I believe that some of the most innovative and interesting color effects are being done on brunettes these days. Dark-haired celebrities like the Kardashians, Minka Kelly, Maria Menounos and Naya Rivera are leading the way with beautiful tones of soft chocolate that melt into lighter golden or mocha brown tones toward the ends.
Here are a few of my rules when it comes to creating these modern brunette color effects:
1. STAY AWAY FROM UNIFORM HIGHLIGHTS. I’m seeing a backlash against what brunette clients perceive as ombrè and as a result, they’re requesting more uniform highlights. But that’s a mistake because placing a highlight next to a dark root creates an unattractive, “zebra” effect. So I call the technique “sun-melting” and I show my clients photos of celebrities so they can see the beautiful, natural effect.
2. DON'T OVER DO IT. When it comes to highlighting brunettes, less is more. You only need a few strategically-placed sections on mid-lengths and ends, and maybe around the face for impact. If you over-highlight brunettes, the overall color could look brassy.
3. NEUTRALIZE OVER LIFT. I don’t like to lift brunette color too much. I prefer to neutralize underlying warmth with a gloss like Matrix Gloss Sync to preserve the integrity of the hair.