A: "I teach a 5-step approach," says Keune Academy Color Director and International Color Artist George Alderete. "1. Find the natural Level you’re working with by referring to the color manufacturer’ swatch book. 2. Determine the desired level—where you want to go. This is the target Level. 3. Determine the undertone at the target level. If a natural Level-4 brown will be lifted to a natural-looking, target Level 6, which is a dark brown, the undertone at Level 6 usually sits at orange. If the client says “I don’t want any warmth,” which is nine times out of 10, then use a cool-based color for a more natural-looking result. 4. Read the percentage of gray. For instance, if it’s 30%, formulate with two parts of your base color with one part target color; if it’s 50%, use equal parts of the base color and the target color. 5. Lastly, determine your developer volume based on manufacturer instructions."