We Asked: “What’s the Best Hair Color for Me?”

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In our Q&A series, beauty experts address your most bewildering issues. Have a beauty-related quandary of your own? Submit your question in the comments below or via Twitter.

Q: I’ve never colored my hair before. How do I go about choosing a color that is flattering?

A: “Like makeup, when you start to experiment with hair color, working with your color palette is crucial so that your hair accentuates your skin tone and eye color,” says Abby Haliti, senior colorist at the Julien Farel Restore Salon & Spa. “Dark hues tend to suit someone with an olive skin tone or darker complexions, while it can often be too bold and drastic on someone with paler skin. With regard to eye color, generally warmer hair tones match up best with green or brown/hazel eyes. Hair color should reflect the same undertones as your eye color.”

Before making a big color change, Haliti thinks a consultation with your colorist is key. “An essential step that will eventually lead to trusting the colorist starts with a very detailed consultation. Clients can sometimes have unrealistic expectations of what they want their hair to look like. As professional hair colorists, it is our job to steer them toward a look that would suit them best, as well as a look that is easily maintainable for the client. Pulling out some visuals is a must if the client is looking to make changes. The main point is don’t get carried away with what you see in magazines and such, trust in your inner-self and your hair colorist to decide what is best for you. Showing an ‘example picture’ is important because sometimes the client isn’t well aware of how to voice the image of the color they’re imagining in their heads.”

Basically, the best thing you can do for yourself (and your hair) is to find a colorist who knows how to just say no. “I would never do anything unflattering or do something that I don’t think would turn out beautiful on my clients. I have had many previous experiences where I tell the clients that I wouldn’t be able to please her desired look, merely because it would not work for her. Honesty is the key of building happy clients!”

Read more: The Ultimate Celebrity Hair Color Wheel

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