post/graphic design: Kristin Ess
We’re back with the rest of our hair color guides! The rest of these tone charts will be warm, warm, warm! We’re starting with warm golds– such decadent tones. They’re rich and sparkly and who doesn’t like that?? The best thing about warm gold tones is that they reflect a ton of light, so you often get a lot of shine when you go to a warm gold. The difference between gold and warm gold is subtle but definitely visible. Gold has more of a buttery yellow tone while warm golds are much richer. A lot of my clients want to go super light for the summer, so we go a little richer and a little darker and allow those highlights to hybernate during the winter. Here are a few things to keep in mind when trying out warm gold tones…
- Your colorist can get you there with a gloss. Many of you may already have nice highlights that you paid a lot for an don’t want to get rid of. If you want to keep the pattern you have but just go a little darker and richer, ask your colorist if he/she can do a warmer gloss to kick off your “fall color”. Glosses are not permanent colors– they should be semi-permanent or demi-permanent, meaning they’ll fade out. Try glossing first to see if you like it and then move to a more permanent color if you love it!
- Cut out purple shampoo. I always push for purple shampoo to keep gold tones in check… but this is where we draw the line. When you go to a warm gold tone, it’s time to pause on the purple shampoo. These gold tones are intentional and you don’t want to wash them away. Consider a color-preserving shampoo instead!
- Who can wear warm gold? I’ve never seen a warm gold I didn’t like. There are various skin tones in the images above and they all manage to pull it off well. The only thing I would suggest is that if you have pink tones in your skin, try to minimize the pink and up the bronze! Bronze is much more complimentary to warm gold toned hair.
- How light or dark? Warm gold tones can be done on the lightest and the darkest hair colors. Even over blackest color of hair! If your hair is super dark, you’re going to notice it more when you’re in the sun than when you’re inside but it will definitely show up.
Next ones will be hints of red, and then the full range of reds!
POST/GRAPHIC DESIGN: KRISTIN ESS
And the award for most desired tone on the planet goes to… you guessed it. Gold hues are at the very top of everyones wish list when visiting their colorist or buying a box. Gold tones are just plain flattering to almost anyone with any skin tone. Gold tones don’t give off any red or orange tones. They’re perfectly warm but never brassy. Look at the photos above– you don’t see “yellow”, you see sun kissed golden tones. It should look as though you’ve been on a long vacation or perhaps as though you surf a lot. Good gold tones look like what I like to call “kid color”. Children often have these golden, natural highlights that are uneffected by years of hair coloring. Here are some things you should know if you’re wanting to be a golden girl…
- Be clear on what you’re after. Everyone has a different idea of what gold means so if you’re going to the salon, take a bunch of photos for reference. Use words like “not brassy” “natural-looking” and “surfer girl hair”.
- Do some good research! Speaking of reference photos, try looking up kid hair color for gold tone inspiration. When you search “kid hair color” on Pinterest and scroll, you get images like THIS, THIS and THIS, all of which show perfect gold tones.
- Purple Shampoo once a week. You don’t want to cut all warm tones, but you definitely want to keep the brass out. If you generally shampoo every other day, then use purple shampoo once a week. If you’re a daily shampooer, do it every 3rd shampoo.
- Gloss it up! Keep it shiny by glossing in between colors. Gold toned hair should sparkle! It will reflect so much more light if you gloss or glaze in between.
- Who can wear it? Honestly, I’ve never met a girl who didn’t look great in gold tones as long as the color is not too light or dark for your skin tone.
- Box Dyes. This is tricky. I’m going to try to keep it simple. We all have warm tones underneath our natural color– even ashy girls (there’s yellow + orange under there even though your don’t see it). If you put a box of color on your roots that says “gold”, you’re probably going to get a brassy result. Instead try using a neutral box color. It will bring out those warm tones hiding inside and leave you with golden tones. Always account for the color that you don’t see inside the hair shaft. I think I should do a whole post on this…
Stay tuned for warm golds and then reds!
POST/GRAPHIC DESIGN: KRISTIN ESS
Next up in our “Hair Color Guide” series is the good ol’ neutral family. The name may sound boring, however, the unique beauty of this perfectly balanced shade is anything but boring. The way I like to describe neutral to my clients is by telling them it’s “nearly toneless”. I tell them to think of “sand at the beach” to picture the right hue. It’s not gold/warm and it’s not cool/ashe. It’s still shiny but it won’t give off any particular tone. That being said– don’t confuse the word “neutral” with the word “natural”! Someone’s natural hair color can be a neutral tone, and another person’s natural hair color can be a golden tone so natural doesn’t mean neutral. (A confusing statement I know, but read it a couple times if you need to and hopefully it will make sense.) A few things to keep in mind when considering a neutral tone:
- It may take some time. Neutral hair doesn’t always happen in one color application, especially if you’re coming from a warmer color. Cutting underlying warm tones can take a couple rounds. Be patient whether you’re doing this yourself or going to a colorist. Know that it will happen with repeated application.
- Go in for a gloss. Ask your colorist if you can come in to get a color gloss in between color appointments. It’s a quick process and will help keep unwanted tones away.
- It’s a thin line between ashe and neutral. Ashe is jusssssst over the fence from neutral. If you really desire that perfect neutral tone, you may have to overshoot into ashe and live with it for 2-3 shampoos. I know– nobody wants to leave the hairstylist and wait 2-3 shampoos for the perfect color to surface, and with most tones you shouldn’t have to but with neutral tones you just might. Mentally prep yourself for that (aka: don’t schedule a hot date for the next evening). If you don’t have the patience for that, stay tuned for our next post.
- Purple shampoo every other time. You just have to. It’s the law. No but really, if you don’t the likely hood is high that warm tones will work their way into your hair.
- Conditioning treatments are important. Just like ashe colors, if this starts to look dull, it can look bad. Keep it shiny and keep it clean.
- Who can wear neutral tones? Almost anyone! The most important thing to think about, however, is “Is this my most flattering color?” Sometimes just because you can pull it off doesn’t mean it’s your best color. I was platinum blonde for 8 years and it looked good but nothing compared to how I felt when I went bright red. So ask yourself, is this my best/most flattering color?
Hope you’ve enjoyed the first two (neutral + ashe). See you next week for gold tones, warm golds and hints of red!
post/graphic design: Kristin Ess
For my next several hair posts, I’m going to be posting on color tones. In fact, I feel like we have a lot to talk about with color in general. A lot of you have asked in emails and comments if I could help you get a better understanding of color tones, so we’re going to do just that. We’ll start with ashy tones, then we’ll go into neutrals, warm neutrals, golds, warm golds, subtle hints of red, and then all red tones.
ASHE TONES: First thing I want to tell you is that tone has nothing to do with lightness or darkness. Look at the grid of photos above. Do you see what they all have in common? It’s the smoky-looking silver-y sort of color. That’s what tone is. Doesn’t matter if the hair is super light or super dark because it’s just about the hue that the hair gives off. Here are a couple of things to keep in mind if you ever want to try ashe tones:
- Who can wear it? The girl who’s skin is completely clean and clear! Any hints of redness from acne or rosacea will clash with ashy tones. If you have redness but you cover it well, you can still wear an ashy tone. Just know that when you wash your makeup off it may not be your favorite look. (Sorry, that’s real talk.)
- Wait, ashy?? On purpose?? You’re probably wondering why anyone would want their hair to look smoky or muddy… some people hate it, some people love it. It’s just a personal preference. If you have the right skin tone, style your hair well and don’t let it look like a rat’s nest, ashy hair can be really beautiful.
- Talk to a pro. Seriously– putting a warm glaze over your hair at home is one thing, but making an ashy tone look nice requires some mad skills that only a great colorist will have.
- What can you wear with ashe toned hair? Monocromatic looks are my favorite with ashy hair. Try wearing all different shades of grey.
- Makeup must: a pop of color on the lip. Icy hair color paired with a bright matte pink or orange lipstick can be stunnnnnnning. And it will keep you from looking too drab.
- Be polished. With ashy hair you’ll want to put a little effort into your hair, styling-wise. If you have beautiful air-dried waves, that’s great, but if you don’t make sure to put a little effort into your hair. Ashy can tend to look dull so you have to OWN it! Become best friends with your curling iron.
- Maintenance: Purple shampoo and a deep conditioner. Purple shampoo will help you maintain those silvery tones. And you must deep condition at least once a week to retain some shine on ashy hair.
Up next… Neutrals (it’s more exciting than it sounds!) xo