 11:43 am

    Who is the dark haired girl in the first pic? Her HAC is insane!!!! 🙂

  • Reply
    September 22, 2015 at 11:56 am

    This post was super helpful! I have dark hair but I’m thinking of changing it

    Brunette-ish | A Beauty Blog

  • Reply
    Anna Bennion
    September 22, 2015 at 12:45 pm

    a testimonial: i am naturally a brunette, but i’ve gone platinum blonde and I LOVED IT!!

  • Reply
    Sarah @ Back to Carolina
    September 22, 2015 at 1:03 pm

    As a natural brunette who has wanted to play with my hair color more, though, but can’t do the up-keep (I have a neurological condition that affects my neck and dominant arm, making styling hard), I love what you said about face shape. I’ve never thought about that! I am pretty good with a few bobby pins and making dirty hair look fancy. I have very pale skin. My whole life, I’ve been told that I can pull off ponytails and my hair up better than most people (which I didn’t know was a thing), but it makes since when I read about oval face shapes and now the contrasting hair color. And your last point about personality is the most important! What makes you comfortable shows in how you carry yourself 🙂

  • Reply
    September 22, 2015 at 5:11 pm

    I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love this post! I feel like there are these rules set in place, and while they do work with some, in my opinion it is more fun to reach outside the box sometimes. I was blonde my whole life and dyed my hair brown at 20 just to try something new. While it was a huge change, it was a good one. My eyes popped and my brows surprisingly enough matched the color well. My husband loved it, and didn’t want me to go back blonde. I did however go back blonde but only because the upkeep was so hard. I do think it was so fun though and will probably go brown again when I get bored 🙂

  • Reply
    Amanda Brown
    September 22, 2015 at 5:58 pm

    I’ve been coloring my hair since 6th grade and have been a lot of different colors. The only color I think I wouldn’t do again is black. But everything else seems to work 🙂 Magenta is the new color. I think I’m a magenta at heart 🙂

  • Reply
    Bronwyn Miller
    September 22, 2015 at 9:08 pm

    I would love to know what product you use to do your hair!

  • Reply
    Shelly moore
    September 23, 2015 at 2:23 am

    Thank you for the “red head-green eye shout out” however what about us that like rock a pixie or a awesome bob…. not everyone has medium to long hair!

  • Reply
    Maria's Skin Secrets
    September 23, 2015 at 6:19 am

    Loved the article and shared it!

  • Reply
    September 23, 2015 at 10:55 am

    What hair color do you use? I have dark hair also but don’t like my at home color to look to saturated or monochrome.

  • Reply
    Heather Baggs
    September 23, 2015 at 1:32 pm

    Will you do a post about growing out bangs i.e. how to deal with them while waiting, etc? I am ready for a change but I’ve had bangs most of my life. Do I need to move my part based on my face shape? Or change the color for more contrast? Also how to style them without having limp locks to drag down your face….Last time I tried it, this was the main issue I faced. (picture a dry version of having been out in the rain for hours) NOT CUTE! Thanks 🙂

  • Reply
    September 23, 2015 at 6:38 pm

    I have the same skin color question, fair with pink undertones…thoughts? 🙂

    Wishes & Reality

  • Reply
    September 24, 2015 at 11:02 am

    I really love the color of your hair Cara…would love to know how you color it please!

  • Reply
    September 26, 2015 at 8:57 pm

    What product do you use when coloring your hair at home?

  • Reply
    October 29, 2015 at 9:37 am

    Awesome post! I recently decided after having very stripey highlights in my very dark brown hair that I wanted to try going blonde all over. My hair stylist is refusing and stating she can not get me as light as I would like to go. I know there are risks, but she is not willing to try what I want. Going blonde in a salon rather than at home also seems terribly expensive! Not sure what I am going to do but it has been YEARS since I wanted to try to go blonde and I am just trying to figure out how to convince my stylist to get me there! Also, I have olive skin, dark eyes, and I think the blonde will bring brightness to all that dark going on.

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